The EAATC 3D Modeling Process Illustrated

Part VI



St. Paul Former Station 14 (b) Modeling Illustrated

In late January, 2013 we began development of our 35th Fire Station model, that of the StPFD Former Station 14 (b). That stations location is at #91 N. Snelling Ave, in St. Paul, Minnesota. The building (although altered) is exists.

That station was this authors 'home' station when I was a much younger man. After 34 other fire station models I thought it might be interesting to some to explain our process used to produce these models.

You can model this very same station, and follow along with the examples, or, model your own house, or other building of your choice. If you follow along and build this station with me, I'd be very interested to view your results.

We are going to model ONLY the outside of the building. Doing a full inside/out structure requires a much more significant level of complexity when dealing with 3D drawing.

If you have questions or comments about this explanation go to our USER FORUMS and leave your questions.



This section takes our model from...

The final UNPAINTED version.

Including window sill extrusions, a center front 4-panel window, flashings over Watch Office roof, lanterns on station front, 3D text over apparatus doors and the app doors themselves, kick plate base extrusions surrounding the base, and door and scuttle hole cover for Hose Tower.

Also the station height off the ground was adjusted, the side entrance steps and door removed. A new side entrance door was added.

  Paint recessed 3D text, 'Yellow' the concrete, the walls, chimney, and front lanterns.

Paint the Tower roofs and Watch Office roof. Use a custom paint texture. Paint the Fire Escape.

Paint all the brick arches, and all doors and windows. 'Pave' the front apparatus apron, and 'plant' grass.

The FINAL fully painted version!

Export the model to Trimble 3D Warehouse






And finally, our FINAL MODEL in the Trimble 3D Warehouse...


Model along with me, and then model your own home station and then submit it to the Trimble 3D Warehouse

51. How to PAINT basics.

52. Painting Components

53. Paint the base, the roof, and the 3D recessed text.

54. 'Yellowing' all the concrete.

55. 'Yellowing' the window sill extrusions.

56. Paint the walls, the Chimney, and the front Lanters.

57. Paint both Tower/Roofs and Louvered windows and door, the Fire Escape, and the Watch Office roofs. Import and use a Texture image..

58. Paint all brick arches. Paint the I beam.

59. Prepare and paint all windows and doors. UN-Yellow all the concrete. Pave the apparatus apron (driveway) and plant the 'grass'. (in two parts)

      59a. Prepare and paint all windows and doors.

      59b. Pave the apparatus apron, and plant grass next to the station. UN-Yellow all the areas to be painted concrete.

The FINAL steps.

60. Save the FINAL file version. Geolocate the model. Create an animation version and file. Save the models final version .kmz file. Upload to 3D Warehouse.
(in two parts)

      60a. Save the FINAL file version. Geolocate the model.

      60b. Save photos of the model. Create an animation version and file. Save the models .kmz file. Upload the model to the 3D Warehouse.


Congratulations! If you modeled along with me you are now well on your way to becoming much more than a novice 3D designer. I am VERY interested in seeing your results. You can email me at the email address at the bottom of the page.

51. How to PAINT basics.

TASK: We are going to save our unpainted version to a new version.
          Also the basics of the PAINTING process will be demonstrated.

TH-not-found Previously we saved the unpainted version of our model file. At that time I cautioned that we should NOT edit that version. It should remain an untouched 'golden' version.

I am going to save a file version. My version for it was 'v13'.

We've already done a minimal amount of painting, however from hereon it gets a little more complicated. I'm going to review first the basics related to PAINT.

TH-not-found Pan to the temp building. If needed ERASE it all, and then redraw a rectange and PULL it up, so we start 'clean'.

I've selected the front surface (dotted pattern). PAINTING AFFECTS THE SELECTED SURFACE.

TH-not-found Open the PAINT tool. I've chosen the color Yellow.

If you click the selected surface, it gets painted (textured) the color yellow.

TH-not-found Now I've selected both the front and top surfaces.

TH-not-found Click ANY selected surface, and they all get PAINTED.


TH-not-found I've cleared previous paints.

A rectangle has been drawn on the front. You've now got two individually selectable surfaces.

TH-not-found Click a selected surface and it gets PAINTED.

TH-not-found ERASING one of the rectangle sides returns us to one selectable surface on the front.

PAINT now affects the whole selected surface.

TH-not-found Redrawing the 'missing' LINE and then HIDING it still results in TWO selectable surfaces. Turning on Hidden Geometry will show hidden lines.

Hidden lines still act as 'normal' lines, you just can't 'see' them.

TH-not-found Clicking PAINTS only the selected surface.

You could HIDE all the lines of the rectangle and it would still act the same way.

TH-not-found Cleared the previous work.

I redrew a rectangle and PULLed it out.

Then I colored a few sides of it. They are all individual surfaces and accept individual colors.

TH-not-found Want to change what you've already painted?

I simply re-clicked the yellow with steel treadplate metal, the blue with wood flooring, and the red with roofing shingles.

TH-not-found I cleared previous paints on the front and sides.

Then I PAINTED one of the front/side surfaces with a color named Gainsboro.

Which one? Can't tell? Neither can I!

This is a 'problem' we will deal with (a lot!).

It was the FRONT surface I painted.

TH-not-found Gainsboro is a color we'll use a lot of for the extrusions, sill extrusions, kick plates, and many more because they all will be 'concrete color' in the final version.

My 'solution' is to first paint all such surfaces Yellow first. Then paint the rest of the model, and finally go back and repaint all Yellow to Gainsboro.

This works nicely to ensure EVERYTHING gets 'colored'. That way there's no confusion between 'empty' (unpainted) and painted.

TH-not-found Want to 'unpaint' some surface and get back where it was before any painting?

Unfortunately there is no 'Unpaint' command or procedure. Of course if you did 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 you can UNDO but you'll have to undo 5, 4, 3, 3, 1 to get there. If you did 1, 2... 99 you may not want to UNDO that many steps.

The way to do it is to DELETE the surface.

TH-not-found Then re-create it.

TH-not-found I drew a 'Brick' on two adjacent surfaces.

SU helps you out by matching the mortar lines of the brick. It usually gets it right, but not always.

TH-not-found You CAN position painted surfaces. Select a painyed surface, then right-click and Texture/Position.

TH-not-found You'll get the texture positioning screen in what is called 'non-Fixed Pin' mode.

TH-not-found Now you can drag the painted surface as you please.

TH-not-found One of the things SU gets 'wrong' with brick work is rotational errors. You can fix this easily by simply right-clicking the surface in positioning mode, and choosing Rotate/90.

TH-not-found The results would be like this.

This is a poor example for the real world, but this is what it would do.

I hope there was nothing very surprising there.

Our next section will deal with painting components. That process will be new, and requires some new procedures, and time/click savers.

WATCH this video on YouTube about addng photos to faces.

Remember you can CLICK the 'square' icon in lower-right-hand corner get FULL SCREEN. Hit ESC to return back to normal size.

WATCH this video on YouTube about positioning textures and non vs. Fixed Pins mode.

Remember you can CLICK the 'square' icon in lower-right-hand corner get FULL SCREEN. Hit ESC to return back to normal size.

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52. Painting Components

TASK: In our model we many many components. That was done with a specific purpose, and the eventual painting of them was one of them.

We'll learn how components will save us hours of work in painting our final model.

TH-not-found On the temp building I've created a 'box' and push/pulled a couple of surfaces. Then I made the box a Component.

A little quick counting gives a total of 15 surfaces that require painting.

That would also require some zooming/panning/orbiting and then clicking in order to perform the painting. I would consider this an 'easy' object. They can become much more complicated.

TH-not-found However ONE CLICK on a component with the PAINT BRUSH will paint all unpainted surfaces.

Read and understand this...
One click on a SELECTED component will PAINT ALL UNPAINTED surfaces.

TH-not-found I UNDID my previous paint.

Then EDITING the component I PAINTED the inner surface with 'glass', and another with red.

Then I exited editing the component.

TH-not-found Then select the component again and PAINT with Yellow.

Now all the still UNPAINTED surfaces become Yellow, but the surfaces that are ALREADY PAINTED are not affected.

Hmmm... like ALL our window components that have their 'glass' already painted! That was by design, not accident.

TH-not-found I UNDID my previous paints.

Then I placed another copy of the object on the temp building.

PAINTING one yellow and the other blue shows that INDIVIDUAL COPIES of a component may be painted differently, while those surfaces PAINTED while editing the component are NOT changed.

TH-not-found I UNDID my previous paints. And removed the additional component copy.

Another 'box' object with a few 'extra' surfaces.

TH-not-found Making BOTH into a Component, I then PAINTED the 'nested' pair component.

SU still painted all surfaces even though there were two (or many more) components nested in the component. And it still followed the previous painting 'rules'.

TH-not-found Added a 'frame' box and made it a component.

TH-not-found Then moved the other two components inside it.

Then I created another component of all three.

TH-not-found PAINTING it yellow works. SU will go as 'deep' as needed to complete painting.

Think about all the number of surfaces and components in our Fire Escape. Yup, ONE CLICK will paint them all. That was by DESIGN!

TH-not-found Ooops you think! I forgot to paint one (or more) surfaces. And the one that's missing is 'deep' inside. Now what?

Edit the 'outside' component. Nope not there yet.

TH-not-found Edit the inside pair. Nope not deep enough yet!

TH-not-found Edit the top one of the pair.

TH-not-found Yes, now we're deep enough.

TH-not-found Let's PAINT that surface green.

Remember you are affecting ALL COPIES of that component. Do you want all copies affected?

Remember good old MAKE UNIQUE!

TH-not-found Our component now looks like this.

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53. Paint the base, the roof, and the 3D recessed text.

TASK: Painting is a 'one click' process. It's easy. The 'hard' part is making sure you paint EVERYTHING! We'll start with the stations base and roof. Next we'll tackle the 3D recessed text.

TH-not-found Pan/Orbit to underneath the station.

In Colors-Named choose 0136_Charcoal.

Click on the bottonm surface.

TH-not-found The station bottom is painted. Easy.

TH-not-found Orbit up to the roof. Choose color in 'Asphalt and Concrete' Asphalt New.

Two clicks here. One on each portion of the sloping roof.

You've now 'tared' the roof.

TH-not-found Zoom in on the roof scuttle cover. Choose Slate Grey.

The scuttle is a component, so one click and it's painted. Otherwise you would have to navigate and paint each and every individual surface. Bummer.

Thank you, Components!

I hope you understood the section on Painting Components. Your going to need all the concepts of painting nested components next. If you don't inderstand it, you should re-read it until you do.

TH-not-found We're going to paint the text itself a grey-ish color. The text is eventually going to be surrounded by a almost white-ish color.

I've 'drilled down 3 layers of components to arrive at the 3D text 'FIRE STATION.

If we were to paint the text here the surfaces in the 'R', 'A', and 'O' would become grey-ish also. That's not what we desire. Those areas should be our eventually white-ish color. Temporarily we'll substitute yellow for our white-ish color.

Remember the rules about painting components, any unpainted surface receives the same color. That's what we need to avoid.

TH-not-found I've double-clicked the component to EDIT it.

Then I've painted the 'R', 'A', and 'O' surfaces Yellow.

Now they are 'safe' from getting component painted. Why? Because they are now painted!

TH-not-found Exit editing the text component, and select it.

Choose color Dark Grey and PAINT the text.

The yellow stayed yellow like it should.

TH-not-found A close-up view shows that all surfaces of the recessed text got correctly painted.

TH-not-found Pan to the H&L text. I've drilled down 4 times to get to the surface of 'o' in No.

PAINT it Yellow.

TH-not-found Exit editing the 'o', and continue exiting until you can select just the surface of the '0' in the '10'.

PAINT it Yellow. And also the surfaces in the '&' and the Co.

TH-not-found Exit editing all. Select the whole text component.

PAINT it Dark Grey.

TH-not-found Repeat the 'Yellow' painting process for the 'o' in 'Co.' and the '0' in '20' of the Engine text.

No need paint the small 'o', it is a component itself and is already painted.

TH-not-found Exit editing all. Select the Engine text conponent.

PAINT it Dark Grey.

TH-not-found Our model now looks like this.

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54. 'Yellowing' all the concrete.

TASK: This model has a number of places where a color similar to that of concrete will be applied. The problem with that color is it's indistinguishable from the raw basic screen unpainted color of the model.

I'll use Yellow as if it was a primer color to ensure at the completion of model painting all the yellow got re-painted to the proper color.

TH-not-found Select the FIRE STATION logo area component. This will eventually be painted a 'concrete' looking color. The issue is if I paint it that color now I can't tell what I've painted and what I haven't.

Choose the color Yellow. PAINT it yellow. No problem deciding it's painted now.

TH-not-found PAINT the text area surrounding the other 3D texts also.

TH-not-found PAINT the other components on the front of the station also. They are all one click apiece.

TH-not-found On the Watch Office side all these components and surfaces too.

TH-not-found Orbit to ensure you've gotten everything.

TH-not-found The kick-plates on the Tower side should be Yellow also.

TH-not-found All most previous examples were 'one click' components.

Now we've got to 'Yellow' all the roof parapet extensions. They are not components such we have to PAINT each surface.

TH-not-found Don't forget to Orbit and PAINT the 'underneath' surfaces also.

TH-not-found Pan around and PAINT all the parapets Yellow.

TH-not-found Continue your way around the station PAINTING Yellow as you go.

TH-not-found Don't neglect the inside roof surfaces also.

TH-not-found The top of the Utility Chimney needs Yellow too.

TH-not-found The edges and underside of the chimney top needs Yellow also.

TH-not-found Oops... I forgot one.

The 5" pad at the base of the Fire Escape needs Yellow too. One click will do it.

TH-not-found Our model now looks like this...

TH-not-found And like this.

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55. 'Yellowing' the window sill extrusions.

TASK: All the window sill extrusions will eventually be 'concrete' colored, so they all need yellow for now. They are all components, so the painting process is a snap.

There are only 5 sill extrusion components...
  1. 8 foot sill
  2. 4 foot sill
  3. 2 foot 8 inch sill
  4. 28 foot sill (already 'Yellowed')
  5. Hose Tower Louver Window Bottom sill
We'll just edit one of each (except #4) and it will paint all of them.

TH-not-found Let's start with an 8 footer.

TH-not-found Edit the window, then select the sill.

TH-not-found EDIT the sill. PAINT all of its surfaces Yellow.

TH-not-found Orbit and PAINT the opposite side also.

TH-not-found Exit editing the sill and the window.

Look. All the 8 foot sills are painted.

TH-not-found Look, on this side too.

TH-not-found Now a 4 foot sill.

EDIT the window, then EDIT the sill. Begin PAINTING it Yellow.

TH-not-found Don't forget the top surfaces.

TH-not-found All the 4 foot sills are painted.

TH-not-found Now a 2 foot 8 inch sill.

EDIT the window, then EDIT the sill. Begin PAINTING it Yellow.

TH-not-found Exit editing.

Neat, all those sills are painted.

TH-not-found In the rear too.

TH-not-found On the opposite also.

Are we done? Nope not yet.

TH-not-found Select the small Tower. Edit it. Select Tower protion. Edit it.

Then select the Louvered Window.

TH-not-found Edit the Louvered Window. Select the Lower Extrusuion and EDIT it.

PAINT all of its surfaces Yellow.

TH-not-found Our model now looks like this.

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56. Paint the walls, the Chimney, and the front Lanters.

TASK: Brick on most wall surfaces are required, and on the Chimney also. The Lanterns we created on the station front need painting also.

TH-not-found From the Materials pallet chose 'Brick and Cladding', then 'Brick_Antique'.

Pan/Orbit to the rooftop.

Begin PAINTING the inside parapets.

TH-not-found Continue around and paint all the inside surfaces of the parapets.

Then Orbit and PAINT the rear and the rear side and Utility Chimney sides.

TH-not-found Don't fotget the small portion at the rear of the Utility Chimney.

TH-not-found Continue with the center side, the Watch Office, and the front side entrance.

TH-not-found Four more clicks on the front.

TH-not-found Now the details.

You have to PAINT the inside edges surrounding the apparatus door frames (NOT the apparatus doors!) for both doors. And the inside area surrounding the center window. See photo.

TH-not-found And above the center window.

TH-not-found Along the right side of the right apparatus door.

TH-not-found Three more clicks on the Tower side.

TH-not-found Begin PAINTING the Chimney surfaces.

TH-not-found And the extended brick surfaces too.

TH-not-found Complete the extended surfaces.

PAINT the back sides of the chimney also.

TH-not-found Complete the extended surfaces.

PAINT the back sides of the chimney also.

TH-not-found The chimney top.

TH-not-found And the sides.

TH-not-found Underneath too.

TH-not-found PAINT the two inside flat surfaces Charcoal color.

TH-not-found The inside and outside of the chimney flue gets the SaddleBrown color. And then the top.

TH-not-found Pan/Orbit to the front lanterns. Select it.

TH-not-found EDIT the lantern.

Now you have a choice. We need to ZOOM IN until we're inside the glass. If your uncomfortable doing that you can always select one of the glass panels, and erase it. Then zoom IN, do our painting, and then zoom back out and recreate the glass.

PAINT the bulb and neck Red.

TH-not-found The bulb socket and lamp base get PAINTED DarkGrey.

TH-not-found Exit editing the Lantern.

The exterior of the Lantern gets PAINTED SaddleBrown.

Do the other one of the pair too.

TH-not-found Our model now looks like this.

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57. Paint both Tower/Roofs and Louvered windows and door, the Fire Escape, and the Watch Office roofs. Import and use a Texture image.

TASK: We can now paint both Towers, roofs, windows and door. The Fire Escape, and the Watch Office roofs. Also we'll import a texture image and use it.

TH-not-found Before we proceed we need to save to another version.

Mine is verion 14.

TH-not-found Select the main Hose Tower.

TH-not-found Edit it, the select the Roof component.

TH-not-found Edit it again, and then select the rooftop.

TH-not-found Edit it.

Let's paint the rooftop edges first. Choose DarkGrey and PAINT the horizontal edge.

TH-not-found And the edges undereath.

TH-not-found PAINT and Orbit all around to each vertical edge.

TH-not-found Exit editing the whole Tower.

Then re-select the Tower and edit it. Then select the rooftop ASSEMBLY (roof and top ball).

Choose DarkGreen. One click PAINTS the whole roof and top ball.

I don't like that color, but it's the only choice (so far).

TH-not-found Exit editing the main tower. Select and edit the small Tower. Then select the rooftop.

PAINT it DarkGreen.

Then select the lower tower portion. Edit it.

TH-not-found Proceed around and one click each Louvered Window PAINTING them DarkGrey.

TH-not-found Don't forget the one tucked in behide the chimney edge.

TH-not-found Exit editing and select the lower tower. PAINT it with our brick.

TH-not-found Pan the main Tower. Edit it. Select the tower portion and edit.

Begin PAINTING thre Louvered Windows DarkGrey.

TH-not-found When you get to the door we must EDIT it because the doorknob needs painting.

PAINT the doorknob Gold.

TH-not-found Exit editing.

Then one click PAINT the door DarkGrey.

TH-not-found Exit editing.

Select the tower portion. Then one click PAINT the brick.

TH-not-found Pan/Orbit to the Fire Escape. Select it.

Choose color Black. Select it. One click PAINT it Black.

TH-not-found The 'mesh' surfaces are to light in color.

Open the Materials window, and click the little house to see materials used in the model. Scroll until you see the 'gridwork'. Select one of them.

Then click the EDIT TAB and you'll see the color wheel and the light/dark slider. Move the slider all the way down to darken the mesh.

TH-not-found Repeat for all the meshes shown.

TH-not-found I've decided that I really don't care for that DarkGreen color. It's to 'flat', and has no texture to it. But SU's standard choices give us no 'weathered copper' color to choose.

Here is a link to my 'weathered copper' color. Right click and 'Save Link As...' to a directory of your choice.

Then in the Materials window click the 'house with a plus' and you'll receive this window.

TH-not-found Click the 'Use Texture Image' checkbox. Then navigate to the directory where you saved the copper_patina_01.jpg file. Click OPEN.

TH-not-found Edit the nane to be 'Copper_weathered_roofing'.

PAINT the roof ths color.

TH-not-found If desired you can return to the EDIT TAB of the Materials window and you can 'play' with the light/dark slider, and the scale dimensions.

If you don't like what you've got after your 'playing' these's a RESET COLOR box you can select to go back to where you started. And you've got UNDO too!

TH-not-found Ah... that looks MUCH nicer. There is nothing else quite like the weathered green patina of old copper roofing.

TH-not-found Don't forget to do the opposite side roof too.

TH-not-found Pan/Orbit to the small Tower. Edit it. Then select the rooftop.

PAINT it with our copper roofing.

TH-not-found Pan/Orbit to the main Tower. Edit it. Then select the rooftop.

PAINT it with our copper roofing.

TH-not-found Now our model looks like this...

TH-not-found And like this.

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58. Paint all brick arches. Paint the I beam.

TASK: All the brick arches require painting, but cannot be painted with any default colors. We must import a few pre-made textures and create our own bricks and mortar. The I-beam will get painted also.

There are 3 texture files that must be downloaded. They are images created from SU's default bricks but have made to be just the brick portion (without any mortar), and the mortar (without any bricks).

I used my normal image editor, and a terrific tool named Genetica used for editing and creating textures. But you won't have it so I've done the work for us.

Download these:

Right click each one and 'Save Link As...' to the directory of your choice.

TH-not-found Open the Materials window. Click the 'House+' to get 'Create Material...' window.

Click 'Use texture image' checkbox.

Choose the brick_antique_texture_01.jpg file. Rename it to 'Brick Antique Texture 01'.

Click OK.

TH-not-found Click the 'House+' to get 'Create Material...' window again.

Click the small icon at the end of the filename textbox. If you hover over it it will say 'Browse for Material Image File'.

Choose the brick_antique_texture_02.jpg file.

TH-not-found Rename it to 'Brick Antique Texture 02'.

Click OK.

Why two brick textures? No two bricks are ever identical and this gives us the opportunity to alternate a bit.

TH-not-found Bricks need mortar. Click the 'House+' to get 'Create Material...' window again.

Click the small icon at the end of the filename textbox. If you hover over it will say 'Browse for Material Image File'.

Choose the brick_antique_mortar_texture_03.jpg file.

Rename the material as 'Brick Antique Mortar 03'. Click Ok.

TH-not-found Start with any 8' window on the Tower side of the station.

Edit the window and then select the arch.

TH-not-found Edit the arch. Next select a 'brick pair'.

Choose 'Brick Antique Texture 01'.

TH-not-found Edit the brick pair.

PAINT the large brick.

Notice all the other large bricks get painted as well.

TH-not-found PAINT the small brick 'Brick Antique Texture 02'.

Then PAINT the mortar area with 'Brick Antique Mortar Texture 03'

TH-not-found Exit editing the bricks

Then PAINT the main mortar area with 'Brick Antique Mortar Texture 03'.

TH-not-found Exit editing the arch.

Now visually compare your mortar in the arch with the mortar in the station wall. You may want to adjust light/dark a bit.

If so choose HSB (Hue, Saturation, Brightness) in the 'Picker' dropdown. Alter 'B' until your satisfied.

TH-not-found All the 8' arches are now painted.

TH-not-found The front and other side of the station too!

TH-not-found Choose a 4' arch on the side of the station.

Repeat the PAINTING process on this 4' arch.

TH-not-found Exit editing.

All the 4' arches are painted... well almost.

TH-not-found And on the other station side and the rear also.

TH-not-found The arches over the doors are a separate component.

The bricks are all the same component, so they are already painted but the arch main mortar is not.

TH-not-found Edit the arch. PAINT the mortar.

TH-not-found Pan to the rear. The arch over the rear entrance door needs mortar also.

TH-not-found Exit editing the arch.

Pan/Orbit uo to the I-beam.

PAINT it DarkGrey.

TH-not-found Our model now looks like this...

TH-not-found And like this also.

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59a. Prepare and paint all windows and doors.

TASK: We are now ready to prepare and paint all the doors and windows. One we've done the necessary preparation it's an easy one click per window/door operation to paint.

TH-not-found Prepare the windows? What's that?

Lets paint this window with one click of DarkGrey.

The whole window gets painted. Easy... BUT!

TH-not-found Look closely. The edges that should be brick also got painted grey. We have to do some preliminary preparation of ALL OUR WINDOWS AND DOORS to ensure they are correctly painted.

UNDO the painting of the window.

TH-not-found Exit editing for a moment and draw a GUIDE aligned carefully with the center of a mortar section on the front wall.

TH-not-found Edit the window.

PAINT the edge our Brick_Antique.

Here's the perfect example where SU tries to place the brick but it gets the orientation off.

TH-not-found Select the painted surface.

Right click and choose 'Texture/Position'.

TH-not-found Right click and choose 'Rotate/90'.

TH-not-found Now the tough part. You'd like to drag the rotated surface so it's mortar lines are aligned with the GUIDE, but it's hard to see.

Back when you drew the guide, a short drawn LINE from the corner (only a couple of inches long), will help considerably. But you have to go back and ERASE it when we're done.

TH-not-found This is what we are after. Not perfect, but not bad.

TH-not-found Repeat the process on the other side also.

PAINT the lower surface brick also.

TH-not-found Pan/Orbit up to the curved surface under the arch.

We could try painting with brick, but you'd be disappointed. SU doesn't allow positioning or rotation on curved surfaces.

So I PAINTED it with 'Brick Antique Texture 01', the same as we painted out bricks in the arches.

TH-not-found Now you can one-click PAINT the window DarkGrey.

And look, all the other 8' double windows are already prepared. Thank you components!

TH-not-found Now we must REPEAT the same process with ALL our other sizes of windows, like this 8' single.

TH-not-found When you've COMPLETED ALL the windows we need to deal with the extrance doors also.

TH-not-found Edit the door.

PAINT and position brick on outside sides of each side of the door.

TH-not-found The top curved surface gets PAINTED the brick texture also.

TH-not-found Pan down to the doorknob. Drill in a couple of clicks until you can select the knob.

TH-not-found Edit the knob. PAINT all surfaces GOLD.

All the other knobs are now gold also.

Exit editing the door.

TH-not-found Pan/Orbit to the rear of the station.

Select the Hay Loft door. Edit it.

PAINT the two edges the brick texture.

TH-not-found And the opposite corner of the door too.

PAINT the two edges the brick texture.

TH-not-found Begin single-click PAINTING all the windows with DarkGrey.

TH-not-found Continue in the rear and the other side of the station.

TH-not-found Start single-click PAINTING the doors DarkGrey.

TH-not-found In the rear also single-click PAINTING the doors DarkGrey.

TH-not-found Pan/Orbit to the station front.

Single-click PAINT the apparatus doors DarkGrey.

Oops... I forgot the center window.

TH-not-found Double ooops.

The side of the brick surrounding the right app door needs brick too.

TH-not-found The center window get the same treatment as the rest of the windows.

TH-not-found PAINT the window DarkGrey.

TH-not-found Our model looks like this...

TH-not-found And this...

TH-not-found And like this.

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59b. Pave the apparatus apron, and plant grass next to the station. UN-Yellow all the areas to be painted concrete.

TASK: The apron for the apparatus in front of the station was originally paved with bricks, and next to the station requires some grass.

Remember all those areas we colored yellow? Now we'll reverse that process and paint the all with a 'concrete' color.

TH-not-found We need to draw a LINE out from the station corner on the green axis separating the 'driveway' from the station side's area to be 'grassed'.

TH-not-found You need to import and save a small texture file of paving bricks to a directory of your choice.

Open the Materials window. Click the 'Box+' to get the 'Create Materials...' window.

Then browse for the file named 'paving_brick_dbf.jpg'. Then rename the material 'Paving Bricks 02'.

Click OK.

TH-not-found PAINT the driveway with the bricks.

TH-not-found Position the texture and rotate it 90 degrees.

TH-not-found Select the EDIT TAB of the bricks in the materials window.

Change the scale of the bricks to 3'.

That looks better. Do you remember paved brick streets?

TH-not-found Zoom and Pan to the area to 'grassed'.

Select Vegetation in the dropdown chooser. Choose 'Vegetation_Grass1'.

PAINT the grass area with it.

TH-not-found Select the EDIT TAB of the grass in the materials window.

Choose the HSB choice in the 'Picker'. Change the 'B' to a value of 50, and the Scale to 4'.

All that 'ugly' yellow has served it's purpose. Now it's time to alter it to it's true intended color. Shouldn't be difficult to identify what needs to be altered, it sticks out like a 'sore thumb'.

TH-not-found Lets begin in the rear roof corner starting with the parapet covers. They get PAINTED 'Gainsboro'.

Work your way around and get all yellow on the roof area. Remember to Pan/Orbit and get ALL surfaces.

TH-not-found Should look similar to this when you're completed.

TH-not-found Next do the concrete extrusions at the base of the Hose Tower Louvered windows. Edit one, and they all will be changed.

Then all the other window bottom extrusuions also.

TH-not-found Next the kick plates on the front and this side.

TH-not-found And the kick plates on the other side also.

TH-not-found Next the extrusion surrounding the Watch Office.

The side 'stripe' is next.

Don't forget the side near rooftop extrusion.

TH-not-found Next click all the extrusions on the front.

TH-not-found Zoom in and click to edit enough times to get to the yellow surfaces in 'FIRE STATION'.

PAINT the yellow ones.

TH-not-found Remember that lower case 'o' in Hook & Ladder?

Click enough times to edit and get to it's surface.


TH-not-found Now exit editing enough to get to the surfaces of the other yellows in the text. PAINT them.

Repeat the process with the 'Engine' text.

TH-not-found Look around. Look again! There should be no more yellow anywhere.

Make sure. Look once more.

TH-not-found Our station now looks like this...

TH-not-found And this...


Here is our great looking StPFD Station 14 as it looked when built in 1910.

Are we done yet? Not quite, the world does not know anything about all our work yet. That's next.

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60a. Save the FINAL file version. Geolocate the model.

TASK: Take the steps needed to produce the final version of the model file. This station of course has a true real world physical location. We'll perform the steps required to accurately geolocate the model.

TH-not-found Choose Window/Model Info.

TH-not-found Choose Statistics, and then click the 'Purge Unused' button to remove any left over unneeded items. This also helps reduce the final file size.

TH-not-found Next click the 'Fix Problems' button. You should get a screen like this.

TH-not-found Save your file.

Then click 'File/Save As...'

We're going to rename our file 'St_Paul_Former_1910_Station_F01.skp'

Our former versions has been replaced by 'F01'.

This is our FINAL file version.

Of course you can model items that have no specific physical location on the earth.
This however is not the case with our fire station. We'll locate it next.

TH-not-found Choose Window/Model Info.

Then select Geo-location, and then click 'Add Location...'

TH-not-found You'll get this 'Add Location' window.

Enter the street address you're looking for in the search textbox.

Ours is '93 N. Snelling Ave., St. Paul, MN'

Then press Search.

TH-not-found It will search, and soon you'll arrive at the location.

If you're in the correct location, click the 'Select Region' in the upper right.

TH-not-found You'll get a screen like this.

Grab the blue buttons and drag to resize the selection shape.

TH-not-found Like so.

If your satisfied, click the 'Grab' button.

TH-not-found You'll be returned to the modeling screen with the portion of the 'earth' you selected underneath your model. Notice the geo area is outlined in red, indicating it's locked.

Next I chose Edit/Select All and it selected the whole model.

TH-not-found You can see that our model needs to be rotated by 90 degrees.

So I chose the front left corner as my rotation point.

TH-not-found Okay. Now the whole building needs to be moved into position. But look, there is some perspective to the image. We want the 'base' of the stretched image, not the elevated portion. Be careful.

TH-not-found Like so.

TH-not-found Then choose Edit/Select None.

TH-not-found Then choose Window/Model Info again.

Then Geo-location, and it tells us 'This model is accurately geo-located'.

And you've also got the latitude/longitude info, however there is no way to select and copy that information.

TH-not-found Select the base image of the earth.

Right click, and choose 'Unlock'.

TH-not-found Erase the base image.

TH-not-found Save the model file.

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60b. Save photos of the model. Create an animation version and file. Save the models .kmz file. Upload the model to the 3D Warehouse.

TASK: We want to save photos of our final version just as we did our final unpainted version. We'll NEED one of these photos to upload. A 'movie' of our model is a neat feature SU provides, so we'll create and save one.

Then we must create what is called a .kmz file, or in other words the whole model compressed into a much much smaller format (a 'zipped' Keyhole Markup Language) file.

And then finally we'll share all our work with the world by uploading our model to the Trimble (formerly Google) 3D Warehouse where millions of other 3D models are displayed also.

TH-not-found If you have not done it already, you can delete the temporary building wee used during construction.

Position your model into a proper 'pose' for one of the final photos of it.

Choose File/Export/2D Graphic...

TH-not-found Navigate to the same directory where you saved the unpainted version photos.

You will be presented with 'your_file_name.jpg'. You should add a 'version indicator' to the filename as we will have more than one of these final model photos.

I renamed mine 'St_Paul_Former_1910_Station_F01 _01.jpg'.

TH-not-found Reposition your model into another pose.

Save a version '_02' photo of your model.

Now is the time to save as many more versions of your models photos as you desire.

It is now time to begin the process of making the 'world' aware of all your efforts in modeling. The 'standard' way of doing this is to create a 'compressed' version file of your model. This compressed file will be generated with a '.kmz' file extension.

The Keyhole Markup Language is the internal language SU's models are written in, and produce .kml files. These are then 'zipped' (compressed) into .kmz files.

Keyhole was the company that originally developed the SketchUp program before being bought out by Google. KML is an XML type language, and is now an industry standard with millions and millions of produced files being distributed world wide for modeling and mapping purposes.

TH-not-found Position your model into the 'pose' you desire your model to be presented in.

Then choose File/Export/3D Model...

TH-not-found Navigate to the diretory your desire (probably the same as the one where your model files are stored).

Click the Export button.

After a few moments your .kmz model file will be created.

TH-not-found I am in the habit of doing a 'quality assurance' with my .kmz files by opening them in Google Earth. After all that is their eventual destination.

Open GE. Choose File/Open and navigate to your .kmz file.

Click the Open button.

TH-not-found In a few moments your .kmz file will be read, and the earth will reposition and display your model.

The positioning and your viewing height above the ground all could be altered here, but that's the matter for a different lesson.

TH-not-found I repositioned GE above the model and zoomed out a bit.

Remember when we completed the geo-location of are model, and we were presented with the latitude/longitude positioning of our model, but there was no way to copy that data?

TH-not-found If you create a 'placemark' on the model, you'll be presented with the lat/lon of the mark.

You can then copy as desired and use this data anywhere you need it. Normally the DECIMAL version of the lat/lon is desired rather than minutes/degrees/seconds style. You can alter your GE by selecting the Options menu.

Now were going to create a 'movie' (video) of our model. But I'll do it in a separate model file so as not to add many 'views' to our final model file.

TH-not-found SAVE your model file.

Choose File/Save As...

Then create 'St_Paul_Former_1910_Station_F01 _anim.skp'.

We'll use this separate version just for our movie file creation.

TH-not-found Position your model for it's first picture position.

Then choose 'View/Animation/Add Scene'.

TH-not-found SketchUp will add a tab, Scene 1, containing your first model position.

TH-not-found Then repeat the repositioning process and Add Scene for as many positions a you desire in your movie. 12-15 maximum is a good choice.

Then pick File/Export/Animation...

TH-not-found Navigate to the directory where you desire to save your .avi movie file.

Then click the Export button.

TH-not-found Then for a few minutes you'll be presented with a 'progress bar' as you movie file is created.

Here's my movie of my final model.

And now (believe it or not) the final steps of our model's creation.

Whether you modeled a fire station such as ours, or a flower pot (and yes there are hundreds of models of them), you're the only person that knows about it unless we take the steps to 'release' the model to the world.

The Trimble (formerly Google) 3D Warehouse, at is THE place to upload it to. There are millions of models there from all over the world, and in subject matters you would astounded at.

TH-not-found Open the in your browser.

Click the "Sign In' button in the upper RH corner.

TH-not-found If you already have a Google account, simply login.

If you do NOT have an account, YOU SHOULD!

Click the large RED 'SIGN UP' button and follow the steps to create an account. Then return and login.

TH-not-found Like this.

TH-not-found Once your in your account page, click the 'Upload' button or link in the upper right hand corner.

Now you'll need to know...
  • The filename and location of your .kmz file
  • The filename and location of the .jpg photo you desire to display of your model
  • The title of your model
  • The description of your model
  • A url of a website page that displays info about your station (if you have it)
  • Tags (keywords) to be associated with your model
  • Sharing settings (normally Publicly-Viewable)

TH-not-found You'll need to fill in the .kmz file, the .jpg image file, the title, and the desciption of your model.

TH-not-found And fill in a website page about your station, and desciptive tags for station.

Mine were, 'fire station, historic fire station'.

TH-not-found Check the 'Sharing' setting, normally Publicly-Viewable.

Now we're ready... Click the UPLOAD button.

TH-not-found Now WAIT while everything uploads, and it gets processed by the website.

After a few minutes you'll get something similar to this.

Notice above the upper left hand corner of your models photo there is an EDIT CHOICE underlined.

Click it.

TH-not-found Now enter the stations street address.

And check the box that indicates this model is real, current (we'll fib a bit), and correctly located.

Google will 'behind the scenes' attempt to make your model a 'default' whenever anyone anywhere looks at your stations location on Google Earth.

This attempt will usually FAIL, and in a few days you'll get a nasty email about you models failure. You can disregard that email. Your model is fine.

Click the UPDATE button at the bottom of the page.

The reason why your model fails, according to Google, is that they are not expediting the amount of detail contained in your model.

What they desire literally, is a box with pictures pasted on it! Why? Because it's simple and does not take much time to display. And when Google's got hundreds of thousands of potential models to attempt to display, they are very 'choosey'.

The email you'll surely receive will 'complain' about complexity, and lack photo textures. Not to worry, your model is just fine, and it DOESN'T look like a box with pictures stuck on it!

TH-not-found I have enough models in my account that I've organized them into 'collections'. One for St. Paul statios and for Minneapolis.

I next clicked the 'Oranize' button, and then recieved a chooser drop-down, in which I chose 'Fire Stations in St. Paul, MN'.

TH-not-found I then chose to view my St. Paul collection.

TH-not-found I've got several pages of models. This page of the collection shows the model we added.

You may now log out of the 3D Warehouse.


We are done!

Happy modeling. Let's SEE your results.

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This example of the use of Trimble SketchUp were created by:
D. B. Freedman, EAATC Webmaster
Copyright © 1996-2017 The Extra Alarm Association
of The Twin Cities, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Last Modified 2017-Dec-18 09:41:36
Edited and maintained by D.B. Freedman

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