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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.
In addition to edge and face styles we also can add shadows and fog to our scenes. Now we can also do those through the View menu. Now there is toggle that turns on Shadows and also turns on Fog. Now you might not be able to see it too much, but notice how the buildings on the far end of the street are a little bit dimmer than the ones here, but let's go ahead and turn off Fog for now, we'll get to that later, let's just work with Shadows. So I'm going to toggle off Fog and let's just start playing with Shadows.
There is two ways to work with shadows; one is to just add the Shadows toolbar. So we go into toolbars and we can add a Shadows toolbar which allows us to control shadows, but probably the better way or the more robust way of doing that is to use the shadow window. So I'm going into Window>Shadows and it brings up this floating window that I can just put wherever I want in the scene. Now this window has a number of options; one is to change our time zone which is our latitude and so this just tells you where you are in relation to Greenwich Mean Time.
Then we have the actual Time of day. Now we can either type in the exact time, or we can just use this slider and this will give us the time of day and we can show how these shadows change as the sun moves across the sky. Now notice how the shadows are longer on this side in the morning which means the sun is on the far side of the street. And so that means that the street is going east-west and then on this side we notice that sun is closer to us, the shadows are farther away and so this side of the street is the west side of the street.
In addition to the time, we can also change the Date. So we can change it from October to January and you can see how these shadows change as we move through the year. So I'm going to go ahead and get the shadows so that they are kind of long. So I'm going to put us around November, December and let's go ahead and just give us a nice long shadow, so we can play with the actual character of the shadows which are accessed here through the Light and Dark menus. So what this Light slider does is it controls the intensity of the sun.
So if I bring it up you'll notice that the sun gets brighter, if I bring it down you'll notice that it gets darker. So this is kind of the Brightness control and the Darkness is how dark your shadows are. So if I make my shadows really dark you can see that my shadows get darker and if I bring it up you'll see that the shadows get lighter. So we can actually use these to control how the light looks in the scene. So if I were to bring the Light up and the Dark down you'll see that we actually get a very high contrast kind of scene.
If we go the opposite if we turn Light down and Dark up you get a much brighter kind of day. So we're actually removing dark and we're kind of giving it more of a sunny bounce light type of thing. So you can really control how the character of your light looks. We can also toggle on Use sun for shading and this allows us to Display whether we want the shading, On the faces, On the ground, or From edges. So we wanted to go either On the faces, okay so each one of these is a face, but when you get to the end of this street, for example, we actually have no faces, but we actually have a ground plane, so we can turn that on, so we could have those kind of leak over into that ground plane, or we could turn it off on that as well.
You can also have the edges create shadows as well. So that's the basics of shadows, let's go ahead and now play with fog. So I'm going to go ahead and under View let's turn off our Shadows and turn on Fog. We can control fog in much the same way that we control shadows by using the Fog window. So I go into Window select Fog and it brings up my Fog controls. Now these are much simpler than the shadow controls, but let's go ahead and see how they work.
This interface is very simple, you can turn on or off your fog. So I'm turning it off, turning it back on, and then we have two sliders here; one controls how close the fog is, so if I bring it closer you can see how it gets a little bit fog here and this controls the density of the fog. Okay, so you can see if I bring both of these down the model gets hidden by the fog, and then I can control the Distance.
So basically these are kind of like where does the fog start, so if I bring these close together at the end of the street that means that the fog starts there and it ramps up. So the distance from here to here is basically how quickly does the fog take effect, so this is kind of what's like, this is zero fog, this is a 100% fog. So if I move this further away then the fog goes away, if I bring it in we'll say we want to obscure just the end of the street, and then we can dial in the fog However, we want.
Now in addition to this you can control the color of the fog. By default, it's using the background color. If I turn that off I can bring up a Color Picker and I can make the fog whatever color I want. So I want Red fog I can do that, or you can use the background color. So shadows and fog are great ways to add even more life and character to your scene and so go ahead and experiment with those and see what you can do.
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