Thursday, March 29, 2012

I LOVE Sketchy Physics

As many of my readers know, I've been looking at Sketchy Physics from afar for a while now. This week I started getting into it in earnest, and I have found a new obsession.

Sketchy Physics is a free plugin (download it here), which has been around for a few years now but isn't very widely used - there is precious little info out there to help one learn it. Plus it's a little clunky and not entirely intuitive. But if you go on YouTube and search for "sketchy physics" you'll see some amazing models, so I'm guessing all of those very smart modelers were self-taught.

Yesterday I played around with some basic shapes, and built a really fun domino run. Here is the set up:



You knock over the first domino, and they start to fall:


Here's how they look when it's all done:


And you can keep going, throwing the rest of the dominoes around, even off their table and into the infinite abyss below:

Check out the video. It's fun flinging things around and seeing them bang into each other. I let each of my kids have a go and they were also thrilled.

video

I've written up the steps for this project, which will be available as part of next month's Projects of the Month, going out to subscribers on April 15. I really want people to get into this awesome plugin, so I'm running a special on the subscription - instead of the usual $36 for the year, from now till the end of April you can sign up for just $20.

I'm also planning a Sketchy Physics project book, and soon I'll be sending out feelers to see who's interested. You'll get hooked like I am!


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

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Optical Illusions

In my SketchUp enrichment class yesterday, I was showing the kids some of the illusion models I made in SketchUp a few years ago, for my Optical Illusions book. I hadn't look at these in a while, and it was fun to see the kids' reactions.

This one can make you a little dizzy:


The blurry diamonds are made using different shades of gray and turning off edges.

You can download this model from the 3D Warehouse. (The Warehouse has lots of illusion models; if you want to find more of mine, search for "roskes illusion.")

Here's another favorite - stare at the black dot and move your head toward and away from the screen, to "see" the trapezoids spin around.



Download this one as well.

There are many more illusion models, including ones that play with color and parallel lines. Have fun!

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

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

What's Coming in Our March Projects?

This month brings Part 2 to two of last month's projects, and if you are just signing up now you'll get both Part 1 projects as well. Here's what subscribers to our Projects of the Month will be getting on March 15:

Piano Keys

Part 1 of this project showed how to create one octave of piano keys. This project will show how to use the "black" keys (yellow in my example) to make the cutouts in the white keys. You'll also see how to put it all together into an actual piano.





Truchet Tiles

With just these four tiles, which can be easily created with squares and circles. . .


. . . you can make infinite patterns, both regular and random.




Fibonacci Flowers

Many patterns in nature are based on Fibonacci numbers. Last month's Part 1 showed how to use arcs to create the famous Fibonacci spiral. In this project, you'll take one spiral and rotate-copy it so that a flower forms.



As always, the yearly subscription is just $36 for the year - that's 36 projects for just $1 each! Subscribe here.


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

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