• SketchUp Tutorial Part Twelve

    SketchUp Tutorial Part Twelve

    By Paul Mort

    Please note that the references made in the following tutorial are applicable to X-Plane.

    This tutorial is in part, a response to a message left by FlightSim.Com member Ricardo NY1:

    "I'd like to see your take some time on texturing curves/tube objects with projected textures. So far it's been hit or miss with what I've learned".

    Well Ricardo, let's cover that in this tutorial. We'll start with the creation of curved objects and then move on to texturing them.

    Producing Curved Shapes

    As I've mentioned before, SketchUp may not be the easiest program to achieve certain tasks (like curved objects), but unlike some other packages, there are usually several options open to you in order to achieve the desired result. Like most things in life, you simply choose what works best for you.

    The Cylinder

    Let's start by looking at the simple hollow cylinder in Figure 1. This is a good place to start as it's relatively easy to produce. As Figure 1 shows, it's created in four stages:

    1) Create a circular surface.
    2) Push/Pull upward to the desired height.
    3) Create an Offset.
    4) Push/Pull the inner tube downward.

    If any of the steps mentioned above are unfamiliar to you, please look back over my previous tutorials to familiarize yourself with them.

    Figure 1 - The Cone

    The following procedure is the basis of producing numerous curved shapes.

    Figure 2 shown below shows the production of a basic cone. After producing a circular surface (of the required diameter), a line is drawn on the BLUE axis, from the center of the circle to the desired height of the cone. Another line is then drawn to the outer edge of the circle and finally one last line is drawn back to the circle center. This creates a right-angled triangular surface which forms the basis for our cone.

    Figure 2

    The final stage is to select the Follow Me tool (covered in previous tutorials). With this selected, we click on the RED triangular surface so as to select it and then carefully trace around the line of the circle (you may need to rotate your view as you proceed). To the SketchUp newcomer, this can be quite a tricky process as you need to accurately follow the circle line, however, practice makes perfect. To produce a symmetrical shape, simply repeat the above process on the other side of the circle (Figure 3).

    Figure 3

    If the shape appears bumpy, simply select it, then from the menu bar, choose 'Window' and then the 'Soften Edges' option. This will then smooth out the shape.

    Note that by simply changing the shape of Line 2 (Figure 2) it's possible to produce any number of shapes as Figure 4 clearly shows. SketchUp's versatile tools, plus their relative ease of use, means that curved shapes become an interesting proposition, limited only by your imagination.

    Figure 4

    Tags: sketchup

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