Google today released a free version of SketchUp, the before-now-$600 3D modelling program. It’s fun. Here’s a house I want:
Never mind the pool, tunnel and space elevator: death slide, baby!
The program itself is far easier to use than any other 3D program I’ve ever tried. Hell, if I figured it out it must be simple – I normally give up in frustration after trying to build a square and ending up with non-Euclidean geometric primitives. The built-in tutorials are very helpful, too.
You can’t go inside the houses, so it’s not much use as an interior design program, but for exterior house modelling it’s certainly interesting. It fully supports real dimensions, and you can use your own textures, so it should be possible to create very accurate replicas of buildings. Google are touting the built-in Google Earth links, which let you create a 3d version of your house for display in GE, although I don’t find this as exciting as does the SketchUp website 🙂 You can download (and upload) models from an online warehouse, so if you ever wondered what the White House would look like with monkey-army-deterring turrets in the front garden, now’s your chance.
You know what’d be great? An exporter into Second Life 😉 You could rapidly construct a mansion in Sketchup, then do all the interior design inside SL.
Sorry this isn’t terribly in-depth, I’m just heading out to dancing.