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thebax2k
07-29-2007, 11:47 PM
Google SketchUP is a free 3d tool (there is a pro version, but the free version is pretty functional by itself) that can be used to make simple 2d drawings "come alive". SketchUP can be found here:

http://sketchup.google.com/

I didn't fully understand just how useful it could be for rpg maps until I came across a series of threads by a user named None the Wiser on the Goodmangames messageboards.

Go to the forums (http://www.goodmangames.com/forum.htm) and look in the "art & artists" subforum near the bottom of the forum listings. None's threads should be near the top in the subforum and check out the 3-D Wildsgate Excursion thread (based on maps from a DCC module). Incredible--I'll never look at towns and the old classic dnd "overhead" map quite the same way again. His Sunken Ziggurat thread is pretty amazing as well.

RPMiller
07-30-2007, 01:07 AM
Um... HOLY FREAKIN' COW!! Those are all kinds of cool! Thanks for link!

ravells
07-30-2007, 07:42 AM
Excellent stuff! Really beautiful work.

I wonder if we can tempt him here? <s>

Ravs

RPMiller
07-30-2007, 11:02 AM
Excellent stuff! Really beautiful work.

I wonder if we can tempt him here? <s>

Ravs
One sure fire way to find out... ;)

pyrandon
07-30-2007, 12:27 PM
Okay, for me personally it is highly ironic you posted this link.

After posting my "Holy Isle" isometric/perspective sketch over in the finished maps threads, the response many people gave of "I wish I could draw" made me wonder whether/how someone with little/no training in perspective drawing could still come up with at least a basic 3-D sketch using the wonders of modern technology. SketchUp came immediately to mind: create a simple render then improve it in an art program.

Google SketchUp then showed up on radar at the exact same time I wondered about it in a thread over at the EN World boards--with people asking if it could be used for this same purpose! (http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=202314) Coincidental, eh?

And now I see that amazing series by "None the Wiser"--that's ironic!

How can we not see a lot of uses for SketchUp type programs? To make a map (either 2D or in perspective) & be able to easily manipulate views and shots from unlimited angles is the way of the future for computer mapping, for both hobby and professional cartographers.

Great, great find thebax2k!! Inspirational.

PS: so who's going to give "None the Wiser" a call? ;)

RPMiller
07-30-2007, 01:23 PM
PS: so who's going to give "None the Wiser" a call? ;)
I think it is your turn. ;)

Duvik
08-01-2007, 09:09 PM
ol' Snikle over at RPTools.net and Four Ugly Monsters has done some nice work using Google Sketchup. I played with it myself and found it to be a great tool as well.

Fister
09-14-2007, 10:15 PM
I first became aware of sketchup from thebax2k's post and have been reviewing tutorials and experimenting with the program ever since. Is anyone else continuing experimentation/use of Sketchup?

Here is a 2-D picture I used from a published adventure, The Shackled City Adventure Path, to create my first 3-D model.

I like the idea of being able to create the streets and roof lines of villages/communities with basic 3-D shapes as seen from above and then develop specific buildings interiors as they become relevant.

Fister
09-14-2007, 10:46 PM
The only complaint I have so far with Sketchup is I cannot seem to get the stamp tool to work properly. The stamp tool allows one to place building onto interesting 3-D terrain more seamlessly by raising the proposed land to meet the building, much like a foundation. I believe this limitation has more to do with my limited computer processor speed than with the limitations of the program.

I wanted to point out two resources I found to be of use/example of what this program is capable of.

Mr. Aidan Chopra is the author of Sketchup for Dummies and has 62 tutorial videos on youtube that cover material not offered on the Goggle Sketchup tutorials.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9cNdODWm-c

TaffGoch shows how to quickly import 3-D terrain into sketchup, develop contour lines, and texture the terrain as well.
http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=93f7985edbe1f57eba2f5d8f417f39be

Attached is imported 3-D terrain that takes only 30 seconds to create and then import for us in Sketchup.

thebax2k
09-14-2007, 11:05 PM
Fister,

Glad my post could be of some help. Its wonderful to see a mapper discover a new and useful tool. What you've posted looks really good. Should you create any more 3d displays and feel like sharing them, I certainly would like to see them. Although i'm sure there's far more work involved than in creating buildings, any dungeons you manage to flesh out would be very welcome.

I had no idea the tutorials existed, they should be quite helpful for anyone else who gets interested in using the program--thanks. By the way, have you had any luck contacting None the Wiser? It was his work that really gave me an idea of how incredible SketchUP could be in the right hands. If anyone could be considered an expert with it, he could.

pyrandon
09-15-2007, 04:24 PM
WOW, Fister! That is truly inspirational!

So how long did it take you to "get your sea legs" in SketchUp? And how much time would you say it took you to do the tavern image? I want to use SketchUp too, but am afraid of taking yet one more program on...I still stink at the software I use now!!

NeonKnight
09-15-2007, 05:40 PM
Yumping Yimminy! That is totally Awesome Cool!

Gonna try my hand at this fer sure!

Thanx!

Fister
09-15-2007, 09:09 PM
You can learn to create a series of building with standard architecture in relatively short order. Perhaps 3-4 hours. Sketchup like most programs has multiple ways to accomplish the same task. Reviewing the tutorial particularly the video variety is a very profitable way to maximize your time and learn to be more efficient.

The Inn took me many more hours than it should have because it was too ambitious an endeavor for just learning. I would hazard to guess 12-14 hours due to my ignorance mainly.

palehorse
09-23-2007, 02:38 PM
I've played with Sketchup a bit here and there. This is a work-in-progress I've been fooling around with when I'm in need of a break from Photoshop. :D The terrain was generated in Bryce 5.5.

I considered pouring a lot more detail into the buttresses, but I didn't figure they'd ever be seen all the closeup. Still have to come up with a window design that I like, then create some arrow slits and doors.

pyrandon
09-23-2007, 06:25 PM
It's stuff like this that convices me a future application like SketchUp will revolutionize computer cartography. SketchUp itself is not that program, but one like it will be--one wherein the map and as many 3-D visualizations imaginable are created simultaneously.

For RPG players, tag that the above to the ability to move and pan around the map using a digital tabletop so players can actually see their surroundings as they walk through, say, a dungeon, and we are imagining the evolution of gaming. Very, very exciting to me.

Thanks for the inspiration, Butch!

ravells
09-23-2007, 08:39 PM
love your avatar, don!

Fister
09-23-2007, 10:00 PM
Very Cool, I am pleased to see someone else's Sketchup creation on the forum. Your detail work is inspirational to include your buttresses and cross motif. The gem like cap is great way to convey the magical potential of the structure. I look forward to the next time you post additional details to your wizards tower.

NeonKnight
09-24-2007, 03:01 AM
I gotta see about getting the PDF printed out, so I can read up on how to use it.

RobA
09-24-2007, 09:31 AM
I gotta see about getting the PDF printed out, so I can read up on how to use it.

Follow the video tutorials posted before (including the google one http://sketchup.google.com/tutorials.html )!

Trust me - they are a lot easier to glean ideas from than printed manuals.

-Rob A>

palehorse
09-24-2007, 01:06 PM
Thanks all! I'm still learning, of course, and I'm having to reach way, way back into my memory to dredge up some recollections of when I studied architecture. But when it's not completely infuriating Sketchup is a heck of a lot of fun. :)


Follow the video tutorials posted before (including the google one http://sketchup.google.com/tutorials.html )!

Trust me - they are allot easier to glean ideas from than printed manuals.

-Rob A>

I learned a heck of a lot from those and from the Sketchup Show on iTunes.

thebax2k
10-15-2007, 03:29 PM
Looks like Nonethewiser is at it again. He just posted pics for Castle Whitefang from DCC 26--The Scaly God. The images bring back strong memories of the mountain keep from the 1st edition AD&D UK module The Gauntlet.

Fister
10-16-2007, 07:18 PM
Thanks Thebax2k for redirecting me to None the Wiser's work on the Good Games forum.

A 3-D Dungeon that is truly inspiring. None the Wiser's work is simply incredible.

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=10473#10473

How much fun would it be to run your players through that a 3-D adventure like that. I use a projector to project my maps onto our gaming table and this would make my efforts to render a 3-D space a worth while endeavor. (Particularly for recurring locales such as the PC's base of operations)

Additionally, Sketchup has the abilities to set up scenes (specifically saved 1st person perspectives) which would save a GM valuable game time. Thus saving a GM the trouble of maneuvering camera perspectives during play.

pyrandon
10-16-2007, 10:34 PM
Wow! That new sketchup is amazing!! This guy truly has skills!

Thanks for the link, thebax2k!

RobA
11-08-2007, 01:55 PM
The author of "Sketch-up for Dummies" has a web site with links to video tutorials that go with the chapters from the book:

http://www.aidanchopra.com/

-Rob A>