How to set up 3D models
Being smart about the way you set up your 3D models in SketchUp can be essential for success, as Mark Roosien demonstrates here…
As I’ve shown in previous articles, using components in SketchUp (check out the free version of the program, SketchUp Make, at www.sketchup.com) can be a quick and practical way of creating objects. Now I’ll take things a bit further. By carefully considering which elements in a model should be separate components and which should not, you’ll
1 Place your core components together
The entire city scene comprises only five components: two apartment blocks, two small flying vehicles and one larger aircraft. I place them together, away from the main scene, which gives me easy access to all of them. The aircraft was previously created in a separate SketchUp file. I open the old file, select the aircraft and press Ctrl+ C. Then I press Ctrl+V in the new file to import the selected model.
2 Construct a city
I build up the city scene simply by duplicating and resizing the two blocky components. It’s easiest to set up the scene when you’re directly above your work, so I reorient the camera so that I’m looking down at the ground plane. I use normal perspective and forced perspective as I see fit. Here, I use forced perspective for one of the banking aircraft. be able to easily set up scenes with only a few of them.
Components can also be reused in SketchUp model files that you’ve previously created to save time. To demonstrate this, I’ll use a quick setup for a city scene, which could be used as a base layer for a 2D digital painting. The city scene serves as a backdrop for a simple futuristic craft flying through the air.
3 Set up the scene
I reorient the camera to find the most attractive angle, then select Window> Scene and click the Plus icon to save that angle. Once I’m happy with the result, I export the model as a jpeg and use this as a base layer for a 2D digital painting. Alternatively, I could just continue modelling in SketchUp and create a more detailed 3D scene!