My friend Steven from Tiny House Swoon suggested I make some 3D tour videos of my designs – to really show what these tiny houses can look like when people build them.
I’d never done made videos like this before, but knew it was possible with the software I use. So I gave it a shot, and voila – easier than I thought. Below I’ll explain how it’s done below, for those of you using SketchUp to draw your houses.
I chose my 4 most popular plans to start with – figuring folks would be most interested in seeing these designs in a realistic 3D walk through.
The Talmage is a tiny house on wheels with a 10/12 gable roof and two shed dormers that provide more headroom in the loft. It has 140 square feet, a front room and back room that are open to a cental kitchen. The bathroom is off the kitchen in the center of the house. The loft is above the kitchen and bath and accessed from the back room. Its total length is 20-feet and the expected weight is 9,000 lbs. Learn more about the Talmage 20
Redwood Valley 24
The Redwood Valley is a tiny house on wheels with a gambrel roof. It has 169 square feet, a main room with a kitchen and a full bathroom on the far end of the house that includes a full 5-foot bathtub. Above the kitchen and bath are two lofts. One is accessed from the main living room and the other from a trap door space above the hall in front of the bathroom. Its total length is 24-feet and the expected weight is 10,800 lbs. Learn more about the Redwood Valley 24
The Westport is a tiny house on wheels with a 10/12 cross gable roof. It has 198 square feet, a main room in the front of the house and large back room accessed through the kitchen of via french doors to the side. The bathroom and kitchen are in the center of the house. Above the kitchen and bath is the sleeping loft accessed via the back room. Its total length is 28-feet and the expected weight is 12,600 lbs. Learn more about the Westport 28
The Cleone is a tiny house on wheels with french doors on one side. It has a 10/12 gable roof, two skylights, 110 square feet, a sleeping loft, a bathroom, kitchen, and bay window off the living space. It’s total length is 16-feet, the expected weight is 7,200 lbs. Learn more about the Cleone 16
How to Make a 3D Tour Video
Now for the Video DIY part… I use SketchUp to make the original drawings and a plugin called SUPodium to make the photorealistic renderings (see samples below). The folks that make SUPodium also make an add-on called Podium Walker that makes videos of the drawings – frame by frame – using the scenes already setup in the SketchUp drawing.
First I make a copy of my original file, just in case something goes wrong. Then I arrange the scenes in the order I want to show the house. Then I load the scenes into Podium Walker which then compiles the scenes into a ‘path‘.
Exporting the path of scenes takes a lot of computer time, like a couple hours, because it’s making rendered image after rendered image. So it seems best to keep the videos short unless you have an amazingly powerful computer.
Once the raw file has been exported I bring it into ScreenFlow. I don’t use expensive video editing software anymore, I just use ScreenFlow. I then edit the original Podium Walker video, adding freeze frames, text, and a soundtrack. I could do a voiceover too – but I like the captions (got that idea from Steven at Tiny House Swoon too).
That’s it! Simple. It takes a couple hours, a bit of video editing knowledge, but a fairly simple task. I’d love to see more folks give it a try.
SUPodium and Podium Walker have good free trial periods. That software costs some money so makes sense for the serious SketchUp hobbyist or professional but probably not for folks dabbling in it. But the 30-day trail can let you experiment with it. I use SketchUp Pro, but SketchUp Make is free.
SUPodium Photorealistic Renderings