Friday, July 16, 2010

Triassic Period Musem, in SketchUp

Last year I blogged about Peter Kluzak, a wonderful 13-year old kid, who spent a lot of time at our ASA booth. Both we and he were back this year, since now-14 year old Peter was helping his mom in her Everyday Autism Jewelry booth (I love her puzzle-piece charms).

We were only a few booths apart, so Peter again spent lots of time showing us what he'd done over the past year. His modeling skills are quite sophisticated now (plus he seems to be about a head taller - he towered over me, which isn't hard to do).

This is an animation of a model he did for a class project on the Triassic Period. The assignment was to create a physical diorama (i.e. a shoebox with cutouts), but Peter and his two partners opted for SketchUp instead:

Here's the actual SketchUp model - click the picture below to access its 3D Warehouse page where you can download it:

Peter's model has scenes, so don't import it into another SketchUp model; it should be opened in its own SketchUp window.

Most of the text on the walls was created outside of SketchUp (in Word, I think), saved as a graphic, then "pasted" onto the walls in SketchUp. (SketchUp does have a 3D Text tool, but creating that many characters as physical objects would have made the file size enormous.)

The 3D models of plants and birds came from the 3D Warehouse. The bird hanging from the "ceiling" is a "Shonisaurus popularis" modeled by Birdman, who's modeled dozens of prehistoric animals (among other things). Something to keep in mind for your own dinosaur-era projects!

Think of all the shoeboxes we could save if all school projects were done in SketchUp!

Good work, Peter - naturally he and his team got an "A."

Update: I heard from Heidi, Peter's proud mom, with the following comments:
This was an honors science 8th grade project. It was great because he was able to easily transport it, the group did not have to arrange work sessions outside of school, and they did not fight over who HAD to take it home. With the Smartboards in the classroom, he was able to present it so everyone could see it. What a great tool for kids who are home schooled or eschooled.

Anyone can design anything in 3D!

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