This video takes a look at the power of Sketchup Components, and how they can speed up your design process. The upcoming Vehicle Design Start to Finish utilizes Sketchup, but due to time constraints I decided to emphasize the other aspects of the process. As a result, I want to elaborate on Components in this free video - because the system is just too cool to pass up. If you've never used Sketchup, make sure to download it today (it's free!), and start playing around!

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AuthorMatt Kohr
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As a followup to the Sketchup for Backgrounds mini-series, I want to explain the concept of a 'paint-over'. This is not an excuse to skip learning to draw, but rather a shortcut for experienced painters. Before digital art was possible, commercial artists have done plenty of tracing in their work - and it was totally acceptable. This was not because the artists weren't very good at drawing - it was merely a time saver which allowed them to meet their deadlines. Using a 3D render (from sketchup or elsewhere) is the same concept -- it saves time for the artist. Again, it's not a pass which allows you to skip learning perspective drawing. Update: In response to some of the comments about the Sketchup series, I've created a quick video which will hopefully clear up the confusion. View it here.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
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This continues the mini-series by looking at the Sketchup 'texturing' process. This is when you apply color and surfaces to the blank white 3D models, making them look much more convincing. If you've never worked with a texture in 3D before this might seem abstract, but the knowledge is very useful if you plan to enter the game industry.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
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Adding a cityscape in the background of an illustration really ups the 'wow factor', but can be an unacceptable amount of extra labor. A little 3D can change all of that. This video series uses Google Sketchup as a tool to speed up the process of creating a detailed background. Eventually you'll paint over the 3D render, but it serves as a fantastic 'under-drawing'. Note: This three part series won't show you every button to press in sketchup, but instead -  a compelling reason to figure them out.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
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Drawing symmetrical objects in perspective can be a challenge. In situations like this, I generally use Google Sketchup to help me with my accuracy This video explores the powerful tools that Sketchup provides for working with repeated shapes and symmetrical forms. Even if you're saying "Yeah, yeah - symmetry is no big deal in perspective..." would you change your tune if I asked you to draw an object that 7-sided with rotational symmetry? Sometimes a little bit of 3D saves a lot of time.

Thumbnail sketches are small drawings which help plan your larger, finished, works. There's noting 'finished' about them, and they are generally thrown away once you begin the final piece. So why not use 3D software to help generate some ideas? As far as 3D software goes, Sketchup is very basic and straightforward. Even if you aren't interested in making complex models in 3D, doing a quick block-in of your scene and then moving around it in 3D space can help you select dramatic camera angles.

Have you ever tried 3D modeling before? Many digital painters answer "no" to this question, though even a small amount of 3D experience can make a huge impact on your paintings. This video introduces Google Sketchup as tool for drawing. As it states in the video, the word 'drawing' can mean many things - so if you're going to paint over it anyway, why not use some 3D modeling as a foundation for your work?

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AuthorMatt Kohr
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