Friday, July 27, 2012

This Should Get Mark into the GTA!

Mark Eisenhardt is the director of technology at The Albany Academies, and clearly an avid SketchUp fan. He sent me the link to his 60-second application for this year's Google Teacher Academy in New York:

I asked Mark for some details about how he created this amazing video, which is done ENTIRELY in SketchUp:
This animation stems from a lesson I do in 6th Grade where the students create a model of the Solar System as it was at the moment of their birth. They research planetary orbit radii to model the orbits, generate an image of planetary positions as of their “birth moment,” and then position planets that I scaled at those positions. The scale of the planets is not the same as the orbits because the model is not as fun if they were!

Each planet has a “detail” layer. The students import related 3D warehouse models and/or Planetary Factoid Images, that they create, onto those layers. They then disappear and appear the models/images as their animation tour progresses through their Birth Moment Solar System.

For my animation I added different styles to change the background and edge colors to enhance some of the models. I also added another 6th grade project at the end where the students create a prism that has a 3D model of a constellation of their choice, usually their birth sign. This animation uses my example model of Orion – I attached the Google Icons to each of Orion’s major stars and used the CMP layers to change visibility during the animation.

As you might imagine, this model has a lot of layers:
And several styles that are used by the various scenes:
 This model uses a whole bunch of scenes (the tabs across the top of the screen shown below), for changing visibility of styles and layers This is how Mark "disappears" and "appears" various parts of the model as the animation focuses on a planet.
 This to me is the perfect integration of Google apps and features - hard to see how Mark doesn't get accepted with this. Good luck!!

(The only glitch could be that Google doesn't "count" SketchUp anymore as one of its products, not sure how that works as far as the Google Teacher Academy...)

Anyone can design anything in 3D!

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