Archive for June, 2007

More Turning Torso, Sky Dome Videos

June 29th, 2007 No comments

Earlier this week I posted a SketchUp video using a sky-dome with my Turning Torso 3D model. This is a video of the same sequence, with all the hidden geometry exposed in SketchUp’s  ‘Monochrome Face Style’.

For comparison I’ve reposted the ‘textured’ video directly beneath. With some rapid mouse work it should be possible to play both at the same time, synchronized to within a second or so. 😈

Something I forgot to include in the original post was a link to download the full resolution, video file (for the textured version).  So here it is:

Turning Torso AVI  (11MB, 640×320, 30fps,  Xvid)

Turning Torso Model
Google SketchUp Sky Dome


Making Google Earth Models Glow

June 26th, 2007 1 comment

Left = Original Sky dome. Right = Edited versionGoogle Earth adds shading to all SketchUp models to make them look more realistic.  For something like my  sky-dome model this is problematical because it means the texture is unevenly lit and too dark.

With some very minor editing of the Google Earth (Collada)model file in a text editor, it’s possible to turn this shading completely off for individual textures.  This was exactly what I did for the Skydome Google Earth file posted a couple of days ago.  The split-screen picture shows the before and after. The original is on the left. 

This is the procedure I used:

  • Export the model from SketchUp as a Google Earth 4 kmz file.   (File -> Export -> 3D model).
  • Unzip the kmz to extract the component files and folders.  Using something like WinZip.
  • With a text editor, open the Collada (.dae) file located in the ‘models’ folder.
  • Search for the <emission> tag.  (Collada’s <emission> element determines the amount of light emitted from a material.)
  • Alter the first three <emission> <color> values from 0.000000 to 1.   
  • <emission>
    <color>1 1 1 1</color>
  • Save the Collada file.
  • Zip all the files and folders back together as a .kmz file.

The same method could be used with any Collada model file.  The only difference being that models with more than one texture or colour, have more than one <emission> element.  One for each material.

For detailled information on the Collada specification see the documentation here:


Google Earth Sky

June 24th, 2007 4 comments

Google Earth with SkyThis is the sky dome 3D model I wrote about yesterday, transferred into Google Earth – I see Frank Taylor at the Google Earth Blog beat me to this 🙂 You can read his article here.

From inside, the model provides a simple way of giving Google Earth a cloudy sky backdrop over a limited area. As shown in the picture.

The dome is 50km in diameter (several times larger than the SketchUp original), and hooked into Google Earth through a PHP script, to make simple repositioning possible. Download the file here:

Skydome (~230kB)

Viewing Tips

  • After downloading the file, direct the GE view to wherever you want the dome to be placed (this is more accurate if you look straight down), and switch on the file.
  • Toggle-on Sky
  • To locate it elsewhere, do the same thing to reposition the GE view, but this time right click on the Skydome Networklink (under Places) and select refresh.
  • Unless you have a Space Navigator I recommend switching to flight control mode (CTRL+g) to make looking upwards possible.

(Edit 2007-06-25:  Based on Barry Hunter’s  suggestion in the comments I’ve changed the Networklink so the positioning now centres exactly on the mid-point of the view.)


SketchUp Skydome

June 23rd, 2007 12 comments

SketchUp SkydomeKeeping with the theme of clouds and textured globes, I though it would be interesting to create an accurately textured skydome model for SketchUp. This uses a ‘sky’ panorama painted onto the inside of a large hemisphere – a quick way to fake a 360 degree backdrop for 3D models.

SketchUp Skydome (400kB)

This is a short video produced in SketchUp ,  demonstrating how the Skydome looks in combination with my Turning Torso Model.  Notice the subtle use of 3D Text at the end. 🙂


Same difficulty applies to texturing skydomes in SketchUp as spheres, so I did the simple thing again and imported a pre-textured model in, using a similar method to the anim8or imported globe

The cloud image comes from this panoramic photography website:  Philo’s Sky Collection.   Kudos to Philo for making these great images available for download.

The model’s current texture can by replaced with any of the other sky panoramas from Philo’s website.  To do this:

  • Download one of the ‘equirectangular corrected images’.
  • Open the SketchUp Skydome model and click on the paint bucket tool.
  • SketchUp Paint Bucket
  • Double click on the current cloud ‘material’ to open the Edit tab.
  • SketchUp Material Edit Options
  • Replace the texture by clicking on the ‘load material’ icon and opening the new image.
  • SketchUp Load New Material
  • Break open the proportions lock and re-enter 0.0254m and 0.0508m as the horizontal and vertical measurements.
  • SketchUp, Texture Dimensions
  • Close the Materials Window.

If you use sky panoramas from other websites, such as the 2 sites listed below, you’ll probably need to use different values for the texture’s measurements.   0.00254m for both vertical and horizontal works with most images.


St Martin’s Church, SketchUp Video

June 20th, 2007 No comments have now created and posted a nice video of the church I modelled from a drawing- Thanks!  Creating animations and videos in SketchUp is someting I really must check out sometime…

Notice how the SketchUp ‘Style’ switches halfway through.