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In Google SketchUp 7 New Features, George Maestri reviews the major enhancements to Google's free and user-friendly 3D modeling software. One of the most exciting changes is the addition of Dynamic Components, and George takes an in-depth tour of their features, including built-in animation and the ability to scale without distortion. He also reviews the new point-and-click Interact tool, which allows users to customize Dynamic Components without the use of a keyboard or menus, and the improved Line tool, which transforms intersecting lines into separate segments. Other improvements include updates to the 3D warehouse and the ability to download models directly from Google Earth. Exercise files accompany this course.
Another great new feature of Google SketchUp is called Photo Textures. This allows you to take photos out of Google by street view or photos that have been posted by other people, and use those photos to texture buildings. Let me show you where the window was at. In fact, if we go here to Window, you'll find Photo Textures, and what this does is it basically brings up a street view. Now this defaults to Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado, which is a very nice street, but we can really go anywhere we want and basically use street view to get some texture.
So let's go ahead to San Francisco. I am going to go ahead and open a file called FerryBuilding. Now what this is it's the Ferry Building in the Embarcadero, in San Francisco, or basically a reasonable facsimile of it. Now it will be a lot more rich if we can put some textures on it. Right now, it's just very plain geometry. So let's go ahead in Photo Textures to our building. Now I happen to know the address of it.
It's 78, The Embarcadero, San Francisco. So all we have to do is type Go, and here we are. Now if you notice here we can actually scroll. This is basically Google Maps and here is our Street View window. So if we left-click, we can just drag and look at the building. Now one of the things with Photo Textures is that you really do want to get a good shot of the building and one of the reasons why I chose this particular one is because there's actually two streets.
You can actually zoom in here. You can see that there is a plaza, with two streets that blanket it. So if I actually click over to the other side, you can see I can get a closer view of that building. But also notice how when I have that closer view of the building, it's kind of hard to get textures for parts of it. So, if you can get a little bit further away from it, you might be able to get better textures. So let's go ahead and use this to create some textures for this particular building. So, first of all let's go with this front fa?ade.
First thing I need to do is select the face in SketchUp that we want to modify. So for example, I want to do this particular face, which is the fa?ade, and then all I have to do is go into Photo Textures and click on Select Region. Once I do that, it brings up this little box and all I have to do is just grab the corners of that box, just left -click and drag and just position this box around the outside, and basically match the box to what we want to map within SketchUp.
And once I do that and get it pretty close, all I have to do is click Grab. When I do that, it grabs it and automatically builds a texture for that particular face. So let's go ahead and do the face of the Clock Tower. So, I am going to go ahead and select this. Let's do it one more time. Select Region, and again, I am going to go to the top corner and bottom corner, and again, this is all approximate, but you can get it fairly close, and once you get it, just click Grab and there we go.
Now one of the things you may not be able to get is the sides or the back of something, particularly if all you are using is Street View. But one of the things you can also do is go through user photos. So, for example, a landmark such as the Ferry Building will have a lot of photos posted by people on the Internet, and you can use any of these to create a texture. So, if I wanted to, I could use that to create my texture rather than Google Street View.
So, you have a lot of different options. If I want, I can go back to Street View just by clicking here. Now one of the things is that with this particular building, we can actually trick it to get the sides of the clock tower. Because this Clock Tower is symmetrical, we can just select this region and go Grab. And now I have grabbed the side of Clock Tower and if I go over to this side here, I can just again, Select Region and it just defaults to what you had before and just click Grab, Select Region and Grab again.
Now notice here what it's doing is when I actually had this address up, it actually filtered into that texture. So what you need to do is you need to Select Region to make sure that that's not up before you hit Grab. So, as you can see, we've got start of texturing this building. Now let's say we wanted to do some of these longer sides. Now these are actually going to be a little bit more difficult. Particularly in this view, you can see that a lot of it is actually blocked off by traffic.
So one of the things you may want to do is actually zoom in and maybe do it a piece at a time. So, for example, if I wanted to just go over here a little bit more to the side of this, you can actually navigate this exactly like a Camera Street View just by pressing these arrows. So let's say I wanted to get part of this particular wall and it maybe not the whole thing. So, what I can do is in SketchUp, I can actually go to the mid-point, and just cut this wall in half and do it half a face at a time.
And doing Select Region, and then getting as much of that texture as I can. Now I'm only approximating this. This may not be exactly half, but you can get the idea as to how this works. So, I am actually going to cut it off right at the end of that arch there, and again, just hit Grab. And as you can see, you can work your way around a building. You can use Street view or you can use views from other people. Now another thing I've noticed here is that because I'm on the side here, I actually have a view of the side of this fa?ade here.
So, I can just do Select Region and grab the side of this as well. So what you are doing is you are actually being pretty opportunistic in how you get your textures, and once you do that, click Grab. It kind of straightens it out. Even though this is at an angle, you can see pretty it much straightens it out for the side as well. So, those are some strategies for using Photo Textures, and it's a really cool way to create textures for buildings that are in the real world.
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