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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How to make a vaulted ceiling with Sketchup

I had a small project last week that I want to share with you since many of my students always ask me how to make a vaulted ceiling. The following example can help you to design any kind of non-flat ceilings.

In this study case the owner of a house wanted to show some possibilities for two unfinished spaces to a potential buyer. He asked me for a quick rendering where he could show a few ideas without spending too much money. I took some pictures of the space, and took some dimensions. I decided that Sketchup would be perfect for this project.

So I started by drawing a rectangle that included in the width the knee wall spaces on both sides


I used the Push/Pull tool to reach the ridge height. I knew that the slope of the roof was 12:12 and I could verify that on site. I activated the Protractor which I aligned with a vertical face placing it over one corner. I aligned it with the bottom line, and then I rotated. I typed 12:12 that in this particular case is the same as 45 degrees. I repeated the same steps on the opposite corner to get both guide lines.

The knee walls were at 4'-0" from the outside edge, so I drew 2 vertical lines as shown. Then, I completed the roof lines.


With the Pull/Push tool + Ctrl/Opt I pushed inside the shown face to copy it on the back wall. The X-ray mode figure shows what I got.



I copied the same face 3 times where I had the dormer walls helping me with additional guide lines.

I used Push tool to get rid of the outside area where I had no dormers, turned off the X-ray mode and this is what I got.


Since my perspective would be shown from the same place where I took my picture I erase the front wall face instead of using the Section tool to be able to see inside. On the right side I had a roof coming up from a knee wall that formed an L shape with the actual space, so I drew a box on that side. I completed the lines to match the ridge of the main space and the remaining walls.


I turned on the X-ray mode again to draw the missing lines of the dormers, and erase the unwanted ones.


I turned off the X-ray mode and then I used Position Camera tool to get the perspective view that I wanted, and save a scene. I placed windows and doors allowing letting the sunshine in to get a more dramatic scene. I placed furniture, moldings, textures and a few lighting fixtures to get my first rendering attempt using a pencil style.


To add more contrast and brightness I decided to make a fast photorealistic rendering. You can use any plugin on the market. I overlaid both images using Paint.Net and the final result was this one:

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