In my previous post, I successfully added Google Earth imagery and terrain to my model, giving it much-needed context. During the process, it became clear that there were certain areas of my original terrain model which were missing elevation data, and consequently some parts of my model and the Google Earth terrain did not match up. In this post, I am going to use an inexpensive and very useful plugin called Artisan ($29) to manipulate my terrain model so that the two match up. First, I want to mention why I find Artisan so useful. SketchUp is great for many things, but it really works best with angular faces and straight-line geometry. If I were to use the push/pull tool to mold the triangular faces of my terrain, I wouldn't have much luck. What I need in this situation is a tool that lets me sculpt and mold the terrain as if it were clay. That is what Artisan does.
To start, let's take a look at the current state of my model. You will see that it does not match up to the Google Earth terrain in many places:
To begin, I open my previously-installed Artisan toolbar, and select the Sculpt Brush. The Sculpt Brush has several settings, and I use the Tab key to cycle through settings, selecting Sculpt. Next, I type in my diameter, 30', and hit Enter. Finally, I hit both the Up and Down arrows at the same time, which changes my Sculpt Brush so that it deforms the terrain inward (as opposed to outward, which is the default). Below is an image of the Sculpt Brush positioned over the terrain, ready for action:
Next, with my terrain mesh selected, I begin painting with the Sculpt Brush. Wherever I paint, the terrain deforms:
As I continue to sculpt the terrain, you can see the underlying Google Earth terrain start to show through:
I continue to sculpt until the terrain mesh and the Google Earth terrain match up:
From another angle, it is easy to see how effective the Artisan plugin is at organically modeling terrain:
To finish the process, I use the sculpt brush on all sides of the model, until it matches the Google Earth terrain perfectly: