9 SketchUP Tips for better 3d modeling workflow

I picked up SketchUP my first year of architecture school back in 2002 and never stopped using it since. It is as powerful as it is simple, and yet I’ve seen too many pick up bad habits who find it hard to utilize SketchUP to its full potential.

So while I work on the continuation of the Making of ‘MS House’ – Part 1, Let me elaborate further and share some more of my SketchUP work-flow. Before I get specific about a few things, I should mention that it is good practice to have the manual comfortably nearby while modeling and I also highly recommend watching the SketchUP video guides. The information I’ll elaborate here will, hopefully, help you model fast and efficient with a great amount of control over the 3d modeling process.

This is a pure text post, so please bear with me. Read more

Google SketchUP Free v8 to drop DWG/DXF support?

John Bacus, SketchUP Product Manager, posted some interesting news about the new Google SketchUP 8 release – or should I call it a little ‘heads-up’ notice for all the free users out there. You can read it all at the Google SketchUP Blog, but following are some highlights from it.

Adding something new

The new version of SketchUP will introduce COLLADA file format support said to be a 3D model exchange format that is open, extensible and public. The reasoning behind this is to provide a more flexible way of exporting (and importing) SketchUP models out for whatever the user wants.

“In our next release, we’re going to make COLLADA an official first-class format for all modelers. You’ll be able to import and export COLLADA models, as well as COLLADA models wrapped up in the KMZ format for Google Earth, with any version of SketchUp.”John Bacus, SketchUP Product Manager

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Amazing Kuroshio sea aquarium video and music

I’ve seen this amazing video just now on my diver friend’s blog and was blown away by the shear beauty of it all and wanted to share this here too.

This was shot at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan.

The main tank called the “Kuroshio Sea” holds 7,500-cubic meters (1,981,290 gallons) of water and features the world’s second largest acrylic glass panel, measuring 8.2 meters by 22.5 meters with a thickness of 60 centimeters.  Whale sharks and manta rays are kept amongst many other fish species in the main tank. Read more

How to enhance 3d renders with 2d elements

When i first started out with architectural visualization i was very strict about doing it 3d all the way, but today almost every image i create incorporates some 2d techniques applied in post using software such as photoshop.

sometimes i add elements i didn’t have time to create in 3d or forgot about them. Other times i plan before hand on adding those elements and save time this way – especially if I’m not sure the client will approve them and this way i can just hide the layers. the technique I’ll describe in this post is especially useful and easy to apply in single focal point images.

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V-Ray RT goes Ballistic?

V-Ray RT was released early of June this year and it is now fully integrated in my studio’s work-flow. this tool is remarkably helpful at setting up scene lighting and editing materials on the fly. although it doesn’t support all of V-Ray’s features (Displacement & Proxies for example) i started to think about how it could become a replacement for the standard render engine when it does. it seems Chaosgroup decided to take this even further as seen on this latest demo from SIGGRAPH 2009 posted by Jeff Mottle of CGarchitect.com.

V-Ray RT GPU rendering

It seems that the predictions some of us had a few years back about targeting GPU’s as the rendering hub are starting to take shape and are on the way into V-Ray RT. I don’t think this will become available any time soon, perhaps in one years time, but clearly this seems to be what everyone is aiming for.

In the past I was contemplating the use of game engines in our studio for real time solutions, but this latest demo shows one will be able to possibly use the V-Ray RT engine as a real time tool for production and possibly for actual display and recording of walk through sequances.

One other such tool I keep my eyes on is Randomcontrol’s Fryrender RT and their VirtualEditor.