Hard Embedding 2D looking Shadings and Shadows in Google Sketchup so I can have a recyclable background that I can use again and again without rendering every time I needed one – An Uncle Mugen Experiment

June 26, 2012

OK so what you see here is probably not as impressive compared my previous works but this one image you see here is a direct screenshot grab of an object (in this case a small room)  from sketchup and textured in Photoshop that produced produced this glorious hand drawn looking image without using any fancy renderers… no seriously.

Oh OK so some of you may not be that impresses… I mean, when you say 3D it’s usually associated with something like Avatar, Pixar, Halo or any other godly 3D stuff out there… you know the usual ones that uses jargon like words like bump map, occlusion and others but you see I’m into OELVN’s and one of my chosen specialties is Background Graphics with high emphasis on getting them done as cheaply and quickly as possible while making sure the output is somewhat “decent” enough… that’s why I search high and low for various techniques and methods to accomplish my objective.

I assume you probably know about Google Sketchup… this awesome app that bridges the gap between Artists and 3D… it’s so easy to use even someone who isn’t familiar with 3D can blast his way into it after reading the basic tutorials in a matter of hours… no seriously, true story… Now before we stray further let’s get back on track…

  • I’m an OELVN person specialized in cheap and quick backgrounds
  • Most of my usual output while decent looking still looks kinda 3D
  • While I can make it look like 2D by subjecting it to Photoshop which takes time to get done.
  • Once you Photoshopped your BG you will have limited reusability for it unless you like doing the previous step again and again for every variation of the BG you needed…

Wouldn’t it be great if we can model directly from sketchup and find a camera angle you needed then take a screenshot while still inside sketchup and still look hand drawn without using any fancy third party renderers and simply adjust the camera in case you needed a different angle?… Is it possible to do in Sketchup?

Turns out it is… I was actually inspired to find out if it’s feasible in Sketchup after I recall what Harvest Moon – Back to Nature in the PSX… I swear every single shade and shadow in game are embedded in the texture. It’s undeniably 3D and yet it sort of feel 2D… only way to find out is to actually do it. Good thing Google Sketchup has the ability to re-direct to a third party image processing program like Photoshop 7 to manually paint the texture and see how it turns out in real time inside sketchup. Placing and painting the different shades and shadows is a little bit… manual and does take quite a bit of time but the result speaks for itself…

Oh OK it still looked 3D but c’mon give me some slack it kinda looked 2D now and I didn’t even used any fancy renderers this time… just imagine the possibilities if I actually spent a day or two texturing this… it will be awesome…

Though it does have some pretty obvious disadvantages like time of day specific shadows is now impossible to move them since they are hard embedded in the texture…

Oh well… it’s still too early to tell how far I’ll go and develop this method… Lol!…


One comment

  1. that’s some nice tricks! And I didn’t know that google has 3D app D:

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