Sketchup Illustration & Similar Work


Last one for the day, just a quick test this morning to work on some clay shaders:

I have one in the oven now, no idea how long it’s going to take;


Just about made it, 14 hours… I am a big fan of the expanse if you could not guess!


These are what were called “Turntable Movies” in Upfront, and it provided a tool specially just for setting them up. Trying to do them in native SketchUp produces undesirable results; instead of a smooth turning motion, you get a bouncing motion from one keyframe to the next. There have been other threads on this problem with some not great workarounds. It would be nice not to have to go out to third party animation software/plugins to do it, but so it goes. Can you choose a lower quality/faster render style when you make these?


This is the native export form Keyshot that also had a turntable function built in (either rotate model or camera). Yes you can but for the amount of detail on this ship in particular even rendering at 1024px was not enough.

You can see flickering on the details around the liquid storage tanks. Ideally I would have outputted this at 4k with a higher sample rate but I did not have time.

I have in fact built a rig to export turntable animations from SketchUp. One of my first freelance jobs was to create a 360. To do this I built a circle around the model on another layer and then created line points for each rotation.

For example, a 5 second turntable animation at 24fps would have 120 rotations at equal intervals.

I then rotate the model group by each rotation exporting an image each time.It took a few goes to master but it worked no problem.

If I have time after work I can show you but my PC is rendering and I dare not open any other software right now to make an example!


Good point. With planning, you don’t have to go nuts and do more than that.


As long as you line up the camera with the exact center of rotation for the model you don’t get that weird wobble effect either.The pain comes with hiding and showing the layer with the guide on 120+ times! I am sure one could write a script for the whole process quite easily if you have the Ruby know how.


You might try playing around with this plugin: spirix_orbit.rb (1.3 KB)

It produces 360 scenes about the origin using the camera and view settings you start with.


Oh awesome I will check it out. In most uses cases, in order to get a prettier shadow map (since a lot of my work is hard shadows 100%) I have always tried to rotate the model rather than the camera but this is a good find cheers!


If you link the light source to the rotation of the camera you should end up with the same result?


Can you rotate the sun on an axis in SketchUp? wow never knew that, all these years I have been painfully rotating the model to match the sun :joy:


don’t know if you can rotate the sun in your particular renderer, but you can certainly set up a hard spotlight that would work the same.


Oh yes, in this case we were talking about native SketchUp.

But in most engines, yes you can rotate any light source.


Playing with some styles, this time the toon shader in Keyshot. Heavily inspired by the work of Ben Nicholas who is going through a cool Mobeius phase at the moment. I used his clouds in the backdrop.




Have you ever put your twist on something like one of the “power loader” machines from the Aliens films? Or any stuff from that series? Thats very nostalgic for me and I think it would fit your theme well.


Yes, a long time ago, let me see if anything is floating around online… Aliens was a big inspiration for a lot of stuff over the years.

Ed: Just found this from 2010, I think the legs were from the 3D warehouse if not more. I have got a power loader somewhere as I remember making it for a University animation project, also the Sulaco too.


Very nice. I’ve never been that much of a sci-fi fan but we used to play those vhs tapes to death when we were teenagers. I reckon I could still narrate the whole Aliens film!
Speaking of illustration, when I were at school there used to be a guy who stood in the yard on his own at break times, a real quiet character. He stood and drew xenomorphs in an art book. No kidding they were incredible and had to be seen to be believed I suppose. Everyone who saw them were blown away by how accurate his sketches were.


Giving this new graphics tablet a workout. No thanks to @MikeWayzovski and my terrible impulse buying haha.

I have to say, if anybody is looking for an upgrade, the new Cintiq is by far the best I have used so far. I have a Cintiq in work but would never buy one for home/hobby use until now.

Having multi touch gesture is a game changer, especially on my Mac in Creative Cloud.


Almost calling this one finished now, it’s a rebuild of a model from two years ago but in a new style with revised models: