Happy New Year!
Wish you all best!
I’ve yet to meet a SketchUp modeler who doesn’t—at least just a little bit—want to work in the video game design industry. I get a stupid grin on my face when I think about how much fun it it would be to make battle tanks and exploding oil drums and secret doors for hidden basements full of zombies. In the gaming world, boring things like gravity and cost take a backseat to novelty and sheer coolness.
But how to turn your SketchUp habit (and job cranking out toilet stall details) into days full of armor design and wandering through bad neighborhoods looking for interesting photo-textures to shoot?
Google SketchUp for Game Design is Robin de Jongh’s newest book; he also wrote SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization. It presumes that you’re a SketchUp beginner, but then quickly gets on to the good stuff:
Robin’s writing is accessible and easy to follow. He packs a lot of information into each page, but manages to keep the tone friendly and even funny at times. While the book’s in black and white, color versions of the images are available from the publisher’s website.
Odds are, you’ve encountered Harald Belker’s work before. As a leading Hollywood concept artist, Harald is the man behind several iconic movie vehicles. His vehicular creds include:
The guy’s got serious game.
So you can imagine our delight when our friends at Filter Foundry told us that Harald was using SketchUp extensively on his latest project, PULSE: the complete guide to the future of racing. We immediately reached out to Harald who happily agreed to tell us more.
“I can somehow just create in SketchUp,” Harald explains. “It allows me to visualize my ideas very quickly, giving me free range to explore. I literally use SketchUp the way I used to sketch with a pencil.”
Harald starts with a SketchUp model and uses Photoshop to bring it to life.He continues, “SketchUp allows me to very easily create an environment for any vehicle I have designed. The typical application for SketchUp is to model something in 3D, set up the perspective, export the image and use that as an underlay for an illustration in Photoshop.”
This evolution of a space through SketchUp and Photoshop.Speaking more broadly about SketchUp’s role in the movie industry, Harald tell us that “once it caught on, it spread like wildfire. Now everybody I know is using it.”
He continues, “Since a lot of people I work with are using SketchUp, it’s a great crossover platform, too. I can model something in SketchUp and I can send that file to somebody who adds something else to it, and it sort of becomes this thing that everybody adds to.”
An electric race from the pages of PULSE.Thankfully, Harald believes it’s the “natural obligation” of an industry vet to share acquired knowledge, and to make good, he’s posting a series of SketchUp quick tips on Filter Foundry. His first tip shows “how easy it is to create good tires in SketchUp.” Stay tuned for more.
Harald is offering SketchUp tips on Filter Foundry.As a final note, it’s worth mentioning that Harald got into SketchUp the way most of us did: by modeling (or at least attempting to model) his own house.
“The way I learned SketchUp was on a tip from a friend, who said to just make your own house in SketchUp.” With a big grin, Harald continues, “Before I was even close to finishing my own house, I started designing my dream house. It ended up being 15,000 square feet. It’s a little big, but there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big.”