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Pulse-pounding visuals from Hollywood artist Harald Belker

Odds are, you’ve encountered Harald Belker’s work before. As a leading Hollywood concept artist, Harald is the man behind several iconic movie vehicles. 

So you can imagine our delight when our friends at Filter Foundry told us that Harald was using SketchUp extensively on his latest project, PULSE: the complete guide to the future of racing. We immediately reached out to Harald who happily agreed to tell us more.

“I can somehow just create in SketchUp,” Harald explains. “It allows me to visualize my ideas very quickly, giving me free range to explore. I literally use SketchUp the way I used to sketch with a pencil.”

Harald starts with a SketchUp model and uses Photoshop to bring it to lifeHarald starts with a SketchUp model and uses Photoshop to bring it to life

He continues, “SketchUp allows me to very easily create an environment for any vehicle I have designed. The typical application for SketchUp is to model something in 3D, set up the perspective, export the image and use that as an underlay for an illustration in Photoshop.”

This evolution of a space through SketchUp and PhotoshopThis evolution of a space through SketchUp and Photoshop

Speaking more broadly about SketchUp’s role in the movie industry, Harald tells us that “once it caught on, it spread like wildfire. Now everybody I know is using it.”

He continues, “Since a lot of people I work with are using SketchUp, it’s a great crossover platform, too. I can model something in SketchUp and I can send that file to somebody who adds something else to it, and it sort of becomes this thing that everybody adds to.”

An electric race from the pages of PULSEAn electric race from the pages of PULSE

Thankfully, Harald believes it’s the “natural obligation” of an industry vet to share acquired knowledge and to make good, he’s posting a series of SketchUp quick tips on Filter Foundry. His first tip shows “how easy it is to create good tires in SketchUp.” Stay tuned for more.

Harald is offering SketchUp tips on Filter FoundryHarald is offering SketchUp tips on Filter Foundry

As a final note, it’s worth mentioning that Harald got into SketchUp the way most of us did: by modeling (or at least attempting to model) his own house.

Harald first used SketchUp to design his houseLike most, Harald first used SketchUp to design his house

“The way I learned SketchUp was on a tip from a friend, who said to just make your own house in SketchUp.” With a big grin, Harald continues, “Before I was even close to finishing my own house, I started designing my dream house. It ended up being 15,000 square feet. It’s a little big, but there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big.”

We’d like to thank Harald for taking the time to chat with us; thanks also to our friends at Filter Foundry for making this story possible. To see even more of his work,  visit his personal site:

About the Author

Gopal Shah is a true visionary. He's able to see the world in 3 dimensions (without special glasses). His other superpower is being able to tie his shoes and whistle at the same time. He's pretty good at SketchUp too. He's even better at admiring people who are good at SketchUp.