(Note: This started a month ago and I've been chronicling the progress on another board, a friend pointed out to my horror this morning I completely forgot to post it here and given its a JEM model, of course it should be shared here, so the previous entries will be posted now and future updates will also be posted here. If anyone has tips for a newbie to Sketchup, I would really appreciate them! Take everything as past tense right up to the last bit about hardware modelling, that's where I'm up to today)
Let's build a guitar, digitally! Nope, not 3D printing this, just practicing some 3D modelling. I've ventured back into this world after minimal previous experience (dicked around in C4D for a few days then ran way in fear about seven years ago) and decided to stick with it this time. A quick back story, I've temporarily moved jobs and am helping out in a different office for a few weeks, some 3d modelling experience is desired and I was advised to get my head around Sketchup as its what most of team use.
I played around with it and loved how user friendly it seemed at first. However, the object I chose to model for my serious bit of practice during lunch breaks and free time at home has shown to me that Sketchup is severely limited in what it can do. Compound Curves are out of the question unless there's an entire afternoon free to spend manually stitching broken geometry together, even the vast extension library has only taken me so far before having to go back in and find ways to, 'trick' Sketchup into given me the results I wanted. I've been building a model of a guitar as it was kind of related to the work I'm doing and given the varying lines of the body shape it seemed like a good thing to use for Sketchup practice.
The good. Actually got the hardest part out of the way and have a fairly accurate body shape. Colleagues seem to be pleased with the progress and most of the other components I've yet to do are much easier to work with.
The bad. ****ING HELL COMPOUND CURVES. If it ain't a block or a perfect cylinder, Sketchup will just break. While I've found ways to trick the program into given me the desired outcome. Its resulted in a huge time sink at home, and the model itself has crazy hidden geometry. Small changes are now causing the program to run incredibly sluggish. Either my approach to modelling in Sketchup is wrong and there are simpler ways to carry out these tasks in the program, or I've pushed it to its limits. I find the latter to be highly unlikely given the Architects in the office are constructing entire buildings with complex plumbing and electrical grids in Sketchup, but my little guitar body is causing the same machines to nearly have a heart attack.
So with that out of the way, this is thread to chronicle and observe if building an accurate 3D model of a guitar can be done (yes) in a basic, easy to dive into without any prior experience (kinda) software. I did post the first screenshots in the, "What made you smile today?" thread and since then, have found a few more ways to attempt compound curves with less geometry required, which firstly will make texture mapping a lot easier, but in the meantime I'm going to stick with the body I've already finished.
I'll be updating the thread with screenshots as I go and if anyone has Sketchup questions I'll try my best to answer them with the limited but slowly expanding knowledge I have.
The original model with some shots of the broken hidden geometry.
One of the guys I'm working with showed me a great (FREE) rendering program called Kerkythea. We build a little staging area in Sketchup, duplicated the body and posed both components and set about rendering to see if the dodgy geometry would cause problems in rendering. Thankfully, it turned out fine.
Note: To get the measurements exact, I found some blueprints for a JEM from a priavte luthier after a bit of googling. Any measurements not present on the plans (A few of them just had a note saying, "Cut to luthiers desired measurement) meant I had to sit with my guitar and micrometer, measuring out various spaces.
Next up: Pickups!