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Sketchy Styles in SketchUp

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Sketchy Styles in SketchUp

Postby Dave R » 05 Sep 2014, 18:34

Folowing on a bit from Roberts questions in the Student Desk thread, here's a little bit more about sketchy line styles in Sketchup.

The lines for the sketchy styles are actually PNG images laid over the vector lines in your SketchUp model. The line images are from actual hand drawn lines. Commonly they are drawn on a template which is scanned into Style Builder. Then Style Builder does the rest. There can be up to 7 different lengths of lines (strokes) from 16 pixels to 1024 pixels and up to 10 of each stroke length. SketchUp randomly chooses a stroke of the appropriate length for each edge it is masking. If an edge is shorter than the shortest available stroke length, there won't be a sketchy line but instead the vector line will get masked with the background color. Most of the styles I've made have 10 stokes of all seven available lengths but many other styles have no more than three strokes of 4 or 5 lengths.

You can change some attributes of sketchy line styles in the Edge settings under the Edit tab of the Styles window. Two common settings are Extensions and Halo. Extensions will make lines run beyond the real endpoints by the number of pixels set. Halo controls how large the white space is around the edge images. You can also turn on Profiles and change the color of the lines if desired. There's a slider for Level of Detail that also gets displayed when you are editing sketchy styles. It allows you to determine the shortest lines of the available strokes that will get displayed. The slider moves in steps with the number of steps being determined y the number of available strokes.

Another thing that affects the appearance of sketchy lines in your exported images is the export size. Here's an example.

This was exported at screen size...

...while this was exported at 3000 pixels wide.

It's the same style but when the images are viewed at the same size, the lines are thinner in the image that was exported larger.

I sometimes make multiple image exports and combine them in an image editor. For this finishing booth blower assembly I use a sketchy line style I created. First I made a screen-sized export with the soften edges hidden. Then I made a larger image export after unsoftening all those edges (I only had shadows turned on for the first image) and resized it down to the size of the first image before combining them.

There are other things you can do with styles such as adding watermarks. A watermark might be your copyright or a shop logo or something or it could be an image used to create a textured background. I used a watermark image in these next two images.


There's more but that's probably enough for now.
Dave R
Posts: 449
Joined: 22 Jul 2014, 13:38

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