September 29, 2009

Graveyard Update

A quick update to show the progress on my graveyard scene. Pretty much done, as far as SketchUp goes. Now to see how I can mess it up in Photoshop. (Click on image to view full size.)

September 25, 2009


Coming up on Halloween, my absolute, favorite holiday (which is saying something as there's no big meal involved!) I'll probably post some appropriately creepy web stuff as I find it. But first, here's a few cracked and weathered tombstones I did a while ago when I was contemplating doing my own scary monster comic. I still plan on getting around to that. (Click on images to view full size.)

You're saying "So what?" Well, all I had to do was make, and detail, a few like these. Then, after generating a simple hilly terrain section, I was able to copy and place as many as needed to populate this spooky graveyard scene. The twisted wrought iron fence sections helped to add cool shadows. The hard part, so far, was getting the atmosphere right by minutely adjusting the shadow and fog settings. I'm thinking of adding some sort of crypt or mausoleum on the right side to balance it out. Once again, I'll send it to Photoshop to add details like bats, dead grass, etc.

I'm determined to get this done before Halloween.

September 22, 2009


Monorail utilizing some kind of magnetic levitation or... something, I don't know. I got it floating about a foot above the inward curving track. I've always loved the sleekness of Disney's cockpit cars and wanted something that would give the operator a wide field of view. Hence, the curved glass dome/windshield. But that alone seemed implausible, so I added those small tubular safety bar things that follow the lines of the dome (click on images to view full size.)

A closer view of the cockpit. Behind the two pilot's chairs is a small sofa, coffee table and opposite, a single seat and wall mounted fire extinguisher.

This one's a little confusing but behind the cockpit (through the half open, glass pocket door) is a small galley with coffee maker, microwave and mini fridge.

Behind all that is a small passenger cabin. I haven't added too many people yet. These are the basic 3D figures from the Google warehouse, but look how they're posed. Like uptight jerks.

An exterior view of the passenger cars showing the glass end viewport sections. Don't ask me how the cars are connected or what keeps them from bashing into each other. The magnets do it, okay?

Back inside the passenger car, here's the glass end viewport, cabinet with emergency equipment and fire extinguisher. One thing I haven't figured out yet is cabin lights. But since Sketchup only provides one light source (the sun), I couldn't use them for shadows anyway (speaking of shadows, notice how I lucked out with the light settings.)

Finally, here's one from ground level. Those boring angled support columns are temporary, until I figure out something better.

September 21, 2009

Astro Lab cont.

A few more views before bed. First, here's one from inside the entrance on the second floor.

And one inside the dome, at the base of dish.

Finally, an opposite view of the covered walkway. That whole courtyard below seems really bare. The tough part is going to be populating it with benches, fountains, people, etc. without cluttering it up.

Astro Lab

To give you the general idea of what I'm doing, here are a few pics of a work in progress. It's some kind of Astronomy lab campus with the huge dish and dome w/curved windows. Notice the lack of trees and foliage at this stage. 3D trees, even simple low polygon ones, bog down my poor 'ol computer. I put them, and the people, on separate layers that I can turn on and off to speed things up. The trees are really just to help me with shadows. When I've taken this as far as I can in Sketchup, I'll save certain angles to Photoshop and paint over them to make 2D renders.

Here's the curved entrance. It still needs planters, benches, maybe some tables and chairs on the balcony and some kind of fountain/sculpture thing.

I added this quaint little optical observatory to give the place a sense of history and to help emphasize the scale of the big dish.

The observatory leads to the elevated covered walkway and staircase. Again, needs lots of shrubs, planters, benches, etc. Where does the walkway lead to? I might connect it to a monorail terminal I'm designing (which I'll post soon.) But I might just be lazy and extend it off frame and let the viewers use their imagination.

Listen all y'all!

Welcome to my blog. As the title suggests, the bulk of the posts will be to display my meager attempts in using the Sketchup 3D program. I'm not sure what goal I'm trying to attain, I just have these nutty half ideas and Sketchup is a fun and intuitive way to interpret them. Also, I'll throw in the occasional rant and cool pic/story/news item I found on the web. It might relate to what I'm doing, or not. But I'll try to stay focused. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy!
Creative Commons License
SketchUp/Screw-up by Timothy P. Butler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.