Get tips that can help you use SketchUp to efficiently create 3D models.
- Hi, I'm George Maestri and today is a modeling day. We're going to look at a great plug in called QuadFace Tools. Now this plug in allows you to do a lot of polygonal modeling tasks that you normally wouldn't get in SketchUp and you'd have to go outside to a standard polygonal modeler. Now the extension is called QuadFace Tools. It's by an author called TomTom. It is free, so you can go ahead and install it from the extension warehouse.
Now I've already installed this plug in. And when you install it, one of the nice things about it is that it has its' own toolbar. So if we go into view, toolbars, you should find a QuadFace Tools. And we can go ahead and click that on and this is a great way to understand how this works. Now this toolbar allows you to do a number of things. It allows you to select polygons.
It also allows you to do things like triangulation as well as smooth and un-smooth polygons. So I have this, a couple of objects here. And they're curved objects. So as you can see, I've got my hidden geometry turned on. And you can see all these dotted lines. And that means that we have some hidden edges. That means that those are smooth. But if I were to say, select all the edges on this sphere, I could use these two functions here to smooth and un-smooth.
So if I click un-smooth it basically hardens all those edges. If I select them again it smooths them. So this is a much faster way to smooth and un-smooth edges. Now another really great feature of QuadFace Tools, is the ability to select by loop or edge loop. And if you're familiar with polygonal modeling you can understand how powerful that is. So I have the base of the streetlight. If I double click on it to open up the group.
Let's say I wanted to move this detail up or down. Well the first thing I'd have to do is select all of these faces. But we have some tools here that allow us to select a loop or to grow and shrink a loop. So if I were to double click on this again and select these two, I could grow that loop, or shrink it, or select the entire loop. And once I've selected the entire loop I can go into my move tool and I can move that up or down.
So this is a great way to select a lot of detail very, very quickly. Now, continuing on with edge loops. We do have the ability to insert and delete edge loops as well. So if I were to double click in this and say select this edge here, I can go here to insert and remove loop. So if I insert a loop there, then it gives me additional detail. If I go down here it will insert a loop in the middle.
And then, for example, I can select these two and select the entire loop. And then maybe use scale, hold down control, and scale those up or down, however I want. And as you can see it's a very easy way to add detail and manipulate it very, very quickly. Now another way to select is to select by what's called ring. So if I double click on this and I select two objects, we can also select what's called the ring, which is a little bit different here.
So if I were to say, select these two here and select that ring, it will select multiple loops. Now another really nice option here is the ability to just grow and shrink your selection. So if I have these two selected, I can grow one set of faces at a time. So it's a really nice way to kind of get into some detail. And just be able to select and grow or shrink that selection. Now in addition to this, we also have the ability to triangulate.
So I'm going to go back over to this sphere here and select this. And we have two options. One is to triangulate and the other one is to remove triangulation. So if I triangulate this, notice how it creates all of these dotted lines. And that turns these quads into triangles. Now if you're familiar with polygonal modeling, you know that this can be important. Now if we select all of this again, we can remove triangulation. Or if we have triangulation on this and select is, we can also flip our triangulation.
Now this may have to happen one at a time. So for example, if I click on this or this, I can actually flip the triangulation of these. Now this is important if you're doing low poly modeling for games, for example. So there really are a number of different reasons to be using this. So I'm going to go ahead and remove triangulation here. Now in addition to this, we have a number of other features that I'm not really going to get into. Some are convert a wire frame to quads.
We can also convert sandbox data to quads. And if you work with Blender you can convert Blender quads to SketchUp or QuadFace quads. Now there are a couple of UV mapping tools here as well. And one of the nicer features here is the ability to connect edges. So if I were to select multiple edges this will draw a line down the center of each. So if I do connect edges here, you can see that I'm actually adding in edges.
So this is a great way to draw detail into your models for later. Now we can also do a line, which actually just allows you to draw your own edges. So if I wanted to, I could actually draw edges however I want. So you could actually freehand draw your own edges. Now all of these are great because they really extend SketchUp's features into true polygonal modeling.
So I would highly advise you to download, install, and play with QuadFace tools. Because it really will give you a lot more power when it comes to polygonal modeling.
Skill Level Intermediate
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