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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.
Now let's take a look at how to soften edges, in other words turn objects into smooth surfaces. We've done a little bit of that when we looked at the difference between the Circle and the Polygon tool, but we are going to go a little bit deeper with this. So let me go ahead and select this and clear out our scene and we're going to go ahead and draw a circle and a polygon. So I'm going to go ahead and select my Circle tool. Make sure that I have 16 sides. I want to make sure I've got a decent number of sides to work with, type in the number 16, hit Enter.
Then I'm going to go ahead and drag this out. Let's go ahead and make this a 3 foot circle. And let's do the same for polygon. I'm going to go ahead and select my Polygon and I want to type in 16 sides. So, type in the number 16, hit Enter. Left click and drag and let's go ahead and type in 3 feet and Enter again. So now I have two fairly identical objects. The only difference is one is a circle, one is a polygon. So let's go ahead and use Push/Pull tool to bring those up.
So I'm going to actually extrude those about 6 feet each. So let's go ahead and make these identical. So these are basically identical objects and the only difference is, this one started as a circle, this one started as a polygon. As we've seen before this one has a single continuous smooth face and this one is a series of facets, or Individual faces. But we can actually go between these. Let me show you how this works.
We have a window here called the Soften Edges window. So let's go ahead and open that up and that's just a little floater. So what I need to do in order to get this to light up, is I need to select an edge. So as soon as I select that edge, it lights up. What I can do is I can actually smooth that. So once I get above the angle and actually this angle is the angle between these two faces. Once this is higher than that, it will actually smooth out those faces, and then I can see it has smoothed that one face.
If I want, I can select all of these edges here and smooth those as well. Let's go ahead and smooth those. But notice here, when I smooth them, what happens is that I still get a little bit of faceting here. So what I want to do is also select this Smooth normals and that smoothes it out. So see what happens when I turn this off, you can kind of see the planes and when I smooth the normals, it smoothes the thing out entirely.
So now what I've done is I've actually turned up a polygonly generated object into a smooth surface as if you had created it with a circle. Now we can also go the opposite way. So if I select this object here which was created with a circle, I can unsmooth the edges, but the trick here is I can't select the edges because I don't see them because we've made them disappear. So there's a View option that we can see here called Hidden Geometry. I want to go ahead and toggle that on.
When I do, you can see that each one of these I can see my hidden edges and so what I can do is select those hidden edges, go back into my Soften Edges window, and then I can dial this down and unsoften them. So now what I've done is I've changed them around. So this one started as a circle, but now it has faceted edges or actually faces here.
And this one started as a polygon, but now it's smooth. So we can use this concept in a lot of different things. So I'm going to go ahead and let me just show you one little example here. We are going to open a file here called DecoHouse_02. This is that house that we were playing with where we added in the windows. And in order to add in the windows, we needed edges, but in a typical identical house this would be a smooth surface. So we can use our knowledge now of soften edges to make that happen.
So all I have to do is just go into Select mode, select those edges, okay, go Window>Soften Edges and then just dial that up until they are soft. Now notice how I selected a bunch of edges and really this is where we can kind of cheat this because as long as this angle is more than 24 degrees, it won't soften. So this is 90 and this is 24, so it's not going to soften. So when we look at that, we have hard edges here and soft ones here.
We can do the same from the bottom as well, so I can just select those and Again, just dial them up, Smooth Normals, we've got the smooth normals on this one here, but we can do that. And there you go. So as you can see, this is a really handy way to create smooth round surfaces. If you want, you can start with a polygonal object and build it out the way you want and then smooth it later.
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