Sketchup Animation Secrets | Firewood Drying Shed

Repeat all the Steps Over and Over

So those are the basic steps I use to create this animation. It takes a while and staying organized with colour coding the movements really helps. The timeline automatically expands to fit more and more movements. And you can zoom the timeline in to focus on just one area. And that helps a lot too. And I save my work quite often — every few minutes or after I have created a few sequences.

screen capture of Fredo6 Animate in Sketchup
The animation timeline full of Units of Movement (blue bars)

So it’s basically the same steps over and over again. Copying and pasting sections works well. And you can also move a few items at a time. Not every component needs to be moved on its own. The deck boards I had dropping in two at a time. And that’s less work than creating a movement for each.

screen capture of Fredo6 Animate in Sketchup
Animating the deck boards in pairs

Render the Sketchup Animation

When I’m happy with how that looks I can then generate or render the animation into a movie file. I select MP4 with a frame rate of 60 per second. Even though my timeline in Final Cut Pro is 24 frames per second. Final Cut will take a 60 fps clip and convert it to 24 and add some motion blur. I think it gives me a much smoother animation in the end, even though it takes longer to render.

screen capture of Fredo6 Animate in Sketchup
Fredo6 Video Rendering settings
screen capture of Final Cut Pro
Rendering the Fredo6 Sketchup Animation

I also set the render dimensions to a 4K size image. And away it goes rendering. On my Mac studio computer this 28 second sequence will take around a half hour to complete.

When done I can add that clip to the episode in Final Cut.

screen capture of Final Cut Pro
Sound effects added in FCPX to enhance the Sketchup Animation

Dropping the Animation into Final Cut Pro FCPX

Here’s the two clips when I was taking measurements for my sketch. A medium shot followed by a wide shot showing the entire shed. Next I have a long fade into a freeze frame of the model in the same position. And another fade into the animation that starts with an empty ground rectangle.

At the end it fades back into the real shed before fading briefly to black and to me sitting down at my laptop.

SFX (Special Effects) for the Animation

screen capture of Final Cut Pro
Sound effects added in FCPX to enhance the Sketchup Animation

Below the animation clip are all the sound effects I added to bring it all to life, sorta speak. Below that (the green bars) are ambient sounds and effects. I have sounds of a farm field plus two sound effects that (I hope) add to the fade from reality to the model. And those affects play again at the end of the animation.

Here’s how it looks and sounds without my voice over description. Lots of swooshes, bumps, thuds, and clicks. And a clang at the end for the metal roof.

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Now I’ll turn my Voice Over back on and play it through with the description. I think the subtle background sound effects improve the animation greatly.

screen capture of Final Cut Pro
Kent saying goodbye

Wrapping this Blog Post up

There are a lot of them to add, and it takes a while, but in the end I think it’s worth the effort. And with YouTube, you can’t change, improve, or fix anything after it’s posted. So I try to get it the best I can before that.

screen capture of Final Cut Pro
The end of the video, stopping the ScreenFlow capture

So I think that covers everything I wanted to talk about in this post. I hope you enjoyed it.

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