Friday, December 14, 2012

Escher and Crooked Teeth

I teach a weekly after-school class on SketchUp at the elementary school where some of my kids go. The students range from 2nd to 5th grade. It's quite amazing to see what they come up with, after I demo a short project for them at the start of the hour.

One 5th grade girl made this Escher pattern:  

(See my previous post on my video on how to create these, and other, Escher tilings.)

I thought the pattern was very nice as it was, but then noticed she added something I had to zoom in to see - the yellow face has braces on its teeth. 



She's clearly mastered the multiple-copy feature of SketchUp!



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Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Video: Three Escher Tilings

Yesterday I uploaded a new video - this one shows three Escher tilings you can create in SketchUp. The first one, based on a rectangle is very easy. The second uses a square, just a little harder. The third uses a triangle and is the most complicated, though all three can be done using just a few basic SketchUp tools.

I got some of the ideas from Jill Britton's very nice website on Escher in the Classroom.

The coolest thing about these is how creative you can get. Some of the shapes can become lizards or birds or fish, or whatever comes to mind. If you have a steady hand, you can create nice details using the Freehand tool.





Enjoy! And if you have some neat Escher tilings to share, please let me know!

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Monday, December 10, 2012

What's Coming in Our December Projects?

The last ones of 2012!

For those who are subscribers to our Projects of the Month, here's what's going out next weekend, on December 15:

Parallel Lines?

The horizontal lines between squares are parallel to one another, but they sure don't look it. This project shows an easy way to make this eye-confusing model.

Helix

There have been a few projects over the years that show how to make a spiral (the Barber Pole from last year was one, the DNA project was another). This project shows yet another way to make a helix, starting with just the vertical "edges" of a short cylinder.  This helix is also used in the third project this month - the Goblet!

Goblet

Starting with the helix from the previous project, and adding a cylinder through it, you can perform a VERY COOL trick with the Scale tool to make several interesting shapes, including this nice goblet.


These projects, and three more every month for a year, will come to your inbox when you subscribe to our Projects of the Month, still just $24.95!






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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Some More Great Geometry Models

A few weeks ago I heard from a teacher, Patrick Waters, who goes by the handle "woodshopcowboy."
According to his blog,
I’m a late-twenties, early-career, woodshop-esque teacher in a math/science department at a very progressive therapeutic private school for students with neurological differences.  My job involves a little of everything: lesson planning, curriculum building, community outreach, technology literacy (hence this blog), gardening, erecting permanent structures on campus, outdoor environmental education, wearing a tool belt, generally being awesome and so on.

I'm a little late in blogging about Patrick's blog post (sorry!) but he pointed to what his middle school kids did last month in SketchUp. He used some of my GeomeTricks books for ideas. You'll have to click over to his blog for the full slideshow, but I picked a few to show here:





 These kids have clearly discovered the Styles window!

 

And this one isn't a regular tessellation, but I'm including it because it's so pretty. If it tiled, it would make a really cool wallpaper for a kid's room:

 I loved this bit on his blog page:
Ms. Roskes projects have a real wow factor in the classroom.  My students would shout my name to show off their work, get frustrated during transitions away from the computer and talk incessantly about how awesome the class is going during lunch.

... She wrote her manuals in a clear, concise and picture-heavy style suitable for high-school and collegiate level work.  My classes skew to the younger range, about fourth through seventh grade, of reading comprehension so I found them less useful as step-by-step guides.  I mainly used them for my own growth as a CAD draftsman and a source of inspiration.

Enjoy the student’s work!


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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fun Escher Tessellations, Created in SketchUp

About two years ago I wrote about some fantastic Escher tessellations submitted by Dr. Steve Armstrong, a math professor at LeTourneau University. He offers this particular class every two years, so it's time to show off some more of his students' work!

Here are seven patterns based on a rectangle (the crazy-looking birds are my favorite):














If you want to try to make these yourself, download my step-by-step project.

And this one is based on a hexagon (same principle as the rectangular ones):

 

Good work, looking forward to seeing what Steve's students come up with in 2014!


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Monday, December 3, 2012

Free Version of SightSpace 3D: SightSpace Free D

Back in April, I blogged about SightSpace 3D, a SketchUp viewer that works on the iPad, iPhone, and Kindle Fire.The full version was and is $14.99, but now Limitless Computing has released a free version, called (cleverly) SightSpace Free-D. If you'd like to see what all the fuss is about, this is a great way to try it out.



The free version allows you to load in up to 3 models, which must be in KMZ format (SketchUp free and Pro both have KMZ export). You can also use their very cool Augmented Reality feature, which means placing a model on a specific background. For example, you can place a couch model in your actual living room, place the Statue of Liberty, in your actual back yard, etc. (Augmented Reality doesn't work on Kindle Fire, though.)

The app can be found here in the iTunes store. You can load up your app with some extras, such as 3D Warehouse download, annotations, or bookmarks (99cents each), Augmented Reality, unlimited models, or advanced viewer ($4.99 each). For $14.99 you can unlock to get the full app: all of the SightSpace 3D features.

According to some reviews I've read, SightSpace might not be ideal for large, commercial-scale models. (But if you're designing a shopping mall, you're probably not making changes in the field on your iPad.) I see this more as a small-model convenience - perfect for interior designers, home-improvement contractors, architects of residential projects, and of course students and teachers. I can totally envision a class of kids showing off their robot models on it.

As always, feedback is always welcome!


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Student / Teacher Discount on Render[in] Software

I got a press release today that states that in December, teachers and students can get the very cool Render[in] application for $50, a big mark-down from the usual $160. 
Render[in] is a fully-integrated, real-time radiosity engine developed for SketchUp Free and Pro users.  Powered by Artlantis 4’s rendering engine, Render[in] gives SketchUp users the high-definition, realistic renderings they've been looking for, in a robust, easy-to-use application.

Students and teachers are invited to send a scanned copy of their valid student or teacher ID's to education@renderin.com to receive a special coupon entitling them to this significant discount. Only valid ID's will be accepted.  This offer is valid from December 1 through December 31, 2012.

Render[in] is fully-integrated into SketchUp and uses the same settings, so learning how to create high-definition renderings is fast and easy.  Once the model is ready, Render[in] brings designs to life, by offering realistic additions like a 3D sky, four types of clouds, and modifiable lighting sources.  Render[in] also offers additional texture settings to choose from, like specular reflection and shininess, and auto-bump for materials.  In addition, Render[in] users can create iVisit 3D panoramas.  Developed especially for architects and designers, iVisit 3D allows users to view panorama renderings on the web, or on an iPad or iPhone.

I've seen Render[in] do demos at the last two Basecamp meetings - both times they put on an impressive show. They made it look quite easy - rendering in real-time, meaning you can orbit, zoom, and pan an actual rendered view (depending on your processor speed).  I haven't tried it, I admit, at least not yet! Here are some cool images from their gallery page:



If you take them up on this offer and get Render[in], I'd love to hear your feedback, especially if you're a teacher or student. Anyone can design anything in 3D! http://www.3dvinci.net/

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Video: T-Square Fractal

It's been a while since I uploaded a video - I wish I had more time to make these!

 In our Projects of the Month from October, I included one on how to model the famous T-Square fractal. This prompted architect and professor Nicolai Steinø of Denmark's Aalborg University to share with me his method of creating this model.

The trick is scaling the original square component, and making a series of unique components that are progressively substituted for others. (Hard to explain, easy to show!)



The beauty of SketchUp components is how easy it is to change one to get a whole new look to your model.

Enjoy!
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Book: Construction Documents Using SketchUp Pro and LayOut

For the first time, I'm offering something by another author on my website! Written for SketchUp Pro and LayOut users, this PDF book is a tutorial on creating construction documents, and costs only $18.95.


The author is my friend and colleague Paul Lee who runs Viewsion - Ireland's first authorized SketchUp training center. Paul has been around the SketchUp "scene" for several years, and has developed a nice, streamlined method for taking SketchUp models and getting them ready for presentation in LayOut. His method was featured recently on SketchUp's Official Blog.

Paul's new book is a 72-page tutorial (PDF format) that contains four parts:
  1. Create 2D construction information from your model
  2. Format 2D construction presentation using SketchUp scenes
  3. Importing 2D construction information into LayOut
  4. Structuring the SketchUp model: a recap using a house model
View some sample pages here.

The entire book is estimated to take 4-6 hours to go through, depending on how many coffee breaks you take. All starter models are ready-made and waiting for you to download.

And yes, Paul is Irish, not French. But he bears a striking resemblance to this guy...







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Sundial Animation

One of this month's projects shows how to model a working sundial, and another one shows how to animate the shadows moving over the hour markers.

Here's the animation I made of my sundial, from 6 AM in the summer to 7 PM. This was a really fun project!

video

These projects are going out tomorrow to subscribers, and the year of projects is on sale for just $24.95.

Enjoy! Anyone can design anything in 3D! http://www.3dvinci.net/

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Monday, November 12, 2012

See the First Chapter of the Interior Design Book

While the Amazon page for our new Interior Design textbook still doesn't have a "Look Inside" feature (I hear that's in the works), you CAN see a book preview on the Pearson site itself.

Go to this page on the Pearson site, and click the "Take a closer look" link on the set of tabs halfway down the page. That opens a presentation in which you can see the Table of Contents and the entire first chapter.

Enjoy!

Anyone can design anything in 3D! http://www.3dvinci.net/

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

What's Coming in our November Projects?

The three projects for this month are inspired by the awesome classroom model produced in the Design Charette from SketchUp Basecamp last month. If you are a subscriber to our Projects of the Month (still on sale for $24.95 for the year), here's what you'll get next week:

Sundial

The charette model featured a "human sundial," which I didn't reproduce with an actual human, but instead modeled a more traditional, working sundial which tells the hour based on shadows.  You need to tell SketchUp where on Earth the sundial is located, then let SketchUp figure out the shadows.


Sundial Animation

Once you have your sundial, this project shows how to save scenes you can use to see its shadow based on the hour and season.


Translucent People

The people and trees in the classroom model from the charette are translucent silhouettes - a nice, artistic way to show entourage in a model. This project shows how to populate a model with silhouettes of poeple, and how to make them translucent.



To get these cool projects, and 33 more over the next 12 months, subscribe to our Projects of the Month.




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