0:01 Now that our furnishings are complete…we have just one key thing left to add that will help bring it to life…I’m referring to people of course.
0:11 Let’s look at a few different people component types that you’ve probably seen in other models if not used them in yourself.
0:18 There’s no need for you to have your own file for the first part of this lesson so just sit back and absorb some new SketchUp knowledge.
0:27 Let’s start by jumping back into 3DWarehouse to see what kind of people components are available to us.
0:32 If we use the word ‘people’ as our search key word then we get a lot of results.
0:37 Like when we were looking for benches earlier…some good stuff…and a lot of junk.
0:44 Let’s try narrowing down size first as we know we don’t want anything too big that can bloat our models.
0:53 As you can see we’re getting a mixed bag of different types of people models.
0:57 I see 2D cartoon-style, 2D silhouette, photo-realistic and even fully 3D.
1:06 There are pros and cons to using each so instead of downloading anything at this moment, let’s do a quick review of the differences between them in order to help narrow our choice down.
1:18 Here I’ve got a model that has 5 different kinds of people loaded into it.
1:23 Probably the most common is what SketchUp refers to as the ‘scale figure’.
1:28 Scale figures come preloaded with SketchUp templates so that you always have a sense of scale when you first start to model.
1:36 These types of components are also called ‘FaceMe’ as they rotate to always face the camera.
1:44 This is a cool little trick that allows the use of 2-dimensional geometry to masquerade as 3D when viewed at eye level.
1:53 These 2D FaceMe components are great because they are small and fast with low polygons and usually no heavy materials so they don’t affect performance at all.
2:05 They do however look cartoonish and while that may be ok during the early stages of a concept model, it may not be the look you’re after as the model enters rendering or construction document phases.
2:16 My preferred go-to people are the simple silhouette.
2:21 They typically have less geometry than scale figures and since they don't have any interior details.
2:27 Also, your viewer won’t get hung up on whether they are male or female; young or old; hip or not hip; facing towards or away from the camera, etc.
2:37 Their color can be changed easily as well if black is too dark for you.
2:43 Or they can be made transparent if you want to see some details they’re blocking.
2:50 Next is the photo-realistic person which is made from a PNG image.
2:56 I know it’s from a PNG because if I select it then I can see the entire texture’s surface but everything outside of the guy himself is still transparent…which only the PNG image format supports.
3:11 Next to him might seem like a duplicate component but it has a hidden detail that makes it unique.
3:17 If I were to turn my face style to ‘Hidden Line’ and turn hidden geometry on, then I can see the difference clearly.
3:25 The previous guy is just the entire image imported and made into a component while this guy on the right has been traced and the transparent part of his background texture removed.
3:38 The reason for taking the time to trace and cut him out is purely for the creation of shadows.
3:45 If I turn the shadows on then the guy that was not cut out casts a square shadow.
3:51 That’s because SketchUp’s shadows do not recognize the difference between transparent textures or not.
3:57 It treats the entire image as a whole and casts a shadow based on its shape.
4:04 The guy on the right that’s been cut out looks good and he has a nice shadow as well.
4:10 I also know there’s an extension that helps automate the process of trimming the transparency out of images but we won’t be covering that here.
4:20 Also note that while relatively small in geometry, in this case only 99 edges...
4:26 ...these photo-realistic people can still add a lot of file size to a model because the PNG images used may be high resolution and add up as you add more and more people to your model.
4:41 Lastly, the person on the right is a full 3D textured person.
4:48 With the hidden geometry on…you can see just how detailed this component is.
4:53 3D people work the best for rendering as they actually let light fall one them the way it would a real person vs a 2D component that can’t do that.
5:02 The tradeoff of course is performance.
5:05 Just this one model has nearly 80,000 polygons and is a whopping 12 mb in size.
5:11 You can image how adding 8 or 9 or more of these 3D people can easily start to slow down your model.
5:22 To wrap up, make sure to use the right person for the right job and the right design phase you’re in.
5:28 Choose and place people who are actually doing the activities you want to showcase in your design and try to avoid mixing different types of people components.
5:40 Looking back at our park model…we have a prominent staircase and various seating areas so searching for sitting people and people on steps would be a good start
5:52 ...as well as looking for kids and families socializing around the play area.
5:58 So for now, it’s more about what they’re doing than how they look or how detailed they are.