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Modeling Terrain and Other Rounded Shapes

Terrain is important to many SketchUp modelers: Your building needs ground to stand on, or maybe you’re modeling the ground itself to create a landscape.

Position Texture Tool: Projecting a material

Projecting a material

Optimizing photos for geo-modeling

You should use some kind of photo management/editing tool to manage, process and edit the pictures you take for geo-modeling. The tool you choose should be able to:

Customizing Your Model’s Background

In SketchUp, you see a tan and blue background that suggests the earth and sky. The default background might be great for buildings, but looks a little strange for a model of a rocking chair, as shown in the upper-left corner of the figure.

Customizing a Model’s Background with Styles

Your model’s style contains background settings. To customize a model’s background, you can choose the background, sky, and ground colors or use a photo background.

In the figure, the background colors make the space rover model appear to be somewhere Mars-like.

Controlling Visibility with Layers

In SketchUp, layers control your geometry’s visibility.

Sculpting and Fine-Tuning Terrain

Whether you import terrain into SketchUp or create your terrain completely from scratch, you likely need to sculpt your terrain or make minor adjustments.

Creating Terrain from Scratch

In SketchUp, importing preexisting terrain is your easiest route to creating terrain. However, the tools for creating terrain from scratch are useful in the following scenarios:

Adding Colors and Textures with Materials

To add detail and realism to your models, SketchUp enables you to paint materials on faces. Materials are essentially paints that have a color and optional texture (defined within an image file).

Setting Up Templates

Your model’s template determines your model’s default settings. SketchUp includes several templates for common applications, like architecture, construction, urban planning, landscape architecture, woodworking, interior and production design, and 3D printing.

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