Sketchup Blog - News and Notes from the Sketchup folks

New blocks available in Building Maker

The Google Building Maker geometry team has been busy adding a few more freeform blocks to enable you to model more complex roofs and generally non-rectangular shapes. This is a result of our plan to continuously enhance the capabilities of this new web-based modeling application by listening to you and developing new features based on your feedback.

Specifically we have added these two new freeform blocks:

Horizontal Freeform Block: You might be familiar with the "Vertical Freeform Block" which is very useful to model buildings that have irregular footprints, insets, or protrusions. Now, we have extended this concept by adding the horizontal version of this block. You can use it very nicely for roofs with partial cylinders, stepped flat roofs, or sawtooth shaped roofs. This new block is also ideal for modeling arches with a single block, as opposed to many different ones - this can save a lot of time. Here is a quick video to demonstrate an ideal use case in Nürnberg, Germany - 2min:

If you look closely, you will notice two little triangles near a couple of points of the block - they indicate which points are at the bottom, so that you can properly place it on top of an other block or on the ground.

Freeform Polygon: This is another very powerful block; in technical terms, it's basically an n-sided flat polygon. It is extremely handy when you're modeling irregular roofs or patch holes that are hard to do with the more regular blocks, but, be careful not to overuse it, since it will require more effort to locate it in multiple images. In general, when you're using Building Maker, try to represent a building with large simple blocks where possible - basically "block" out the building with minimum effort, then add detail and work on the irregular portions with the polygon where needed. Here is an example for Venice (which some of you have noticed, has a lot of irregular buildings due to the medieval construction) - 4min:

Again, we've introduced a small marker at a corner of the triangle - this should make it easier to keep track of how the triangle is oriented when you switch from one video to an other. Also, keep in mind that as with any freeform block, you can add points by just simply clicking on an edge.

And most importantly, have fun modeling and keep those great models coming!

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Mark Fulton said...

Both videos report "This is a private video. If you have been sent this video, please make sure you accept the sender's friend request."

Please correct and then remove/ignore my comment.


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rr8004 said...
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Unknown said...

I gave building creator a try yesterday but there only a couple of places in the UK to model. Need some data in my home town of Bradford please!

Unknown said...

Besides new blocks maybe existing blocks can be changed ?
Why should the roof blocks be regular in shape ? If I use the triangular shape both ends are not nescessary the same size/shape. So is it possible to change this shape so that you can model vertical sides as well as sloped sides ?