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Google SketchUp Ballpark University

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  • Google SketchUp Ballpark University

    While bkhockey3 is busy melting our faces with unrepentant awesomeness, there exists a creepier subset of fools who partake in a program called Google SketchUp. It is free and very user-friendly.....once you figure out how exactly its user-friendly. Over time I've received words which constitute sentences that a sketchup helpy-hoo thread is desireable, so here it is hotdamnit!

    Clams cooked here may include:
    - design [why the heck]
    - modeling [how the heck]
    - textures [ooh the heck]
    - rendering [see the heck]

    Ingredients needed:
    - Google SketchUp [its free and cool]
    - anything not MSPaint. [its free but lame] ...GIMP is a good freeware alternative.

    I personally use Macromedia Fireworks because the name sounds goofy.


    And before the pain begins, here is a sample of what this tomfoolery may well produce:
    (rendered in Sketchup, tweaked with Fireworks)
    Attached Files

  • #2
    We all start somewhere, so heres where I was late 2008.
    Since sketchup makes it real easy to generate solid planes, the model was a mess [many segments bisecting what should be solid planes] cause my brains could not comprehend how exact angles and measurements must be for it all to jibe. I'd have to add another segment in the middle of my un-exact plane to complete a 'solid plane' [when really i'm making 2joined triangles], the consequence being that adding textures to these forms would look like poo.

    About the only thing that looks good here is the field. Scaling was 1 pixel=1foot from the pic to sketchup. Problems here though are that the bases look like huge blobs and for some reason sketchup has the tendency to wave-ify huge textures, so clearer views of the foul lines show them looking wobbly.

    I was stuck at this level boss for a few months. I said 'eff it' and played some basketball instead.
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Anyways, I came crawling back. Focusing on modeling problems me fatal flaw was copying and reusing line segments for other parts thinking that just modifying the length as necessary would leave everything groovy. When it comes to angles, this just be not the case apparently. Thats where you make use of the 'offset tool'. What the hell does that do?

      Pic below.

      Whats going down here is that I've already made the profile of the stands that i'll follow for construction. I have the leading edge of the grandstand area selected in blue and i used the offset tool to create a second version of those segments, and set them to join the rear stands. I now have a geometrically solid footprint for the stands. Yay.

      Offset can be used for alot. By using the stands profile as a location anchor reference you can make most of whats behind the plate.

      mini tip: at this stage i'd check my upperdeck angle by extruding a section out, 'sit down' in the stands and see if i can see the plate and a decent view of foul territory. Extrude using the option 2-above the offset one. uppderdecks that arent in a functional grade tend to look creepy.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        And heres it further along below. The 2nd profile was to check extruded upperdeck views from behind ze plate. I've only done 1/2 of whats behind the plate cause it will save time on installing details. Ye can complete half then copy->mirror image it then attach later. Also i dont do the upperdeck at this stage so i can have an easier time installing the details deep under what would be the UD.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Once the field level is tricked out, i worky on the UD 'offsite'. Creeps who use heavy jazz like 3dmax or CAD do alot of component-ing but again...sketchup can fool ye into doing way more than you should, where you shouldnt early on.

          When its textured out and such, then ill snap it in place.
          Also you see a stairs/tunnel component just floating there. Making components definitely helps you out, so you think broadly, then leave the soulsucking details once yer ready and need em. In this case, i built one set of stairs/tunnel in the stands then copied it away to make it a component. Then i copied and installed the component 3 more times. Of course the 3rd time behind the plate to install it i had to rotate it. More on that in a few....but next up...building the tunnel.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Below should be an animated GIF of wth i'm about to explain. If its not well.....ya got what you paid for!
            By frames:

            1. The excavation for the tunnel.
            Draw a square on the seat plane then 'cut it out' by deleting it. The little walkway into the tunnel is on a decline cause the entrance is 8 ft. I know this cause i made a line segment from the top corner of the cut straight down, and using the Tools ->Entity Info bar i made the seg 8 ft tall by inputing the info in. From this seg as a reference you can simply fill in the walls.

            2. The planes that will mutate into fences.
            These are 3 ft in height. Also note i added an extra bit of space between the top of the tunnel and the bottom of the fence so it looks neater from a distance.

            And if yer wondering how the 3d stair was made, it was a rectangle drawn on that little curb facing you. Then that rect was divided in 1/2 and the lower half extruded out a foot or 2.

            3. Textures are applied.
            And they look like crap cause they havent been set yet.

            4. So you apply them textures right.
            And you do this by selecting the face ->right click->texture->position. Now you need to play with that doohickey that popped up.

            5. Play with the doohickey.
            But what do each of the colored doohickeys do?

            Red - for aligning that texture vertex to the plane vertex you are applying the texture to. You want to do this so the doohickey helps the other colored doohickeys know what to do accurately.

            Green- for rotating AND scaling the texture. Both options will use the red vertex as its orientation/fulcrum guide.
            This is what is being used in this frame to get the texture angle to match that of the railing plane.

            Yellow- for distorting the perspective of the texture. You pretty much only need this if your texture was a photo taken at an angle but want to stretch it about till it looks correct on your model. I dont use this because i do my texture finagling in Fireworks first....Why? if you need to reuse this texture often, manually setting the perspective distortion every time would be a total pain.

            Blue- for skewing/shearing the texture. We're using that in frame 6.

            6. Skewing the railing to match orientation of plane.
            Here the blue vertex is snapped to the corner vertex of the railing. Simple as that.

            7. Beauty shot of the tunnel.
            You can save time by coping the 1st completed railing and snapping it to the other side.
            Note the top railing. To have the texture conform neatly to the dimensions of that railing plane you'll need to make use of red, blue, and green doohickeys. Red to align it, green to scale the length, and blue to scale height....to neatly smush the texture in there.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Nice!
              I have been taking a totally different approach and I cannot get my ballpark to look anything like yours.
              You are the master!

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              • #8
                This is amazing! Thanks so much. If you don't mind, I would love to get that seat and railing texture.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Okey dokey creeps, I've infected Google 3D warehouse with a file that should help ye out. It has most components to get ye booked into nightclubs, yet actually force you to do crap.

                  Baseball Ballpark Field Template



                  So I've pretty much killed the thread now ...awesome.

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                  • #10
                    Far from it! You can't build something... if you don't know how to use the tools. Or you can't use the tools, if you don't know how to use them. Or some metaphor like that. At any rate, this has been extraordinarily helpful, all of this. If there's one thing I want to know, it's how to create the steelwork on the side of the stands. Do you kind of use one texture and then rotate it, or what?
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by abc006 View Post
                      If there's one thing I want to know, it's how to create the steelwork on the side of the stands. Do you kind of use one texture and then rotate it, or what?
                      Heres a naked look at that element below.
                      So theres a transparent texture that gives way to a solid one to create illusion of depth. Also using a scaffolding texture where concrete slabs should be to make that area look 'busy'. All 3 instances of non transparent angled beam structure (roof, UD, field level roof) are the same texture, just differently plotted onto the plane.

                      From this vantage point this area looks like crap (floating where no human would actually be), but at the angles ballparks are typically photographed/inhabited its all good. I'm lazy like that.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Oh yeah, i forgot to say that a big part of me learning this jazz was going on 3D warehouse and pulling crap apart. So in the spirit of pulling crap, I humbly submit ze finished ballpark for ye consideration:

                        Avalon Park


                        I'm here to answer any questions you may have!

                        ...unless they are stupid ones, then i'll just laugh maniacally at your general direction.

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                        • #13
                          A bit about textures.....to get your show on ze road you tend to just jack whatever , but at some point that noot cool enough and ye want to make your own to more accurately finagle your vision. Theres no other way around it then to work it.

                          Seating textures are quite the bitch because you need to have one that looks good from overhead and straight-on views. It is possible to make 3d seating (and i have, and its awesome) but at least on my machine, any more than around 100 of those and sketchup grounds to a halt cause thats wayy too much for it to handle.

                          Here is how i came to my solution.

                          - found a head-on pic of someone selling an old wrigley seat

                          - did a quick cleanup of the background

                          - more through nip/tuck and moved the seat marker to middle of backing...aaand its grayscale

                          - so my seating template is ready. its in grayscale so i can select and change the color hues to fit the ballpark. the concrete, seats, and markers exist on different layers (available in png format) so i can easily edit their properties.

                          - if i want green, i make em green then export that modification as a jpeg. the jpeg (which is a smaller filesize than png) is the one that goes into the model.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Great thread! I've been hoping this would arrive for a couple of years now. Any more instruction you have for us?
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Specifically I've always been puzzled with making a good exterior. Same with outfield seating
                              sigpic

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