A handy program for graphics and short range mapping

A handy program for graphics and short range mapping

Google has a free-to-download program called SketchUp which is currently in its 6th version. It can be used to recreate the outside of a building (or several buildings - even a small town) or the inside of a structure in 1:1 scale, allowing screenshots to be taken of the 'interior' of a building. Colours and textures can be also added to such structures to bring it to near-photorealism.
is something I did awhile ago, before I really understood how to use SketchUp. Now I'm working on a "dungeon kit" of snap-together pieces that will both allow swift assembly of a basic dungeon, as well as easy adaptation and customisation by the more advanced user. You can move the viewpoint to give the players the sense of 'being there, or it can be a quick-and-dirty way of showing the players .

More along that line, we have the battleboard which I developed, and which can be adapted to any kind of close-in combat; lines of sight are easily established, and character pieces can be moved around the board with ease. This one is designed for D&D and d20 Modern, but I have a GURPS one as well, based on a 1-yard hex.

And finally, SketchUp has many models to use as part of illustrations, either packaged with the program or downloadable from the 3D Warehouse.

I used them to in a that occurred in a game I was running, to illustrate the placements of vehicles.

It's true; a picture really is worth a thousand words.

I will be using SketchUp liberally in any games I run on here.

I've completed the Dungeon Maker to my semi-satisfaction.

It can be downloaded from here.

Feel free to customise as you see fit.

Very neat stuff, Ack. I wasn't familiar with SketchUp before, but now it looks like it's going to be unavoidable for any 3D combat necessitating high accuracy that I might run.

I keep finding new uses for it myself.

Oh, and for those who want to run combats in GURPS (as I undoubtedly will) here's a battleboard for placing your characters.

Wow, that is really neat. I'll have to check this out more.

One of the neater things you can do with either battleboard is to place terrain features, such as trees.

I'm currently working on a PDF (which I will attach to this thread) to show you how to place a character picture on the battleboard in such a way that it's upright and always facing you.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Battlemap.pdf (1.10 MB, 0 views)

Very cool, Ack. Keep them up!
I'm sure there are many benefited from your effort.

Edit: LoP, I think Google SketchUp deserves to be on the Resource Sticky post as well.

Originally Posted by SpaXe View Post
LoP, I think Google SketchUp deserves to be on the Resource Sticky post as well.
Good idea! Done and done!

In the 3D Warehouse, there are lots of great models. A few of them (of particular interest to roleplayers) have been gathered together in the 3D collections Dungeons and Dragons and d20 Modern.

Lots of cool models to drop into your games!

Just take note that some of these are not to scale; the shark, for instance, is big enough to go hunting an ocean liner. But the Scale tool is good for that...

You may notice that the water actually shows depth (as opposed to the normal 'water' that SketchUp gives you, which is either totally transparent or totally opaque. This is due to a technique I've developed Absolutely useless as far as actual game mechanics goes, but it looks quite nice in the picture...

The technique is simple; lots of layers of 'water', each about an inch apart. Opacity between 5% and 10%; only use an actual texture for the top one or so (unless you actually want the 'sunlight filtering through water' effect) and the rest a colour of much the same type. If you want the water to be 'deep and mysterious', run the darkness way up. If you want it to be light and clear, back it way off. Remember to Hide the edges of each layer, otherwise the pool will look like someone built it in layers (which will be true, but we don't want people seeing that...).


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