Beginner's Guide to Modding for Banished PART 1A - a simple fence with SketchUp

Started by scoutae4, October 23, 2023, 07:06:23 AM

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**an IMPORTANT update about SKETCHUP FREE** The FREE VERSION of SketchUp will not allow you to save your files in the .dae format. You will need your fence model in this format for the next steps of this tutorial series which will take place in Blender. I will include it when we get to that part so you can still follow along. I just wanted you to be aware (as I now am) that if you want to work in SketchUp, you'll likely have to purchase a subscription or use the older unsupported version mentioned in the intro below. The free version is just too limited.

PART 1A: a simple fence with SketchUp

I am very happy to share this fast and fun beginner's tutorial created by @kid1293 for those interested in using SketchUp to create mods for Banished. I will do my level best to replicate this tutorial in Blender (PART 1B to follow soon). Note that even if you create your model in SketchUp, PART 2 will be in Blender as that seems to be the preferred free software for texturing, etc.

Before we tuck in a few words about SketchUp. In the before-time, SketchUp was completely free. @kid1293 still uses the last free full desktop version, "SketchUp Make 2017" to model and to create this tutorial. It's no longer supported but you can easily find it on sites like CNET. SketchUp still offers a free, basic, web only, version here: which should be totally fine for creating Banished models. Long story short, this tutorial will be easy to follow whichever version you decide to use. The menu is on the sides instead of the top – not that complicated.

Let's get started by setting up your work space to be compatible with Banished.

If you are using the new web version of SketchUp:
Navigate to "Model Info" in the right menu bar (2nd up from bottom) and set the FORMAT to: 0.0m, and the PRECISION to: 0.00

If you are using SketchUp Make 2017:
Navigate to Windows > Model Info > Units and under LENGTH UNITS change Format to Decimal – m and Precision to 0.00

Quote's are @kid1293  :)

QuoteHow to make a simple model. An introduction to SketchUp. Install SketchUp. There is nothing to think about. it works out-of-the-box. When you start, you are welcomed by the 'Material Guy' he is an easy way to reach some menus. You can delete him. He is more in the way.

QuoteUp on the top you see the usual assortment of menus. Click the arrow at the rectangle, and you get more options. Or just press 'R' to get a standard rectangle.

QuoteThe meeting point of the red,green, and blue lines is called the Origo (0,0,0)  It will be our starting point. With the rectangle selected, click and drag from Origo to (+0.08,+0.08) and get a square.
*if you are using the newer version of SketchUp you will have the option to create your rectangle centered on the Origo and you won't have to move it in the later steps. The live measurements appear in the bottom right corner of your screen. If the numbers are too big, zoom in to your scene to get more precision.

QuoteLeft-click on the square to Select. Then right-click to get options.

QuoteSelect Reverse Faces to get the front of the mesh facing upwards. The square will change to a white color. Zoom out a bit. Select the Pull tool or press 'P'. You can both pull and push, but only one surface at a time.

QuoteWith the Pull tool, click and drag upwards to 0.60.

QuotePress the 'Spacebar' to get the Select tool. Select one side of the model. Right-click the selected side and go down and click Select -> All Connected.

QuoteSelect the Move tool on the top menu, or press 'M'. The model is 0.08 deep and 0.08 wide. You have to move it 0.04 in both directions (red and green) to center it.

QuoteKeep the Move tool and press Control once. The cursor will get a '+' sign. It means you will copy the selected parts. Move the cursor to any corner of the model and click.
Now, move the copy along the red line (x) 1.0
If it is hard to select direction, you can press the Right Arrow on the keyboard. (Left=green, Right=red, Up=blue, Down=Use constraint)
While 'on the move' you can input a distance to move. Just press '1' and it will move 1 meter. Yes, it is meters. You can call it units. Bannies are 1 unit high.

QuoteNow we have two fenceposts and must have something connecting them. Select the Tape Measure Tool, or type 'T'. Click on the endpoint (see picture) and drag down 0.08 and click. You will get a Guide Point there. Now click that point and measure 0.02 along green (y) axis. Click to set new Guide Point.

QuoteSelect Rectangle 'R' and place a rectangle from the new point to 0.08 down - 0.04 in

QuoteSelect Tape Measure Tool 'T' and click on the lower point of the new rectangle. Click and draw 0.24 down. Click. Select Rectangle 'R' and draw another 0.08 down - 0.04 in rectangle.

QuoteSelect 'T' and measure the distance between the posts. (0.92) Select Pull 'P', click the upper new square, move a little bit out, and input 0.92 on the keyboard.

QuoteSketchUp actually remembers the last input for each tool. It means you can double-click on the lower rectangle and it will pull out 0.92.

QuoteNow save your new model as a .skp file, and also export 3D Model. The exported model will be of type .dae, which you can import into Blender for next steps!
**if you're using the free version of SketchUp you won't be able to export as a .dae file but it will be provided in the next steps so you can still follow along**

A Little Extra

QuoteSelect the upper surface of the first post.

QuoteSelect Pull Tool 'P' and press 'Control' once. You will get a '+' sign telling that the pulled surface will create a new section. Pull 0.01

QuoteSelect Size Tool 'S' and hold 'Control' to Uniform Scale From Center. Drag a corner out about size=1.20

QuoteSelect upper surface and pull it up a bit (without '+' sign). Press 'Spacebar' and select an area around the post top. It will select all surfaces within the box.

QuoteSelect Move Tool 'M' and press 'Control' once to get a '+' sign. Move (copy) the selected surfaces to the other post, from the endpoint... the other post's corresponding endpoint. The copy will snap in place.



Really great, if you want to add it to the omnibus at simtropolis, just let me know and I'll pop in and approve it   :)



thank you for this. after the modkit tutorial, i did start discrepancy's blender tutorial from 2016. BUT, the new blender version i installed is different enough from the version used in the 2016 tutorial, that it added just the right amount of difficulty, for me to give up.
i last tried blender for sims 4, back in 2017, but never got to the stage of making my own custom content, and never learned much about blender. if i'm going to try again, it feels like a great time for switching to sketchup.
i appreciate all the time and effort you're putting into this, thanks again.


I'm glad you're here @HappyLeighEverAfter :D SketchUp is fantastic! It was my first time working with it and I found it intuitive right away and @kid1293 instructions were easy to follow. I can see why it's favored by so many creators.

My goal is to have the Blender Fence tutorial up in the next day or two if you'd like to take another crack at modding in Blender as well. It's going to be WAY MORE basic than the @Discrepancy one and I feel like the cross-over skills will be helpful no matter which software we eventually gravitate to. But ya, not gonna lie, it's a bit of a beast.  :P


Oh noooo!!! HAHAHA  :'(

Did you mean the Blender tutorial I posted this morning...? It's a chonky dense software that Blender. Will blender your brains


Quote from: scoutae4 on October 24, 2023, 03:10:25 PM
Oh noooo!!! HAHAHA  :'(

Did you mean the Blender tutorial I posted this morning...? It's a chonky dense software that Blender. Will blender your brains

oh, no, i did NOT mean from the tutorial this morning. i mean from the last time i tried - really tried - to tackle blender with as much effort as i could. (back in early 2017 or so) when i wanted to make my own curtains for windows in sims 4.

just the other day, when i tried to read through and follow along with discrepancy's tutorial, i "noped out" before any real waterworks got going, lol.

i knew could not bear struggling with blender while also trying to deal with the version differences since tutorial was written, in 2016.

even at my age, i AM TRYING to learn from my mistakes. LOLOL  :)


@HappyLeighEverAfter Honestly, same. The tutorial that launched a thousand tears ;D It REALLY IS an excellent tutorial though. The more I learn, the more I go back to it and the more I understand what he's doing even though it's dated. It's an intermediate lesson that would be much easier to follow if Blender had not changed so much I think.