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Boulders

4.3_Boulders

0:02 We’re next going to focus on the sloped walls flanking the slide which act as climbing walls with embedded boulders into the slope.

0:11 As mentioned previously…the boulders could be downloaded from online or created manually.

0:18 Let’s first pop back into 3DWarehouse to do a quick check to see if anything might work well for this particular concept.

0:28 After typing in ‘Boulders’ as our search keyword, we get a lot of results.

0:33 Let’s just try these ones here as they comes with multiple boulders of varying size and shape.

0:40 The poly count is a bit high but not too bad for our needs.

0:47 The challenge here is that while we saved a bit of time by not modeling these boulders from scratch, we now have to take some time to place and adjust them in the right locations on sloped wall.

1:00 As you can see from watching me copy, scale, and rotate several boulders along the sloped wall, that there’s really no fast way to do this.

1:12 I’ll go ahead and speed the video up a bit as I do the rest for just one side of the slide.

1:35 Once done, we can take a step back and see how this looks.

1:40 It looks like it will work ok but I’d like a bit more control over the gaps where the boulders sort of fit together…so let’s now swtich over to creating custom boulders.

1:52 Like everything in SketchUp, there’s more than one way to do pretty much anything…and making boulders is no different.

2:01 We’re now going to use some of the extensions that we already discussed previously in the terrain and grading lesson to quickly make our own boulders.

2:09 Let start by using the ‘Freehand’ line tool to sketch the outlines of all the random-looking boulders.

2:19 This is a nice technique as it lets us control the exact size and placement of each rock so they are the fit together nicely and are evenly distributed across the slope.

2:33 Next we just need make sure that all the edges are closed and that there are no reversed faces before continuing.

2:45 Thinking back to our terrain exercises, we demonstrated an extension called ‘Soap Skin Bubble’ that we used to make the landscape mounds.

2:54 A smooth boulder is pretty much the same thing so let’s try that method first.

3:03 Pick one of the freehand faces and give it a skin.

3:09 The default 10 divisions should work fine here.

3:13 Then remember to finalize the command.

3:17 Then select the newly skinned surface and we can apply some pressure.

3:22 I’m not sure how the pressure works exactly as I’ve had to enter both really small and really large numbers.

3:28 For this little rock, I know we'll need a high number…something between 300 and 400 should work well depending on how round we want our boulder to be.

3:38 Then we can soften it to hide the edges and that’s it.

3:42 The only obvious downside of this method is that you have to do each boulder individually…which doesn’t save us too much time from placing and rotating the pre-made boulders manually.

3:53 Let's go ahead and try another method seeing if we can do all the boulders at once to save us a bit more time.

4:01 To do this, we’ll use an extension that we’ve already covered: ‘Joint Push-Pull’.

4:07 Also, this would be a good time to save your model.

4:11 Any time you run a complex extension or series of complex tasks…it’s always good to save right before as sometimes it can crash the program depending on how difficult the task is.

4:24 So now we can select all the rock faces and group them.

4:29 Then go into the group and select them all again and use ‘Joint Push Pull’ to extrude them up ‘2’ inches all at the same.

4:44 Then we need to make them look a bit more organic with rounder or softer edges.

4:49 There are several ways we can do this.

4:51 The easiest way is to just select all the boulders and then soften the edges all the way until they ‘appear’ to be rounded.

4:58 This is a bit of a trick as if we rotate down low, it becomes obvious that they are still squared off.

5:05 This nice thing about this method is that it keeps the geometry count low and of course is super fast to do.

5:12 If the boulders are only viewed from a distance, softening the edges may be all we need to do here.

5:19 But let’s say we actually want or need them to be physically rounded in the model.

5:23 Let’s explore a couple ways to do that now.

5:27 This time, and we’ll now run another one of Fredo’s extensions called 'Round Corner'.

5:32 Select all the top faces of the extruded boulders and then go to ‘Tools/Fredo Collection/Round Corner/’…and then choose ‘Round Corner’ again.

5:48 Here we’re prompted for an offset value. Let’s use 2 inches so that sharp, squared off corners will gently round down towards the sloped wall.

5:59 Then click off to the side of the boulders to complete the action and there we have it.

6:04 We extruded and rounded all of the custom-drawn boulders in two easy steps giving us a nice organic-looking result.

6:13 Another method, uses ‘Artisan’ again.

6:17 Think back to our terrain exercises where we turned that angular rock outcropping into a smooth organic shape.

6:27 We’ll do same technique here. Just select all the extruded boulders…and from the ‘Artisan’ toolbar choose ‘Subdivide and Smooth’.

6:37 And since ‘one iteration’ looks good we can just hit ‘enter’ to confirm it.

6:43 If you think our latest boulders look a bit flat then we can make the boulder group a component in order to rotate its axis...

6:54 ….and then scale it up a bit..say times 2 or 3.

7:00 And then move it back down an inch or two so that the boulders are actually embedded into the slope and not just sitting on top of it.

7:09 Whichever method you choose to make the boulders, now that they’re done we can apply a rock texture to it.

7:16 In the previous course we imported textures from a SketchUp file which included a texture for boulders.

7:23 So we’ll sample that texture...and then go into the boulder group and select them all and paint them all at once.

7:37 Now we can compare the pre-made rocks from the 3DWarehouse with our custom-made ones and see that going the custom route was definitely the way to go.

7:47 To wrap up, we didn’t track how long that last custom boulder method took us to do, but you can see that if you were to do it start to finish without pausing and talking through each step as I have here....it should have taken just a few minutes.