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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys!

I've been really getting into google SketchUp recently and I know it is one of the most popular case mod design programs used on here, so why not have a thread devoted to it!

About SketchUp

For those of you who don't know:

Google SketchUp is a free program designed to make 3D modeling available to anyone and everyone. There is a free and a pro version, however you barely notice the differences between the two.

If you are coming from another program such as Maya, 3DSMax, Cinema4D etc, you will find it really confusing! More so than coming to SketchUp fresh. However after a while you will see how easy it is to mock up a model, or even do something more advanced!

OCN Tutorials
  • Setting up and Navigating SketchUp - Beginner - LINK - Tutorial showing you how to set up SketchUp into a well-functioning application. Recommended for everyone!
  • Snapping Points, Modifiers and Manipulating - Beginner - LINK - The basics of getting precise movements and line measurements, learning how to manipulate objects.
  • Introduction to Groups, Entities and Layers - Beginner - LINK - Showing how to use groups and layers so you can turn off parts of your model and move them around without interfering with other geometry.
  • Modelling and Rendering a Glass (part 1) - Intermediate - LINK - Part 1 shows you how to model the glass in SketchUp.
  • Modelling and Rendering a Glass (part 2) - Intermediate - LINK - Part 2 shows you how to setup Kerkythea rendering engine and do a simple render
  • Modelling and Rendering a Glass (part 3) - Advanced - LINK - Part 3 shows you how to refine your rendering techniques and add Depth of Field.

Rendering and SketchUp

One of the joys of 3D modeling is making a photo-realistic render of your work. Something like this:

(Modeling and rendering by Metric over at Bit-Tech. Modeled in Solidworks, rendered in Maxwell)
SketchUp does not have a rendering engine built in, unlike alot of 3D programs. However, all is not lost! There are a few solutions:

1. External Rendering via Export to 3DS - SketchUp Pro has the ability to export to lots of different file formats. The most useful for rendering is 3DS. Most 3D modeling and rendering programs can read this format. Simply export the model, then import it into your rendering program. An example of what a model looks like after being imported from SketchUp into Cinema4D with no re-texturing is this:


(model and render by me)

2. Addon Renderer for SketchUp - There are several rendering applications that work as an addon to SketchUp - i.e. they install themselves into the program themselves and become part of SketchUp. There are a few free ones, which are average, then there are some really decent ones that cost a fair bit such as VRay. I have no personal experience with these, but there are some links in the Link section with more information about them.

3. Custom Exporters for SketchUp - Some external renderers have built plugins for SketchUp with custom optimised exporters that allow you to simply and quickly export your model in the correct format for the renderer to read. One of the best (mainly because it is free!) is Kerkythea. I have just started using it, and it is fantastic. After downloading, you install the plugin, then go to Plugins -> Kerkythea Exporter and export your model. You then open it in Kerkythea and can start rendering! The exporter takes all your materials into kerkythea that you had in SketchUp, however they are not really optimised for photo-realistic renders. Kerkythea groups objects by what material they have when you import them. So in SketchUp, if you had a load of things in white, in Kerkythea, they will all be grouped together. This can be annoying, but also really helpful. It just requires a little forward planning in SketchUp. An example of what Kerkythea can produce is:


(modeling and rendering done by Mick over at Bit-Tech)

Links

OCN SketchUp Models

I will keep a list here of things people make here at OCN. If you make something that other people could use, go upload it to Google 3D Warehouse, http://scc.jezmckean.com, your own hosting or a filehost like filefront.com. Then stick a link in here and i will add it to the op.
  • MSI Eclipse Plus x58 - oliverw92 - LINK
  • FrozenQ Inverse T-Virus Reservoir - oliverw92 - LINK
  • EK Dual DDC Top V2 - oliverw92 - LINK
  • IandH StealthRes 175 Reservoir - oliverw92 - link
  • Corsair Obsidian 800D - oliverw92 - LINK
 

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Nice thanks for the info, + REP. I will be using this.
 

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I'd recommend Sketchup as well. It does great for boxy things like cases and components. When you start dealing with complex curves it can get a bit limiting. But for most applications, it is a great free option. You should look into using Indigo Renderer as well. They have a free version that has a size limit and a small watermark. Definitely worth checking out. Here is my custom tech station done in a clay render (no materials):


And a living room scene that needs more cooking:


And a simple material test:

LL
LL
LL
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just updated the op with some stuff on rendering.

Nice renders fishy! You should upload your tech station to SCC and gimme a link to put in the op




Hot off the press
Getting chemicalfan to render things for me on his i7, my sig rig is down and my iMac is doing an admirable job, but it really can't handle rendering complex scenes

LL
 

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I love Sketchup because it'll run on my netbook, but I hate it because I use SolidWorks! I can't do anything with it...
 

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Great thread Oli, most of my sketchup drawings are nothing special to look out unless you appreciate design a lot. But I will try to get some nice renders up at some point
 

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any chance of you making some tutorials??
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by xxbassplayerxx View Post
I love Sketchup because it'll run on my netbook, but I hate it because I use SolidWorks! I can't do anything with it...
It just takes time, you need to learn your own methods etc.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ohabu View Post
Thanks for the thread. I just started toying with sketchup yestrday, and admittedly didn't do very well

Keep at it man


Quote:

Originally Posted by GOTFrog View Post
Nice thread Oliver, but Sketch up is impossible to use. I keep getting lost in the 3D thing. Plus I don't know how to render stuff.
Nah its not impossible! You just need a few basics.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Killhouse View Post
Great thread Oli, most of my sketchup drawings are nothing special to look out unless you appreciate design a lot. But I will try to get some nice renders up at some point

I appreciate the design side of things most tbh, the pretty pictures are nothing really, compared to underlying design. Get them pics!

Quote:

Originally Posted by xxbassplayerxx View Post
any chance of you making some tutorials??
I think i will do a beginners guide to sketchup tomorrow.
 

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For computer cases and other things with parts, I prefer to design things in 2D first.
Draft each piece separately once you have the design. Draw the parts in 2D using the pencil and input box (pick a start point, move your mouse in the right direction, type the correct length you want the line to be (see bottom right for value), hit enter, repeat). This way you have all the surfaces in 2D, as if you took the case apart, put the pieces on the floor, and took a picture.

Then use the Push/Pull tool to give each surface some depth depending on the medium (1/4" acrylic, for example). Once you've done that, select each part, all faces and edges, and right click > Make Group.

Then once you have all the pieces you can put them where you want them, rotating and moving them into place.
That is essentially what I do. Make my own Lego pieces and then put the together. Rendering is something you can worry about later.
 

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I'd like some tutorials. I mainly use pro-e and solid works, but can't hurt to learn another! plus, I've never really done rendering. Mainly make a part and ship the design out to whoever needs it
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeh i put in alot about rendering, but you don't think about that at all. You don't even need to render, SketchUp gives a nice amount of detail as is.

I work similarly to you fishy, except i start with a part, then make the next part that attatches to it in another file, drop it into the main one, make the next part etc.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by oliverw92
View Post

I appreciate the design side of things most tbh, the pretty pictures are nothing really, compared to underlying design. Get them pics!

Well if you insist!

This was one of my original designs for Paroxysm (see sig)


This is one of my original designs for an HTPC that I'm hopefully building over the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ah seen that last one


Paroxysm really didn't turn out that different!
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by oliverw92
View Post

Ah seen that last one


Paroxysm really didn't turn out that different!

Yep but you wont see a TRUE in there any more
The other was also posted in some concept design thread, I'll get some internal pics for you too. It'll be a tight squeeze for the atom board!
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by GOTFrog
View Post

my main issue is how do I manage to make a whole exactly where I want it, size is no issue but I can't figure a way to put it in the right place.

I normally draw bisecting lines to make the point, then delete the lines
 
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