Google Sketchup -ing a bar.

About 8 months ago I started playing around with Google Sketchup with the intention of possibly using it as a shortcut to generate backgrounds for comics.  Apparently this is fairly common in comics right now….for example, DC spent several months building a model of Metropolis to speed up background renderings in its various Superman comics.

Leinil Yu (the artist for The New Avengers) did this model for Doctor Strange’s house which is currently being used in a variety of Marvel comics.

sanctum sanctorum

You can find more of his stuff at

Anyways, I started by downloading a pre-built restraurant from Google Warehouse…….

 sketchup bar, start

Next, I started adding other models, things like cash registers and ash trays (you can see a few above).

sketchup bar, version 2 

It was way too spacious (I wanted a rowhome bar), so I deleted 80% of the model and added new walls to close in the space.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t find a proper set of bar taps, so I built my own and added those in.  The space behind the bar was bare, so I deleted that and started adding objects as well.

sketchup bar version 3

sketchup bar, version 4?

That back wall was knocked out and replaced with a closer wall with windows, which you can see in the comic below.

bar comic

At the moment, the latest iteration of the bar looks like this…

sketchup bar, latest version

It was a concept mockup to attempt and get the “look” right for a pulpish comic book.  (Half the reason I started this site was to get my figure drawing ability back up to par so I would have better figures to play with in Sketchup.) 

Yes, I know I misspelled “possessed.”

Definitely could have done without the lens flare too, in my opinion. 


Filed under 1, art, BAR, cartoon, doodle, draw, Drawing, pencil, photoshop, sketch, sketch a day, sketchup

6 responses to “Google Sketchup -ing a bar.

  1. Thank you for Sketch up s notes…
    I’m an iranian comic-book artist searching for some info about using Sketch ups in comics and so I found it’s very current now… so I had to hurry not to be the latest one of artists using it in comic arts… 😉

    • anotheraaron

      A lot of people use it as a crutch (like lens flares), especially when first experimenting with it (I certainly do) – but it is a useful tool. I’ve always found perspective to be a very mechanical process, and honestly one that doesn’t really have anything to do with talent. If Sketchup speeds up that part of rendering backgrounds, and lets you focus on the more creative aspects, I have to see it as a good thing. 🙂

  2. Netta

    cool is it possible to use sketchup in my animations? 3d programs are too complex to learn but this gave me is it possible?

    • anotheraaron

      I’ve seen animations that folks made using Sketchup, so I know it’s possible – unfortunately I don’t personally know how to do it.

      About a year ago, I exported the bar from sketchup and then used it as the setting for an animation I did using a separate program. (I had a bird running around on the bar top as the camera itself did several passes down the room).

  3. anotheraaron

    No problem. 🙂

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