Simmo W

Blender vs Sketchup for modelling - more efficient?

36 posts in this topic

Ok, take a look at this car park that Chip built in Sketchup, then I've imported into Blender:

post-913-0-00512900-1320060697_thumb.jpg

I'm concerned at:

(a) the extra amount of clicking I'll need to do to select all those faces to texture!; and

(B) the possible increase in load on Xplane by having such a relatively simple object with so many faces.

Whatya think gurus?

Sketchup is very easy for people to use, but is there a hidden cost to this ease, as illustrated? SU to xplane tells me this has over 8000 triangles.

To the left is a base I built in Blender, it seems much simpler. Then again, I am yet to work out how on earth I'll make a hole for the ramp! Is it as simple as Cntrl-shift-F8-left Alt-left mouse click????? :P

Thanks in anticipation of an answer.

s

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Hey Simon,

I am absolutely not familiar with Sketchup, but I have the feeling, that the car park could have been modelled in Blender with a lower poly count. Is that a single object/mesh, or does it consist of multiple objects?

Even X-Plane can handle polys much better than a lot big textures, I still wouldn't go crazy with polys. I keep my habit to have an eye on them.

What do you mean by "make a hole for the ramp"?

A little out of context, but you might be intersted in the following Blender tutorials. .

http://cgcookie.com/blender/2010/12/22/modeling-a-building/

The next two are called "Modelling a Sci-Fi panel". Don't get confused by the name....it is really worth watching them. You will learn a few cool tricks, normal mapping and some texturing, Really worth it.

http://cgcookie.com/blender/2011/07/22/creating-a-sci-fi-panel-part-1/

http://cgcookie.com/blender/2011/07/27/creating-a-sci-fi-panel-part-2/

You might wanna look at this too. Shows you how to work with array modifiers, which can speed up your modelling, when you are able to use them.

http://www.blenderguru.com/videos/recreate-the-hallway-scene-from-inception-part-1-of-2

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No Pete, not out of context, any recommended tutes appreciated, thanks!

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One thing to remember is that SketchUp regards any flat surface as a face regardless of how many sides/edges it has. Once the SketchUp file is converted into an X-Plane-compatible object, these faces will be split into triangles. I don't think there is any way of controlling how this is done. I'm not familiar with Blender, but I assume that the same thing, or something similar, happens when the Blender file is exported as an X-P object.

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Hey Pete, you're obviously a very accomplished Blender user. I have always wanted to say the following to someone- 'I like the look of your Beaver!!

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I agree with Pete. That mesh could be a lot cleaner.

If those are pillars scattered on the top of the "roof", you could maybe get away with disconnecting them from the rest of the mesh.

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both modellers are equally capable when applied to the same problems; blender makes you think more, sketchup spends a few vertices to free the author from caring - it's definitely capable of creating more efficient meshes than the one shown...

one easy optimization for the ramp is to allow the polygons to intersect each other, they're not solid objects and the end result may be acceptable when suitably textured. (though it probably wont auto bake so well if its made of intersecting shapes)

The poles definitely should not be attached to the floor. They should be entirely separate objects, cylinders with open ends.

Ultimately, blender is the better tool for games modelling, sketchup is the first thing I go to if I want to help someone visualize their renovations.

There are useful modelling ops that blender can do that sketchup simply doesn't.

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I have always wanted to say the following to someone- 'I like the look of your Beaver!!

I have a colleague who is going like "Hey Pete, the Beaver is your favorite Bush plane, right?" and then he can't hold himself. I wonder why? :D

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OK. I build a quick rough model of your car park, because I wanted to see how many faces/polys are required. After finishing the decks and some other detail, I had around 2900. Adding the lamps and a few other things probably around 4000 or lower, instead of the 7100.

As for the holes, you could add four loop cuts, then you delete the two faces (top/bottom). This will create an open mesh where the hole is, so you have to fill the inside with four faces.

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@Simmon

Free advice, seing your screenshot : first, hunt for triangles... Your mesh is simply not clean enough. The triangle is your ennemy !

Simply go mesh/faces/convert triangles to quads (in edit mode), your poly/vertx count will drop 30%.

Second : Sketchup convertion induces A LOT of free vertx, and double sided faces, and double vertx. Edit mode : select one vertx -> L > W / remove double and redo as long as there are connected vertx that are not treated. Hunt for "fake" splitted edges, too. I'm pretty sure you can divide by 2 or more this mesh and yet keep topography.

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Very true.

I just realized that I could have deleted all top and bottom faces of the poles, saving another 650 polys. So you could have easily done this model with 3000 polys or less, while keeping a clean topology without all these triangles.

While triangles are not necessarily bad for low ploy models, they are your enemy when you are planning sub d's.

Not necessary here, but in this case they boost up your poly count.

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions and help, really reminds me of the friendly and helpful community here. You've all just reminded me I have too much to learn, good job I'm actually enjoying it!

Pete, thanks for those Blendercookie tute examples, I'm going through that first building one right now. This is what I'm up to. He goes too quick at times, have to pause lots. Best tool so far, of course, is the loop cut, Cntrl-R is my friend!

post-913-0-86907800-1320293217_thumb.jpg

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Simon, that looks great so far and I am glad that you find the tutorial useful.

Hey, we have the same friend...Cntrl-R. :)

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Thanks Kieran, it's a real hard slog for a nOOb though! Sheesh, his next 7 mins took me one hour to work out, boy am I getting used to the undo key. At one point I ended up with a very crooked looking building, but that forced me to get lots of practice getting verts back in line.

Seriously, I do not know how the pro's do it. Ha, I've just seen Pete's reply too..yeah, I love Cntrl R, almost as much as Cntrl X.. Eventually I'll be using that to a lesser extent!

Bugger, now the simplest question you'll see for awhile - command for nominating a set of linked vertices as a new object?

And what about selecting all of a new set of surfaces, built separately from the main model, ready to be plonked into it, easily? I've tried B, and select linked, but it takes a few goes to get it all - is there a secret way to do, it, or is it just a well known bug?

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Not sure i quite understand what you are asking. But for the first question, try 'p', and for the second, hover you cursor over one of the vertices, or what ever selection mode you are in, and press 'l'.

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Also not completely sure what you wanna know. :)

To separate pieces from an object, select them and press P, like Kieran said.

If you have multiple items you want to move around, I would creat a group, using Ctrl+g. Then you can easily select the group by using Shift+G and then selecting the group. Border select using B can become tedious if you have lots of objects in different locations.

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Sorry! That group solution addresses my issue- just to be able to click a heap of surfaces in one go.

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For this, simply select ONE vertex in the part you want to work on, then "L". This will select all vertx that are "in touch". Works in the UV-mapping windows, too.

Edited by arno54
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OMFG, what a hellish ride on the blenderbus the last few days!!

Finally, I got it solved, you'll laugh you experts you. Some may guess, I reckon it must be a common error, especially for scenery nuts.

Plenty to do on this, now that I know it can be exported from 2.58, especially placement.

screenshot_25.jpg

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I don't know why I'm asking but is it easier to export from 2.5 vs. 2.49?

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Red, no, in fact I'm yet to get the 2.49 to export myself to compare, having probs getting the Python installed. I just found 2.5 easier to learn and animations are easier, not that I'll do too much of that- though my next step is to try animating the boom gate!

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And I thought I'd replied to my other topic re. Problems exporting. It was all my fault- first I had the car park 180 miles from origin- no wonder I couldn't see it!

So I fixed it, could see it in OE, but the scale was crazy big. So rescaled, but still couldn't see it in xplane. Finally yesterday I learned importance of Cntrl A- I realized my model was only 10cm high!!! Bloody hard to find..

Weird scaling issues then, as I'd scale it in blender fine, but in OE it was gigantic. Anyone know why?

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