Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Virtual Corner

The bathroom corner as seen in Sketchup

This is the same corner S photographed in the previous post. Only this time it has been rendered by Google Sketchup. Sketchup is a fantastic, free, 3D modelling package. I have tried using many other 3D packages for mocking up simple home renovation projects and they have all been extremely difficult to use. Sketchup is a little different. It isn't a CAD program with a 3D modeller added on like AutoCAD and it isn't a full 3D modeller like 3D Studio Max or Maya which is really designed for animators or game developers. In a few minutes you can create a box, drop in a bunch of pre-defined components from the library or the 3D warehouse, colour or texture map the surfaces and then you can navigate around the model and get a real feel for the space in 3 dimensions.

For our home reno, I've been building a 3D model of our whole house. This model has enabled S and I to try out our different ideas quickly. When we started the process S had drawn pages and pages of detailed plan layouts on vellum that she would trace and add paper cutouts of fixtures and furniture that we could move around to see which layouts worked best. I had trouble visualizing the results and asked S to render the drawings in 3 dimensions. She created elevations which helped, but I really wanted perspective drawings. S is a talented Artist but rendering accurate architectural perspective drawings is more painstaking science than art and not very fun, so I never got my 3D perspectives. That is, until I got Sketchup.


hex said...

N, you've entered the frey! I like the rendering of the bathroom. Tell S I have no helpful opinion on the tile options . . .

I can't believe the bathroom will be done in a week!

S & N said...

Completion in a week is an impossibility, but our guess is that it'll be finished before we've seen the last frost of the season (but then we'll have to wait until fall to enjoy the heated floors).