After setting up the map of Graven, I decided to take a break and play around with SketchUp. Each building is built from the ground up (no interiors, though), and all are based on random buildings found using Map Crunch. All the buildings have been modified to suite the ideas I had for each location, and served primarily as a learning process. The buildings are not accurate in terms of size or distance – some of them probably measure the size of a doll-house, while others are probably a lot bigger than they should be. Since I was simply learning how SketchUp works, and I’m only going to use these models as reference for my illustrations (and maybe a comic!), I’m not worried about accuracy. As long as everything looks good, and looks accurate, it doesn’t have to be perfect. As I learn how to use SketchUp more effectively and more quickly, and as I move on to creating interiors, I’ll be relying more on accurate measurements.
All of the buildings I used for reference are from Japan, Italy, Germany, and I believe one of them is from Brazil. Map Crunch allows me to limit my searches to specific countries, so I was able to locate buildings from the various countries I referenced when creating the map itself. I’ll continue to use photographic reference for all my art, especially architecture, since that lends a sense of realism to the pieces. SketchUp’s excellent display doesn’t hurt, either!