View Full Version : My first sketchup - Mecha WIP
August 15th, 2009, 02:27 PM
Well I finally got bitten by the sketchup bug and perhaps rather predictably began constructing a mecha. I've only created the top half so far but it seems reasonable.
I think I might struggle to create complex curved topologies in sketchbook but I remember seeing something about a plugin called soap skin bubble or something. Does anyone know if that works with Sketchup 7?
August 15th, 2009, 02:37 PM
Damn that SketchUp bug! :P Definitely digging the mech so far.
I recall trying soap skin sometime ago but never really got into using it. Pretty sure it works in 7 since I haven't encountered any plugins that worked for 6 that didn't work for 7. Another plugin I downloaded a while ago but never got around to using is http://forums.sketchucation.com/viewtopic.php?f=180&t=18210
This one seemed a bit easier to use than Soap Skin which is why it interested me.
If your having a problem with trying to do something specific let me know I can probably help. I seem to be able to find a way of doing what I need to do without the use of plugins.
August 15th, 2009, 04:18 PM
Thanks Chirp Chirp, initially I didn't see the advantage of shape bender over 'follow me' but I see that it does offer a few tricks that follow me couldn't quite pull off.
In the most part you're probably right about not requiring plugins (although soap skin looks VERY powerful) but the one thing I really miss when I'm using Sketchup (aside from UV mapping tools of course) is the ability to directly manipulate CVs (at least that's what they're called in maya - the little nodes that join the sticks?).
I've found that by selecting the move tool first I can then click on a CV point and move it in a constrained fashion but that doesn't quite cut it.
Is there any way of doing that natively or perhaps a plugin that allows for more direct control over the mesh?
Soap Skin Bubble
EDIT: thinking about it, the whole issue with CVs might be my bad. It's been taking me a while to get used to the whole inferencing thing so maybe that was it. I'll have play with it more, but in the mean time - any advice, tutorial or plugin advice would be massively appreciated.
August 15th, 2009, 04:55 PM
Ya there are two ways.
The primary way I manipulate the points is by using the scale tool. Select a segment, hit scale, grab the middle control point along the axis you want to scale and scale up or down and it will give you direct control over there points on either end.
The second method is using the terrain tools. After setting a brush size the terrain tools will always push the mesh up and down. However, if you hold shift you can bend the mesh based off the normal of the segment you are hovering on.
Also remember you can change the world axis to help too. Do a search for axis and axes in the system preferences shortcuts and bind both to keys next to each other. One allows you to set a new axis while the other resets it to the normal position. This will allow you to model off world axis with out having to continuously reorient the object.
I've successfully done car bodies, trees and vegetation, rocks and even some more human shaped mech armor stuff. Let me know if it works out or if you are still having troubles.
August 15th, 2009, 05:52 PM
Here is a good video of the scale tool trick being used to model in SU.
Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzDM_JrHCGM&feature=related
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pz7IXpTMMk&feature=related
Sometimes you just have to think outside the box a bit. Both literally and figuratively :)
After you watched that check this out... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wikMNHMQ1w8&feature=related
All done in SU by the same guy that did the character video. So anytime time you think there is something you can't do with the normal tools just watch that video again.
August 20th, 2009, 09:52 AM
This is great! I love the colors. Please keep it updated.
August 20th, 2009, 12:25 PM
Wow, those videos are all amazing but it reminds me of why I'm ever keen to polish my freehand skills. That character modelling demo looked so laborious and time consuming - it would be much quicker for me to paint something like that on my Wacom. That said, for the purposes of a comic book, that would entail redrawing every scene and pose - so there are of course huge benefits to 3D.
Thanks for the interest Arkanjel. I'm not getting much free time to experiment with Sketchup atm - and when I do I keep wanting to change everything about the original design. That said, I'm plodding along and fiddling with the model whenever I get the chance.
September 12th, 2009, 07:36 PM
:bounce: Cool mecha! Has a retro style feel. How did you get these renders with the edges still intact :a?:
September 29th, 2009, 05:30 PM
It's just a composite I put together in pshop. Basically I just did a default render with V-ray and then exported the lines as a jpeg at the same resolution. From there it's just a matter of dropping the line work over the render and setting it to multiply.
I haven't had much time to work on this project but the final piece will be rendered 'by hand' in photoshop, as opposed to relying on v-ray or whatever. Ultimately I want to create a composite image with a painterly/graffiti style.
October 10th, 2009, 11:01 AM
But here are some helpful plugins:
Soap Skin Bubble: http://www.tensile-structures.de/sb_software.html
There are quite a few excellent plugins available at Sketchucation forums, but you have to register to download them. But it's totally worth it.
Fredo Scale: http://forums.sketchucation.com/viewtopic.php?f=180&t=17948#p144180
Those might help. :P
October 23rd, 2009, 06:26 AM
A surprising direction you gave to your mech. DiscJockey-Bot 9000! The music he plays is always good. No exceptions or bloodshed will ensue. :D
Also looks like you gave him two pairs of legs?
October 27th, 2009, 04:10 PM
I liked the last picture. The atmosphere is solved interesting and picturesque.
thanks for the posts.