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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.
Let's take a look at the last two tools in Sandbox. Those are these ones, Stamp and the next one is Drape. So let's take a look at how those work. Now what this is is a small house and a terrain. And what we want to do is place the house on the terrain. Now if I just move this house onto the land, you will see that as the front porch starts going in to the land, part of the house is buried. And this really isn't a great way to place a house onto the land. We kind of need to create a foundation.
And so we can use this Stamp tool to create that foundation. So I am going to move this house back up and we are going to use the Stamp tool to do this. So I am going to de-select everything, select the Stamp tool. You can also get to it here under Sandbox; all the tools are right in here. Select the Stamp tool, select the house. So Stamp tool, select the house and then a little red line comes up along the bottom of the house, which is our foundation, and then we select our terrain.
Now don't click. All you have to do is just move the mouse. Don't click until you have got this right. When you move the mouse, you can move your foundation basically up and down. To say, where do I really want this house to be on the land? And you just click in to where you want it and then left click and it is there. So now once I have this, all I have to do is just move this down vertically. I can hold the Up Arrow Key to lock it to that Blue Axis. And there is my house right on my foundation. So it makes a much better foundation for this house than what we had before.
Now the next tool I want to show you is the Drape tool. And we are going to use that to create a driveway for this house. So I have the driveway hidden here. All we have to do is just unhide it. So I am going to go Edit > Unhide All and here is a little driveway shape. Now what the Drape tool does? It drapes the shape over my landscape. So it is great for things like roads and paths and stuff like that. Now before I do that, I need to make sure that I position this exactly where I want it.
Go into a Standard View, a Top view with Parallel Projection, so that way I can position it very accurately. And I am going to double click on that face, hit the Move key and then just put that where I want it. So I am going to have my driveway come right up to about there. So now I am going to turn off Parallel Projection and Zoom around here. So now that I have this position directly above where I want it to be, all I have to do is use Drape tool to drape it over the terrain.
So I select Drape, select my shape and then select my terrain; Bingo! In fact, I am going to go ahead and double click on this and Hide it so that we can see this a little bit more clearly. Now what has happened? It has taken that outline and it has draped it over the terrain. Essentially, what it has done? It has projected that curve onto the terrain. So we can use this now when we texture our terrain as kind of a border. So let's go ahead and actually put some grass and some driveway on this. Well, I am going to go into my Materials here and then I am going to go down to Vegetation and just select some grass and I am just going to flood fill that whole area with grass.
But I want this part to be a driveway. So what I can do is I can just using my Select tool, double click and open up this group. And if I wanted to, I could just multi-select all of these faces and then just apply the texture I want. And I go here to Groundcover and let's just go ahead and make it Crushed Rock. Or if I wanted to, I could just fill these one at a time using the Paint Bucket tool as well. So there are really two ways; you can either select them all and flood fill or just do them one at a time. Let's go ahead and just finish this.
So there we have our driveway and our grass. So now I just click off of this and it automatically goes back to group and there is my driveway. Now the one thing you may notice here is that if we are actually going to go to render this, you want to get rid of these lines. And we can do that just by selecting them all. In fact, let's go ahead and do this. I am going to double click on these lines and this is true for any terrain. You just select all of them and then all I have to do is right-click and do Soften/Smooth Edges. Now all I have to do here is make sure we Soften coplanar and Smooth normals and then just dial in the number. You can see as I get a bigger number, more and more edges disappear. And that's basically all I need. And so now I have got my driveway on my plane.
So that's a great tool for texturing as well. You could actually project curves or drape curves onto, for example, curved surfaces and texture areas of a curved surface; that would be another way to work around some of the issues with texturing curved faces. So those are the basics of the Sandbox tools and let's go ahead and move onto some new subjects.
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