Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

This is a SketchUp 3D model rendered with Shaderlight, depicting a Currier & Ives inspired scene.

To Trimble SketchUp 3D modelers around the globe, have a happy and safe New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

This was an awesome holiday 3D modeling collaboration from two years ago. Have a look! And have a happy holiday too!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Anne Hvides Gaard, Svendborg

3D modeler Lakitha Keshan Perera sent me this beautiful model of an old timbered building in Svendborg, Denmark. Check it out!

I've added it to the following 3D model collections: 1840s and Earlier, My Favorite Thumbnails, and House and Hotel

If you'd like to see your models published like this on the blog, just contact us through the link in the left column, and provide your model's link and where you think it would fit (or look at our collections and contact us through the "contact the owner" link within each collection).

We'd be glad to give your model consideration!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Art Deco: The Fish Building

3D modeler MILO Minderbinder shares with us a brand new model in his favorite architectural style, Art Deco. Check it out above and thank you MILO!

I've added this model to two 3D model collections: Art Deco and My Favorite Thumbnails

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Château du Clos de Vougeot

A SketchUp Island reader reminded me of the great models made by 3D modeler Aerilius. I perused many of them, organizing some into collections. Here I share one of my favorites.

I have added this model to the following 3D model collections: Castle, My Favorite Thumbnails

Sunday, December 2, 2012

New Temple Model: Kukulkan Chichen Itza

3D modeler Lakitha Keshan Perera has sent me a link to his latest, uploaded November 30, 2012. It is an ancient pyramid found in Mexico. What do you think?

I have added it to these 3D model collections: Place of WorshipMy Favorite Thumbnails

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Amtmannsstígur, Reykjavík

I saw the model above by 3D modeler St. Pall on a Google Plus post and thought I'd share it with you. While you're at it check out his entire model collection which has many other beautiful ones like this.

SketchUp Island by the way now also has a Google Plus stream. If you enjoy following along that way, please do!

I've added this model to the 3D model collection 1840s and Earlier

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Transportation terminal Rotterdam

3D modeler extraordinaire MILO Minderbinder writes "I've been away for awhile, but now I return with one of my greatest models." Check out Transportation terminal Rotterdam as seen above!

I've included it in this 3D model collection: Awesome Models

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Models By Jason Combs: Awesome

I just discovered this great collection of 3D building models in Panama City, Florida by Jason Combs.

Seen above is Jason's model of The Bagel Maker, an award-winning bagelry in Panama City. It is typical of all the models in the collection in that it is neatly and completely done with clean, beautiful textures and simple but effective geometry. My favorite kind of geo-model!

I have added it to these 3D model collections: 1950s, Colorful Places, Bar and Restaurant, and Green-Colored Buildings

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Building Bridges

Lakitha Keshan Perera, a student, 3D modeler, and fellow SketchUp Islander, often suggests models for me to add to 3D collections. Here is one of his favorites made by Damo, all the way back in 2008!

I had the pleasure of meeting Damo in Zurich when Mappers and 3D Modelers gathered for a summit. What do you think of his mad modeling skills?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

SketchUp Islanders in the American portion just celebrated Thanksgiving... hope everyone had a nice day! Don't forget to support small businesses tomorrow with your holiday shopping choices! Coming soon we will look back to last months' awesome 3D Basecamp in Boulder, Colorado. But for now...

Above we have First Baptist Church by Randall Crane, who is always submitting models for our perusal from the ever-growing Evansville, Indiana collection.

I've added this model to these model collections on Trimble 3D Warehouse: 1920s, Place of Worship

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Heading to 3D Basecamp!

In a few short days I'll be leaving SketchUp Island to join many others from around the country and globe in Boulder, Colorado, for the fourth-ever 3D Basecamp! This will be my personal third SketchUp conference event, but the first 3D Basecamp I have ever attended. I look forward to it!

Today I finally got my flight booked. The hotel, which I'll share with a couple familiar faces from the SketchUp world, has been booked too. Lots of people to meet, friends to see again, and things to learn. 

Hope to see you there! And for those who don't go I will record my journey and share it on the blog.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shaderlight Winners Announced!

Shortlisted image by R.Thurlow, from Shaderlight blog

Check out the amazing top three winners, plus some shortlisted ones, in the Shaderlight rendering contest from July. The results have just been announced and you can view the official blog post here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Randall Crane Completes a Block

"Last one for this block!" writes Randall Crane who is building the virtual version of Evansville, Indiana. Check out all of the models in his collection here.

The model above I have included in these collections: 1860s, House and Hotel

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nick Oberg: Google Mars Impression

"Mars Direct" rendering by Nick Oberg

The following post was provided by our friend and fellow SketchUpper, Nick Oberg. He explains how he made the beautiful Martian landscape seen above, and why.

Before we get to that just a few news items!

One, if you entered the Shaderlight rendering contest this summer, the announcement of the winner will take place this September at some point! Good luck to all who entered.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New Look for SketchUp!

What's this? Answer: SketchUp has a whole new brand identity!

Check out the post by Aidan Chopra at SketchUp's official blog that explains why and how the SketchUp People came up with this new look.

While you're at it why not check out the latest SketchUp 8 maintenance release?

EDIT: Just navigating around the virtual 3D space in the new SketchUp release, using my 3Dconnexion mouse. It might be my imagination but the motion feels much more fluid to me now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shaderlight Contest Entry

This is my rendering that I will enter into the current Shaderlight sponsored contest. The image must be a SketchUp model rendered in Shaderlight, which this is. It was created especially for the competition (all items were modeled for this image). There are over 1 million geometric edges in the 3D SketchUp file, and the final jpeg took three and a half days to render!

Depicted is New Year's Eve in a Vietnamese village. Everything is based on real life but the place is fictional and a combination of memories and research.

EDIT: see some current entries to the contest here.
EDIT #2: As of August 25, 3012, the Shaderlight people have received and are currently reviewing / judging entries.
EDIT #3: For your convenience, a link to the article about winning entries!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Future of Handmade Models

I was just catching the end of the live press conference "The Next Dimension of Google Maps." What they showed looks very cool-- a high res automated 3D model of San Francisco, complete with modeled trees, buildings, and terrain.

Unlike the current situation, where many user generated models of varying styles with different lighting schemes collide in a potluck of 3D goodness, the new style map, or the new Google Earth, is modeled as one unified seamless mesh. It's as if you're looking at the real thing.

I'm not sure where that leaves us geo-modeling enthusiasts. Maybe the large cities will receive this 'next dimension' treatment (rendering our current handmade models obsolete)-- but possibly the countryside will be ours to model yet?
Maybe maybe maybe. It's all speculation on my part but I am very curious to know what this new direction, and the sale of SketchUp along with it, means to me and other geo-modelers worldwide.

EDIT: Read the official statement in the 3D modeling for Google Earth and Maps Forum

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hell's Kitchen Model: It's RAW! (Still)

I've been working on this model of Chef Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen TV studio / restaurant in Culver City, California on and off for months-- hoping to get it done before tomorrow's US series premier of Hell's Kitchen season 10. Not happening!

But-- I am posting some screen shots of what's done so far. Since the real building is found in sunny southern California the architecture allows for some hybrid indoor/outdoor spaces-- hence the transitional interiors. Hope you like it. I'm trying to get this done within the week.

EDIT: With the official transfer of SketchUp to Trimble, and the announcement of auto-generated 3D cities for Google Maps, I'm not sure if I should continue work on this model, with the objective of getting it on Google Earth. Certainly Los Angeles will be one of the first cities to experience "Autopocalypse™" (I'm not totally against it, actually interested in it-- but all the same, it's weird).

Anyway this model, ironically, demonstrates exactly what the new models won't be able to with partial interiors, etc. I thought people would have fun looking around the insides a bit. I'll have to do some serious thumb-twirling and think this one over before continuing...

Hall to contestants' lounge

Hall to contestants' lounge II

Contestants' lounge minus patio furniture

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy 75th Birthday, Golden Gate Bridge

Happy 75th birthday to one of America's most famous landmarks, the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge located in San Francisco, California!

I've added the spiffy 3D model of the bridge seen above to these 3D model collections: 1930s, Around the World in 3D, Bridge, Americana

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Help Model St. Augustine, Florida

A call to 3D modelers! Help 3D modeler Jay get St. Augustine, Florida, modeled!

Hello and welcome guys!

If there is anyone you would like to add to this group feel free! I am new to this stuff so I know it might not be that exciting to you but I am feeling great about it! So my main objective was to get this city going. St. Augustine is the oldest friggin city in the US and there is virtually nothing on Google Earth... unacceptable! If you are able to contribute to a model in the area that would be great. If not that is fine also. Spread the word and lets get it going. It will be fun!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Getaria Wins!

Congratulations to the Getaria, Spain team (Josetxo Perez Fernandez and Pedro Domecq Aguirre) who received the $25000 prize from Google as the winners of the 2012 Google Model Your Town contest!

The model pretty much rocks. Read all about it here.

The Making of 412 Broadway

Detail of Scott Baumberger rendering from

Read this! A very cool, readable article about how to create a non-photorealistic (NPR) architectural rendering by Scott Baumberger. He uses SketchUp, Shaderlight renderer, and Photoshop.

The article can be found here on Via the Google SketchUp Facebook page.

Friday, May 4, 2012

St. Basil Re-Modeled

Arrigo Silva's beautiful model regains top spot and its place on Google Earth after some dramatic improvements from fellow modeler Peterg / gipuzkoa3d.

I have added it to these 3D model collections: Place of Worship, 1840s and Earlier, My Favorite Models, My Favorite Thumbnails

EDIT: A detailed illustrated essay about the cathedral by Arrigo Silva can be found here

Monday, April 30, 2012

New York's NEW Tallest Building

Sorry, Empire State Building. You are now officially the second tallest once again!

Sometime today the new One World Trade Center eclipsed the Empire State Building as New York City's tallest building. Even though it is currently only 1,250 feet tall, at completion it will be 1,776 feet tall.

Thanks to Athinaios for the great, evolving model, which was last updated on April 28, 2012. I've added it to the following 3D model collections: 2010s, Americana

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Titanic Sinking: 100 Years Ago

In remembrance of the 100th anniversary sinking of the Titanic, Google has created an updated 3D model version on the Google Earth ocean floor, using imagery from National Geographic. Check it out!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Château Frontenac" by Jean

3D Modeler Jean sent me this beautiful model of the Château Frontenac. Wow! Good job, Jean.

This model has been added to my 3D model collections: Favorite Thumbnails, Castle, and 1890s.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Model Your Town 2012: VOTE!

Have you voted yet? I'm about to. Look at the video above for an overview of the six fantastic Google Model Your Town 2012 finalists. You'll help one town win a nice chunk of cash for their school district.

Have a look at this link for more details and videos of each town's model collection. Then be sure to vote! Each person can vote only once, and voting ends May 1, 2012.

Good luck to the finalists and congratulations on everyone who made an effort to enter!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Models by Feri

Check out this amazing collection of 3D geo-models by Feri. He has a whopping 629 models already accepted to Google Earth!

He comes from the Serbian village of Rumenka. Good job, Feri!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stamford 3D Project

I saw a post on Google Plus about Filip Michalowski's Stamford 3D Project team-- a group of people entering the Google Model Your Town competition for 2012 (deadline just passed).

I haven't had much chance to check out the other entries yet but this one looks very good, with 68 detailed models uploaded for the Stamford, Connecticut area.

See all the models here. Read the latest blog post here.

Good luck to all who entered the contest!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Berlin - U-Bahnhof Hallesches Tor

By 3D geo-modeler Generalfeldmarschall. Some people prefer geo-modeling for the ability to share their love of historic architecture, as in this case.

Generalfeldmarschall also models places that are long vanished, for example buildings destroyed in bombings during war time. See an example here.

The model seen above is included in the following 3D model collections: Golden Age of Rail

Monday, February 13, 2012

Musée des beaux-arts de Rennes

By 3D geo-modeler Li Jia Yi. I added this model to the following 3D model collections: Favorite Thumbnails and Museum. Nice work Li Jia Yi!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Evansville Central Library

3D modeler della sent me this model of the Evansville Central Library today-- very nicely done with smooth, realistic textures. Della says it was extra challenging for him. Good work!

This model is included in the following 3D model collections: 2000s, Library

Friday, January 27, 2012

"Red River County Courthouse" by Jay

Nice model sent to me this week by 3D modeler Jay. Included in the 3D model collection 1880s.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

"The light beacon of Strijensas" by Torch. I have added it to the following 3D model collections: Lighthouse, Favorite Thumbnails, 1890s