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Google SketchUp for Game Design: Beginner's Guide Paperback – November 25, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I know a lot of teenagers who would go nuts trying out the book's projects. I imagine that someone who becomes really proficient in the applications shown in Robin's book would be well on their way to a cool career." - Bonnie Roskes, Author of Google SketchUp Cookbook.

"It presumes that you're a SketchUp beginner, but then quickly gets on to the good stuff... Robin's writing is accessible and easy to follow. He packs a lot of information into each page, but manages to keep the tone friendly and even funny at times."  - Aidan Chopra, Google

"The book is full of screenshots and step-by-step tutorials to help make things as clear as possible. If you've ever had an interest in developing 3D games, this book would be a great way to get started." - Mickey Mellen, Google Earth Blog

About the Author

Robin de Jongh worked for many years as a Design Engineer and 3D modeler, and was an early advocate of SketchUp. He has a degree in Computer Aided Product Design from Nottingham Trent University, and is the author of SketchUp for Architectural Visualization: Beginner's Guide. He works as a book editor and lives near Nottingham, England.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (November 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849691347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849691345
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,396,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm a SketchUp author myself, and it's always fun to see what others are writing about.

This book actually targets two industries: game design and film / stage. Both use storyboarding to lay out scenarios, and Robin de Jongh explains how to do this in SketchUp, helped by other applications. I'm not an expert (to put it generously) in either field, so the fact that this is a self-stated "Beginner's Guide" is great for me.

To be clear, this isn't a book that teaches SketchUp modeling, though there's nothing presented that requires advanced SketchUp skills. But you'll be ill-served if you pick up this book with no SketchUp experience at all. This book is really about integration - combining SketchUp skills with skills in other applications.

Like Robin's previous book on rendering, this one is quite fun to read. Robin is very funny, and while this one isn't as laugh-out-loud as his first one (maybe his editors wanted this one to be more serious), the intro to each chapter is something to look forward to. And his casual, informal, writing style makes this book a lot more fun than your typical, dry "how-to" book.

And like in his first book, Robin's passion for free stuff comes through loud and clear. He uses free software for graphic editing (GIMP), and finds places to download free models and textures (CGTextures). He demonstrates using Unity 3D for setting up the environment after importing SketchUp assets (terrain and buildings and props). He also focuses on doing things as easily as possible - such as making model changes in SketchUp, rather than in more complex app's like Unity.

There's a lot in here about textures and materials. Not just how to use them in SketchUp, but the most efficient way to use them.
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Format: Paperback
Overall this a fantastic book to have in the 3D section your library. Beginners will find this book most useful as it will get you up and running with the tools you need to begin your journey with 3D & gaming, but even experienced pros will find SketchUp a very useful tool in rapid prototyping; particularly since you can import sketchUp models into programs like 3ds Max.

I like how author grabs your attention with his passion for the subject that really comes through in every chapter and makes it a fun read. It lays out what you can -and can't- accomplish with SketchUp and just how relevant this free tool can be to a 3D artist whether a professional or a hobbyist. The book is refreshingly honest about such a complex subject as 3D asset creation.

You'll get hands on experience though practical exercises that are easy to follow and encourage adding your own personal style as opposed to cut and dry recipe examples. These examples are great jumping off points that allow you to practice techniques used throughout the book. I like how each exercise ends with a challenge to push you to take the exercise further.

My favorite aspect of this book is how it focus exclusively on FREE tools available that allow anyone to set up a 3D development environment. Sketch-Up, Google Warehouse, Gimp (Photoshop alternative), CGtextures, Unity3D, Meshalb - all the tools necessary to create AAA quality game assets or any interactive experience. What's exciting about this is that any with curiosity can jump in.

The modeling exercises start with creating simple but useful game objects and introduce a repeatable work flow: researching real-world objects, preparing textures for game engines, modeling and texturing objects, and finally importing them into a game engine.
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Format: Paperback
Packt Publishing has offered this an interesting book to me for review. It's about using Sketchup for game design. I like using Sketchup but I didn't know that it is good enough to be used for game design. This book shows that it can, and how you can do it.

This is a beginner's guide that's made up of step-by-step tutorials that build on one another. The goal is to construct a small town on uneven terrain at the outskirts of a city. It's the setting for a first person shooter game, and it's going to be used as demo where you can walk around the town.

To get up to speed, you need basic Sketchup knowledge like modeling and moving things around. The tutorials only cover the essential steps which focuses on finding textures, creating them, and mapping them onto the models.

Specifically for game design, it covers how textures are to be manipulated to get them looking good and still not be a drain on computing resources. The guided exercises are all easy to follow along.

In addition to Sketchup, the book introduces many free software that are to be downloaded and used for the tutorials. They are Meshlab, GIMP and Unity 3D. Unity 3D is a huge file so you'll want to download it first while reading the first few chapters.

The tutorials use GIMP, the Photoshop alternative, to edit pictures. You can still use Photoshop but you'll have to be proficient enough to understand how you can workaround, for example on how you can create seamless textures, because all the steps are written for GIMP.

There are many things new to me in this book. One of them is on creating undulating terrain inside Sketchup. I didn't know that was possible, and it's not difficult. There's also a chapter on modeling a car.
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