[Tips and Tricks] How to make a board in SketchUp!

A guide for making boards in SketchUp.
It can be quite easy to make boards in Sketchup if you have had a previous knowledge of it. If you have even remotely dabbled in SM64 level creation within SketchUp, you should have a decent knowledge of it. So, how do you make a board in SketchUp?

1. Create the board outside of SketchUp.

It may seem redundant, but creating your board outside of Sketchup is very important, not to mention it makes the process easier. You could do this on a piece of paper or on Paint.Net, although I personally prefer paper.

A few notes about board making
Make sure that the path is varied, do not make it a big loop that you can only win with high rolls
Plan where you want your shops, the bank, and the Boo on the board as well
Reminder: You can always post your board on the MPL Forum (under Custom Boards) to get feedback. I highly recommend it!

2. Download SketchUp and textures.

Now it is time to start to get things rolling (If you have SketchUp installed, move to the next paragraph)! Before you do anything though, I recommend you download SketchUp (It really does not matter which version you use, although you should really use SketchUp Make, you do not even need the PRO features). Continue with whatever SketchUp wants you to do with setup and everything and presto! You have downloaded SketchUp!

What are textures you may ask? These can really help you make your board pretty and look good. However, where may you find these textures? I personally recommend looking online for SM64 texture packs in your search engine (e.g. Chrome, Edge, Firefox) and go from there. Get a combination of them, and now you are ready for the next step!

3. Board Making.

With SketchUp installed, your board made, and textures downloaded, it is time to start to create your board in SketchUp! Now before you get crazy and start going ham in this step, it should be noted that this will take a long, long long time. I have spent about 2-3 hours on board making after creating the board on paper. So, this will be listed in separate steps.

3a. Shapes and Tools.
(If you know how to operate SketchUp, skip down to 3b) Before we can create boards, you should know how to operate SketchUp. There are different shapes and tools that you can use that can maximize efficiency. Let us start with shapes.
Square: makes a square, usually on what SketchUp perceives as the ground.
Circle: makes a circle.
Polygon: makes a n-sided figure, use Ctrl + or Ctrl - to increase or decrease the amount of sides.
Pencil: Makes a straight line, useful for board making
Freedraw: Draws however you would like, I do not recommend it.
Note: These are all of the drawing tools I suggest you use. There is more, but they are not used as much as these.
Now we have the tools, which will be split into different categories.

Camera: You have two tools which will be frequently used. Other than using the scroll button on your mouse (If you do not have one, just pinch your touchpad, it works about the same.) you have the Pan (hand) tool and the Orbit (2 arrow around a line thing) tool.
Pan: You can use this tool to move up, down, left, or right in the workspace, but it will not change the angle you are currently at.
Orbit: You can use this tool to change the angle you are viewing. Very helpful for making screenshots for boards.

Movement: You have 3 tools which will be used in this one.
Move: moves the specific shape or group
Rotate: rotates the specific shape or group, but be careful when using this tool
Scale: Changes the current scale of the shape or group, can be used for extending work space

Next we have what I like to call the shape changing tools, which there are 2 of them I recommend.
Push/Pull: Extends a face of an object, usually on the top face
Offset: Creates a shape either smaller or larger than the one selected, very useful for making boards

Finally we have the Paint tool. This will be explained in greater detail than the others, since it has many features you will need to use for boards.
The Tool: This tool looks like a paint bucket. When you start out, you can already place colors down, which should be named Chris_XXXXXXXX. You can experiment with this and get a feel of how it works.
Adding textures: Remember those textures you downloaded? This is where we need to use them. First, hit the upload image button (looks like a folder) underneath materials. This should also come up when you hit the paint bucket tool. You can edit this, which I recommend for certain textures since they may be only gray. After choosing a texture, it will appear in SketchUp under In Model.

3b. Turning 2D to 3D

Now that you know some of the tools in SketchUp, you can now start making your board! If this is your first time using SketchUp, experiment for a bit before starting.
I recommend you first start with a rectangle, it does not matter what size it is... just make it large enough for you to work on it. Then, using the board you made earlier, make the path layout of the board using the pencil tool. You just need to make it at least once, because you can use the Offset tool. If you do not see the Offset tool, you will have to look in SketchUp to find it, or change your View settings to view it in your toolbar. Make sure that you have enough space for the path though, since you will need to make it work in PartyPlanner 64 (PP64).

3c. Details and Textures

After making your path, you now need details and all sorts of items to make your board fleshed out. Let us start with textures however.
Textures: (The process of adding textures is already in section 3a, please check it out if you do not know how.) Adding textures is easy to your board, but you may notice that it looks all over the place and looks off. This is because your texture is not adjusted for the shape. Right-Click over the shape (after you selected it of course) and choose Texture and Position. There will be four icons that show up, you may have to zoom in. I will briefly explain the ones you will need to use.

4 Arrow Tool- Moves the texture to the desired place
Rotate Tool: Can rotate the texture to how you want it and scale the texture as well. This is a very important tool, you will be using it all the time.

Details: Unfortunately, I cannot give a full explanation on how you can make the best details, but I will give a few hints.

Model Warehouse- This will give you many models to use, just search for it. I recommend you give credit for people’s models that you use in your board however.

Look at others: Find other people’s work and try to make your own. It can be helpful sometimes, but I do not recommend it.

Experiment: Mess around with SketchUp to make certain objects. It may be hard to do this method, but I find it the most rewarding method.

4. Taking that Perfect Screenshot

This is the final step on making a board in SketchUp, and probably the hardest. In order to place your newly created board into SketchUp, you need to take a picture of it. There are two ways I know, but one of course is recommended.
Snipping Tool and etc: While yes this method works, it comes off looking very pixelated depending on the size. Use this at your own risk.

SketchUp: This is the prefered method, but it is the harder one out of the two. While the other you could create the image size and everything, SketchUp takes the current thing it is looking at, takes a picture, and makes it the same size as you requested. This is normally just the screen size, but you can change it (it is not recommended though). Take a picture and load it in PP64 to check how it looks, and if you feel like it is not good, retake the picture in SketchUp with a different position.

And with that you should be on your way placing spaces and be on your way to making a Mario Party board! Good luck, and I hope you learned something today!