Author Topic: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only  (Read 15421 times)

Krankin4

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How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« on: March 14, 2013, 04:28:22 PM »
Theme Park Studio will require some understanding of modeling to get the full benefits of its resources as well as adding your own special touches to the game. If you need help or have questions be sure to ask. Some real good videos to get you started using Sketchup.

You'll need to download Sketchup. There is a free version (what I use) and a Pro version. Click HERE for the download page.

These tutorial of Mr Pruych a teacher at Centennial Secondary School . Link to site. (CLICK)

Plugins located HERE


Tuts from beginner to advance.
Here

Tuts for using plugin @
Here  (Link fixed)


Hope to get some Blender and Max tuts soon.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 10:32:14 PM by Krankin4 »

SupremeBordeaux

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 08:29:39 PM »
Thanks Krankin.. I've been trying to learn how to use Sketchup lately.. I've been slowly improving! Hopefully this will help me a bit more :P

Krankin4

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2013, 06:51:51 AM »
I really like these tuts and are well done and easy to understand. The one thing I should tell you the vids do not is intersecting pieces should be done in components or groups. Lets take a T for example. It should be made as one rectangle horizontal and one rectangle vertical.  A T as one piece makes 28 faces and made in groups is 24 faces. Keeping the face count down will help rendering times when loading objects in the game.



One other thing is when you see him duplicate a component, as you move the object hit the ctrl  this will put the original object back in place. The  other option is using ctrl+c then ctrl+v copy and paste method.

I tried to get the vids to load here but ran into a snag with vimeos formatting so don't know if its going to be possible for vimeo vids to be posted here. Still working on that part.

If you got questions be sure to ask. I may not have the answer but will help you find it if we can.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 08:35:50 AM by Krankin4 »

C-A_99

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2013, 02:26:38 PM »
^ Thanks for pointing that out; encouraging optimization and good practices is, in my opinion, very important for any kind of modeling for 3D game engines.

I've always gotten the impression that Sketchup is far better for concept building and visualization than it is for modeling for a game engine, but unfortunately, this has only been known by judging others' models created in Sketchup and not my own.

Perhaps a good example is modeling a window of a house (for simplicity's sake, ignoring what's on the other side of the wall and at most using an environment map to simulate it). Lets say we're looking at a typical window divided into a plus + into 4 corners. From the Sketchup tutorials, this is typically how its done:

„Mž


The problem here is that each quarter piece of the glass is an extra quadrilateral (4-sided) surface, instead of the whole thing being one continuous quad surface.

I've seen the same issue with models of shelves used in games. It may be a small thing, but I'd imagine the wasted polygons (due to Sketchup being more for solids based modeling than for game engines/entertainment) can build up quite a lot.

Aside from that, I've also seen some very poor practices in Sketchup with double sided faces. Most of the time, they export them even if only one or two are needed in the scene, which results in lots of wasted polygons. It seems that a solution to this, such as being able to designate surfaces as double sided or being able to easily copy, flip, and weld them, isn't there.

Lastly, from what I understand, Sketchup has had issues with materials, smooth shading, and others when exporting. It's possible that TPS's object importer resolves some of these issues by allowing the user to define materials inside the program itself, although I'm not sure what that means for other issues such as UV mapping and smooth shading.

I understand Sketchup is intuitive and easier to learn than, say, Blender. I'm learning it myself to visualize some fun gadgets that I can build later. But I just don't see it being right for models that are supposed to be very optimized (both made to look good and save on polygons) for a game engine.

Perhaps I'm overblowing the issue and that it's not that big of a deal (perhaps there are plugins that resolve some of those issues I mentioned), and that it matters more that more people can partake and model regardless of the quality of which its done. You got to start somewhere after all, and I never had anything like Sketchup when I was learning, so it's good that we have this tool in the first place even if it wasn't specifically built with robust features for this purpose.

In any case, thanks for posting. I'm likely to find the intermediate and advanced tutorials to be useful since I'm still learning the program (when I feel like it at least =p), and can pick up on a lot of the features in there.

Kevin

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 01:14:03 AM »
Thanks for posting this Krankin!
ThemeParkStudio Moderator - Email: kevinmatz1994@yahoo.com

puppyjonathan

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 12:28:30 PM »
Are you sure I need modeling? I'm not trying to fight, I'm just asking since I was just hoping for something alot simpler
Big Disney Parks Fan!

SupremeBordeaux

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 12:30:57 PM »
^
It would be good to know how to model to make your parks unique from all of the other players.. Once you get the hang of it; it will be as easy as stealing candy from a baby ;D

Boomer

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 01:19:27 PM »
^^ TPS will cover it all when it comes to playability.  It will come with a bunch of pre-made stuff, like RCT did, but will have tools and instructions to help you make your own custom scenery and rides and stuff.  I am not very puter smart, I have no schooling or instruction in computer, gaming, modeling or technology but I did decide to download ScetchUp 8 and after watching just a few of the tutorials on it I can now say that this old dog learned some new tricks, quite easily.  I'm hoping that if I can learn how to use scetchUp 8, I will be able to handle the learning curve for customizing in TPS without too much trouble.

puppyjonathan

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 06:40:32 PM »
I may just learn Sketchup later as I can learn along with the game and give me a better understanding, and ^^ you're right about having unique parks in this area
Big Disney Parks Fan!

acid360

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2013, 02:29:55 PM »
Hey Krankin4 cheers for the links i have never tried any thing like this before but im really enjoying it
The links are great and it truly can enhance your skill by watching theses short videos :) 

therideman11

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2013, 12:04:11 PM »
i have made some custom objects for rct3, but they werent very good. i am hoping that these tutorials will help me learn. (i havent watched them yet)

C-A_99

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2013, 10:07:10 PM »
Here's an excellent resource on using Sketchup for game engine models.

http://www.crydev.net/viewtopic.php?f=315&t=71307

Obviously, it was written for Cryengine 3 use, but everything I'm seeing there (that isn't related to setup or exporting) is relevant to models that have to go in any realtime/game engine. The tutorial covers a lot on basic good practices to stick to and bad practices to avoid. (Some of which are absolutely horrible yet extremely common, at least in the NL community.)

While there's no stopping anyone from uploading parks cluttered with ugly, unoptimized models that cause huge performance drains, this can at least be very helpful to those who care not to.

Krankin4

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2013, 09:27:35 AM »
Great post c-a_99. It is well done and give reason for why your doing it.

I'd like to pdf that from here so if your a member would you ask bac9-flcl if that would be cool? Giving him full credit of course and link back to the original post.

C-A_99

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2013, 12:19:58 PM »
I'm not a forum member, and stumbled upon it from Google searches for a project I'm working on. I may register later though, should I need more direct guidance on my project but that may not be for some time. For the meantime, one could just save the .html files of it.

What I am finding here so far though, is that learning to work with game SDK's in general will be very helpful for TPS. (I'm currently exploring CryEngine 3 SDK and UDK. (Unreal Development Kit)) This is what I like most about TPS so far: it looks like a program any advanced user or developer would use, focusing more on capabilities than on pretty menus.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2013, 12:23:29 PM by C-A_99 »

Mikey

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Re: How to get started modeling W/Sketchup Only
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2013, 07:47:43 AM »
Sketchup vs. 3DSMax

Yes it is true that 3DS is better geared toward game asset creation, but not because sketchup isn't capable, it is more a case of the design of 3DS evolving to directly support this function. 3DS has a multitude of features specifically for game asset creation that streamline the process. However it is generally much more difficult to learn 3DS and become proficient in its use enough to produce game quality models.
Sketchup on the other hand is ultra simple to jump right in and begin modeling and produce OK results. Sketchup is built around solid modeling concept for architectural design. The software has grown considerably in power and capability over its life and in many ways rivals or even surpasses other 3D modeling software. Because of its ease of use, the design of the software will do a lot of the operations required to produce a useful model for you, automatically, which is great benefit, but it also has a huge pitfall.
As stated above, if you are not careful you will make models with very excessive polygon count, simply because the program lets you do pretty much what ever you wish to and auto corrects for your "mistakes" in design. This is not to say that you will not produce spectacular looking models, just that they will not be game engine friendly, without being aware of what the software is doing for you, to make the process so easy.
I have made many models in sketchup and 3DS and yes there are certain features to 3DS that are appealing for creating game models, but in the end it comes down to the designer, more than the software being used.
With good technique, sketchup will work fine for creating pretty much anything you can imagine for use in a game.
If you find your polygon count is still too excessive, there is other software out there to help you optimize your final model, such as mesh lab.
What it really comes down to is time and cost effectiveness of whatever it is you choose to use. 3DS or blender will have a large learning curve but it will be worth it to learn how to use these programs, if you have the time to invest in the learning curve.
Sketchup will do what ever you want it to do with regard to solid modeling but you must be aware of what it is doing to your models and deal with it appropriately.
Which approach is "best" ? .....well that is up to the user. As with any design software, if the designer is using poor technique, the software wont really make much difference, as even 3DS can produce some really bad modeling examples.
I have only recently began using sketchup ( a few months now) just to see what  I can do with it and so far I am impressed with it.
I have a friend who is a die hard 3DS user and insists you cant make great game models in sketchup and its only suited for rough design concept. I am attempting to prove him wrong by using sketchup to create a good quality usable X-Wing star fighter game model from a 2D top down photo of a schematic.
We'll see how this goes.

I would recommend you pick a product, study it well and learn how to use it efficiently for our purpose, which is game asset modeling. In the end if you can master a particular piece of design software, no matter what it is, you will be able to make great models. Sketchup just happens to be one of the easiest packages out there to learn. And the price is right.....FREE :)

 

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