So what makes a good BG Scenery good looking… Loaded Electrical Distribution Poles?

February 13, 2012

OK so I have made a previous thread a while ago tackling this elusive subject of what makes a background scenery look pleasant in the eye?… While having a good artist to draw them is obviously a factor… we are not here to draw backgrounds… we don’t want to draw backgrounds because not anyone can draw backgrounds and even if someone can draw awesome backgrounds… chances are he/she will not be as enthusiastic about it compared to drawing sprites and that’s where Sketchup comes in (oh boy here I go again singing Sketchup praises and so forth… please bear with me for a bit)…

Here is the previous thread [CLICK HERE] in case you are curious about it…

Sketchup enabled people who are not gifted in drawing their own backgrounds a way to produce all original backgrounds freeing them from the curse of the reusable off-the-shelf BG-CG’s. All you need is to grasp the basics of getting around this rather simple to learn program and you can be “BUILDING” your very own backgrounds in minutes… don’t feel like modeling your own house, trees, cars, roads?… Just download one and assemble your own neighborhood…


Speaking of neighborhoods… I’m always fascinated by how the Japanese draw intricate detail rich urban backgrounds for their anime, especially residential scenes and only use them for a couple of seconds most of the time. I appreciate the amount of effort that goes into making one… but I am UNCLE MUGEN and UNCLE MUGEN loves shortcuts and the least amount of effort to accomplish things… don’t want to waste too much time making a single hand drawn background when you can use sketchup and a bit of photoshop to achieve close result in less time.

Now lets go back to the scenery thingy… I decided to check a few anime that I know have some residential urban scenes… and find out what makes them interesting… makes them pleasant to the eyes… and yes indeed I found something… and this time… it’s not plants…

This is somewhat understandable. All three anime are set in Japan and congested loaded electrical distribution poles are a very common sight especially in very high density urban areas and rural areas and putting something common to them like these congested loaded electrical distribution poles reinforces the location and the intricate detail present in these poles  makes them look so good you want to lick it (not really advisable for obvious reasons)

So at this point the obvious action for layman people like us who are not talented enough to draw backgrounds or are simply to lazy or busy to be bothered to manually draw their own backgrounds is to download models straight out of Google 3D warehouse and arrange them in a way that fit your needs right?… Well… not quite…

What you see here is a scene composed of objects made by Ian West who I admire for his uncanny ability to map textures in sketchup… it is very looking good right now… all we need to do is add them electric poles and were all set… and then… a problem…

Using as much related search terms in English… produced results ranging from mediocre low poly sticks to somewhat complex models which doesn’t look quite right… the above picture you see is one of the more complex models I’ve encountered… and while there might be more awesome and more detailed models out there… chances are it’s either in Japanese or some other language beyond most of the English speaking word… This is not good!… we needed our moe-moe loaded electrical distribution poles that looked like it came straight out of some anime or VN from Japan… C’mon Google 3D warehouse!… You got a thousands of cars, thousands of buildings, appliances, everything… even mis-labeled Dildoes and Onaholes and not a single decent electric pole!?…. Guess no choice but to create one myself…

Ah much better… now let’s put it in the previous background scene we made…

Despite the pole not being textured at all… it certainly made the whole scene looked better!… Of course… Uncle Mugen will not hog this precious resource all to myself… I know a lot of people can use a detailed loaded electrical distribution poles for who knows what so here it is… CLICK HERE

Same thing, you can use this sketchup model for whatever purpose it may serve you best. You can modify it to suite your needs. Just say hi to me if possible when you used this model in your projects… I UNCLE MUGEN am more than eager to see it…

So what do you think?… does putting detailed loaded electrical distribution poles into an urban scene has an effect or perhaps it’s just me not being aware that I might have this weird fetish about loaded electrical distribution poles… I dunno…

“POOF” (Disappears)



  1. How long did it take you to model the pole? I would like to make one for a location in Canada — but our poles look different. I was wondering if designing a nice looking pole like you have was an afternoon project or if it takes weeks and weeks.


    • Oh this one?… it only took me about 2 hours tops but it is made possible by Sketchup’s “Follow-Me” tool and the way it handles grouping of objects. If I did this in Maya… chances are it will take me about 4 maybe 6 hours or more…

      • Thanks. 🙂

        Now to convince my netbook it wants to do more Sketch Up stuff. My main desktop is broken. The backgrounds I did using your other tutorial brought the poor netbook to its knees. 🙂


  2. I could do it in Maya fairly readily. A couple of hours and a really good set of reference pics. It’s the texturing that usually takes forever.

    • It depends on what city the story is we in. If you make something in manhattan, the are no power lines. Every city has their own power lines. One nice thing about a lot of Japanese backgrounds, are that they are authentic. Many down to the point that you can find photos of the locations. There are so many beautiful places in the world…I would say they look great, but make sure they are authentic. It’s a shame when filmmakers call Canada NY, But exiting when I see a scene in a familiar place.

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