TUTORIAL 1: 3D MODELING

Choosing what to model, Navigating Sketchup, Creating Simple Models

Choosing a Space or

Object to Model

Creating a 3D model of an object or space can seem like a real challenge, especially if you're not familiar with the technology, language, or process. Despite these challenges, there are ways around them through online tutorials, walkthroughs, and example projects. Don't feel overwhelmed, there will always be a learning curve to these types of projects, but together we can work towards a model that works best for you and your historic site.

Before you get started, here are some helpful tips:

  • Keep your model simple; keeping to basic shapes will streamline the modeling process, and cut down on your work load.

  • Break down your object/space to it's simplest shape; a column becomes a cylinder o top of a square box, with an additional square on top.

In order to create our 3D model, we're going to use Sketchup's Free web platform. There's no need to update any software, or download any tools, so go ahead and head to their website now.

https://www.sketchup.com/plans-and-pricing/sketchup-free

After opening the we browser, you'll be treated with the screen below. 

Navigating Sketchup

Tools & Navigation

Saving & Exporting

Add. Navigation

Before you begin, familiarize yourself with Sketchup's tutorial page, found HERE.

 

The following videos represent the construction of the King's Chapel Tomb case study 3D model. Each of the four short videos demonstrates, in real time, how the model tomb was created and then exported into the appropriate file type for 3D Printing.

Basic Shape

The Tombs beneath King's Chapel are similar to a suburban mailbox in their shape. Strait walls with a vaulted, or arched, roof make up the main structure. As such, this first video demonstrates how to create a replica of the "mail-box" shape. Here, only a few tools are used to create the structure.

Hollowing Out

To be a proper Tomb, there needs to be some space in the center for individuals to be interred. Your models may require some hollowing out in order to achieve the desired effect. This can be accomplished with the "PUSH/PULL" tool, as demonstrated here. You can also "cut" into the model to get a better view of what you're doing. 

Time to Start Modeling

Before you begin, familiarize yourself with Sketchup's tutorial page, found HERE.

 

The following videos represent the construction of the King's Chapel Tomb case study 3D model. Each of the four short videos demonstrates, in real time, how the model tomb was created and then exported into the appropriate file type for 3D Printing.

For 3D modeling, we're going to stick to some basic tools, like the drawing tool, push/pull tool, and eraser tool. Below is a 

The Tools

Highlighted here are the primary tools used in creating 3D models in Sketchup. 

There are two main types of tools used in the tutorials below: Creation Tools and Navigation Tools. 

Creation Tools, in the large box above, are the tools you'll use to create the models. Rectangle, Line, and Circular drawing tools will help with creating basic shapes.

The Push/Pull tool will help turn the 2D drawings into 3D objects. Video 1 below will demonstrate how to use this tool.

Finishing Touches

In this video, the Tomb is getting its final touches. The real space has small steps or staircases, so we're going to represent that here by adding in our own small steps. Again, we use the line or box tool and the push/pull tools to create our steps. But to get a better view, we need to look through the top to properly see what we're doing. 

Exporting for 3D Printing

Now that you've completed your model, it's time to export it so it can be sent off to 3D print, or live as a digital object on your website or exhibit. 

The free version of Sketchup only allows you to export in two file types. Fortunately, it's the only two we need: .pdf and .stl

.STL files are for printing, so go ahead and save one of those. .PDF files are image files, so saving one is good practice as a reference image. 

Now, you can use your models in the next tutorials: Creating Virtual Reality Experiences. 

The Final Product

Below is the final King's Chapel Tomb model, displayed using Sketchfab's interface. In the next tutorial, you will learn how to upload your model to use online or through a digital exhibit. 

Explore by clicking the model, highlighting the story point, or simply rotating the tool around. Sketchfab allows its models to be viewed through a computer screen, phone screen, and phone app, making this a versatile tool.