Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday Jon

Welcome to another week! Doesn't this endless procession of day on day ever come to an end?

Ok, today I thought I'd share something a little bit different. In this age of digital media we tend to cling on to terms like "sketch" and "painting" when our computers have really eroded the meanings of those words. With that in mind here's a "sketch" I made in Google Sketchup. A nifty piece of software which is well worth adding to your skill set. Sketchup lets you create three dimensional computer models very very easily. I've found this an invaluable tool to aid visualisation of complex scenes and settings. I don't generally work my models to any great degree of finish - they're used as an inspirational tool rather than something to directly use in my illustrations. Whilst I like to think I'm pretty good at manipulating scenery in my head, the finer points and subtle unexpected stuff can really be helped by experimenting with a 3D model. I graduated to Sketchup from photographing Duplo bricks...

So enough ramble, here's a bird's eye view of one of my recent models, a section of medieval town, built with the idea of being able to shoot multiple directions through it, much like a versatile film set.

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Here's the clickable larger version:


And here's a couple of views through the model.
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Funnily enough I didn't use Sketchup as part of my process on last week's post, which looks like a prime candidate. Sometimes I find the models really helpful, other times they can be millstones. Funny old world.

9 comments:

  1. Oot o' interest, which version o' Sketchup did ye use for this stuff?

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  2. I played around with Sketchup about six months back and found it pretty easy to use. I was getting ready for a job that involved drawing a fleet of spaceships so I mocked up a quick version of the ship design and used it to get all the different angles needed for the illustration. Very useful if you have the time to do it. Just like you though Jon I ended up not needing to use it and I've never been back to use it since. I reckon it could be a great benefit if you where doing a job where the environment was going to be used over and over again like say in a comic book. Good recommendation!

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  3. Hi Bruce, I'm using Version 7 currently.

    Graeme - yeah it is very intuitive. There's some things I wish it did even more simply, but that's mostly because I am a simpleton and need to rtfm a bit more!

    I've totally benefitted this week from having put the time into some models of complex environments which the client wanted to see from different angles before plonking for one or another sketch. Whilst *of course* it wouldn't do to let one's drawing ability dwindle, when you have a set of buildings in an epic location, it doesn't half save a lot of really complex redrawing (often to little gain if its not the shot the client wants) if you have a model to work from...

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  4. Is Sketchup as far as you take 3d in your pre-final process, Jon?

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  5. Yes it is. I have DAZ Studio and so on, but it's never stuck as a pre-vis tool for me personally.

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  6. Thanks Jon, I've been playing aroond with Sketchup 6 and it's a wee bir difficult to get the 'ground level' equal with all the models! I've been ending up with lots of floating buildings! Perseverance is the key I suppose, and there's nothing as bloody-minded as a Jock with the bit between his teeth!

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  7. I get that too. The best solution I've found thus far is indeed perseverance, and a lot of rotating the camera around to check it's snapping to the right plane. There's probably an easier way. If I get round to checking their forums/the frikkin manual (! lol) I'll let you know! :):):)

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  8. Never used Sketchup before (although briefly used Lightwave for some vehicles and cityscapes) but this looks really useful. Not only does it help to visualise and contextualise a real environment it appears to save the time and hassle of complex and varied viewing angles for story-telling. Definitely won over with this! Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Strangely enough the new issue of ImagineFX has a workshop by Alex Jenyon about using Sketchup.

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