How to Create a Stadium in Google SketchUp

by Daniel Ketchum

3D models of various types are used in movies, television, video games and on the web. Many 3D enthusiastic like to create their own rendered images and animation using 3D models they have made themselves. If you would like to try your hand at this, an interesting project to start with is creating a basic Roman-style stadium. One program that you can use for this project is the freeware Google SketchUp. Once you have the model built, you can export it for your own use in a 3D rendering program, or you can upload it for others to download.

Open Google SketchUp. At the top, you will see the menu and a set of tools. The majority of the screen is taken up by the main view, which contains a ground plane and a default human figure. Select the figure and hit "Delete" on your keyboard to delete it.

Select the "Circle" tool from the toolbar (when you hover over it, you will see the word "Circle"). Hover the cursor over the ground plane and, holding down the right-mouse key, use it to draw a circle on the ground plane. Then select the "Scale" tool (when you hover over it, you will see the word "Scale"). Grab the end of the circle and use the tool to lengthen the circle to create an ellipse.

Select the "Offset" tool from the toolbar (when you hover the cursor over it, you will see the word "Offset"), and click near the center of the stadium. Drag with the tool to create a separate face (inner circle) to define the area where the floor of the arena will be. Then repeat this process to create a series of concentric circles that will become the seating. The exact number of circles you draw depends on how large your stadium is and how many seats you want it to have.

Select the "Push/Pull" tool from the toolbar (when you hover over it, you will see the words "Push/Pull"). Click with the mouse to select each section of the seats. Drag with the mouse to raise them to the height you want. Each row should be higher than the one on front of it.

Click on "Camera" in the menu and select "Standard Views." From the options, choose "Front."

Select the "Circle" tool and use it to draw a circle in front of the stadium, facing the area where you want the door. Use the "Scale" tool and click on the circle. Drag the top edge of the circle to adjust the height to make the top look more like an arch. Select the "Push/Pull" tool and use it to extend the circle into the side of the stadium at the way to the arena section. If you want matching entrances on either side, extend the circle all the way through the stadium.

Select "Edit", then "Intersect". Click "Intersect with Model." Now simply select the extra faces and lines that you don't need to create the openings, specifically those that are blocking the entrance you have cut into the wall.

Select "File" and click "Export." Name your model and choose one of the most common 3D formats, such as OBJ or 3DS, so most 3D programs will be able to use the model.

Items you will need

About the Author

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera bull ring arles provence france image by david hughes from