Here is my idea quickly scrawled in the back of my Moleskine. Even though I never looked at this again while modeling, the fact that I had worked out what components need to me made and how they’d be Skattered, etc, it really helped provide a clear direction that kept me moving at a fast pace at the end of the day.
And here is the beach model we were all asked to start with. I wanted to leave it untouched so I copied the sand front face and pasted it outside the model and grouped it. Original Model here: https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/9148cee4-7a3e-4ad2-b87e-ce03b5861123/3D-Modeling-Challenge-1-Beach
I then extruded the face to give me some new sand area to work with.
I then added a grid over the new terrain.
Draped the grid using sandbox tools.
Used Artisan sculpt brush to add rolling undulations to the seafloor…as if waves had created the patten in the sand.
I then copied and stretched the seafloor terrain to show a steep drop off.
I then further manipulated the very deepest part of the seafloor using Artisan again.
Here is the finished seafloor.
Next was to extend the water out to cover the new seafloor.
I then brought the water down to encapsulate the area I was working with.
And then intersected it with the seafloor and trimmed bottom off….which I realize now I didn’t need to do as I used Fog to create the water effect and ended up turning this water group off.
Onto the rocks…Here I used freehand draw tool to create some various shapes.
I then extruded each a bit.
Then used Eneroth’s Erode to fracture them and found some seamless textures to apply.
Finally I get to Skatter some components. I used the bottom floor bed only as the Skatter surface and randomized the rocks to cover most of the sand.
Here they are scattered and generated as full geometry in model. Normally I’d keep as proxies but since I was uploading to 3D Warehouse I needed everything fully loaded.
I had to do some manual adjustments as Skatter overlapped a bunch and I wanted to reduce model geometry and fill in some gaps.
Next for the seaweed. I used Bezier Curve extension to draw a few reverse curves.
Then used PipeAlongPath extension to give diameter to lines…which will become the seaweed stems.
Now to make the seaweed leaves. I started with cutting out a texture and then later switched to PNG as I needed to reduce polygon count.
Then to make the little air bubble end of the leaf where it attaches to the stem. Here I used FollowMe tool to make a sphere.
Then used FollowMe tool again to make the tapered end.
Then painted it a color similar to the leaf itself and made it a component with the axis at the tip of the bubble taper as that’s where I want it base the Skatter distribution from.
Here I used the stem as the Skatter mesh and arranged the leaves randomly and adjusted the density till it looked ok.
Then I generated the leaves in the model…adding way too much geometry but again, I normally export to Proxy and let the render engine do the work…The leaves pointed down for some reason so I just flipped the whole thing along it’s Blue Axis.
Then I Skattered multiple stems randomly to create a seaweed massing component.
Here you can see a section slice though the whole thing with seaweed groups placed around rocks.
Now for the house. Repeated FollowMe trick to create large sphere this time.
Cut into the sphere so I could work inside of it. Create some floors with hole cut out to allow access between floors.
Added tube from the top as way to get in from surface. And ladder down tube.
Added boat as you need to get to the tube hatch somehow. I know the boat looks like it’s filling with water but I also know I’m capturing a view from below so didn’t worry about it.
Here’s a progress shot of potential view looking back towards beach. I’ve added blue fog and a blue transparent watermark in SU to simulate underwater effect.
First test pass in VRAY. This time using VRAY’s Volumetric Environment to achieve the same murky water look.
Next I wanted to add some bubbles coming up from rock fissures. Here I made, yet anther sphere component, and this time Skattered it across a tapered mesh. This is because I wanted narrower bubbles at the source and wider as they rise/spread out.
Simple clear glass material assigned to bubbles.
Now to add fish! I used to see the amazingly orange Garibaldi swimming around the coves and rocks in Laguna Beach so figured they’d play nicely off the cool tones of the water.
Imported fish image and traced–separating out the fin from the body as I knew the fin should be a separate group so it can project at an angle.
Then I extruded slightly and ran Artisan’s ‘subdivide and smooth’ tool. I know it’s a little flat and could have worked harder to taper it out more but was pressed for time.
Here’s nearly completed shot from within SU with fish and bubbles added.
Another pass looking the opposite way with material override on so I can focus just on lighting. Added simple spot light in foreground to hopefully create look of when dappled sun rays filter in from surface.
I wanted to use the water texture at the surface to create a rippling effect shimmering from above as you’d see if the surface was foamy and active.
So this water texture is a png and the white was information that was removed in Photoshop to allow light to pass through it. Looking back, even though I lightened the image from what it was before, it renders a bit dark and could be lightened more.
Here I applied the PNG to a large surface texture to cover everything that shows up in the view.
Same thing but looking up at it from below.
Here is same view but now with rocks and fog in SU to show how the surface ripple texture really adds a lot to the scene.
Quick pass at rendering the surface texture to confirm that it works ok.
Final rendered view with fish and all! Definitely needs work but as an experiment and half a days work, I’d say it was a success.
This tutorial provides an overview of the Color by Slope Plugin by Chris Fulmer. This tool comes in hand for creating simple slope analysis in SU.
Download plugin her:
This tutorial looks at the method for creating quick contour lines in SU from imported Google Earth terrain. This feature comes in handy when no topo or survey data is available for a site. Contours can then be flattened and exported to Illustrator or CAD for further refinement and integration into other drawings.
This tutorial covers the basic methodology for approaching entourage, texture and color edits to an exported SketchUp view using Photoshop. The tutorial looks at three different examples of views that need post production edits in order to be more technically accurate and visually appealing. These view are: 1. ground-level perspective view, 2. section cut, 3. plan view shadow study.
Some of the post production techniques covered here include: distorting textures to match perspective, adding people and shadows, adding and manipulating background sky textures, using brush presets for shrubs and clouds, adding atmosphere to give sense of distance, and much more.