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SketchUp Three (Part Two) – Adding Details

Framework

Framework

If you’ve been following this series (Part OnePart TwoPart Three), you should now have a framework of a house. Now we shall add some extra features, and introduce some new techniques.

So, open up your House file, and also the blueprint you are working from, and we’ll jump in!

Doorways

To get into the house, we are going to need some doorways. My research tells me that an average door is 36″ by 80″ (about 1m wide, 2m tall). On my blueprint, the front door is about two feet from the left corner, so lets start marking out these measurements:

Guide Lines

Guide Lines

Snap Effect in Action!

Snap Effect in Action!

Now draw a Rectangle for the doorway, and use the Push/Pull to create the doorway! The Snap-Effect will keep you lined up properly:

Now that we know how to make a doorway (Draw Guidelines using Measuring Tool, then Push/Pull to create gap), we should make all of our doorways.

By now, we will have covered our Scene in guidelines, and rather than helping, they will be getting in the way! We could go round and delete them one-by-one, but there is an easier way! The “Delete Guides” entry on the Edit Menu!

Delete The Guidelines

Delete The Guidelines

Window

Window

OK, that’s the doors … we need to do the same for the windows! For the purposes of this tutorial (and simplicity!), I will be having all of the windows start three feet from the floor, and the tops be level with the top of the doors (80″, remember? This is 6′ 8″, or about 2 meters in new money). Again, put some guides in place. I’m making the front window 6′ wide, placed approximately halfway between the door and the right corner. Then draw the rectangle, and Push/Pull it. Again, continue around the house, putting all of the windows in place.

Doors and Windows

Doors and Windows

Actual Doors and Windows

Now, we want to put the actual doors and windows in place! Now, we can design our own furniture, and we already have most of the tools to do so (Draw a rectangle 6′ 8″ x 3’6″, Push/Pull to 1″ thick, BAM! Door!). Or we can rely on the kindness of strangers!

The SketchUp Warehouse is a repository where anyone can upload their creations, for other people to use. Maybe you will upload something there one day? For now, head to the File Menu -> 3D Models -> Get Models …   This will open the Warehouse, and allow you to select items to insert into your scene! Enter a search term (e.g. “Door”) into the Search Box at the top, press Enter, and Presto! Doors appear! Take some time to browse around, see what people have uploaded. If you find a design that you like, select it, and you will be taken to it’s Page, where you have the options to view a 3D render of it (note: can take a little while to load), or to download it into your Scene. Scrolling down should reveal other items, including collections and models that this item has been used in. I’ll not get into the complicated sections for now: Find a door you like (I’ve chosen “Flush Door” by user: “Luncai”), hit Download, and load it directly into your model.

You will notice that the door is now free-floating, and you can move it around. Find some free space, and click. Note: Do not try to place it in a doorway yet! Drop it near the house, and we’ll come back to  it …

Interlude …

Rainbows From A Car

My Dad, being the hero that he has always been, took me to pick my car up from its MOT and service the other day. The weather could not make up its mind, and the clear skies kept giving way to showers. While this made driving a little more awkward, it did give rise to a rainbow!

Caught without my camera, I pulled out my trusty mobile phone, and snapped a few shots.
As we were travelling at 50-60mph along winding country roads, and shooting through car windows (usually kept spotlessly clean, but see aforementioned weather), I was quite impressed with the results:

Blurred Rainbow

Rainbow Blur

I thought this would be as good as I could get, given that we were on a schedule, and Dad is not one for stopping the car for me to take photos. Especially if it would make us late (Dad’s definition of late is “less than ten minutes early”, whereas Mum defines “early” as “no more than ten minutes late”!).

So I was quite pleased to get these:

Rainbow and Hedge

Captured Rainbow

Rainbow Behind Tree

Rainbow Behind Tree

And this one was the best, I think:

Partial Rainbow

Partial Rainbow

All things considered, not a bad haul!

We didn’t find the pot of gold, but my car passed its MOT with only minor work, so I guess that counts!

 

 

New Artists!

The Crystal Cave now has more Artists!

Firstly, I would like to welcome Dark Flights Art aboard! She has brought a range of Pewter jewellery, including Lion and Unicorn pendants, and a Griffin lapel badge!

Dark Flights Art

Also joining us is Drawn To Paint Nature, with paintings inspired by the natural world around us. WIth both prints and originals available, I’m sure you’ll find something you like!

Drawn To Paint Nature

Coming soon, we will also have Cloud Lines range of Clear Conscience clothing, made from upcycled materials.

So, remember to drop in at The Crystal Cave, and see what’s new!

He Waits. That’s What He Does.

And I tell you what; tick followed tock followed tick followed tock followed tick …

The website is up, the shop is open, products stacked neatly on the (virtual) shelves.
I’ve tested the site, run Checking Tools over it, hand-checked the links.
I’ve let everyone I can think of know about it, and done as much SEO as I can (without spending my first year’s takings on a ‘professional’).

And now I wait …

… and wait …

Hopefully my next post will be “HELP! Too busy! Too many orders!”. Hopefully. Not holding my breath.
Just waiting.

Hi Everyone From Melissa Lawrence

Hi everyone. This is just a quick post to say “Hi”, introduce myself and to let you know that I hope to be blogging at greater length in the future. Some of my exclusive, handmade greetings cards (Melissa Lawrence Designs) are already for sale on www.TheCrystalWizard.co.uk so thanks to the wizard for including my work! I look forward to sharing some crafty thoughts with you in the future.

Playing in The Traffic

Or, to be more accurate, Playing in the Lack of Traffic.

Getting a website seen is a long, arduous job. Firstly, the pit-falls of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Are my meta-tags appropriate? Do I have enough keywords in my Content? Or too many? What are people actually searching for? Is it worth paying a professional SEO company to optimize the site?

Getting other websites to link to me should bring a few page-hits. But are those sites going to see me as competition? Or irrelevant to their visitors? How much should I be spamming other webmasters requesting reciprocal links? Do I want my site to be crammed full of links to other people?

The old adage “build it, and they will come” seems like a slow process, and relies upon people knowing that I have built it.

Freebies, cut-price deals, unique products, competitions and other such offers only work if people know they are there. I can’t just walk into the middle of “the internet” and shout about my wares:
“Roll Up! Roll Up! New, interesting art and craft from UKs best designers and Artists! You, madam! You look like someone who appreciates Art! have you seen Dark Flight’s latest designs? Sir, I bet you have a birthday or anniversary approaching! Can I tempt you with something from Melissa Lawrence? Ladies, I just know that you will love Cloud Line’s new Caterpillar Hugs!”.

But there is no “passing traffic” that just happens to wander past a website. No busy street to set up my stall on. The equivalents are places like eBay and Etsy, where an overcrowded market competes ruthlessly for attention, and it becomes very difficult to be heard.

I feel caught in a Catch 22 situation, starved of traffic as I am not yet well-known enough for anyone (Search Engines, other websites, word-of-mouth recommendations) to send visitors my way, and without that traffic, I will struggle to become well-known. It only needs a small breakthrough to start the snowball rolling, but I am struggling to reach that point.

So, another weekend of looking for ways to publicise The Crystal Wizard. Ho Hum.
As always, constructive advice always appreciated.

Lurgey!

Just as I was preparing to set up the Crystal Cave shop, I come down with a cold! 🙁

Absolutely full of cold, groggy, sore throat. I’m trying to keep focussed, but its hard work!

Can’t stop, though! No Rest For The Wizard!

So, what are the next stages? I’ve got the Cave up and running, so its getting artists/suppliers on board, next. Need to get details of their work to publish in the shop, and agree pricing structures. I’ll be using PayPal, at least to begin with, and they take a cut, so need to make sure that is covered, and a bit left for me! (Much as I enjoy working in the Crystal Cave, I DO have bills to pay!).

Could do with some better artwork both for the main website, and the shop. I’m struggling with the PrestaShop Themes, seems very difficult to do minor editing, so I’m relying on finding a suitable Template. Something in pink/purple. Ah, the joys of trawling through site after site, checking their Templates, searching for one that looks right!

And then making sure the shop is configured correctly, and payments will work.

I think I need more Magic Potion (or Lemsip!)