Thanks for your kind compliments.
For now I mostly downloaded the Ruby plug ins where I had the faintest idea (from the description) what they actually do.
As I’m still new at both modeling and SketchUp, I’m still finding my way around - fortunately, having worked with colleagues
that were professional modelers (Maya, ZBrush, etc) I had some faint idea about the terminology, and in a basic introduction
course in Maya at work, I covered some basic modeling principles myself.
I only found out days ago that the free version of SketchUp has no native Boolean tools, and that subdivision tools come
at the additional price of a commercial plug in.
I’ll download the tools you have recommended - some of them, like the quadface tools, I already have, and already used.
I like Fredo6’s RoundCorner tool, for instance, for quickly softening edges.
The one thing that I’m a bit frustrated with is one of my favorite native tools of SketchUp; the FollowMe tool.
It’s both incredible intuitive and powerful, and I’m using it for creating my basic Tupperware bowl and box
shapes. When you leave the Circle and Curved Line tools at there default settings (at respectively 24s and 12s)
it all works like a dream, but the created objects will be too low res for Poser and Studio. Enhancing the number
of sides to 120s for circles and 30s for curved lines will produce objects that look decent in Poser and Studio,
but they make SketchUp choke.
I’m now working on a Tupperware box, that is actually rather curved. I constructed the bottom contour for the FollowMe
path on a flat rectangle, using curved lines at a setting of 120 sides; drew the vertical contour on a second rectangle with
the curved line tool set at a setting of 30s, erased the contours of the rectangles, and then activate the FollowMe tool to
create my nicely curved box out of the ground plane and the side contour. SketchUp does not give me my box, but shows
me an hourglass.
I can then make myself some coffee, drink it, go have a shower, go out for some groceries, prepare myself
a three coarse meal, eat it, do the dishes, and still find my laptop moaning doing the math. (OK, I’m working
on a 2006 laptop with a dual core at 1,6 Ghz and 2 GB RAM, which is not exactly the fastest computer currently
around, but still; I hardly think that the FollowMe tool will utilize more than a single processor core anyway.)
When finally the high poly mesh is finished, SketchUp will not like it at all, behave sluggish, and whatever
you like to do with the mesh from then on, you’d better do it outside of SketchUp.
Preparing the groundwork for my box: 30 minutes tops, if you do it precisely from a set of construction lines.
Waiting for SketchUp to create my box for me - hours, and hours, and hours. For something as simple as
a Tupperware box shape. (That’s why it is taking me forever to complete my Tupperware set. Waiting for
hours to see your mesh, and then finding out that I overdid it with the curve shapes, improve on the
model, and have my computer crunch at the bloody thing for hours - again! That’s what’s making it a bit
tedious at the moment.
I probably need to find a way to keep my modeling in low res when working natively in SketchUp, and then
boost it up and smoothen it all out in another software.
You are right about the intuitive nature of SketchUp, that’s what sold it to me. That’s why I gave up on anything
else that I tried before SketchUp, starting with Imagine for the Amiga, way back in the early 90s.
Any time a computer magazine would give away an older version of a 3D software on the cover disk I would
buy it. Truespace, Cinema4D, whatever. They never hooked me on.
And then I saw some SketchUp YouTube vids and thought - hey, that great, I can do that!
I’m originally a draughtsman, worked as a traditional cartoon animator, took me ages to learn how to animate
in Maya as well; my mind is still set to analogue and intuition, not to digital and complex menus with incompre-
hensible toolsets. That’s what I mostly like about SketchUp; its what-you-see-is-what-you-get approach at
modeling. The only real bummer is that it is not really designed for high poly work.
My hope is for a way to create my models in a low resolution in SketchUp, then import it into another package;
have it double, triple or quadruple the amount of polygons there and smoothing the mesh up without doing
any other funky stuff, and then import it over to Poser/Daz.
I even had a test using Maya for this, using the smooth command. Works great on something as simple
as a bowl shape, and as Maya does not choke on high poly objects it will perform these sorts of operations
in seconds, if not instantly. But if you have a more complex mesh with both curved surfaces and straight faced
parts, there’s a problem, because the tool makes everything curvy. Maya involves bothering other people anyway,
as I do not own the program myself.
I tried a similar approach in Hexagon, but the smoothing process there just completely messed up the
mesh, creating weird surfaces.
I still need to try out Blender, Wings3D and MeshLab, that have been recommended to me for using alongside
As far as your tips go - much appreciated, there was a load of things I did not know yet. I can still use
all the help I can get.