Serious Concept Art . . . with Google Sketchup??

So, this is really cool. I think I’ve previously come across the idea of using Google Sketchup to model scenes and shots, props and the like for movies before. But this time it was really thrown in my face. I’m a true believer now.

I don’t read my Sketchup emails very often, but today’s email with a link to this interview with Chris Rosewarne really got my attention. After all, how often do movie titles like Guardians of the Galaxy, Skyfall, and The Avengers fall into context with CAD software?

Concept art by Chris Rosewarne, featured in a recent Google Sketchup blog.
Concept art by Chris Rosewarne, featured in a recent Google Sketchup blog.

Chris really does some amazing artwork, designing vehicles, gadgetry and other conceptual pieces for cinema. And, apparently, I’m not the only one flabbergasted by the idea that he creates it all using Google Sketchup. Now, he uses a few additional tools to mete out the final rendering in photo-realistic detail, but that he builds the structure, detail, and motion all in Sketchup is amazing.

Here’s why I’m so geeked out about this. Google Sketchup is available free. To Anyone. I have it on my computer and I know how to use it (more or less). That means any indie filmmaker can take advantage of the same concept art tool that Chris does to conceptualize films and build 3D models. These models can even be imported into programs like After Effects and Premiere (or Blender and Cinelerra if you prefer to stay in the realm of “free”) and animated into CG films.

In truth, it’s not so much new or revolutionary as it is an “a-ha!” moment. Like the moment you realize that whenever you rub two sticks together hard and fast enough, you get fire and you never have to eat raw meat again.

Anyway, check out the Sketchup article on Chris, then go over and hang out at his ArtStation page and Facebook page for a while.

All right, take it easy and keep that camera rolling!


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