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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.
SketchUp also has Shadows and Fog, which enable you to change the look of your scene as well. Let's go ahead and add some shadows and fog to a scene. Now I am going to go ahead and turn- off Profiles as well as Display Edges. I just want to get a more natural look to this. And let's start with Shadows, we are just going to go ahead and turn those on to see what happens. Turn on Shadows. You notice we have shadows in the scene but we want to be able to control those shadows, so let's go ahead and go to the Shadow Control window.
We go to the Windows menu and we find Shadows. Click on that and it brings up this window. Now this allows us to pretty much control everything we want for Shadows. We can turn Shadows on or off. We can change the time of day. So in the morning, the shadows are here; in the evening the shadows are here. This kind of tells us that east is to our right and west is to our left in our particular scene.
We can also change the date. So we can kind of just see how the shadows move throughout the year. Now in addition to the actual shadows -- I am going to move the shadows so that they are this way, we can change the actual way the shadows look. We have two controls here, one is called Light, one is to control Dark. The Light actually controls light areas so this is basically how strong is the light source and the darkness changes how dark the shadows are.
So we can change the ambient light of the scene by manipulating these two. If we want a really heavy shadowed scene, we can do it this way or if want a little bit more balanced light we can kind of even them out. So right now, I am going to toggle Use sun for shading. Now if we want, we can display whether we want to display the shading on the faces themselves, on the ground themselves and also you want to shade them from edges or not. Now in addition to this Shadow Settings window, we do have a toolbar for Shadows. So let's go ahead and turn-on the Shadows toolbar.
If you on the Mac, the Shadows toolbar is available by selecting Customized Toolbar under the View menu. In fact, we can actually dock that here. It doesn't give us all the controls; it just gives us the date and the time. So those are the basics of how to create shadows in SketchUp. I am going to turn off Shadows and let's go ahead and play with Fog. Let's just turn that on and see what it looks like. How Fog works is that, it's a depth cue, so the further away you are, the more fog they get.
In fact, we have another window for Fog and let's just bring that up. Under Window > Fog and there is only two controls. There is the Distance of the fog. In fact if I zoom, you can see the further I zoom out, the foggier it gets. So the closer you are to the object, the less it's affected by fog. There are actually two sliders here. One is, how far away does the fog start? Does it start right away, how many feet away does the fog start, and where does the fog reach its maximum? So you kind of have almost like this create a window. So this is where the fog starts and this is where the fog occludes everything.
Now we can also change the fog color here. We can click this off and that if we click this off, it won't use the background color. The background color in this case is this kind of beige kind of color. If we want, we can click here. Once we have clicked off Use background color, we can actually change the color of the fog to whatever we want. So if we want a purple fog, we can do that. We can make it blue or really whatever color we want. And then, once we click Use background color, it goes back to that default background color. And we can turn fog on or off. So if we turn on Shadows and Fog, you can get a much more of a realistic view of the scene.
So that's pretty simple. So go ahead and play with that and we will move on to some more topics.
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