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Elijah Hall
Elijah Hall

Create Smooth and Organic Shapes in Sketchup with Subdivide And Smooth Plugin


Subdivide And Smooth Plugin Sketchup 35: A Guide for Beginners




Sketchup is one of the most popular 3D modeling software in the world. It is used by millions of designers, architects, engineers, hobbyists, and students for creating various types of 3D models. Sketchup is known for its ease of use, intuitive interface, and powerful features.




Subdivide And Smooth Plugin Sketchup 35



However, Sketchup also has some limitations when it comes to creating smooth and organic shapes. Sketchup's native tools are more suitable for creating hard-edged and geometric shapes, such as buildings, furniture, or machines. If you want to create more natural and realistic shapes, such as animals, plants, or human faces, you may find Sketchup's tools inadequate or frustrating.


That's where Subdivide And Smooth plugin comes in handy. Subdivide And Smooth is a plugin for Sketchup that allows you to create smooth and organic shapes from simple geometry. It uses a technique called subdivision surface modeling, which divides a mesh into smaller faces and smooths them out. This way, you can create complex and curved surfaces from simple shapes, such as cubes, spheres, or cylinders.


In this article, we will show you how to install and use Subdivide And Smooth plugin in Sketchup 35. We will also explain some of the benefits and limitations of using this plugin. By the end of this article, you will be able to create stunning 3D models with Subdivide And Smooth plugin.


Ready to get started? Let's go!


How to use Subdivide And Smooth plugin




Before we dive into how to use Subdivide And Smooth plugin, we need to install and activate it first. Here are the steps:


  • Download Subdivide And Smooth plugin from SketchUcation Plugin Store. You will need to register for a free account if you don't have one already.



  • Extract the ZIP file and copy the folder named "TT_SUbD" into your Sketchup plugins folder. You can find your plugins folder by going to Window > Preferences > Files > Extensions and clicking on the "Open Extension Folders" button.



  • Restart Sketchup and you should see a new toolbar named "Subdivide And Smooth" and a new menu item under Tools named "Subdivide And Smooth".



Congratulations, you have successfully installed and activated Subdivide And Smooth plugin. Now, let's see how to use it.


The basic steps of using the plugin




Using Subdivide And Smooth plugin is very easy and straightforward. Here are the basic steps:


  • Create a mesh or select a group of faces that you want to subdivide and smooth. You can use any of Sketchup's native tools, such as Push/Pull, Follow Me, or Intersect Faces, to create your geometry. You can also import a mesh from another software or use another plugin to generate a mesh.



  • Apply the plugin from the toolbar or the menu. You can either click on the icon that looks like a cube with curved edges, or go to Tools > Subdivide And Smooth > Subdivide And Smooth. A dialog box will pop up with some parameters that you can adjust.



  • Adjust the parameters of subdivision and smoothing. You can change the number of iterations, which determines how many times the mesh is subdivided. You can also change the smoothness, which determines how much the faces are smoothed out. You can use the sliders or type in the values manually. You can also check or uncheck the options for preserving boundaries, quads, and UVs.



  • Preview and finalize the result. You can click on the "Preview" button to see how your mesh will look like after applying the plugin. You can also rotate, zoom, or pan your view to inspect the result from different angles. If you are satisfied with the result, you can click on the "OK" button to apply the plugin. If you want to cancel or undo the plugin, you can click on the "Cancel" or "Undo" buttons.



That's it! You have just used Subdivide And Smooth plugin to create a smooth and organic shape from a simple geometry. Here is an example of what you can achieve with this plugin:



Before


After


The advanced features of the plugin




Subdivide And Smooth plugin also has some advanced features that allow you to have more control and flexibility over your modeling process. Here are some of them:


How to use crease edges to control the sharpness of edges




Sometimes, you may want to keep some edges sharp and crisp, while smoothing out the rest of the mesh. For example, you may want to create a smooth sphere with a sharp ring around it. To do this, you can use crease edges feature of Subdivide And Smooth plugin.


Crease edges are edges that are marked as sharp by the plugin, and they will not be smoothed out when applying the plugin. To create crease edges, you need to select the edges that you want to keep sharp before applying the plugin. Then, in the dialog box, you need to check the option for "Preserve Creases". You can also adjust the crease weight, which determines how sharp or smooth the crease edges are.


Here is an example of using crease edges feature:



Before


After


How to use vertex weights to control the smoothness of vertices


Another way to control the smoothness of your mesh is to use vertex weights feature of Subdivide And Smooth plugin. Vertex weights are values that are assigned to each vertex of the mesh, and they determine how much the vertex is affected by the smoothing algorithm. The higher the vertex weight, the smoother the vertex is. The lower the vertex weight, the more original the vertex is.


To use vertex weights, you need to select the vertices that you want to assign weights to before applying the plugin. Then, in the dialog box, you need to check the option for "Use Vertex Weights". You can also adjust the vertex weight value, which ranges from 0 to 1. You can use the slider or type in the value manually.


Here is an example of using vertex weights feature:



Before


After


How to use quad faces to optimize the topology of the mesh




One of the challenges of using Subdivide And Smooth plugin is that it can create a lot of triangles in your mesh, which can cause problems when editing or exporting your model. Triangles are not ideal for subdivision surface modeling, as they can create pinching, stretching, or distortion in your mesh. Quad faces, on the other hand, are more suitable for subdivision surface modeling, as they can create smoother and more uniform surfaces.


To use quad faces, you need to check the option for "Quads" in the dialog box before applying the plugin. This will make the plugin try to create quad faces instead of triangles when subdividing your mesh. However, this option is not always possible or perfect, as some meshes may have an odd number of faces or edges that cannot be converted into quads. In that case, you may need to use another plugin or tool to fix or optimize your mesh topology.


Here is an example of using quad faces feature:



Before


After


The benefits and limitations of Subdivide And Smooth plugin




Subdivide And Smooth plugin is a powerful and useful tool for creating smooth and organic shapes in Sketchup. However, it also has some benefits and limitations that you should be aware of before using it. Here are some of them:


The benefits of using the plugin




Some of the benefits of using Subdivide And Smooth plugin are:


  • It can create organic and realistic shapes from simple geometry. You can use this plugin to create models of animals, plants, human faces, or any other natural or curved shapes that are difficult or impossible to create with Sketchup's native tools.



  • It can save time and effort in modeling complex surfaces. You don't need to draw or extrude every face or edge manually. You can just create a rough shape and let the plugin do the rest.



  • It can improve the quality and appearance of your model. You can use this plugin to smooth out any jagged or rough edges in your model, and make it look more polished and professional.



The limitations of using the plugin




Some of the limitations of using Subdivide And Smooth plugin are:


  • It can increase the polygon count and file size of your model. Subdividing and smoothing your mesh will create more faces and vertices in your model, which will make it heavier and larger. This can affect the performance and stability of Sketchup, especially if you have a large or complex model.



  • It can cause performance issues and crashes in Sketchup. Sketchup is not designed for handling high-polygon models, and it may become slow or unresponsive when using Subdivide And Smooth plugin. You may also experience crashes or errors when applying or undoing the plugin.



  • It can require additional plugins or tools to edit or export your model. Subdivide And Smooth plugin will create a new group or component for your subdivided and smoothed mesh, which will be separate from your original geometry. This means that you cannot edit your mesh with Sketchup's native tools anymore. You will need to use another plugin or tool to edit your mesh, such as Vertex Tools, Artisan, or Blender. You may also need to use another plugin or tool to export your model to another format, such as OBJ, STL, or FBX.



ConclusionIn this article, we have shown you how to install and use Subdivide And Smooth plugin in Sketchup 35. We have also explained some of the benefits and limitations of using this plugin. We hope that you have learned something new and useful from this article, and that you will be able to create smooth and organic shapes in Sketchup with Subdivide And Smooth plugin.


Here are some tips and best practices for using Subdivide And Smooth plugin:


  • Start with a simple and clean geometry. Avoid using too many faces or edges, or overlapping or intersecting geometry. This will make the plugin work faster and better.



  • Use the preview feature before applying the plugin. This will allow you to see how your mesh will look like and adjust the parameters accordingly.



  • Save your file before and after using the plugin. This will prevent you from losing your work in case of a crash or error.



  • Use other plugins or tools to complement Subdivide And Smooth plugin. You can use Vertex Tools, Artisan, or Blender to edit your mesh, or use OBJ Exporter, STL Exporter, or FBX Exporter to export your model.



Now that you know how to use Subdivide And Smooth plugin, why not give it a try and see what you can create? You can download the plugin from SketchUcation Plugin Store and follow the steps in this article. You can also share your feedback, questions, or suggestions in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Subdivide And Smooth plugin:


  • What is the difference between Subdivide And Smooth and Artisan?



Subdivide And Smooth and Artisan are both plugins for Sketchup that allow you to create smooth and organic shapes. However, they have some differences in their features and functions. Subdivide And Smooth is more focused on subdivision surface modeling, which divides and smooths a mesh automatically. Artisan is more focused on sculpting, which allows you to manipulate a mesh manually with brushes and tools. Both plugins have their advantages and disadvantages, and you can use them together or separately depending on your needs.


  • How much does Subdivide And Smooth plugin cost?



Subdivide And Smooth plugin is a paid plugin that costs $40 USD. You can purchase it from SketchUcation Plugin Store. You can also download a free trial version that works for 30 days.


  • What are the system requirements for Subdivide And Smooth plugin?



Subdivide And Smooth plugin works with Sketchup 35 or higher on Windows or Mac OS. It also requires a decent graphics card and processor, as well as enough RAM and disk space. The exact requirements may vary depending on your model complexity and size.


  • How can I learn more about Subdivide And Smooth plugin?



You can learn more about Subdivide And Smooth plugin by visiting its official website at https://evilsoftwareempire.com/subd. You can also watch some video tutorials on YouTube, such as this one. You can also join the SketchUcation forum and ask questions or share tips with other users.


  • Where can I get support for Subdivide And Smooth plugin?



You can get support for Subdivide And Smooth plugin by contacting its developer, ThomThom, at thomthom@evilsoftwareempire.com. You can also report bugs or issues on the SketchUcation forum or on GitHub.


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