|Before and after: You control your model's appearance|
in the Google 3D Warehouse
Did you know that you can control the way your model appears in the Google 3D Warehouse?
The final preview image, or thumbnail, is based on your model's appearance in the SketchUp window when it is uploaded. Ready to make your models look even better? Try out the tips below, in which I show eight approaches to displaying the same model. (You can also edit a model you've already uploaded from the 3D Warehouse edit link on your model page).
|Work artifacts are distracting|
1) Erase work artifacts. In this thumbnail example, you can see two faint lines crossing the image. These are guide lines from the modeling process which should be erased before uploading.
|Pull the model closer-- so we can see it better!|
7) Fill the frame. Upload your model close to the camera! Match the aspect ratio of the 3D Warehouse preview area by resizing your SketchUp window to 5:3 before uploading. A 16:10 widescreen SketchUp window will "letterbox" your thumbnail and shorten the image's height. Sometimes highlighting the whole model and selecting "zoom extents" in the right-click menu helps. Other times it is better to focus in on one section, rather than display the whole model, such as with larger models like bridges.
|Without shadow settings on the model can look "washed out."|
8) Turn shadows on. Without shadows the model appears weightless as in #8. Position the shadows in whatever way looks best in SketchUp. Use the ground shadow as part of the composition too (great for skyscrapers). If you prefer you can also try "use sun for shading" in the shadow settings dialog of SketchUp. This increases contrast without casting actual shadows on the model.
Overall my choice is #3. It is dynamically composed with good use of positive and negative space, balanced and filling the frame. Shadows create contrast and weight. No distracting artifacts are left over from modeling. What do you think?
- Review the model collection "My Favorite Thumbnails" for inspiration.
- Hold the CTRL key to orbit diagonally in SketchUp (good for placing tall buildings at a diagonal).
- Unattractive terrain should be left out when possible, e.g. obviously rectangular terrain.
- A plain, white background gives your model a unique, bold profile. A busy background makes the thumbnail confusing to look at.
- Wall texture "noise" (pedestrians, cars, poles, trees, etc.) breaks the illusion of realism and should be edited out.