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Old July 27th, 2008, 04:01 PM   #1
malec
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TUTORIAL: Creating a skyscraper, using components

First of all it's probably good to read some of these tutorials before starting, especially the Inferencing tutorial.
http://sketchup.google.com/training/..._with_gsu.html




1: Regular Residential Tower



Time: 15 min

Make a basic shape (such as a square but can be anything you want). This will be your basic floorplate




This example is a residential tower which will need balconies. Create them wherever you want.




Some internal structure is nice if you want to make the building look good. Here I’ve added a core and some columns. You could go further and add rooms and everything later if you want. This can be easily changed though as will be shown later




Raise the internal features, the amount you raise is the floor to ceiling height. Should be around 3m probably.




Now select the bottom floor. Click the move tool, press Ctrl+C and drag the copied floorplate up to create the ceiling. Then, use the push and pull tool to make the floorplate solid (I normally raise it by about 0.3m here but you can do what you like).




Next select the floorplate and internal structure (basically everything about the ground) and make it into a component (make sure you replace the existing stuff with the comoponent).




Next, move the balconies up to meet the ceiling and use the push and pull tool the same way as for the floorplate. NB, if you have a balcony somewhere else on the tower that looks the exact same then don’t raise the copy up. Example, in my tower each of the 4 sides are the same and there are 2 distinctly different balconies, one at the corner and one in the middle. Therefore only work with two balconies. Also make them into components.




Edit each balcony and add some railing or something.




Now make a new component and create some fašade. Again, if the shape is the same on all sides only make one side.




Copy the fašade and balconies




Rotate them around to fit all sides of the tower




Now select all the components and using the move tool and Ctrl+C create the next floor. What you can also do is before doing this nest all the components into one big one in order to make it easier to copy and paste and maybe make the lag a little less.




Now straight away type “*70” or any number you wish. And Voila! Look what you have!




Delete any unnecessary bits hanging off such as these balconies at the top of the building.




Now here’s the beauty of using components.
Edit the fašade and colour it in the way you want it. You’ll find that the whole building has been edited. Another good thing about this method is that if you made a mistake and copied it all over the tower you can easily fix it just by editing one component.




Now also edit and colour in the balconies and the floorplates.




If you have kerkythea first go to “view->animation->add scene”. Then in the materials editor edit the names of all your glass by putting “TG_” at the start of each name. Also go to “window->shadow” and turn on “use sun for shading”




Final render using metropolis light transport as the rendering method.






2: Twisting Residential Tower


Time: 20 min

Go back to where you had one floor completely done. Make a vertical line somewhere, this is normally in the dead centre but it can be elsewhere too. This will be your axis of rotation. If you want it in the centre just make a diagonal line joining 2 corners and the midpoint is your point from where you will start to draw the vertical line.




Open the floorplate component and just select the floorplate (not the columns).




With that selected, click the rotate tool. Now place it on the centre axis and click once, then move the mouse out and click once more. Then move the mouse to the right or the left, the selected section will start to rotate. You will have to figure out how much rotation you need per floor, this is easy to work out. If you want say, 90 degrees rotation for the whole tower and you have 45 floors then you will have 2 degrees of rotation per floor. What you do is type in the number (such as 2) at this stage. Your rotation is done.




Now click on the balconies and rotate them the same amount. No need to open the components since you don’t need to distort them.




Now open the fašade component and select only the very top of it.




Rotate it the same way as done for the floor plates.




Soften the extra edges that appear from the rotation.




Now you’ve done one complete floor. Make that floor a component if you wish and copy it above the 1st one. Then rotate it as usual.




Repeat this for a while until you have say, 10 floors ready.




Now to speed things up copy the whole lot and instead of rotating by 2 degrees rotate by 20! Within a few seconds you have the entire tower:




Render it in Kerkythea as before if you want.






3: Burj Al Alam Building
Using the scale tool to alter the building's shape.


Time: 2 hours

First thing to do is to make one complete floor as usual, of course the shape can be anything you like. Before working with it there should be no nested components this time, just one component for the floor.




We now start setting up the things needed for making the hourglass shape (you can make whatever shape you want. You’ll see this in a few steps). Start a line at the bottom of the tower. To know where exactly to begin it select the floor component and press “s”. This brings up the scaling tool. The place where you start the line should be as close as possible to the dots where you scale. Don’t know if this is explained well, ask if it’s not clear. Basically, places like on a line of symmetry are good.




Raise it on the blue axis to the full height of the tower.




Make a surface from this line. This surface will usually be perpendicular to the fašade of the tower (unless you want something really weird of course )




Start a curve at the bottom of the tower.




End it at the top and make the curve go towards the centre of the tower. Now what I did here is specific only to this design. You can make the curve(s) go wherever you want, but they have to be in the plane already made.




Make a horizontal plane corresponding to the ground of the 2nd floor.




Copy this plane and raise it to the height of the next floor




Now type “*100” or whatever number you wish. Obviously if you want differing floor heights you can’t just type “*100”.




Delete the original line made




Intersect all those planes with the one going up




After intersecting delete the small planes and you should be left with the big tall one with a horizontal marking at every floor




Make a line the height of a floor a small bit (only a small big, important) away from the tower and copy *100. Alternatively you can just select on side of the big plane going up and copy and paste that.




OK, now we’re ready to actually start messing with the component.
Open the component and select only the floorplate. If you created the first floor as done in tutorials 1 and 2 then the floorplate has thickness too. Make sure to select the whole thing.




Now zoom in near where the curve is and press “s” to get the scale tool.




In the picture above there are 3 points. Choose the middle one. Now press and hold Ctrl+Shift and scale inwards so that the floorplate touches the curve. The Ctrl+Shift buttons means that the centrepoint for scaling is right in the middle and also that the scale is done uniformly (aside: beforehand you made those small little planes and intersected them, try using the scale tool to get the floorplate to touch the curve without having intersected. Can you do it? )




Now as an example my floor heights were 4.3m. At this stage check your floor height and you’ll see it has changed. You go WTF. Well, this happened because you scaled uniformly which means the scaling happened not only horizontally but vertically also.




Fortunately it can be fixed. Sorry about the next image, I took it after I was well into making the tower, hope it makes sense. With the floorplate selected, click the move tool. Then click on the top of the component and move the mouse in the direction of the blue axis. Once you’re moving on the blue axis press and hold Shift to lock the movement to that axis. Now while doing that move the mouse over to the line and find the point that corresponds to this floor and let go of the mouse. You’ll see it has moved upwards or downwards a little. Don’t know if this was explained well. The image should be pretty clear though. Ask if it doesn’t make sense.




You’ll see it’s back to the 4.3m height




Now we’ve completed one whole floor. Copy this floor and raise the copy on top of the original.




Now the bottom of this floor needs to match the top of the previous. What you do is click the (new) component and type “s” again. Click the middle point again and uniform scale the entire component to the right size by moving the mouse down to the top of the previous component.




Now the whole scaling process is repeated over and over until you have the whole tower. This pretty time consuming but after all the work I’m sure you’ll have a good model you can be proud and satisfied by .
One thing I realised is the core changes shaped in the model. You can avoid this by making the core a separate component and adding it in at the end.

Completed Tower




Hope you understood this tutorial.

NB. If your floorplate is pretty simple like a square or a circle then all is fine. However if you have a more complicated floorplate you mightn’t be able to follow this method directly. The key is to have the curve on the points where you scale.

With this method or variations of it you can make a huge variety of structures that would normally be insanely difficult to do accurately.

Examples

This one can be done by applying the method above, then once it’s finished applying the twisting tower method as well




The top of the Chicago spire is done using a simpler version of this method. Essentially all you do is scale the entire component as opposed to just the floorplate.




Aqua can be done by applying the method only to the balconies. What you need to do is probably make loads of curves, all different. Then scale accordingly.







4: Creating Interesting Facades for Unconventional Towers


Coming soon

Last edited by malec; August 2nd, 2008 at 03:03 AM.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 04:04 PM   #2
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Please, if things are not clear don't be afraid to ask and I'll explain here.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 08:04 PM   #3
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Thanks, you are great Malec. I am looking forward for the twisting tower.

Last edited by Densetsu; August 12th, 2008 at 05:52 AM.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 09:31 PM   #4
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The twisting tower is very easy to make, just a simple extention of the method above
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Old July 27th, 2008, 09:57 PM   #5
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When will you make the "twistig tower tutorial"?

Am really curious about it....
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Old July 27th, 2008, 10:30 PM   #6
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I have it done. Just need to upload the pictures, etc. Will have it done tonight.
It's very easy actually
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Old July 27th, 2008, 11:04 PM   #7
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Malec, I swear you must have the patience of a saint with how you use sketchup. Anytime I've done something even remotely complicated the functions start getting inverted and just it ends up being a huge mess. Also, anything off of x,y,z axis always ends up wrong lol.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:23 AM   #8
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Well, if you have questions then post them and I'll try to answer them. I know nothing about textures but know quite a bit about modelling.

The huge mess only comes about if you didn't do a little bit of thinking before plunging in with the detail. Example is stuff like in the tutorial, if you made the balconies the wrong size and have already copied everything then you will need to edit all 70 of them seperately wheras with components if you edit one, they will all be edited together.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 01:30 AM   #9
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Great Idea Malec.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 02:59 AM   #10
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thx for the twister tutorial just want to show what i have acchieved with it....this tower took me about 5 minutes to do

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Last edited by germantower; July 28th, 2008 at 03:45 AM.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 07:45 AM   #11
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thanks for the tutorial malec
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Old July 29th, 2008, 12:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malec View Post
Well, if you have questions then post them and I'll try to answer them. I know nothing about textures but know quite a bit about modelling.

The huge mess only comes about if you didn't do a little bit of thinking before plunging in with the detail. Example is stuff like in the tutorial, if you made the balconies the wrong size and have already copied everything then you will need to edit all 70 of them seperately wheras with components if you edit one, they will all be edited together.
I haven't used the program in a while because I mostly use Revit. But I think textures were pretty easy. I think with the complexity of your drawings, it may get a little difficult so it would be easier to assign textures as you build up...but then the problem becomes lag because obviously the more geometries you have, the more it lags which is why I never use entourage (especially the trees).

But then again, why even bother with sketchup textures when you can just export it into revit and I think 3ds max to render?!?!
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Old July 29th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #13
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cool
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Old July 30th, 2008, 02:08 AM   #14
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I think in the next tutorial I'll make the burj al alam building and in that you can see a way to warp the building's shape while still keeping it fluid. It takes a bit longer than the other towers but it's still not too bad.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 03:30 AM   #15
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thank you very much, this thread will be useful to many people
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Old July 30th, 2008, 03:30 PM   #16
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Espessialy me
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Old July 31st, 2008, 03:06 AM   #17
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Finished the 3rd tutorial. This one will take a little more time to get to grips with. It also takes longer to make the tower anyway since you have to edit each floor. It might be better to make a 30 floor tower or something instead of 100 like the one I chose to do

I didn't get to finish the tower and make a good render but I should finish that at some point.

If people have questions then ask
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Old July 31st, 2008, 02:25 PM   #18
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Great Tutorial Malec Maybe I will use it sometime
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Old July 31st, 2008, 08:36 PM   #19
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malec, seriously thank you. I had just about decided to uninstall Sketch Up due to me not being able to create anything other than boxes and such. But you renewed my interest. Since you are in Ireland, a pint will be delivered to your doorstep. But how would you do thinks like shrink floorplates and make buildings lean?

Thank you very much. Someone needs to sticky this.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 11:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soup or man View Post
malec, seriously thank you. I had just about decided to uninstall Sketch Up due to me not being able to create anything other than boxes and such. But you renewed my interest. Since you are in Ireland, a pint will be delivered to your doorstep. But how would you do thinks like shrink floorplates and make buildings lean?

Thank you very much. Someone needs to sticky this.
Thanks!

How do you shrink floorplates? It's described in tutorial number 3. What exactly do you not get? If you want to shrink a whole floor as opposed to just the top of the floor then select the entire floor, press "s" to get the scale tool up, or just click on the scale tool. Then scale in any direction you want.
To make buildings lean you do the exact same thing, just move the floor instead of scaling (if you want the same floorplate all the way up that is).
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