• What's up with SketchUp now days?
  • Posted on June 29, 2013
  • I went to the home page of SketchUp and saw that there was a new release. It was interesting, but I did not feel any true excitement because how the site was built and the wording on it made me feel like they don’t give a damn about their non paying users anymore. 3D for everyone only works if one can do anything with what one creates.

    I thought I downloaded a basic version, but it says “EVAL” and later on “EXPIRED”. So much for wanting to test the new SketchUp Make 2013. Yes Make, not Pro version.

    I could pay for SketchUp if they made a version that was better the old free version at about 100 USD. 475 USD is way to much. There needs to be a GPL alternative for quick basic 3D work.

  • Quick Navigation in SketchUp with Wacom tablet and mouse
  • Posted on September 23, 2012
  • This is a simple tutorial that I hope will help those who like me wondered if there was a simpler and faster way to navigate in SketshUp then using the Orbit and Pan tool buttons.

    The two main features of 3D modeling software is probably Orbit and Pan. With Orbit enabled, we can spin and turn around our 3D model or landscape by clicking and move around the mouse or Pen. Pan on the other hand allows us to move us sideways, up and down. Just click and drag in the opposite direction we want to go, similar to using a Smartphone. Pan is also used instead of having scrollbars on the side and bottom.

    SketchUp has Orbit and Pan evident among the tools which make them easy to find and use. But once we are inside a project it’s disturbing when we need to switch between Orbit, Pan and the tool we otherwise use, which can lead to mistakes and wasted time.

    Orbit (left) and Pan (right), marked in red.

    The solution

    The solution to the problem is hotkeys or key combinations, which gives us a shortcut to functions or tools we want to use. In the case of Orbit the solution is very simple, it is enough to press the middle mouse button to start spinning around in the 3D view. Once the middle button is released latest tool will be reactivated again so no shifting between tools are needed. Pan is one step more complicated, it requires us to press the Shift key on your keyboard while pressing the middle mouse button. Most computer mice now days have no middle buttons, but mice with a scroll wheel you can usually press the wheel for the same function. It is not as pleasant as pressing a regular mouse button, but it is something we who have Wacom pen tablets gets around.

    How to map Orbit and Pan to the Wacom pen

    To map the functions to the Wacom pen we open Wacom Tablet Properties (located in the Start Menu and Control Panel) and select Grip Pen Tool.

    The settings are either the tablet or pen. Here we choose Grip Pen for pen settings.

    The next step is to choose the program we are going add specific functions to and we do this by pressing the + under Application and then select SketchUp in the list.

    If SketchUp is open is should appear on the list. If it does not you have to browse to the location of the Application.

    Once the program is selected, we will map the functions of the two buttons we find on the side of the pen. On top button, I chose the Pan tool. To do the same press the scroll list, select Modifier and click on the Shift under Keys and the Middle under Clicks. On the bottom button, I chose to have the Orbit and I did by selecting Middle Click in Clicks top of the scroll list. When we are done and can shut down the Wacom Tablet Properties. On the image bellow  you can see how it is suppose to look when done.

    This is how it will look when done.

    Now I have hopefully saved you some headaches and irritation. Personally, I will enjoy a little more flow in the 3D model making now that I can finally use SketchUp in a similar way as I do Blender. 🙂 Is there any doubt then just write a comment and I’ll see if I can help.

  • Creating a scene in DAZ Studio for a Fantasy drawing 02
  • Posted on September 16, 2012
  • Part one of this project is here.

    This is the second part in the creation of my Fantasy Scene in DAZ Studio. When a fight is going on there is often going to be people around watching. Especially when the under dog, or the supposed underdog, the girl in this case is winning the fight. I have added a simple house front that is a stand in for a Ale House. I built it in SketchUp.

    When one is adding people to a scene, even if they are just background people, you have to think about what kind of people would be where the scene takes place. In this case I think loners, poor people, thieves, cut throats, outcast, warriors and the people who works there would fit in. Maybe one of them is just itching to be a part of the fight?

    This project is evolving and changing somewhat as I go. I still have some problems drawing more then two characters in a image, but now when I’m building the scene in 3D before I draw it, why not take all the advantage it gives?

    I’m going to take it real slow with this project so I don’t have to go back and fix a lot of mistakes. I might produce a few draw overs of the scene so I can see where I’m going.

    Part one of this project is here.

  • Creating a scene in DAZ Studio for a Fantasy drawing 01
  • Posted on September 13, 2012
  • I’m about to do a Fantasy drawing I have had in my head for a while that is based on a fast sketch I made a good while ago. To set this project up in a good way so everything gets into place I’m using Daz Studio 4.5 Pro to create the basic parts of the scene.

    Next I’m thinking about drawing a simple 2D background and setting it up on a 3D box to build a house in SketchUp and then add it into the scene in Daz Studio. When I have all the basic parts in the 3D scene I want to have, I will then render it again into a image and trace it with basic shapes (circles and so on) and then the real drawing begins. Tracing the details of the DAZ Studio bodies often leads to a anatomical mess and makes it harder to add to it in the drawing process. At least, that what I think. 🙂 With shapes I can draw the characters as I want them and use the shapes as guides so I know where everything is suppose to be.

    What is going on in the drawing?

    I think the girl is a master swordsman and the man is a brute that thinks he had a easy way with attacking her and doing whatever he wants. To bad for him. The story will probably evolve and change.

    Here is the drawing that got me the idea for this project:

    More updates hopefully soon!

    Part two of this project is here.

  • New standard 3D body
  • Posted on May 01, 2012
  • My intent is to use this body as a starting point for male characters. It’s made without reference images by first box modeling the head and then extruding down the torso and then the rest of the body. The hands and ears are my standard parts from before.

    I use Blender to model in 3D.

  • Captain America in 3D WIP01
  • Posted on April 09, 2012
  • This is Daz Studio renders of the project I’m working on. Lots of tweaks to get the body and face right are still needed and I’m thinking of actually sculpting/building his mask on his face instead of just painting it on. Anyhow, when he is finished I want Captain America to have a Comic Book look with the colors and everything. The goal a classic look on the character.

    I’m happy about most things in this front view, but the head is not one of them and the boots needs some tweaking.

    The fingers does not look good in this view and I’m going to tweak the legs. The boots also look wrong.

    Butt and hands needs some work in this view. Anything else?

    The face looks to round yet, but it ain’t as easy to see in Blender for me as in Daz Studio, but I will probably work it out. The hands are from the previous post.

  • Hand model in Blender
  • Posted on April 07, 2012
  • This is a basic hand I’m modeling in Blender. My intent is to keep the polycount low and to use the hand in many character models with some tweaking to better fit to the character. I used a image (stock) I found on the Internet for basic shape and took it from there with my own hands as main reference for help.

     

    Now: 486 vertices, 974 edges, 489 faces. Smoothing activated, no subdivision active.

    I will tweak the hand some more before I use it in one model I’m working on.

     

  • Low Poly Male Super Hero
  • Posted on April 01, 2012
  • I’m not sure which Super Hero I will model yet, but I think it will be a Marvel one. I will try to really hold it to basic shapes and add in details in painting/textures. More updates later.

  • Modeling a Girl Body 03
  • Posted on March 31, 2012
  • Third update on this project. I have added smoothing, so less subdivision is needed for a smooth body. The body at it’s base is also has less pointy edges and better anatomy. The real addition is eyes.  Now the images are captured within Blender. Enjoy!

    Over 6000 faces in the model.