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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.
SketchUp also allows you to use photos as reference for modeling, so we can match a photo, model to it, and then also use the textures of the photo to create textures for a model. Now we do all of this using Window>Match Photo, so let's go ahead and select that. And under this we only have one button and it says New Matched Photo, so when we click this, it allows us to load an image. So I'm going to go ahead and select on this image here which is a photo of an old bank building and click Open.
And when you click Open, the entire interface changes, and also this Match Photo window lights up and this gives us some options, so let's go through these. We have a Grid, so we can either turn that on or off. We have a couple Styles here; we have Inside which is if you want to shoot from the inside, so let's say it's the inside corner of a room or something like that. From the top Above, so let's say you're shooting down on something. And then Outside which is very much what we're doing here, and then we turn on or off all of the Planes.
Now I don't want to hit Done, I just want to tuck this window over in the corner here while we use this interface. Now this gets a little confusing at first, but basically our camera is looking at the scene and this is our origin. So these are lines of force here, so if I grab this, I can actually move the origin of the camera, and then we also have these dotted lines here; we have two for red and two for green. So if I select these handles, this allows us to change the perspective of the scene.
So what we want to do is find straight lines in the scene and then match them. So in this case we want to find horizontal lines in this direction, and with this window we don't want to tumble out of it. At this point, all we want to do is zoom and pan, and then I want to get this to the top corner of each side of this building, and that'll give me one perspective line. And if I zoom out a little bit here, we can say okay, what's another good horizontal line we can use. Well, actually the bottom of this sign is pretty straight, so let's go ahead and use that.
So I'm going to go ahead and click this on this corner, and click this on this corner; make sure I match that, there we go. And then let's go ahead and do the same for the Red Axis. So let's go on the underside of this roof here. And then the underside of this tin shed here looks good, this tin siding here there's a nice seam that seems to run horizontally. So now once we've done that, we pretty much have our camera set up. Now we still have to do one more thing and that's make sure that we have the scale of the scene right.
So we have our person in here, Susan, and she looks a little big compared to the door. So what we can do is we can actually change this by placing our cursor over the Blue Axis; you notice how the cursor changes when it's over the Blue Axis, and then I can left-click and drag and just zoom, so I'm going to make her about the size a little bit smaller than that door. So once I have all of this in place, I have everything I need to match my camera. So this is the point where I select Done in the Match Photo window.
But we're not done; we're only half-done. We still want to keep this open and now all the modeling tools have lit up. So what we have is we have our camera is matched to the scene, and now what we can do is we can draw into the scene at this perspective. Now again, I don't want to move my camera; I don't want to tumble it or anything. Don't touch the camera, just touch the modeling tools. So I'm going to start by drawing a line along the bottom of building. So I'm going to use my Line tool and then just draw out to about here, and then you can see we can draw up on the Blue Axis.
And then notice how when we get to the front edge of the building, it actually infers the rectangle. So really what I'm doing is I'm drawing a rectangle but I'm drawing it in kind of an extreme perspective. So I'm going to lock that down here and then just go straight down on the Blue Axis, and now I've created a rectangle. So I can continue this up; I can go up here and create the top portion of this building of the sign, and then I can delete this little line here, this little tiny line segment here.
And now I have a face that represents the whole side of building, including the side of this sign here. So if I want I can switch modeling tools; I can go to my Push/Pull tool and then just push out the front of my building. Okay, so now I've got the side of the building plus the top. So I can continue to draw; I'm going to take my Line tool here and I'm going to draw this little extension. When I do, notice how it fills in, and then If I want I can push that and create that outline as well.
So now I should have pretty good start to my building. Now if I want I can probably model on this a little bit more. I really don't need to because I can always go back over it. So before I do anything, I want to make sure that I take Susan out of the scene, so I have a clear shot of my building from the camera. So at this point, this is where I project might textures, so I'm going to go ahead into my Match Photo window here and select Project textures, say Yes. So now when I tumble my camera, notice how that disappeared.
If I had done that before, I would've kind of ruined the operation and would've had to start over. So only after you project textures can you tumble your camera? But once I do, notice how I've got my textures on my building, and it looks pretty cool. Okay, so I've got a pretty good start on this particular structure. Now we only saw it from this side; if we wanted to get the textures on the other side, we either have to go around and take a photo of them, or we can do some little SketchUp tricks.
One is I'm going to suck the texture off of this side of the building and apply it to the opposite side. So we can do that in the Materials window. So I'm going to go ahead into my Materials window and I'm going to right-click over this texture and make sure it says Projected. Now remember how we did this before, and then I'm going to Eyedropper that, go over to the opposite side, and Paint Bucket it. So basically what I did is that was I projected it from one side to the other, so now I have kind of a left and right side to this building. Now we also have the top of the building.
Now I remember the top of the building was kind of the gable end roof, so if I want I could just use my Angle tool or my Protractor and create a bit of an angle here, create some guides, and draw that gable in, and then just go head and push that in just like we've done with the other types of roofs. And this is basically just an object that we can model on. So now we have a roof, I can go ahead and delete these.
And now that we have this, we've got a model that's scaled properly. And if we want we could basically geolocate this and put it back into Google Earth if we wanted to. So those are some of the basics of Match Photo. Now we used it with the building but you can also use it for other objects as well. You can see there are a lot of possibilities with this particular tool.
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