2D pattern into complex 3D bevel surface wood detail on gable roof of historic home

I’m 3D modeling a historic home in the neighborhood I live in (Detroit’s “North End” community) as part of a 3D neighborhood masterplan using SketchUp Pro 2018. This particular home has an insane amount of fine detail in the 3rd floor facade of the gable roof.

For reference, here’s a screenshot of the overall (working) neighborhood plan:

Here is the house itself in the real world juxtaposed with the model:

The particular detail that I’m struggling with is the sun rays, which I currently have as a 2D face with the outline of each ray drawn. I need to figure out how to extrude each ray in such a way that the “top/right/long” edge of each ray is .25" closer to the house than the bottom. I’m not sure what this term is called, but it’s similar to clapboard?

Here’s a side-by-side screenshot of the existing pattern in the real world and the SU version:

Fun additional challenge: I will also be 3D printing this model, so if it’s possible to only have exterior faces, that would be ideal (but I’ll totally take what I can get).

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can do this? I’ve tried a few different things, but none of them are really getting me anywhere.

Here’s a link to the model itself in case you’re interested: 256 Horton SketchUp.skp - Google Drive

@tysongersh I’m not a master in sketchup yet but I think i’ll be able to solve this one for you, and also I turned hidden geometry so you can see there is an extra diagonal line across the face, here’s a link to download the file. Dropbox - 256 Horton SketchUp.skp - Simplify your life

As any carpenter who has built one of those sunbursts can tell you, it is a much more complicated thing than it first appears. If you use standard tapered clapboards, each successive plank twists because it contacts the one below at a different distance from that one’s edge at the periphery vs at the hub, hence at a different thickness. Real clapboards have some flex, so you can bend them to account for the twist, though that makes the fan thicker at the hub than at the periphery. Or you can plane them so that the thickness is constant across the line where the next one will land (i.e. the surface is not flat), which is effectively what @junior has done in SketchUp.

Thanks for the attempt @junior, but the diagonal will result in different reflection in the final render : (

@slbaumgartner I can’t help but feel like this thing would be easier to build in real life than to model lol. Any suggestions on how to make this thing work? lol

Here’s a link to the most up-to-date model. Disregard the current colors:

They are my first attempt to match w the 1898 “Heritage” paint color line.

For a purely cosmetic render (as opposed to weather-tight the way a carpenter would really build it) you could try this admittedly tedious approach:

  • create a component for the basic shape of a clapboard, basically a wedge push-pulled longer than the longest board in the fan.
  • move a copy of the component to align with one of the board outlines in the fan. Easiest to move one corner to align at the outside bottom then rotate around green to get the bottom edge aligned with the bottom of the fan board at the hub.
  • make the copy unique (so that the edits below don’t wreck the original!)
  • select the flat board outline and edit->cut it
  • open the copied clapboard for edit and paste in place
  • push-pull the pasted shape through the clapboard using ctrl key to retain the start face and let it go fully through the other side
  • select all and do Intersect Faces with selection
  • erase the extra parts outside the tapered portion

Repeat the above for each additional board in the fan. You will be able to see how the thickness at the seam increases from the outside toward the hub, which is why this shape can’t really be made without twisting the boards. But the approach above will create a passable illusion.

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I actually think I figured it out through a similar strategy - sorry I meant to post this earlier to spare anyone the trouble of trying to answer it.

I basically made each ray a unique group, then push/pulled it out to .5 inches, then selected only the “top” outmost line (edge?) with the move tool and moved it backwards along the particular axis .25 inches. It seems to have worked?

I was able to use this strategy to apply the clapboard on the triangular 3rd floor side and rear exteriors as well, though ran into some trouble with the pieces that overlap the corner of the windows / doors. This strategy only works if the face being moved is completely straight/runs the whole length of the group, otherwise it moves the edges independant of one another and creates a non-flat surface. To get around this, removed the cut out that goes around the window (made the “top” completely flat/straight) and adjusted it like the other boards, then intersected the faces w the window/door groups. This didn’t work outright, so I re-opening the board group and manually traced over the edges that intersected with the window/door group and was able to deleted the overlap, without compromising the structure of the board.

here’s the link if anyone wants to check the file for the semi-final product: 256 Horton SketchUp Updated.skp - Google Drive

I was using the floor generator tool to generate the roof tiles per the tutorial here: Sketchup - Fast 3D Roof Tiles and Shingles - YouTube

But couldn’t get the grid to orient the right direction on the rear portion of the roofs, so I only did the front two. Was eventually going to go back and do it manually, but hoping there’s another solution cause that will take HOURS lol.

My issue now is that I’m trying to upload the file to SketchFab and I keep getting error code 31, which says “This error occurs during material processing. Some common causes are very complicated scenes with many unique materials and textures. It can also be caused by unsupported features that we don’t recognize, especially in Blender files. It’s best to apply any modifiers and convert everything to meshes.”

I’m not even sure which part of the file is complicated or how to fix it. I had no problem uploading this arguably similar file: 451 Horton - 3D model by TysonGersh [c8f8087] - Sketchfab

So I’m not sure how to proceed. Any suggestions?

Nevermind, I figured it out! Here’s the link: 256 Horton St. Detroit, MI 48202 - Buy Royalty Free 3D model by TysonGersh [894d866] - Sketchfab Store

I was able to solve the problem by exploding most of the groups. I’m not certain, but I think the problem was that SketchFab doesn’t handle components very well - the uploader worked just fine once I exploded all of the groups that had contained components.

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