Designer’s Touch: Create Light Fixtures for Your SketchUp Model
UL Disapproval: Ugly Lighting is NOT Approved
While there are more than a few light fixtures available in the SketchUp Component Warehouse, if you can’t find the one that is “just right” for you, this will show you some methods to create your own to match a style you have in mind. With these steps as a guide, there’s no limit to the possibilities.
Getting Started: Layout Curves for a Glass Bell Shape:
Some things are just predictable: the first step I use to begin creating a pendant light fixture component is to draw a “layout plane”. With a vertical plane established I begin layout of the compound curves that will make up the shape of the pendant’s glass bell.
Next Step: Use the Follow Me tool to sculpt the glass bell shape:
This is the part where SketchUp does most of the work. With an established profile for the glass bell a few mouse-clicks generate the bell shape we’re after.
With a specially applied Translucent material it’s possible to create some remarkable “glass” for your light fixture. Much better than just “painting” the glass bell with a Translucent material, I create a “Projected Texture” for a more realistic appearance to the patterned glass. Follow the steps shown here for similar results in your model.
A process similar to creating the glass bell is used to design and create a metal “fitter” which will hold the glass bell to the tube stem and the ceiling.
Metal Shop Part 2:
Using the “fitter” created in the previous video clip, here I add a “projected” metal texture to the grouped geometry. For a ceiling escutcheon for our pendant light, a copy of the fitter is “scaled” into a mirror image of itself. I find this quicker than using the rotate tool, especially on a round object, but that’s just my preference. Now the scale tool can be used to increase the diameter of the fitter to make it into an escutcheon typical of a ceiling mounted light fixture. This video shows the steps (I appologize for the slow rendering of the model… my PC seems to have some speed issues this evening)
I hope the processes shown in this tutorial are helpful to enhance your SketchUp models. With a little imagination I think you’ll get an idea of limitless possibilities for creating light fixtures to suit your preferences. The pendant light shown at the start of this tutorial as well as the one created during the tutorial are available for download here at the SketchUp Component Warehouse. Feel free to share your questions or comments here at The Digital Jobsite or at The Timber Tailor’s Channel on YouTube. Happy modeling!