Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Learning to model terrain in SketchUp

There is no such thing as a flat site (Fig 1). Terrain, slopes, and grading are an intrinsic part of site related projects, but many people struggle with representing terrain in a digital form. In the 7 years I’ve been teaching students and professionals to create models in SketchUp, the most common question I get is how to work from a digital site survey (for example from AutoCAD) with contours to generate a SketchUp model that integrates the site features, like buildings, walls, roads and walks into the terrain.

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Monday, April 29, 2013

How to use more than one Section Plane simultaneously

The *Section Plane *is a powerful SketchUp feature. You can cut your model anywhere in realtime. You can create as many section planes as you like, but SketchUp will only allow one single active section plane at a time (in the same context, as we will see). To use simultaneously active planes, the trick is to group your model with a section plane and create another one outside the group.
A model without Section Planes.

A model using two section planes simultaneously.
Create the first section plane, and place it at the desired position

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Shaderlight version 2.4 has been launched for sketchup users

Users of Shaderlight can now render faster and more efficiently, thanks to the release of version 2.4 of the leading interactive and intuitive rendering plug-in to SketchUp.

Available to download from today, this latest update to Shaderlight delivers dramatically improved export and rendering performance to users when rendering complex components such as trees from 3D Warehouse or using Replace Me functionality. In tests, Shaderlight 2.4 has reduced memory usage up to 90%.

Shaderlight Cloud Rendering, the first and only SketchUp rendering plug-in to harness the power of cloud computing, also benefits from this latest release with vastly improved export and render times.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Google Sketchup as an Urban Homesteading Tool

I just completed a new chicken run, greatly assisted by an amazing and free 3d design program: Trimble SketchUp (formerly Google SketchUp). While it takes some time to learn (I'm still learning!), this program helped me visualize the chicken run as well as estimate the amount of materials I'd need to buy. Here's how I used it to create the run:
Google Sketchup as an Urban Homesteading Tool
Previous runs either did not work (chickens squeezed out and flew over) or were hideously ugly. I resolved to design a run that was both aesthetically pleasing and practical. Inspired by A-Frame cabins of the 60s Kelly and I came up with this idea:
Google Sketchup as an Urban Homesteading Tool
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sketchup Plugin Review : Raylectron SketchyMesh

SketchyMesh is an easy terrain and shape builder. It is based on the formula z=f(x,y) for a grid where you enter your own ruby formula using x and y. Create terrain and shapes from a grid using formulas in the form of z=f(x,y).

You don't need to know math, just modify the ones that comes with the plugin and see what it does. There is an Undo button to easily undo the mesh, so you can change the formula quickly on every turn. You can go the "View" menu and turn on "Hidden Geometry".

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Adding Context and Entourage to SketchUp Models

Many architects are so focused on representing their building designs with SketchUp models that they often fail to put those models into the context of their surroundings or even add critical elements (entourage) to the models such as landscaping, people, furnishings and more. The following studioINSITE project illustrates how simple strategic decisions about SketchUp modeling can enhance models and communicate overall concepts more effectively.

This project represents a very quick charrette for envisioning the addition of a new pavilion to an existing country club swimming pool. My modeling process is explained as follows:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Solid plugin for Google SketchUp

SuSolid is a fusion of 4 plugins related to Solid entities of Google SketchUp:
  1. Solid Check Plugin that shows you all the causes that makes your model a non solid.
  2. Solid Repair Plugin that helps you to repair your model and makes it solid.
  3. Solid Intersection Check Plugin that shows you all the intersection between solids.
  4. Solid Weight Plugin that shows you the weight of the model and every singe component.
On the picture sequence on the right you can see how quick you can make this model to be composed by 49 solid entities. Just try to do it manually and you will see how much time the SuSolid plugin can save you.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CISCO TX9000 Telepresence and 3D Augmented Reality

Telepresence refers to a set of technologies which allow people to feel as if they were present, to give the appearance of being present, or to have an effect at a place other than their true location. TelePresence also refers to the ability to live virtual experiences without realizing that technology is present. This is called Immersive TelePresence.

When referred to virtual meeting technology, for example, Immersive Telepresence gives the impression that the meeting is conducted with all participants in the same room.

There is strong evidence that telepresence can improve remote collaboration. TelePresence can further improve collaboration between individuals not only directly, but also through collaboration tools, like for example through Augmented Reality technologies. At least this is what CISCO, the leading IT company, believes by adopting ARmedia.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

SketchUp - Minecraft Export

To do this you need 3 software downloads:
  • binvox & viewvox available here You can install these program files anywhere on your system.
  • Obj2mc available here
  • MCEdit available here

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Want to get into 3D printing

A DECENT COMPUTER Even though software programs like Blender, Google SketchUp, TinkerCAD, and the like are free, they still utilize 3D graphics, for obvious reasons, and unless you have a decent processor and graphics card, you're going to get frustrated in a hurry.

Luckily, most of the programs now make it pretty easy to export a 3D design as a .obj or .stl file, which most printers will accept and print out.

ABOUT $1500 Yes, you can get DIY 3D printer kits for cheaper, but this seems to be about the baseline for printers that come pre-assembled and are accessible to the average person who didn't spend their entire childhood putting together Lego sets.

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Interview with Paul Lee - Virtual Architect & Managing Director at Viewsion Virtual Environments

Good day friends,

We asked few questions to Mr. Paul Lee and have a look on his great answers...

Please make a brief introduction of yourself to our readers.
I am passionate about creativity and have always enjoyed art and science. I get bored quickly if I'm not using my brain and expanding my knowledge so it was very natural that I would end up working for myself. I have mastered the art of drawing and painting at a young age and was tempted to go to art college. Luckily I didn't do that because college generally makes you dislike what you already liked so I went to architecture school. Somehow though, I still love architecture.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rendering In Sketchup

For those of you who work in Sketchup and are new to rendering, or are confused by all the different rendering software packages available, a new book is coming out March 25 that will help. Daniel Tal, landscape architect and author of Sketchup For Site Design, has written a new book, Rendering In Sketchup, which is now available for pre-order or as a digital download.

Monday, April 1, 2013

DAVID Structured Light Scanner

The new DAVID-SLS-1 scanner employs the innovative Structured Light technology, which allows precise 3D scanning in a matter of seconds. The scanner is mobile and can be placed easily in front of the surface to be scanned. A single click in the well-proven DAVID software starts the scan - and a few seconds later the digitized 3D model shows up on your screen!

This way you can subsequently scan all sides of the object, and finally combine them to a closed 360° model. The modular hardware setup allows a flexible adaptation to your object - any size from coin to couch is possible!