Sketchup: 3D Sketching

I can’t praise Sketchup highly enough. It’s a great 3D creation tool, it’s fast and more than anything, it’s incredibly accessible to people of every level. As if being FREE wasn’t enough, the peeps at Google just keep refining it.

Sketchup  is awesome for level designers as it allows anyone, even the 3D inept like myself, to quickly shape an area in 3D and appreciate what the PLAYER will see. The best way to describe Sketchup is “3D Concepting”; quick iteration of 3d shapes in its most bare form, much in the way a concept artist would flesh out ideas with thumbnails and pencil sketches, Sketchup allows designers to see and experience their ideas quickly.

Concept artist also use Sketchup to quickly create 3D shapes for “perspective” pieces, and then draw over the exported 2D image.

I was sent this email by a close friend this morning and I have no idea how I’d missed it before. It’s an interview with Robh Ruppel; Art Director at Naughty Dog on how they used Sketchup to visualize lots of key areas in the game. It also includes some direct sketchup shots with the scene they ended up “painting over” and fleshing out in all its glory in game. Fascinating stuff!

Video Interview with Robh Ruppel:

..there’s also a written one with him here:

If you’re a budding level design/concept artist, or you’ve been at it a while..if you haven’t tried Sketchup = Fail.

Google Sketchup V8

Anyways, what are you waiting for…get SKETCHING!


About Haydn Dalton

Creative Lead 30 Years Developing Games

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