IanT's Experimental Gallery



I’ve never done test tubes before and I suppose they’re in with the theme, although I haven’t worked out how to give the shadows transparency from the glass…


This is using an extension called Sketchy FFD that I’ve spotted around several times, one of the things on my bucket list to try. It basically makes a pre-defined set of guide-points around a group that can be used as handles to move, rotate and scale the geometry within the group. It’s simple to use and I suppose has lots of possibilities. It’s available from SketchUcation for anyone that’s interested.


A few simple shapes made with the Spirix extension, using different starting shapes. Main variables I used were rotation, revolution, delta radius and scale. The interface is a bit daunting at first but once I started to understand it a little I realised how feature rich it really is. The documentation on the Spirix site is much more comprehensive than other extensions I’ve used too. I think I should try out some more complex shapes in the future. After the whole SketchUp rock thing, I only thought it rude not to try it…


Something a little closer to home. I just drew this bench for some practice really, using just native tools and “Trim and Keep” to cut the mortises.

I did a few pages in LayOut to go with it. I have to admit LayOut did bug me a little, but after a few great pointers from DaveR earlier this year I understand the workflow much better.

Here’s the exploded page:


I had an image of some snowflakes and decided to use the Freehand tool to trace it and give a more natural look. A tool that doesn’t seem to get used often. I added an ice texture and used the basic “pencil” style.


I’ve been having a go making some more styles, unfortunately my printer’s on the blink so I had to use some default pencil strokes I already had with Style Builder. With a bit of “DaveR style” inspiration I finished up adding an old paper watermark overlay, something I’ve not experimented with before either. I’ll save this one for later.


A different kind of SketchUp rock. I do think the SketchUp people look pretty good as they are. I thought I’d try to combine that effect with a more realistic look using KerkyThea. I might take this idea a bit further.


Glass transparency works great in Twilight Render V2 (a free rendering program for SketchUp). Just set your glass material to Glass > Common and your shadows should look transparent. By the way, I like your models!


Shortly after I posted the Test Tubes image @jimhami42 sent me a message telling me he had been successful using the “Metropolis Light Transport (bpt)” render engine within Kerkythea. He used it when he ran into the same issue in his “Crookes Radiometer” gallery post. Ironically picked up by me.(Check it out it’s impressive)
I had tried several engines already. Most were fairly quick but the “Metropolis” got aborted as it were going to take a ridiculous amount of time to finish in my estimations. I think the problem lies between using a low power laptop and the fact that when I drew the tubes I went a little nuts with the segments to make sure the glass looked smooth. I’d imagine all those extra faces/edges, especially with glass material really bog the process down.
I have tried a few attempts since with the same slow results. I am new to the world of renderers and don’t really use them for a purpose. I have a desktop that I don’t use that maybe could be upgraded and rigged up for rendering stuff, that could make things a bit faster,
I’ve heard of Twilight, but didn’t realise it were free. I could check it out sometime, do some more experiments. “My SketchUp time” seems limited at the moment though. :slightly_frowning_face:

Thanks for the info and positive comments, I always appreciate them.


Export into Blender and use Blender Cycles it’s pretty powerful. If you can get hold of even an older Cuda based GPU you will see a massive increase in rendering time.


Some of my friends use blender and I think that this software is great. But blender’s interface and navigation is very different to SketchUp. When I tried, I was no able to do anything :wink:


Yes it can be quite intimidating but if you sit down for a few days with some tutorials it starts to make sense. Took me a few months to get used to the interface.


A slightly different version of the SketchUp rock people idea.


Another quick play with a style, this one’s called Sketchy GB.


I wanted to do something for valentine theme and ended up late. I did something anyway just to experiment with some light effects. Rendered raytraced in the end to catch the edges how I wanted. Not quite as clean as I would have liked though…


I thought I’d give Twilight Hobby a try for something to do. I used the old rock project to try it, only using basic SketchUp materials for this one. I do like the fact the rendering is done within SU and the way it handles shadows. First impressions are pretty good. I did some post process effects using Bloom and Vignette.


This is dying to be animated!


I wouldn’t know where to start with that, but I think it would be interesting for sure. I’ve often thought about trying animations for furniture assembly but never got round to it. The animation by Tdahl on the “Mars Viking Lander” was awesome.


Yeah I don’t think any of us are going to top that!

You could probably just use a section cut that travels up the stick vertically? You are talking to the wrong person however I am pants at 3D animation, I stick to good old stop frame!


I’ve named this one “Test Cube”, not a proper cube but derived from one however. A different take on SketchUp to LayOut…