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SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization: Beginner's Guide

Beginner's Guide
Robin de Jongh

Create stunning photo-realistic and artistic visuals for your Google SketchUp models with this book and eBook
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847199461
Paperback408 pages

About This Book

  • Create picture-perfect photo-realistic 3D architectural renders for your SketchUp models
  • Post-process SketchUp output to create digital watercolor and pencil art
  • Follow a professional visualization studio workflow
  • Make the most out of SketchUp with the best free plugins and add-on software to enhance your models

Who This Book Is For

This book is suitable for all levels of Sketchup users, from amateurs right through to architectural technicians, professional architects, and designers who want to take their 3D designs to the next level of presentation. SketchUp for Architectural Visualization is also particularly suitable as a companion to any architectural design or multimedia course, and is accessible to anyone who has learned the basics of SketchUp.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Quick Start Tutorial
Can SketchUp really produce pro visuals?
Modeling the room
Time for action – model the room in SketchUp
Composing the view
Time for action – setting up the camera
Time for action – setting up the sun
Time for action – timber flooring materials
Modeling the window
Photo images
Time for action – setting up the scenery backdrop
Time for action – hanging digital art
Exporting to the render application
Modifying materials in Kerkythea quickly
Time for action – Kerkythea materials
Rendering in Kerkythea
Chapter 2: How to Collect an Arsenal Rambo Would Be Proud of
If it's not free, it's not worth having
Google software
Time for action – restoring the collection to its rightful place
Time for action – enabling the organic modeling tools
Your image processing studio with GIMP
Become a movie making genius—almost
Time for action – installing VirtualDub
Time for action – how to install Ruby scripts
What rendering software?
Time for action – downloading and installing extras for Kerkythea
Chapter 3: Composing the Scene
The importance of planning
The four ways to set up an arch-viz scene
Time for action – setting up a scene with Photo-Match
Time for action – 3D drawing in a 2D photo
Time for action – real life sunlight
Time for action – setting up a CAD site plan
Time for action
Time for action – using a Google Earth / Maps screenshot
Fleshing out your site plan
Time for action – massing
Setting up the camera to challenge and impress
Time for action – changing the field of view
Time for action – obscure with Fog effects
Saving days of toil with ready-made scenery
Time for action – how to create billboard elements
Framing the scene with entourage
Time for action – inserting entourage place holders
Chapter 4: Modeling for Visualization
Time for action – creating the basic building shape
Time for action – swapping high/low resolution versions
Carving out the detail
Time for action – modeling detail from CAD elevations
Time for action – modeling from a photograph
Low polygon modeling techniques
Time for action – low poly curves and circles
Using components to increase productivity
Time for action – purging 3D Warehouse components for your own use
Taking it further: Challenging modeling tasks explained
Time for action – windows and doors
Time for action – flashing in a flash
Time for action – modeling ridge tiles
Time for action – realistic roads and pavements
Modeling for realistic highlights in interior scenes
Time for action – how to add corner detail to your model
Chapter 5: Applying Textures and Materials for Photo-Real Rendering
How much realism do I need?
To texture or not to texture...
The texturing process flow chart
Beginning with basic photo textures
Time for action – applying Sketchup's own textures
Time for action – travel the world for real textures!
Applying whole photographs as textures
Time for action – set up a fake room
Using, finding, and creating tileable textures
Time for action – exact texture placement
Time for action – correcting perspective
Time for action – tiling method one
Time for action – tiling method two
Time for action – importing a texture into SketchUp
Time for action – saving the texture
Advanced image considerations
Modifying textures in GIMP for added realism
Time for action – telling SketchUp to link to an image editor
Time for action – making unique textures for surfaces
Time for action – adding some muck and variation
Time for action – how to add extra elements to a texture
Chapter 6: Entourage the SketchUp Way
The "notice hierarchy"
Choosing entourage
People cutouts
Time for action – how to create 2D people components
Time for action – creating the Face-Me component
Chapter 7: Non Photo Real with SketchUp
SketchUp's native output
Time for action – editing SketchUp's built-in styles
Time for action – 2D graphic export
The Dennis technique
Time for action – setting up the Dennis technique in SketchUp
Time for action – setting up GIMP for the Dennis technique
Using layer masks in GIMP
Time for action – using layer masks for the Dennis effect
Time for action – using a sky image in GIMP
Time for action – creating the vignette layer
Richard's sketchy pencil technique
Time for action – setting up Pencil sketch technique
Time for action – creating pencil shading in GIMP
Chapter 8: Photo-Realistic Rendering
The learning feedback loop
Setting up for photo-real rendering
Step 1: Checking integrity and the modify/test-render loop
Time for action – the modify / test loop
Step 2: Inserting extra entourage
Time for action – test rendering models in Kerkythea
Time for action – manipulating entourage in Kerkythea
Step 3: Defining the lighting
Time for action
Step 4: Refining materials
Time for action – adding specularity and reflections
Time for action – controlling reflections in glass
Step 5: Testing the production render
Time for action
Step 6: Production render
Time for action – settings for a render using only sunlight
Step 7: Post production renders
Time for action – the Depth Render
Time for action
Artificially lit indoor scenes
Time for action – creating spot-lights in SketchUp
Time for action – switching off sun and sky lighting
Time for action – radiant materials
Advanced materials techniques
Time for action – applying Alpha transparency to face-me components
Time for action
Chapter 9: Important Compositing and After Effects in GIMP
Part 1: Tweaks and lighting levels
Time for action – the levels dialogue
Time for action – adjusting light quantity
Time for action – find a way of removing noise
Time for action
Time for action – depth of field using a depth render
Time for action – adding light effects in GIMP
Time for action – fade out the edges with a vignette
Part 2: Compositing multiple images
Time for action – using the Kerkythea mask render for windows
Time for action
Time for action
Chapter 10: Walkthroughs and Flyovers
The same principles for stills and animation
Making a start: Sketch it out
Time for action – write out your itinerary
Time for action – the storyboard
Animating in SketchUp
Time for action – a simple walkthrough
Time for action – getting the timing right
Time for action – adding individual timing to scenes
Creating flythroughs from paths
Time for action – smooth transitions
Let's put it together
Authoring video sequences
Time for action – animating with Kerkythea
Compositing in VirtualDUB
Time for action
Compressing and preparing for web use
Time for action – preparing an MP4 video with MPEG Streamclip
Creating the final video composition
Chapter 11: Presenting Visuals in LayOut
Getting started with LayOut
Time for action – customizing a page border
Displaying SketchUp models in LayOut
Time for action – displaying a SketchUp 3D view
Multiple views of the same model
Time for action – orthographic views in LayOut
Time for action – align the view using a face
Displaying SketchUp sections
Time for Action – creating sections
Slideshows and presentations
Time for action – creating a presentation
Exporting and printing
Time for action – exporting images from LayOut

What You Will Learn

  • Render ultra-realistic soft shadows from multiple light sources
  • Master 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 post-process tricks in GIMP
  • Learn and implement a fool-proof visualization workflow
  • 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 great-looking models when rendered
  • Benefit from SketchUp's mind-blowing features and clear your mind of any preconceptions

Here is a brief summary of what each chapter covers:

Chapter 1: Quickstart Tutorial – Photo Real Gallery Scene – This chapter is an immediate fix for those who are impatient to get photo-realistic rendered SketchUp scenes. Straight away you will learn how to model the gallery scene, fix up lighting, add materials, add a photo background, and finally render in Kerkythea.

Chapter 2: Plug in and Gear Up – Did you know that by downloading a few free plugins and other software you can turn SketchUp into a free fully functional 3D visualization and animation suite similar to high end commercial software? Follow this chapter to obtain all the goodies.

Chapter 3: Composing the Scene – In this chapter you will learn how to take the hard work out of modeling by setting up your scenes prior to starting work. You will learn how to start from CAD plans, site images, or Google Earth and build the scene optimized for quick rendering or animation later.

Chapter 4: Modeling for Visualization – SketchUp is so easy to use that we're tempted to jump right in and model everything. But this can lead to ineffective presentation later and large polygon counts, which slow the computer. This chapter leads through some of the professional modeling methods you need to learn to save you time and hassle, and to make photo-real rendering a cinch.

Chapter 5: Doing It Up (How to Apply Materials and Photo-textures) – Most visualizers are crazy enough to use the materials bundled with rendering software. But this methodology was developed during the ice age! Now that we all have digital cameras and access to unlimited free online image resources, we have a far more effective way of "dressing" the model. The tutorials in this chapter show you how to use SketchUp's unique photo and material handling tools to create ultra-real textured models mega easily.

Chapter 6: People, Trees, Furniture, and Things – Now that you've created the scene, modeled the buildings, and applied materials, you can add life to the scene with Entourage. Learn how to find the best free people, foliage, vehicles, and furniture online, and better still learn how to easily create your own with the foolproof methods in this chapter. In no time you'll be able to build up a comprehensive library to use or give/sell to others.

Chapter 7: Artistic Techniques – Exporting images from SketchUp is not the end of the process. Combining several image layers in GIMP, a powerful free photo editing suite, you will learn how to simulate sketchy pencil and watercolor styles. Fans of these methods will be pleased to know the famous Dennis Technique is presented in this chapter along with Dennis's own creations.

Chapter 8: Photo-realistic Rendering – Here the amazing Kerkythea introduced in Chapter 1 and 2 is explored in more depth, giving you the skills and confidence to tackle any rendering project. A hassle-free method of working is introduced along with proven best settings for test renders and final outdoor and indoor scenes. This chapter covers everything you need to get professional photo-realistic renders from your SketchUp model that you'll be personally amazed with.

Chapter 9: Image Compositing and After-effects – The rendering process isn't the end of the line, because there are lots of subtle but important after-effects you can apply to make the image even more effective. This chapter covers how to add reflections without rendering, creating depth of field effects from a depth render, adjusting levels for realistic daylight scenes, and compositing real and rendered images.

Chapter 10: Animated Flyovers and Walkthroughs – The crowning glory of your visualization project is likely to be a rendered or artistic-style animation. The tutorials in this chapter will take you through this step by step, showing you how to create storyboards, set up cameras and paths in SketchUp with extra plugin functionality, export test animations and final renders. Photo-real animations are then composited to make a simple show reel.

Chapter 11: Combining It All in Layout – Layout is bundled as part of SketchUp Pro and is introduced in this final chapter for those who wish to explore the free trial before committing to Pro. You will learn how to bring together SketchUp models and artistic or rendered output into a screen presentation or printed portfolio, adding borders, text and dimensions.

In Detail

Google SketchUp, the most popular architectural software package, is used by millions of architects and visualizers throughout the world. But what you may not know is that it's also the most powerful 3D design software on the market. With this book in hand and patented technology such as the PhotoMatch, Push-Pull, and Face-me components you can produce commercial quality photo-realistic or artistic output of your designs.

This book shows you how to master SketchUp's unique tools to create architectural visuals using professional rendering and image editing techniques in a clear and friendly way. You'll be able to get started immediately using these SketchUp tools and open-source rendering software. The book shows you how to create architectural visuals from your SketchUp models. In no time you'll be creating photo-realistic renders, animated fly-overs, and walkthroughs. You will also create composites of real and rendered images, creating digital and paper presentations to wow clients. For the impatient, a "Quickstart" tutorial is provided in the first chapter to get you rendering a photo-realistic scene immediately. The rest of the book builds on this knowledge by introducing in-depth concepts, tricks, and methods in an easy-to-follow format through quick tutorials.

Using easy step-by-step explanations, this book opens the door to the world of architectural visualization. With no prior visualization experience you will quickly get to grips with materials, texturing, composition, photo-compositing, lighting setup, rendering, and post-processing. You'll also be able to take SketchUp's unique sketchy output and add the artistic touch to create pencil and watercolor scenes. With this book you'll be able to get started immediately using the free SketchUp download and open-source rendering software.


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