The last post on this blog was an age ago, but once again I’m back and as usual I jumped into Iclone to grab a new skill.
Taking what I learned last time, I knew I could furnish a set with some cool objects from the Sims 2 community but objects and furniture are just one part. I knew no simple way of making a set itself. I needed a way to make walls ceiling and floor, etc that balanced fun and quality. Those of you who aren’t as late to the game as myself would know that Sketchup is that way. Honestly I avoided the tool for a while because I often saw screenshots for models of… questionable quality. But a closer look showed me that for a simple Machinima guy like myself the tool is perfect for a great many things.
What I also needed was to take advantage of Iclone’s materials features. It’s 2010 boys and girls. We can’t just slap a texture into the diffuse slot, turn on a really bright white light and call it a day. The lighting and material capabilities currently present in Iclone means no one has to settle for flat lighting and textures. I found a very simple and very cheap tool called ShaderMap Pro. This allows you to take any of the textures you have and make normal, specular, and ambient occlusion maps among others. Simply put, adding these textures will make stuff look better.
So while this isn’t a tutorial, heres how I used both of these tools to make the very simple set of a living room (which keeps showing up in these screenshots).
First, get Sketchup 7 if you haven’t already.
Secondly, Sketchup 7 doesn’t come with the cool components (models) needed to really make Sketchup easy. For example when I searched the warehouse components section for a window or door I could never find one that dynamically cut a hole in the wall. If I have to cut my own window and door spaces this is already taking too long and isn’t very flexible. So get the component packs. For some reason they only have them for version 6 so when you run the installers point them to the sketchuhp 7 directory instead. This also gives you easy access to models you can use as stand-ins to give yourself an idea where your furniture and other objects will fit once your done.
Sketchup also has some very easy to follow youtube tutorials that will get you building in no time.
I put together a video showing the steps I took to make the simple living room.
Speaking of balancing fun and quality, the Martin Brothers recently released Steven Slater’s Day Off. To be honest I don’t watch as much Machinima these days, but this is a fun short and they also made a blog post giving an overview of how they put the film together which is always awesome.