Alien UD-4L ‘Cheyenne’ Utility Dropship

Another model taken from the 3D Warehouse and rendered in Twilight. Lighting and weather effects were then added in Photoshop Elements. I was trying to reproduce the look of the ship as it first hit the planet's atmosphere in the movie.

Eagle Transporter

Eagle Transporter from the TV show Space 1999 from my childhood. The model was taken from the 3D Warehouse. I then rendered it in Twilight and edited that in Photoshop Elements to add the moon, clouds, lens flares and jet contrails.

Inspiring Modelers: Angel Moore

MH60J Black Hawk (clay render) by the other Martin Taylor

It seems like the only way to achieve the official Google moniker 'super modeler' is by modeling a lot of buildings for Google Earth. This makes sense from Google's perspective as it seems Google Earth has always been their priority for SketchUp and their main reason for buying the product in the first place. From a modeler's perspective, however, it sucks.

Not that I am looking for this recognition myself but because it would be great to have a filter for the 3D Warehouse to be able to find those people who do great SketchUp work and their models but who build things other than content for Google Earth. In the first of an occasional series I'd like to step up and acknowledge some modeler's whose work I have happened upon while exploring the 3D warehouse.

Part of the attraction of building models for me is a virtual extension of begin a kid building plastic Airfix kits so it is unsurprising that I like Angel Moore's (ALM Model Works) models as they are a virtual shelf of detail, completed Airfix staples: military aircraft, tanks and Sci-Fi models. The MH60J Black Hawk helicopter I downloaded and created a clay render from is a typical of his amazing attention to detail as even the cockpit is detailed and the side guns are complete models in their own right. His popular M1A2 Abrams is equally detailed as is his Batman Tumbler and just about any of the other subjects in his Warehouse stream.

Most of his models are complete although a few of either tank turrets, or running gear alone. If you happen to be looking for one of the subjects Angel Moore has modeled download his model immediately. His models are certainly a good step and a half above the usual level of models you find in the 3D warehouse and you can learn a lot about modeling complex and detailed subjects just be exploring one or two of his models. You can find a few more details about his SketchUp models at his blog too.

Tutorial: Digital Painting

If you're interested in using SketchUp renders as under-painting and then painting on top of them this great series of tutorials on Digital Painting was on the Life Hacker Night School last week. I'm currently working through the included exercises myself but I am learning a lot. Maybe they'll be useful for you to:

My Models: Liberator (Blake's 7)

After the struggle I went through finishing Valley Forge I thought it would be a while before I found myself modeling for fun again. I was surprised to find myself modeling another 1970's spaceship but I couldn't believe this great ship from my youth was so poorly represented in the warehouse. I set to work and this is what I came up with after about 4 hours effort. I am pretty happy with how it looks and the rendering from Twilight looks decent too - I just wish I knew more about rendering textures to dirty it up a bit. I did watch a couple of episodes of the old show while building this model to get in the mood - the Liberator may still look great but the show itself doesn't hold up that well. Time for a re-make?