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Using SketchUp for creating models?

Started by fuzion_051, April 16, 2009, 01:18:41 PM

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fuzion_051

I was just wondering if models made from Google SketchUp (Freeware 3d program) can be used to make vehicles and other objects. It's just that I was already able to make various 3D airplanes in different liveries using the program for the past 2 years or so and this thought crossed my mind just recently.

Here's a sample of one of those:

Zeno

I've never used SketchUp to make any model, thus I don't know if it has view/rotate and capturing functionalities; that's all you need to make a vehicle: rotate and take a photo.

Anyway, take care with ADC SketchUp models as many of them are copyrighted. The one in the screenshot seems to be a Philippine Airlines A340-300, made for the ADC competition and copyrighted by its author, so I wouldn't use that one. But I've seen many of them without reference to any license and I wonder wether they could/might be used or not.

fuzion_051

SketchUp has rotational capabilities too. Actually, I've just taken rotational shots of a Lufthansa 747-400 and I'll post it shortly.

Regarding the ADC Competition, most of the plane liveries there are actually designed by me (Nix15) and my brother. We just gave credits to William T, from whom we got the default plane bodies.

Zeno

Wow, that's good news then, as you'll have most of the work already done. You only need now to take 8 pics, one for each view (North, NorthWest, West, SouthWest, and so on...) and write the DAT file. You can take a look on gsc to get some examples on it.

fuzion_051

Here are the rotational shots of a Lufthansa 747-400, designed by me


fuzion_051

continuation of rotational shots


Zeno

Ehm. Sorry, when I said capture I really meant render. If it's a 3D modelling program, even being free it should have rendering capabilities. You also should use the simutrans special color for image background (everything but the plane should be that color), which is #E7FFFF (rgb=231,255,255).
Beware with the scale you use, as each picture (each view) must be 64 pixel height and width. And that's pretty small. Also you can take some references from already done objects to get an idea of what size should have the object inside the 64 pixel image; I don't know if there are any rules in pak64 to draw aircrafts, maybe a pak expert could help better than me with that  :-\

fuzion_051

Oh ok I see. So what does "rendering" mean in terms of 3D modeling programs?

vilvoh

#8
Just get an image of the model or scene. What you have done may be considered screenshots rather than rendered images.

EDIT:

This is what you have shown us, however you need to get eight rendered images like this one, to end joining all views images in a big one

Escala Real...a blog about Simutrans in Spanish...

Zeno

After some googleing I've read most of the time you need an external rendering utility (a program which makes what vilvoh has explained). You may import it using 3d max, blender or another modelling software capable of rendering scenes.

Isaac Eiland-Hall

Quote from: Zeno on April 16, 2009, 01:56:40 PMAnyway, take care with ADC SketchUp models as many of them are copyrighted.

I've a question about that that I put here: http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=1929.0 -- as it was offtopic for this thread.

fuzion_051

Ok. Well I'm still determining if sketchup has rendering capabilities.

vilvoh

Yes It has. Extract from What makes SketchUp great?

QuoteExport TIFF, JPEG and PNG

SketchUp lets you export raster images up to 10,000 pixels square, so generating an image which you can send in an email, publish in a document, or project on a wall is as easy as choosing a few options and clicking Export.

Indeed, the Pro version can export the models into serveral famous 3D formats like 3DS, OBJ, XSI, FBX, VRML and DAE.

I think we have confused you. In 3D Modeling jargon, rendering means to export the result (model or scene) into an image or video.

Escala Real...a blog about Simutrans in Spanish...

fuzion_051

#13
Ok I've seen it. Just a thought though. Would I already need to render the image from sketchup in 64 pixels, or do I use the rendered image and edit it in, let's say MS Paint, in order to modify it into 64 pixels?

EDIT: Also, should the model already have the prescribed background color for simutrans before I render it?

vilvoh

If possible, render it directly to 64x64 format. Edit usually implies rescaling, that almost always turns into a loose of quality

Quote from: fuzion_051 on April 16, 2009, 03:06:59 PM
EDIT: Also, should the model already have the prescribed background color for simutrans before I render it?

You've the answer at Zeno's post:

Quote from: Zeno on April 16, 2009, 02:25:32 PM
You also should use the simutrans special color for image background (everything but the plane should be that color), which is #E7FFFF (rgb=231,255,255).

Escala Real...a blog about Simutrans in Spanish...

fuzion_051

I've already tried rendering it..However, it seemed to be rather blurred as compared to the png images of pak64 planes.  :-\

vilvoh

Could you show us the resulting image? We may give you some tips.

Escala Real...a blog about Simutrans in Spanish...

fuzion_051

Here. The same plane (Lufthansa 747)

P.S.: Sketchup won't let me render at 64x64. It always uses the viewscreen as the basis, so when I type 64 at one box, the other one automatically sets up to 35.

Zeno

The streched size don't matter. You can always fill up to 64 px with the background color.
The image is the problem. It looks like a rescaled image, that's why we recommended you to render it directly; but it seems the render engine is not enough precise  :-\
Maybe you should try an external render, or exporting the model to other rendering tools.

VS

Try running "sharpen" filter in your favourite picture editor on that.

But given the results, I think you simply have too small details. The thing is, if something becomes less than a pixel in the final image... well, poop. I'm afraid there is no easy way out except for

a) changing details' size and lots of postprocessing (blurred edges) - essentially new model and manual repaint anyway
b) changing scale to something more kind
c) some procedure that does something differently (what?)

My projects... Tools for messing with Simutrans graphics. Graphic archive - templates and some other stuff for painters. Development logs for most recent information on what is going on. And of course pak128!

fuzion_051

Are there any free rendering programs available for download?
Also, anyone knows if blender can import 3D models from other 3D modeling programs (I haven't tried using blender yet but I'm downloading it to give it a try).

vilvoh

IIRC, Blender can import OBJ and LW files by default, but for the rest you may need a plugin. see http://www.blender.org/download/python-scripts/import-export/

Escala Real...a blog about Simutrans in Spanish...

fuzion_051

Ok.

Hmm..doing away with the graphics problem, I've already tried creating a png file of the rotational views of another test plane (this time CX B777-300). I've also created a dat file for it and produced a pak file of the vehicle. However, this is the resulting screenshots of the the plane in use in the game.

vilvoh

Known problem, very easy to fix. It happens when the image has the alpha channel (transparency) activated. Just cut and paste the rotations image into another new one.

Escala Real...a blog about Simutrans in Spanish...

fuzion_051

Uhm, could you explain a little bit more about that? Sorry I didn't get it much.

Also, it has problems with the rotational views. The plane doesn't seem to face into the right direction at certain times. It is also sometimes misaligned with the taxiway. (I'll post screenshots of this)

VS

Oversimplified, but anyway. Image exists in computer as array of pixels - and each pixel consists of three components describing the colour (red, green, blue). However, you can add fourth component, that describes how well can the background be seen through. Alpha, transparency, opacity... and makeobj can't deal with it. So you'll have to get rid of that somehow. Depends on your picture editor.

My projects... Tools for messing with Simutrans graphics. Graphic archive - templates and some other stuff for painters. Development logs for most recent information on what is going on. And of course pak128!

fuzion_051

Rotational views of the aircraft as it goes around a taxiway

fuzion_051

Hmm..so how can I deal with it then? I've used ms paint in producing the png file and I've also made one in ms powerpoint

vilvoh

Probably, you may need a better painting program like Pain.NET or GIMP. MS Paint is very simple, iirc it can't deal with transparencies, and powerpoint is useless for this situation.

What you've to do is to cut the original image and paste it into a new image. Then save it and will be fixed (I hope so..) If you've several independent images, repeat the sequence for each one.

Escala Real...a blog about Simutrans in Spanish...

fuzion_051

continuation of rotation images

fuzion_051

I'll overwrite the previous image with a new one, is that it?

VS

Yes, with paint - select all, copy, close, open new paint, paste, save over old file. Case closed.

My projects... Tools for messing with Simutrans graphics. Graphic archive - templates and some other stuff for painters. Development logs for most recent information on what is going on. And of course pak128!

fuzion_051

Ok thanks I've done it. The alignment problems have also been solved.

fuzion_051

Just another question. How are night lights placed on the vehicle (for example, the lights on the wingtip of the aircraft)?

sojo

"English is a easy language. But not for me." ;) sojo

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fuzion_051

I've already done several airlines in different aircraft types, although as I have said, their graphics is pretty much blurred. (I was only concerned into making my airlines identifiable at my "The World" layout, and I think the tails of the aircraft pretty much met up to that criteria). Also, I've only added nightlights to the wingtips as placing some for passenger windows made it messy to look at.

However, I'll upload some here and comments/suggestions would be appreciated.

P.S: how can I upload .pak files here?

vilvoh

Could post some images to have a general idea of what you're talking about?

Quote from: fuzion_051 on April 29, 2009, 08:37:36 AM
P.S: how can I upload .pak files here?

put them in a zip file.

Escala Real...a blog about Simutrans in Spanish...

fuzion_051

Here's a sample. They're generally much smaller than the default passenger planes in the pak.

vilvoh

I'm agree, they should be larger but the graphics look very good. Good work!

Escala Real...a blog about Simutrans in Spanish...

fuzion_051

Here are some zip files

VS

Nice! I'm glad you got over the technical problems :)

My projects... Tools for messing with Simutrans graphics. Graphic archive - templates and some other stuff for painters. Development logs for most recent information on what is going on. And of course pak128!

PlayTrans2009

The British Airways is corrupted. Can you fix it?

I'm using pak96.comic and pak128.Britain. Mostly pak96.comic.
"More money means lesser friendship." Reason: Selfish.

einself

Hey fuzion,

really amazing work which you have done by creating these airplanes.

For the moment I also try to get used to SketchUp, but I have some problems with the alignment, when I'm trying to render the 3D-Models. How did you align the exact camera position? Are there any tutorials or can you give me some hints, please?

Thanks,
einself

fuzion_051

Good day,

Sorry for the late reply. With regards to aligning the camera in sketch-up in order to get the correct views for an object, go to the menu "Camera" then click "Parallel Projection". With that, you can use the isometric view of the object for rendering purposes.  ;)

prissi

Well, all of the images sees corrupt ...

einself

Thanks for your answer. So far it works!

But how do I get the correct size? Is it just try and error, or is there a possibility to regulate the size exactly? Because I'm not a great follower of approximate solutions.

ӔO

how's this for a template?
30-60-90 right triangle prism offset 45 degrees and camera set to parallel for viewing angle.
and even a 3D template box that's not very hard to create.
still not perfect, but should be pretty close.
3200x3200x1309.2mm cube

My Sketchup open project sources
various projects rolled up: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17111233/Roll_up.rar

Colour safe chart:

VS


My projects... Tools for messing with Simutrans graphics. Graphic archive - templates and some other stuff for painters. Development logs for most recent information on what is going on. And of course pak128!