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Google SketchUp for Game Design: Beginner's Guide

Beginner's Guide
Robin de Jongh

Create 3D game worlds complete with textures, levels and props with this book and ebook
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Book Details

ISBN 139781849691345
Paperback270 pages

About This Book

  • Learn how to create realistic game worlds with Google's easy 3D modeling tool
  • Populate your games with realistic terrain, buildings, vehicles and objects
  • Import to game engines such as Unity 3D and create a first person 3D game simulation
  • Learn the skills you need to sell low polygon 3D objects in game asset stores
  • Simple techniques to photo texture your models for ultra realism
  • Download color images from the book

Who This Book Is For

This book is designed for anyone who wants to create entire 3D worlds in freely available game engines such as Unity 3D, CryEngine, Ogre, Panda3D, Unreal Engine, and Blender Game Engine. It also targets all those who wish to create new levels and assets to sell in game asset stores or use in visualization or animation.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Why Use SketchUp?
Commitment brings rewards
Is this book for me?
What's SketchUp really good at?
Making bags of cash selling assets
The envy of the gaming community: creating custom levels
What have I learned?
Chapter 2: Tools that Grow on Trees
3D Warehouse
Time for action – research what's hot and what's not
Your best CG textures source
Time for action – learning about 3D meshes in MeshLab
Get your game engine here: Unity 3D
Time for action – obtaining Unity 3D for free
Google SketchUp
GIMP: The free professional graphics editor
Chapter 3: Wooden Pallet: Texture Creation
Finding textures to use in asset modeling
Time for action – selecting the photo texture
Enhancing textures
Time for action – cropping and enhancing
What are pixels?
Time for action – arranging multiple textures
Saving textures
Time for action – final touches
Chapter 4: Wooden Pallet: Modeling
Your first model in SketchUp
Time for action – importing a texture to scale
Time for action – basic 3D geometry
Time for action – Push/Pull, Move, and Copy
Time for action – multiple copies
The power of pre-prepared textures
Time for action – completing texturing
Time for action – recycling textures for use on non-vital faces
Preparing for game use
Chapter 5: Game Levels in SketchUp
Sketching out the level
Do game artists need art degrees?
Time for action – setting up the terrain grid and plan
Time for action – setting up the terrain texture image
Time for action – creating a color selection layer
The master texture
Time for action – creating a large seamless texture
Time for action – creating a tiled texture
Time for action – filling selected areas with textures
Time for action – using tileable textures from the Internet
Have a go hero – selecting and texturing
Time for action – creating a roadside kerb
Time for action – removing white edges
Time for action – adding height to a flat terrain
Time for action – stamping detail onto the terrain
Time for action – using the Drape tool
Chapter 6: Importing to a Professional Game Application: Unity 3D
Exporting the level from SketchUp
Time for action – preparing a model for export
Time for action – SketchUp Pro export
Time for action – SketchUp free export
Time for action – using the free Autodesk FBX converter
Importing to Unity 3D
Time for action – importing your terrain in to Unity
Time for action – using a high-resolution terrain texture in Unity
Creating lights
Time for action – creating Sunlight in Unity
Setting up your character controller
Time for action – setting up a first-person shooter style controller
Time for action – playing the level
Time for action – creating a web playable walkthrough
Time for action – copying and pasting the pallet multiple times
Chapter 7: Quick Standard Assets
Rough and ready fencing
Time for action – making fencing with SketchUp's materials
Time for action – making several unique variations
Inserting multiple copies to quickly fill out a level
Time for action – fencing large areas
Time for action – walking around in SketchUp to visualize your level
Generating buildings quickly
Time for action – creating a building from two images
When the going gets tough
Time for action – cleaning up a Google Warehouse model
The ten-minute oil barrel
Creating tools or weapons
Time for action – modeling a low polygon wrench
Chapter 8: Advanced Modeling: Create a Realistic Car in Easy Steps
Where to find car images and plans
Time for action – creating a car texture
Time for action – creating a 3D car outline
Refining the car's geometry
Time for action – sitting on the hood
Modeling by hand
Time for action – applying a car body filler with the pencil tool
Creating the car texture from photos
Time for action
Painting in individual elements
Time for action – painting over the rear view
Time for action – creating blend areas
Time for action – how realistic wheels make all the difference
Chapter 9: The Main Building - Inside and Out
Creating the main building
Time for action – clipping round textures
Your final 3D game level in Unity 3D
Time for action – setting up a playable game level layout
Time for action – digging out a terrain
Time for action – exporting buildings to Unity 3D
Creating context with skyline and background terrain
Time for action – creating see-through textures
Time for action – creating a backdrop
Time for action – enabling see-through materials (Alpha Channel)
Time for action – enabling a skybox
Time for action – ambient light
Exporting your game for others to play
Time for action – who said you can't have your game and play it?

What You Will Learn

  • Discover the tools required to make game level and asset creation a swift and easy process
  • Create "game ready" textures from photos
  • Learn techniques for quick modeling by creating assets straight from textures
  • Sculpt rough terrains using easy Sandbox tools in SketchUp
  • Import the game art you created with SketchUp into a professional game engine: Unity 3D
  • Create realistic assets to bring the game alive such as buildings, tools, barrels, and rusty fencing
  • Model a 3D automobile with advanced SketchUp tricks and techniques
  • How to add lighting and walk around in your game


In Detail

Creating video game environments similar to the best 3D games on the market is now within the capability of hobbyists for the first time, with the free availability of game development software such as Unity 3D, and the ease with which groups of enthusiasts can get together to pool their skills for a game project. The sheer number of these independent game projects springing up means there is a constant need for game art, the physical 3D environment and objects that inhabit these game worlds. Now thanks to Google there is an easy, fun way to create professional game art, levels and props.

Google SketchUp is the natural choice for beginners to game design. This book provides you with the workflow to quickly build realistic 3D environments, levels, and props to fill your game world. In simple steps you will model terrain, buildings, vehicles, and much more.

Google SketchUp is the ideal entry level modeling tool for game design, allowing you to take digital photographs and turn them into 3D objects for quick, fun, game creation. SketchUp for Game Design takes you through the modeling of a game level with SketchUp and Unity 3D, complete with all game art, textures and props. You will learn how to create cars, buildings, terrain, tools and standard level props such as barrels, fencing and wooden pallets. You will set up your game level in Unity 3D to create a fully functional first person walk-around level to email to your friends or future employers.

When you have completed the projects in this book, you will be comfortable creating 3D worlds, whether for games, visualization, or films.


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