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Start drawing, designing, and rendering your ideas with SketchUp, the inexpensive 3D modeling toolkit used for everything from architecture to game design. George Maestri covers the fundamentals of the application, the interface, and how to model objects from scratch. Plus, learn how to texture objects and create simple animations.
All of the lessons work with both SketchUp Make, the free version of the program, and SketchUp Pro.
Many times in SketchUp, we'll want to work with curved surfaces or curved faces. And we can actually make that happen a lot more easily by taking polygons and smoothing them. Now, I've got this really simple building here. It's kind of a streamlined art deco type of building. But I've got this front portion of the building, that I've built by using a polygonal surface, and this is to get these windows in. But I want the upper and lower part of that to be smooth and round.
Now, I can do this by basically working with the edges. So let's take a look at this side of this porch here. I'm going to go ahead and go into my Select tool and then just shift select these edges right here. Now what I want to do is, I kind of want to get rid of those, so it looks a little bit smoother. Now, if I right click over this, you'll notice we have a bunch of options here. There are two that I want to focus on. One is called Hide, and one is called Soften Smooth. If I select Hide, it gets rid of the lines.
Okay? And that immediately looks kind of smooth, but if I were to orbit around this, you'll see that I'm still getting that, kind of that facet right there, and you're still seeing the angles. So I've hidden the edges, which makes it look a little bit smoother, but I haven't really smoothed over the transition between those faces. So let's go over to the other side of this, and let's do a different technique. Again, I'm going to go into my Select tool, and I'm going to select those same edges. I'm going to Shift+select this, this, this.
I don't want to select faces, just edges. And so now I have these six edges selected. So now if I right-click over this, instead of using Hide, I'm going to go down to Soften Smooth Edges. An when I do that, it brings up this little dialogue. Now what this does is, it allows me to dial in the angle at which it starts smoothing. So if it's a low angle, it's going to leave em alone. If it's a higher angle it's going to smooth between these. But once I get that dialed in, I can just close that window, now you can see now that these are kind of dotted lines, but if I left click off of them, to get rid of them, you can see how now they don't facet in the light like this other side of the building does.
So let's go ahead and get the other side of the building smoothed out here, but I've got these edges all hidden. How do I select them? Well I can't. I can only select the faces here if I'm clicking on them. I have to reveal them by going into View and turning on Hidden Geometry. One I do that, you'll see that the hidden edges have dotted lines. And notice how the smooth edges have big dotted lines and the hidden ones are a little bit tighter. But regardless, I can shift-select the ones that I want. I think, yeah, they're going to be the same edges there.
And I can right-click over this and do soften. And so now, get that same dialog, soften the edges. And now, turn off hidden geometry. And you see I've got two soft edges. But I still need to do this one and this one. Right click, soften smooth. Yes, I'll do that. And now, I've got a perfectly smooth front and back. And I could also do it to this one and this one, as well. On either side, right click, Soften Smooth. There we go.
So now, I've turned that polygonal, or faceted, part of my building into a very smooth surface.
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