Background Tutorial: Easy

Questions, skill improvement, and respectful critique involving art assets.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
XxrenxX
Veteran
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:40 am
Projects: Chasing
Deviantart: bara-ettie
Location: Canada
Contact:

Background Tutorial: Easy

#1 Post by XxrenxX » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:37 am

Also if this is in the wrong section I appologize x__x

So I found a really cool way to make backgrounds that are 3D based [you can edit them in photoshop afterward to make it more 2D also] without having to have awesome drawing skills.

What you need:

SketchUp [3D Modeling Program by Google]
Kerkythea [3D Rendering Program + Lights]
SU2KT Exporter
Photoshop or another Photo editing Program. [Not Paint]

Click the names above to access the download links.
First of all, be sure that you have installed the latest version of KT, and appropriate SU2KT Exporter (copy su2kt.rb and su2kt folder into SketchUp\Plugings folder) for exporting your model to KT. I strongly recommend you to use this installer because it is the easiest to install.

If you're worried about if it's safe to download or not, these are the exact links I used on my computer, I haven't gotten any errors or warnings from my computer.

Step One: Modeling a Scene.

Open SketchUp once you have installed both Kerythea and the SU2KT Exporter. I'll explain their use later.
You can either model a scene from scratch, or find pre-built objects. Depends if you are going to sell your game or not.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For those not familiar with SketchUp or 3D modeling in general here's a quick run through of the main toolbar.
Image
Select: Select an object, face or line
Line: Freehand draws a line to create an object [No Faces]
Rectangle: Draw a Rectangle
Circle: Draw a Circle
Arc: Draw an arc
Make a Component: Ignore
Eraser: Erase a line, object or line.
Tape Measure: Ignore
Paint bucket: Fill a face with a colour or texture.
Push/Pull: Can make a flat shape into a 3D Shape, Also good for moving a face closer or further away.
Move: Move's selected objects, faces or lines in a scene.
Rotate: Rotate selected objects, faces or lines.
Offset: Ignore
Orbit: Rotate your view in the scene.
Pan: Pan your view in the scene.
Zoom: Self explanatory.
Zoom Extents: Zoom and center everything in view.
Add Location: Ignore
Toggle Terrain: Ignore
Add New Building: Ignore
Photo Textures: Ignore
Preview in Google Earth: Ignore
Get Models: Search for Models or Objects for your scene.
Share Models: Ignore
Share Component: Ignore
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First you want to make your scene, decide on what it is. Outdoor or indoor? Let's say it's indoors because it's easier. Let's also make it a bedroom. I use the Rectangle tool and draw a giant box on the floor, I then use the Push/Pull tool and make it into a giant 3D Box. I delete two face edges so I have this. Leave the lady in the scene for size reference when building. This is a good way to know if something is to big or to small.

Image

If your not a strong modeler you can use the Get Models tool and find objects for the room. You can type in anything from a bed to a window to a toilet. There's anything. You may need to cycle through a few pages to find what you want but there's a lot to choose from. I also suggest that if you're unsure what to add to look in your own room, or a friend's bedroom for reference or ideas. Here's mine:
Image

Some of the objects I am using came with textures, the photo on the wall is my own art and for everything else I used the textures that are pre-built into the program. They can be found under Window>Materials. Just find a texture and use the bucket to put it into a face. Next add lights. This is where Kerkythea comes in handy because SketchUp only has a built in Sun, no lights you can actually add to the room.

Image

This toolbar is not in the original SketchUp program but after installing Kerkythea and SU2KT it's not included. This is your lights and settings. Here's a quick run through of what these are:
Export Model to Kerkythea: This is what you use when you are 100% done everything in SketchUp. Lights and Cam position too.
Export Animation Path to Kerkythea: Ignore
Export Face Me Components and Sun: Ignore
Insert Point Light: Round light that acts as a light bulb [Need to set brightness]
Insert Spot Light: Triangle light, good for desk lamps, and street lights. [Need to set brightness]
Import KT Materials: Ignore
KT Materials Update/Detach: Ignore

So now just add lights in your room. I added one at the very top in the middle of my ceiling. When creating these lights they are done in two parts. One is placing, I have mine attached to the face object of my ceiling, second is the brightness which are done by a secondary line that I attached to my face floor. A pop-up will open after where you can later adjust the brightness by a number. You can edit the lights later in Kerky.

Finally when you are 100% positive you are doing modeling the scene, position your view [it's the camera] as what you want in your scene to render. Treat your view as a camera and you are going to take a photo.
When done doing that, save your scene and Export Model to Kerkythea. When this is done it will ask if you wish to open it in the program. I normally hit no because it glitches and won't work. I instead close SketchUp and Open Kerkythea itself and then open the file from there. I normally just save it to my desktop to make it easier to find. You will get a message when doing this.

Don't forget to remove that lady before you export.

Image

Step Two: Rendering.

Open Kerkythea. Open your file [your export should save as ____.xml, open that.

Image

Your view should me similar to this. I won't explain the toolbar for this since there's only one section you need. You can also edit your view on this and lights as well if needed. The first is if you have a sky appear in your scene or not. I do so I need to add that or else outside my window will just be black. You can find a photo or make your own. I'll just use a photo I found on google for now. If you're having an outdoor scene use a very wide photo of the sky.
Go to Settings> Sun and Sky.
Firs it will ask you to pick a location, time, date as well as a zone. Some of the settings will be the same as what your computer is set to, you can change this. Kerkythea has a sun build in already but I would still edit this, it will override the existing sun.
Image

Click next when you're done. This will now edit your Sky. It gives the option to make it a color and by default it's black. I am using a photo so in the scroll menu I changed mine to Hemispherical Sky. I think clicked the black box and it opened a texture window. I went to browse and found my image. Now when done just click finish. By default the sun is turned off, if you want it to be on, look to the left, minimize models and you will see your lights, just right click the sun and click enable.
Now to render everything.
Image

This is all you will need now. Click the green running man and this popup will appear. I made my size the largest in the menu, when done click ok. The render will go from there, be patient it may take time. You can preview your render as it process's if you wish click the square with the tree. Depending how far the render is the image will not be nice and clean right away. You can also view a mini render in the bottom right hand corner.
Image

When your render is done and you like how it looks click save from the image preview. I suggest saving it as a PNG. Now you are done in Kerkythea.

Why shouldn't I just render it in SketchUp?
Kerkythea helps control your lights within a scene as well as renders the scene at a decent high quality, if done right it can almost look like a real place taken with a camera. Rendering in SketchUp adds thick lines around your objects, you probably noticed them while you were modeling, the lines are thick and the joints or corners are even thicker. SketchUp will not remove these if you export your scene as an image, where Kerky will. Kerky also gives you some extra bonus's of adding a sky and setting the sun without having to scroll around inside the scene to find or create an object for this. Yes SketchUp has a sun build into it but you can't easily edit or move it. Being able to edit the sun in this program gives you an added benefit of setting your mood, or time set within a scene. And you can always come back later and change these settings if you want to change the time of day. You won't have to move your camera to do this either so you won't have to worry about trying to re-line it after you edit again to make sure it lines up with the previous image.

Step Three: Editing.

Now I open my photo in Photoshop because I don't want it to look 3D for my story. This is optional, I do this more so because sometimes not everything can render properly and I don't want people to notice that. [ignore my sky texture stretch xD]
Image

So in photoshop I edit my photo in this order:
Filter>Artistic>Brush Daubs
I duplicate the layer before doing the next filter.
Filter>Sketch>Water Paper
With the second layer, the water paper applied I then change it to a soft light with the scroll down menu in the layers section.

You can edit the photo anyway you wish, this is just what I do for mine. You can also edit it as much, or as little as you want, if you edit it enough you can make it look 2D even though you made it with 3D programs.

Here is my finished result [Not the actual finished version for the BG I used in my VN]

Image

Hope you guys find this helpful, especially for those that can't draw =) This should save you a lot of time I believe.
Last edited by XxrenxX on Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Mangafee
Regular
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:39 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Background Tutorial: Easy

#2 Post by Mangafee » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:09 am

looks really interesting ;) I've downloaded sketchup before, but I had no ideA how to use it --- thx for the tutorial ;)
Are you sure it's not time consuming, tough?
It looks really... complicated.. :?
It is only when you stop looking for nowhere that you find that such a place exists. It hides within a small stitch in time between here and there, a grain of sand trapped within eternity, forever suspended within that moment of existence.
~*~

...Check out my DA ;) http://mangafeelovesmangas.deviantart.com/

User avatar
Greeny
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 921
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:15 am
Completed: The Loop, The Madness
Projects: In Orbit, TBA
Organization: Gliese Productions
Location: Cantankerous Castle
Contact:

Re: Background Tutorial: Easy

#3 Post by Greeny » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:41 pm

It looks better without the filters.
In Orbit [WIP] | Gliese is now doing weekly erratic VN reviews! The latest: Halloween Otome!
Gliese Productions | Facebook | Twitter
Image

User avatar
XxrenxX
Veteran
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:40 am
Projects: Chasing
Deviantart: bara-ettie
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Background Tutorial: Easy

#4 Post by XxrenxX » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:04 pm

Mangafee wrote:looks really interesting ;) I've downloaded sketchup before, but I had no ideA how to use it --- thx for the tutorial ;)
Are you sure it's not time consuming, tough?
It looks really... complicated.. :?
The process itself is easy, especially if your just using objects other people have created, it's just a matter of what you're trying to do.
It can and also can't be time consuming. It really depends on what you want in your scene but the plus with SketchUp is you can find loads of pre-build objects, I more so made this tutorial because I suck at drawing backgrounds by hand and most of the time drawing them takes longer then doing it this way. Some of my backgrounds I have made have taken less than an hour, some even less than half an hour, to make, including render time. I think the only part that can take a long time is rendering your finished image in Kerky because it's not only lighting your scene but it's also rending the textures, shadows and then it fixes the aliasing so your image doesn't have jaggies.

You don't have to render it at all in Kerky but it you just export your scene from Sketch itself it really doesn't look that great.

User avatar
XxrenxX
Veteran
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:40 am
Projects: Chasing
Deviantart: bara-ettie
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Background Tutorial: Easy

#5 Post by XxrenxX » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:05 pm

Greeny wrote:It looks better without the filters.
The filter is more so just showing an example of what you can do, my finished filters look a lot better in my actual version than this one since here I did them quickly. All up to the artist what they want it to look like =)

User avatar
whatle02
Regular
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:18 pm
Projects: OTChi Kocchi
Organization: 3-AR Studios
Location: Columbus
Contact:

Re: Background Tutorial: Easy

#6 Post by whatle02 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:47 pm

Cool tutorial! Very helpful!

Can the Sketchup files be imported into programs like Maya?

User avatar
XxrenxX
Veteran
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:40 am
Projects: Chasing
Deviantart: bara-ettie
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Background Tutorial: Easy

#7 Post by XxrenxX » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:03 am

whatle02 wrote:Cool tutorial! Very helpful!

Can the Sketchup files be imported into programs like Maya?
They can but I'm not fully sure about the process of doing so since I cannot run Autodesk Maya on my computer.

User avatar
CosmicKitty
Regular
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:45 pm
Projects: Patchwork Battles, Time Stones
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Background Tutorial: Easy

#8 Post by CosmicKitty » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:24 pm

I do something fairly similar, although I don't render I just export lineart and color myself. But I like to throw a colored overlay over the top red/blue/yellow usually in different areas. Depending on the background, I also sometimes throw a luminosity layer over light sources with a super pale color usually yellow or blue depending on the mood. Might have to try out the renderer though, like the way it looks.
Completed Games:
Holiday Hijinks: House on Haunted Hill
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 11&t=17849

The beauty of life is, while we cannot undo what is done,
we can see it, understand it, learn from it and change.
So that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt, fear or anger,
but in wisdom, understanding and love.
Jennifer Edwards

User avatar
athenastar17
Regular
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:56 am
Contact:

Re: Background Tutorial: Easy

#9 Post by athenastar17 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:18 am

Why shouldn't I just render it in SketchUp?
Rendering in SketchUp adds thick lines around your objects, you probably noticed them while you were modeling, the lines are thick and the joints or corners are even thicker. SketchUp will not remove these if you export your scene as an image, where Kerky will.
Untrue.

Sketch-up - even the derpy free version - comes with a way to stylize the image in many different ways, including removing or minimizing the outlines and joint handles, and you can always hide/soften the lines if you don't want them. Go to Windows -> Styles and mess around with those settings a bit. (Just keep in mind that some of the filter-intensive styles will really slow down the program, so do your rendering first.) You can turn off the lines by going to View -> Edge Style and unchecking Edges. (Along those same lines, using "shaded" instead of "shaded with textures" can really speed up the program while you're rendering.)

I personally prefer to have some lines around objects, to give it more of a "drawn" feel. After a bit of detail work in an image editor, it looks like I drew it myself. Though I do remove the "joints" from the image, of course...that's very easy to do, and always applies even when exporting as a flat image. Sketch-up also allows you to do many special filters like the one below (entirely made in sketchup - the only photoshopped portion is the text).

I'll be the first to admit, though, it's not very good at handing lighting or textures such as wall paintings, so I tend to edit those in myself in the photoshop phase. I also normally only work with sketch-up in black and white, which makes lighting easier.

In other news, I use sketchup lite for (what I hope will soon make me enough money to be) my livelihood, and it does have to do with art...so I know basically all there is to know about it (but I do only have the free version). I have never used other people's models because I'm copyright paranoid (probably unduly so), so if anyone has any questions about sketch-up, feel free to ask.
Attachments
floor1_ground.jpg
map
# ---------------------------------------------------
# Name's Gene. You're welcome to call me that, too.
# ---------------------------------------------------

User avatar
CosmicKitty
Regular
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:45 pm
Projects: Patchwork Battles, Time Stones
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Background Tutorial: Easy

#10 Post by CosmicKitty » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:39 am

never crossed my mind to do something like that ^ in sketchup. Looks really nice :)
Completed Games:
Holiday Hijinks: House on Haunted Hill
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 11&t=17849

The beauty of life is, while we cannot undo what is done,
we can see it, understand it, learn from it and change.
So that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt, fear or anger,
but in wisdom, understanding and love.
Jennifer Edwards

User avatar
athenastar17
Regular
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:56 am
Contact:

Re: Background Tutorial: Easy

#11 Post by athenastar17 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:50 pm

Thanks :)

Forgot to say this after being unnecessarily defensive of my darling sketch-up (lol I'm a nerd), but thanks for mentioning Kerky - I will definitely look into using that too, especially for scenes with really strange lighting :)
# ---------------------------------------------------
# Name's Gene. You're welcome to call me that, too.
# ---------------------------------------------------

qilin
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:41 pm
Contact:

Re: Background Tutorial: Easy

#12 Post by qilin » Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:46 pm

I tried this it worked! After three years this tutorial is still very effective...Thank a million!

This is the background image I made. I'm using SketchUp Make + kerkythea + Photoshop CS6.
result.png

User avatar
Neryko
Regular
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:52 pm
Deviantart: neryko
Skype: cris.neryko
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Background Tutorial: Easy

#13 Post by Neryko » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:43 pm

This is really useful! thanks for that

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users