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In this course, author George Maestri explains how to model and render 3D objects and scenes using Google SketchUp 8. The course covers the fundamentals of the application, from navigating the user interface, manipulating objects, and building basic shapes to importing objects from Google Earth, animating a scene, and modeling organic terrain using the Sandbox tools. The course also explores SketchUp Pro features, which are available as an upgrade. These include tools for creating dynamic components and adding interactivity, as well as sophisticated importing and exporting options for working with outside applications.
So now let's go a little bit deeper in animation. I want to do a smooth fly-around of this house and this will show you some techniques for getting very precise and smooth animation. So I've got this house and what I want to do is take a camera and fly it around and do a 360 around the house while I'm still pointing at the house. Now in order to do that, I probably need to create what's called a path, or In this case, I'm actually creating a guide to place the camera along that path.
So if I was going to do a 360 around the house, typically what I would do is I would think to draw a circle. But if you think about it, the circle really is just a smooth polygon. And what I really want to do is snap to the corners of the polygon. So let's go ahead and actually draw a polygon. Now the number of sides you draw will actually control how smooth your animation is. I'm going to do this animation a little bit rough and I'm just going to draw a hexagon. So I'm going to make sure my Sides are set to 6 and then just draw a hexagon.
Now I'm going to make this hexagon say a 100 feet, so that puts the camera a 100 feet from this building. So what I'm using this for is just as a path. So I don't need this face on the inside, so I'm going to select it and hit Delete. So now I have this hexagonal path that surrounds my house. What I'm going to do now is basically position this path where I want it.
So Right now, it's on the ground. So if I move the camera around, it's going to be looking up at the house; I want it to be kind of looking down a little bit. So I'm going to move this path straight up somewhere around the second storey of that house, maybe a little bit higher than this, somewhere around there. So now I have this path maybe about 10 feet above the ground looking kind of slightly down at the house. So once I have this path set up, now I need to start snapping cameras to these corners.
So I'm going to need six different positions for this camera. So in SketchUp that means I'm going to need six different scenes. So I'm going to open my Scenes window by going Window>Scenes, and then I need to add in six scenes, so I'm just going to hit the Plus sing six times. So now I have six scenes, go ahead and close this, and let's go to Scene 1. Now what I need to do in each scene is make sure that I have the camera at each corner.
So in Scene 1 I'm going to start here at this tip here and I'm going to use the Position Camera tool, so I'm going to select Position Camera, snap to this endpoint, left-click and drag, and then I'm going to get this down to the Origin. And then when I let go, it'll position that camera. So once I have that positioned, all I have to do is right-click above this, click Update, and that locks it in. Let's do the same for Scene 2, and in this case we need to decide are we going to go clockwise or counterclockwise around the building.
Let's go ahead and go counterclockwise and so I'm going to select Position Camera and go to this point here, again, left-click and drag and then find that Origin and release. Let's go ahead and Update this. So now I have Scene 1, Scene 2, and you can see already how it's starting to work. Now Scene 3 has not been set up, so again, we need the Position Camera, find the endpoint, left-click, drag, find that Origin, and off we go, and then again, Update.
Let's do number 4 which is the far one here; left-click, drag, find the Origin here, Update, and now we've got two more to go. 5; left-click, drag, Update, and we've got one more here. Oops! Actually I was wrong, so let's go ahead back to 6.
Now I didn't press Update which meant that it didn't save it, so I've got a chance to this over again. So I'm going to go ahead and select this, and let's do this one more time. There we go. Now I've got it the way I want. Let's go ahead and hit Update, so now I've got Scene 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and then back to 1. And you can see how I've got this camera moving around. Now one of the things I'm noticing here is that as I go from Scene 1 to Scene 2, it's actually drawing in this hexagon that I had as my guide.
Now this hexagon really was just there for me to position the camera, it's just there to find those endpoints to snap to. So if I want I can select this and delete it. And let's go back to Scene 1 here, and now I have my animation. Now before I actually do a play animation, I want to do one more thing. And let's go into View> Animation, and let's go into Settings. And by default, it has 2 seconds Transition with a Scene Delay of 1 second.
But I want this to be a continuous motion, I do not want delay. So I'm going to go ahead and type in 0 for Scene Delay, close this, and then right-click above Scene 1 and hit Play Animation. So that looks pretty good, but one thing I'm noticing is that the house isn't centered. So I'm just going to go ahead and select my house, hit Move, and let's go ahead and move that so that it's more centered than it was, so that should work.
So now let's go ahead and play this again. Deselect that house, Play Animation, and we should have something that works pretty well. Now there are a few little bumps in here as we go from scene to scene, and part of that is because we're only using six positions. If we used say eight or twelve, it would get a lot smoother. But as you can see, the Position Camera tool is a really great way to create precise animation.
So go ahead and use it in other scenes; it's great also for walkthroughs of scenes or buildings as well. So go ahead and play with those and do some more advanced animation.
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