SketchUp 2014 for Architectural Visualization

SketchUp 2014 for Architectural Visualization
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Take advantage of the new features of SketchUp 2014
  • Create picture-perfect photo-realistic 3D architectural renders for your SketchUp models
  • Post-process SketchUp output to create digital watercolor and pencil art
  • Make the most of SketchUp with the best plugins and add-on software to enhance your models

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 448 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : May 2014
ISBN : 1783558415
ISBN 13 : 9781783558414
Author(s) : Thomas Bleicher, Robin de Jongh
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Open Source

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Quick Start Tutorial
Chapter 2: Collecting a Toolset
Chapter 3: Composing the Scene
Chapter 4: Modeling for Visualization
Chapter 5: Applying Textures and Materials for Photorealistic Rendering
Chapter 6: Entourage the SketchUp Way
Chapter 7: Non-photoreal Visuals with SketchUp
Chapter 8: Photorealistic Rendering
Chapter 9: Postproduction in GIMP
Chapter 10: Animations
Chapter 11: Presenting Visuals in LayOut
Chapter 12: Interactive Visualization
Appendix: Choosing a Rendering Software
  • Chapter 1: Quick Start Tutorial
    • The SketchUp interface
      • The main window and pallets
        • Toolbars
        • The status bar
        • The Value Control Box
        • Pallet windows
      • The Getting Started toolbar
        • Navigation
        • Select and Erase
        • Drawing tools
        • Edit tools
      • Core concepts
        • Splitting and healing
        • Groups
        • Inferencing
        • Layers and visibility
      • Further resources
    • Modeling the room
    • Setting up the view
      • Setting up the camera view
      • Saving the camera view
      • Setting up the sun
    • Applying SketchUp materials
      • Timber flooring material
    • Modeling the window
      • Painting with digital photos
      • Doing a test rendering
      • Enhancing SketchUp materials
      • Saving the image
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Collecting a Toolset
    • Free, libre, or what?
    • Trimble SketchUp
      • SketchUp Pro, LayOut, and Style Builder
      • The 3D Warehouse
      • Unlimited upgrades – Ruby plugins
        • The Extension Warehouse
        • The Extension Manager
        • Old style Ruby scripts
    • Thea Render
      • Why use Thea Render?
      • Installing Thea Studio
      • Installing the Thea for SketchUp plugin
      • Downloading bonus content
    • Image-processing studio with GIMP
      • Why do I need a professional-level image processor?
      • Grabbing a copy of GIMP
    • Becoming a movie-making genius...almost!
      • Why can't I just use the output from SketchUp?
      • VirtualDub
      • Mac alternatives
      • HandBrake
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Composing the Scene
    • The importance of planning
      • How to begin with the end in mind
      • Sketch out your visuals
      • Think like a film set designer
    • Setting up an arch-viz scene
      • Importing terrain data
      • Using a site photo with Match Photo
        • What you need from a Match Photo image
        • Setting up a Match Photo scene
        • 3D drawing in a 2D photo
      • Setting up a real-world location and the Sun's position
        • Setting up the time and date for shadows
      • Sketch plan
      • Starting with a 2D CAD site plan
        • Setting up a CAD site plan
        • Cleaning up the imported CAD data
        • Importing 3D data from CAD
    • Fleshing out your site plan
      • Massing the buildings
    • Setting up the camera to challenge and impress
      • Changing the field of view
      • Think like a pigeon
        • Orthographic and parallel projection
    • Saving days of toil with ready-made scenery
      • Billboard scenery elements
      • Creating billboard elements
    • Framing the scene with entourage
      • The specifity trap
      • Rough placeholders
      • Inserting entourage placeholders
      • Printing a test view
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Modeling for Visualization
    • Project file layout
      • Creating the basic building shape
      • Swapping _LR with _HR resolution versions
    • Carving out the detail
      • Modeling buildings in SketchUp
        • Modeling detail from CAD elevations
        • Modeling from a photograph
        • Modeling by eye or measurements
    • Low polygon modeling techniques
      • What is low polygon?
      • So what's the big deal about low polygon modeling?
        • Will I see it?
        • Can I replace it with 2D?
        • Can I reduce the number of segments in an arc or circle?
    • Using components to increase productivity
      • How to benefit most from using components
        • Using dummy components
      • Using the Outliner for easy access
      • Why you should name components
      • 3D Warehouse components – problems to be aware of
      • Purging 3D Warehouse components for your own use
        • Default material
    • Handling challenging modeling tasks
      • Windows and doors
      • Roof
      • Flashing details
      • Modeling ridge tiles
        • Copying the tiles
      • Curtain walls
      • Masonry features
      • Roads
        • Realistic roads and pavements
      • Landscaping with sandbox – watch your polygon count
    • Modeling for realistic highlights in interior scenes
      • What's the problem with sharp edges?
      • The RoundCorner plugin
    • Preparing for photorealistic rendering
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Applying Textures and Materials for Photorealistic Rendering
    • Deciding to use textures
      • The texturing process flow chart
    • Beginning with basic photo textures
      • Starting with Match Photo textures
      • Using textures from the photo modeling process
      • Using basic seamless textures
        • Applying SketchUp's own textures
        • Scaling textures
        • Coloring textures
      • Using Google Street View
        • Traveling the world for real textures
    • Advanced texturing techniques
      • Applying whole photographs as textures
      • Where to find texture photos
      • Setting up a fake room
        • Creating balsa wood film scenery props
    • Using, finding, and creating tileable textures
      • Manipulating textures
      • Exact texture placement
        • The free pins mode
      • Creating your own seamless textures
        • Correcting perspective in GIMP
        • Tiling via an automatic filter
        • Tiling method two
        • Importing a texture into SketchUp
        • Saving a material to a library
        • Quick recap on textures
    • Advanced image considerations
      • Texture size
      • File type
      • Compression
      • Balancing size and compression
    • Modifying textures for added realism
      • Telling SketchUp to link to an image editor
      • Making unique textures for surfaces
      • Editing textures in GIMP
      • Adding some muck and variation
      • Adding extra elements to a texture
      • Adding extra detail
      • Knowing when to call it quits
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Entourage the SketchUp Way
    • The notice hierarchy
      • Supporting the scene
      • Be the marketing exec
    • Choosing entourage
      • At which stage do I introduce entourage?
      • What's my acquisition strategy?
      • 2D or not 2D, that is the question
    • Furniture
      • Manufacturers' websites
      • The 3D Warehouse
      • List of websites
    • People cutouts
      • Creating 2D people components
        • Scaling the person
        • Tracing the outline
        • Applying the photo texture
        • Checking for halos
        • Drawing the innards
        • Creating the face-me component
        • 3D people and the uncanny valley
    • Vegetation
      • Non-photoreal sketchy trees
      • Want an automatic veggie maker?
    • Vehicles
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Non-photoreal Visuals with SketchUp
    • SketchUp's native output
      • Editing SketchUp's built-in styles
        • Get some style!
      • Saving 2D images in SketchUp
    • The Dennis Technique
      • Setting up the Dennis Technique in SketchUp
        • Creating the Color Wash image
        • Lines only
        • Lines and shadows
        • Exporting the scene tabs
        • Setting up GIMP for the Dennis Technique
    • Using layer masks in GIMP
      • Using layer masks for the Dennis effect
    • Using a sky image in GIMP
    • Creating a vignette layer
    • Modifying the final composition with new SketchUp output
      • Modifying the Dennis Technique
  • Richard's sketchy pencil technique
    • Setting up the Pencil Sketch Technique in SketchUp
    • Setting up the Pencil Sketch Technique in GIMP
    • Creating pencil shading in GIMP
    • Adding some grunge – the Dirty Hands layer
    • Finishing touches
  • Summary
  • Chapter 8: Photorealistic Rendering
    • Why use an external renderer?
      • Geometry
      • Materials
      • Lighting
        • Daylight
        • Artificial lighting
      • Advanced features
    • Setting up for photoreal rendering
      • Rendering process
      • Thea for SketchUp interface
        • The Thea Tool window
        • The Thea Rendering Window
    • Step 1 – Preparing the SketchUp model
    • Step 2 – Performing an initial test render
      • Common import bugs and how to rectify them
      • Clay rendering
    • Step 3 – Assigning materials
      • Applying predefined materials
      • Light-emitting materials
      • One-sided materials
      • Importing Thea materials to SketchUp
      • Summary on materials
    • Step 4 – Defining lighting
      • Preparing the test scene
      • Using daylight
        • Testing the sun and sky with clay render
        • Adjusting the daylight settings in Thea
      • Image-based lighting
        • How Smart IBL works
      • Saving the sky settings
      • Artificial lighting
        • Creating Spotlights in SketchUp
        • Rendering artificial light
      • Changing the light parameters
        • Point lights
        • Adding light-emitting materials
      • The final indoor render
    • Step 5 – Inserting extra entourage
    • Step 6 – Production rendering
      • Test production render
      • Reducing the render time
      • The final render
      • Saving the final image
    • Step 7 – Postproduction rendering
      • Depth render
      • Alpha (mask) render
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9: Postproduction in GIMP
    • Part 1 – tweaks and lighting levels
      • Adjusting levels automatically
      • Adjusting levels manually
        • Using the Levels dialog
        • Adjusting the brightness balance
        • Correcting individual color channels
      • Removing unwanted image noise
        • Using the G'MIC plugin
      • Adding light bloom
      • Simulating depth of field
        • Creating depth of field using a depth render
      • Lighting effects
        • Adding light effects in GIMP
        • Discovering weird and wonderful lighting filters
      • Using a vignette layer to finish the image
        • Fading out the edges with a vignette
    • Part 2 – compositing multiple images
      • Using a mask render for windows
      • SketchUp window reflections without rendering
      • Using paths to mask photos
    • Summary
  • Chapter 10: Animations
    • Using the same principles for stills and animation
    • Making a start – sketching it out
      • Writing out the itinerary
      • Generating the storyboard
      • Dealing with detractions
      • The storyboard
    • Animating in SketchUp
      • Creating a simple walkthrough
      • Animation settings
      • Getting the timing right
      • Adding individual timing to scenes
    • The Flightpath animation
      • Smooth transitions
      • Fine-tuning with CameraControls
      • Camera pan, roll, and tilt
    • Let's put it together
      • Interesting details and viewpoints
    • Authoring video sequences
      • High-resolution animation from SketchUp
      • Saving individual frames for an animation
      • Animating with Thea
    • Compositing in VirtualDub
      • Creating an animation from still images
    • Creating the final video composition
    • Compressing for online streaming services
      • Creating an MP4 video with HandBrake
    • Summary
  • Chapter 11: Presenting Visuals in LayOut
    • Getting started with LayOut
      • Creating a custom page border
        • Using Auto-Text
    • Displaying SketchUp models in LayOut
      • Preparing SketchUp scenes for LayOut
        • Aligning the view to the model
      • Display a SketchUp 3D view
      • Adjusting the display style
        • Using SketchUp styles
    • Creating multiple views in LayOut
      • Arranging the viewports
    • Annotations in LayOut
      • Using scrapbooks
    • Displaying SketchUp sections
      • Creating section line work
    • Dimensions
    • Slideshows and presentations
      • Creating a presentation
      • Adding further elements to enhance LayOut pages
    • Exporting and printing
      • Exporting a PDF document from LayOut
      • Export to print
    • Summary
  • Chapter 12: Interactive Visualization
    • Lighting animation with Thea Relight
      • Preparing the SketchUp scene
      • Exporting to Thea Studio
      • Using Relight
      • Creating a Relight animation
      • Changing materials with Colimo
    • Immersive environment with LumenRT
      • Using the LumenRT plugin in SketchUp
        • Editing materials
        • Adding digital nature components
        • Adding lights
      • Exporting the scene
      • Navigating the LiveCube
      • LiveCube tools and settings
      • Exporting images
      • Creating an animation
        • Editing an animation sequence
        • Editing a movie
        • Exporting a video
      • Publishing the LiveCube
    • Summary

Thomas Bleicher

Thomas Bleicher has graduated as an architect in Germany and worked as an architect, lighting designer, and daylight consultant in the UK. SketchUp is a central part in his work. He is now working as a design coordinator in the Cayman Islands.

Robin de Jongh

Robin de Jongh is the author of several books on professional workfl ows with SketchUp, GIMP, and Unity3D. He has worked for many years in the construction industry as a CAD designer and at one time ran his own architectural visualization company using SketchUp as the main presentation tool. He now works as an acquisitions editor for Manning Publications where he mentors new authors, and publishes books on Open Source technology topics. You can find him blogging at
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Sample chapters

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What you will learn from this book

  • Produce a photorealistic rendering of a scene modeled in SketchUp
  • Render ultra-realistic soft shadows from multiple light sources
  • Master the low polygon modeling techniques that you need to adopt for visualizations
  • Work with texturing techniques utilizing PhotoMatch and your own digital photos
  • Enhance your models by adding depth of field and other postprocessing tricks in GIMP
  • Devise movie-set scenes to digitally photograph your projects
  • Enhance your SketchUp scenes by adding lamps, sun, and sky lighting
  • Add smooth camera paths for airborne and walk-through animations
  • Learn all of the simple tricks to ensure you get great-looking models when rendered

In Detail

SketchUp is an amazing and remarkably powerful 3D modeling software used by millions of architects, visualizers, and drafters across the globe. It allows you to create animated 3D drawings and photorealistic renderings that approximate real-life objects easily.

This book is the perfect introduction to SketchUp 2014. It will help you to get started quickly and efficiently to produce and present commercial quality photorealistic or artistic outputs of your designs. It will teach you how to plan and set up the content of your scenes, use SketchUp and professional rendering software to produce stunning visuals and animations, and how to add an artistic touch to your images.


Beginning with a quick start tutorial which will get you up and running with SketchUp 2014 quickly, you will move on to learning the key skills you will need to wow your clients with stunning visualizations through a series practical steps, tips and tricks.

Who this book is for

If you are a SketchUp user, from an amateur right through to an architectural technician, professional architect, or designer, this is the book for you. This book is also suitable as a companion to any architectural design or multimedia course, and is accessible to anyone who has learned the basics of SketchUp.

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