Skill Level Intermediate
- [Instructor] Hi, I'm George Maestri, and today we're going to learn how to make some sky; and, as you can see, we have what's called a sky dome in this scene, and this allows you to project a photographic texture and to give your scene a little bit more life. So let's go ahead and get started. Now, I've opened up a scene that basically just has this little house in it; and we're going to make a sky for it.
Now, in order to create a sky, we need to create what's called a dome. In other words, a hemisphere that surrounds the scene. So we can do that with a couple of simple drawing tools here. So I'm going to go into my tray. I'm going to go into my Layers menu here, and you'll see that I have a separate layer for the house; and I'm just going to go ahead and hide it for now, and let's just focus on creating the dome. We can do that by starting with a circle.
So I'm going to go ahead and drag this out, and I'm going to actually make it fairly large; but we're actually going to make it larger once we get into this, and then I need to create a hemisphere. So I am going to draw an arc along this. So I'm going to select this pie shape here, and then I'm going to snap that to, in this case, the green access, snap to the center of that circle, go out to that end point, drag it up, create a quarter circle.
Now I'm going to go ahead and delete this face from the circle and we're going to do a follow me to extrude this around. So I'm going to go into Tools, Follow Me, highlight this, and then drag it all the way around; and when I do, I get a very nice hemisphere. And I get another bottom, which I'm going to delete. Now the thing about this is that we need to project a texture onto this, and the texture I'm going to use is this one here.
It's called Afternoon Sky; and it's a nice, moody sky. It should give our scene some nice pop. Now in order to project this onto the hemisphere, I will need to UV map it. Now, I'm using an extension called SketchUV. Now, it's a free extension. You can go into the extensions warehouse and type in SketchUV, and you should be able to find it; and here it is.
Now I've covered this before in another tips and tricks, so I'm not going to get into the absolute details of this; but you can find it once you've installed it under SketchUV, SketchUV. Now in order to project a texture onto this, we need to bring it in. So I'm going to File, Import, and we're going to import that Afternoon Sky as a texture; and go ahead and import that, and then I'm going to click and drag that up on my object.
And as you can see, it only projects it a little bit, and so if we go into our materials and make sure we're looking at In Model; we should find it here, this Afternoon Sky, and I can certainly apply it to my object. But as you can see, it's not mapping properly. So we can use SketchUV to fix that. Now this is just one of many UV extensions. If you have a different one, you can certainly use that. So first thing I want to do is just put my camera into a view.
So I'm going to go ahead and make sure I put it into parallel projection and then either front, back, left, or right. I'm going to use my front view here; and then under Extensions, do SketchUV, SketchUV. And then once I have it in the right view, I need to select the face that I want to do, which is the dome and then go into Extensions, SketchUV, SketchUV. Now this brings up this little dot here, and I'm going to go ahead and place this at the very bottom; and then I'm going to right-click, and let's just do what's called a cylindrical map.
And when I do, it maps that to my dome. But the thing is is that it's mapped, actually, to the outside. I actually want the inside of the dome to be visible so when I go in to view the house, I want to see this texture on the inside. Well, we can do that by going right-clicking and going Reverse Faces; and when I do, it's now on the inside. But look what happened, my mapping got lost. Well, we can redo our mapping. So I'm going to go back into my front view here, and just so we can see what's happening, I'm actually going to turn my face dial to x-ray; and you can kind of see the chunkiness of this.
But we can, again, select our object, go Extensions, SketchUV, SketchUV, right-click, Cylindrical; and now I should have pretty good mapping. Now, it's not getting the very top of that; but we can certainly hide that just by not using that in the camera view. And I'm going to change my view now to a perspective view and go into Face Style and turn off x-ray.
Now I have this dome and let's go ahead and turn on our house layer; and as you can see, my dome really isn't that much bigger than the house and I need to get it a lot bigger. So I'm going to go ahead and select my dome, double-click on it; and let's start by just making it into a group, make it a little bit easier. So let's select our object, find entity info, and change it to Layer 1; and now I can turn that dome on or off if I want. So in this case I'm going to select my dome and scale it, scale it way up.
So let's scale it up, say, by a factor of ten; that should be enough. And then let's move that over our house; there we go. And now I've got this dome over my house. I'm going to hide this layer for just a second, select my house, and let's do a Zoom Extents on this house, and then turn that layer back on, and Voila.
I have a very nice sky to go in back of my house. So this is really just one way of doing it. If you create this, one of the tips I would suggest is to just save out this sky dome as a separate object; and that way you can just import it into whatever scene you want and just apply whatever texture you want to it. A lot of people also go into other 3D applications and just fully UV map a dome or a half dome and use that, again, as a standard object that they just bring in.
But hopefully this gives you a little bit of insight as to how to create more realistic skies in SketchUp.
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.