Tammy Cody has been a long time SketchUp user, specializing in design documentation and 3D visualization of interiors. She also teaches SketchUp for interior designers online and at live training throughout the country. We dive in and take a look at one of her most recent projects with the Netflix show, Queer Eye.
Could you give us some background on this project?
I developed a set of drawings for Netflix’s Queer Eye. If you haven’t seen the show, the Fab 5 helps someone in each episode by giving them a boost in self-care, and they somehow manage to make me cry happy tears nearly every time I watch. One team member of the Fab 5 is interior designer Bobby Berk who gives them a fresh space, usually in their home.
This particular episode included a very small apartment in Japan. A large custom piece was being built wall-to-wall, so drawings were necessary to help with the build, which is where I came in.
The wall-to-wall custom piece.
What were some challenges you faced? Did SketchUp and LayOut help you solve those challenges?
The challenges of this project were also what made it so much fun!The project was in Japan… and I am in California. So the design team used a Structure Sensor to scan the space, then I was able to model on top of the base model.
The space was very small and Bobby wanted to maximize storage, so he used a built-in lofted bed, with steps doubling as drawers. The stressful part was making sure it would fit into the space once it was built. So double and triple-checking measurements were vital.
Speaking of measurements, another challenge that I faced in this project was drawing and annotating in metric measurements. Being in the US, I'm much more familiar with feet and inches. Thankfully SketchUp made it easy for me to switch back and forth so that I never had to open a calculator to check my conversions (Window > Model Info > Units).
Lastly, drawing for TV production means a very tight turnaround. The majority of this project was drawn in a day.
Utilizing LayOut: Maximizing the space with a built-in lofted bed.
What value did LayOut or SketchUp provide you in this project?
It wouldn’t have been possible for me to convey my drawings with this level of detail and efficiency without the use of LayOut. There were many layers (both physical layers and SketchUp layers) to this build and I needed to be able to show the build broken into phases. I also needed to hand off the drawings with little to no explanation to keep the back-and-forth communication to a minimum.
Showcasing the build in different phases.
This meant that the ability for SketchUp and LayOut to work dynamically was invaluable in a project like this. I could break down the model and annotate all of the pieces in LayOut while keeping everything clean in SketchUp.
Annotating all the pieces in LayOut.
What’s one thing you’d love for others to know about LayOut?
First, if you are a professional and you aren’t using LayOut yet…my best advice is to use it! I wasted so much time when I started using SketchUp exporting images into other software to present and document my models. Once I dove in and integrated LayOut into my workflow I was kicking myself for not using it sooner.Also, LayOut can be a major asset, but you have to set yourself up for success with good 3D modeling habits. This means utilizing grouping and organizing your model with Layers and Scenes so that you can document everything easily in LayOut.
Pro tip: Resist the urge to draw a title block, dimensions, and annotations in SketchUp. It will look much better in Layout!
Organizing your SketchUp model early on means easy LayOut usage later.
So, we have to ask, how can we watch the show?
Hop on Netflix and search for “Queer Eye: We’re in Japan!” All of the episodes are wonderful but these drawings were for the episode called “Bringing Sexy Back” (Episode 4). If you are looking for some binge-watching material, watch the entire Queer Eye series from season 1. They are a fantastic bunch.