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Architecture, design, and media professionals all over the world are using Google SketchUp to create detailed 3D models efficiently and quickly. In Google SketchUp 6 Essential Training, design expert George Maestri teaches the foundations of SketchUp's drawing, design, and rendering tools. He covers the fundamentals of the application, the interface, and the Sandbox extension, which is used to create realistic organic shapes and terrain. George also discusses how to model and texture objects from existing photographs and export models to Google Earth to visualize how buildings fit in a real landscape. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now that we understand the basics of animation, let's go ahead and take this one step further and do a more sophisticated type of animation. We are going to go ahead and take a camera and make it fly around an object and this is just that basic townhouse we have been playing with. I am going to select the building and then I am going to right click and group it and then I am just going to move this so that we have got this on the central line here. And then, I am actually going to go ahead and save this out.
I just want to safe this one object out, so that way I can bring it back in. So once I have a position, I am going to go Export, 3D Model and let's just go ahead up to chapter 5 or our desktop, let's just do this on the desktop right now let's just call it Townhouse_01_ export. Now the reason I am doing this, is that I am going to bring this all back in. So I am just exporting everything in the scene, just to have it because now it's positioned exactly where I want and then I am going to bring it back in because I am eventually going to delete this.
So what I want to do is create a camera outside of this that flies around my townhouse. So I need to create a path outside of the townhouse. So what I am going to do is I am just going to go ahead and right click and hide this for right now. Select my polygon, give it 8 sides and then I am going to draw a big polygon; in fact, let's just go ahead and make it a 100 foot in diameter. So I am going to be actually zooming pretty far out.
The next thing I am going to do is create a small little line that's actually going to be the target of my camera. So I am just going to draw a short vertical line here, that's my camera target. And then I am going to select this middle polygon and delete it. I am going to unhide my townhouse here and then I am going to take my path and I am going to just go ahead and move that vertically. So I am like, where is my camera going to be, I think about my camera to be right around the 2nd floor, maybe looking slightly down, so that way I have a better view of this townhouse.
Okay, so now I have the townhouse safe, so I am just going to delete it out of the scene for right now and then I will just import back in the one I saved out. Now, I could also just import the original one as well, but that was just positioned differently, so I saved it out to just to save the positioning. So now, all we have to do is create 8 scenes and each one of them has a view from this point to here and once I create those 8 scenes, the camera will fly around this path. So I do that by starting with the Scenes window, so I go to Window > Scenes and then I just need to create 8 scenes. So I am just going to hit this plus sign 8 times, create 8 scenes and then each scene will have a different camera position. So, I am just going to go ahead and minimize this and then select my Position Camera tool.
How this works, is you left click and drag from one point to the other point and then, it just positions the camera. So this is where my camera is and this is where my camera is looking. If I just left click, it will position the camera there but it won't give it a direction, so you have to left click and drag. So I need to start in Scene 1, I was in Scene 8 before. So let's go ahead and start in Scene 1, left click, drag and now my camera is looking at that point. Okay, great, Scene 1 is done. I got to go my Scenes menu here and hit Update and that updates my camera and everything else.
Let's go to Scene 2, I think I can probably put this over on this side. I have a choice here, do I go clockwise or counterclockwise? I am going to go counterclockwise. So my next point here is my first point, this will be my second point. So again, left click and drag and hit Update. Scene 3, and we just continue on. 1, 2, 3, Update, Scene 4, select the tool; 1, 2, 3, 4, left click, drag, here we go. Update, Scene 5, Update. Scene 6, 5, 6, Update. Scene 7, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, that's 7, Update and the last one and Update.
So now that I have this, I can save it out if I want or I can just do an animation. So you can see here, if you just go Play Animation, you will basically see it kind of go around, you can see the axis. By doing this, without an object in the scene, I kind of a standard camera move. So in fact, I am going to hit stop here and the one thing I do want to do is I want this to be a smooth move; just going to go ahead and go Import and then I am just going to import my townhouse again. And then I can see it from all different angles.
In fact, let's go ahead and just move it in and there we go, okay. So now all I have to do is, if I wanted to, I could just go from one to the other and you can see I have got a really smooth animation. But the one thing about the automatic animation is that, it does have a pause built into it by just going into View > Animation > Settings and that gives me my Delay. So I just turn my Delay down to zero, make my Scene Transition say every 2 seconds, so that's fine and then just go ahead and then right click here, Play Animation.
And you can see I have got a very smooth animation of this house. What you can do is you can actually set up this sort of animation, you can setup a standard fly around, you know, from scene 1 to scene 2 and all this, you can set up a standard kind of rotation thing and then just bring any object into it. So you can essentially just create a default scene and just import whatever you want into it.
So you don't have to go through all these problems again. And the other thing you can do is you can actually go through and delete the original curve, you can delete this edge here and then when you play, you won't get that. So let's go ahead and play this one more time, because the polygon that we created was really only used as a guide, the camera isn't following along the polygon, it's just been positioned to the polygon. So once camera is positioned, we don't need that polygon anymore. So those are some of the more advanced ways to animate within Google SketchUp and you can see that if you plan properly, you can get more sophisticated animations.
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