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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.
One issue with texturing is curved surfaces. They are a little bit more difficult to texture in SketchUp. So let's go ahead and create a curve surface. I am going to start with a circle here and just create a small circle and pull that up into a cylinder. We are actually going to make a soup can here. I am going to actually select this guy, and delete him. So if I wanted to just drag in a texture like we did before, I could certainly do that, and I could just go to Import here. And if I show my Targa files, if I am in chapter 4 and I show my Targa files, I could find the file called SoupLabel and import that and use that as a texture.
Now, when I do that, you can see how well this is trying to snap to a plain and we have actually a curved surface here. So if I snap to one of these end points and size it properly, you will see that it actually only maps to that one invisible face. In fact, if we go View > Hidden Geometry, you will see that the texture map only map to that one face, that was in this cylinder, and these were all smooth as we saw in chapter 2.
If I wanted to actually apply that Soup Label to the entire can, I would have to make a material. So what I can do is go Materials, and let's just go ahead and make a new one and let's just call it Label, and let's use the texture image called SoupLabel in the chapter 4 folder. Let's go OK. I am going to turn off Hidden Geometry, and then select my Paint Bucket and apply it. Now, when I do that, you can see how my mapping isn't really right because this has it as 1 foot by 6 foot, which is not really what I want. I want this a lot taller. In fact, you can almost count this 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 between 11 and 12 in terms of height. So what we can do is just make that something like 11 feet or a little bit over, say 11.5.
Now, this is going to be different for your object here because you probably draw it on a different size. But once we do that, you can see how this is now mapped to this cylinder. So you do have some limitations within SketchUp. There is some third party plug-ins that can help you with mapping in SketchUp. The other thing I do is that if I really need to map something that's curved, I can go to an external third party application. There are some good public domain applications such as Blender that can allow you to do this. I am a big fan of 3D Studio Max, and you can actually do that there. So let me show you really quickly. Now, this is a globe that I have actually textured. This is obviously a very curved surface, but this is very easy to do in lot of other 3D applications. So all I did here was just textured this in Max and then I just exported it as a 3D Studio file.
SketchUp can import 3D Studio and DXF files. 3D Studio is probably best because it has better texture mapping co- ordinate. So if you have a third party application that can export 3DS, you can certainly do that. Then, all you have to do is just import that file, and there it is. So the texture maps can be done, SketchUp supports them, it's just that you don't have the tools to do it within SketchUp. Now, if I want to, I can just right click and explode this until I get faces. There we go, and then all I have to do is just soften those edges.
So just make sure I soften them, and also soften the coplanar edges and that's all I have to do, and so now I have my globe. But again, that was done in a third party application. So within SketchUp, you do have a few limitations, so just be aware of those.
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