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10 Awesome Sketchup Plugins That Will Up Your Modeling Game (Explained With GIFs)

08:00 - 25 November, 2016
10 Awesome Sketchup Plugins That Will Up Your Modeling Game (Explained With GIFs), © Wikipedia user: Takuro1202, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0
© Wikipedia user: Takuro1202, bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0

After the success of its 6th edition in 2007, Sketchup became one of the world's most widely used 3D modeling software products. This is thanks to its intuitive toolbar, interdisciplinary use within the creative industry (not just architects) and having a free version that doesn't use watermarks.

Its open source library helped the software to provide a wide range of 3D objects, while hundreds of users developed their own plugins not only to solve the problems of each version but also to exploit the potential of their tools. 

We’re going to introduce you to 10 of the plugins shared by Sketchup Tutorials Facebook page using their demonstrative GIFs. If you don’t know how to add a SketchUp plugin, don’t worry! You can learn in this video also posted by them.

A Virtual Look Into Mies van der Rohe's Core House

09:30 - 17 November, 2016

Architecture depends on its time. It is the crystallization of its inner structure, the slow unfolding of its form. – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

In 1951, Mies van der Rohe designed the Core House, a participative design structure which could be completed by its inhabitants.

This flexible model challenged certain architectural concepts, explored new industrial technologies, and proposed a modular system to improve the quality and affordability of housing.

How New Video-Game-Inspired Tools Are Redefining Post Occupancy Evaluation

09:30 - 1 November, 2016
How New Video-Game-Inspired Tools Are Redefining Post Occupancy Evaluation, A real-time synthetic environments screen grab of the reception area at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in St Helens, UK. Image Courtesy of Arup
A real-time synthetic environments screen grab of the reception area at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in St Helens, UK. Image Courtesy of Arup

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "A Video Game Is Overtaking Post-Occupancy Evaluation in Architecture."

Evaluating the user performance of a particular building design is obviously a good way for clients and architects to gauge whether their design was successful—or could have been better.

There’s even an entire academic discipline called post-occupancy evaluation (POE) devoted to this concept, and Arup is tapping into it with a network of 22 industry partners using the Building Use Studies (BUS) methodology. Too few designers tap into POE, but with gamified simulations done before projects are built, that could change.

Step into this Digitally Reconstructed House from Ancient Pompeii

14:20 - 12 October, 2016

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have digitally reconstructed a house in Pompeii to envision what life in the city would have looked like before the destructive eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The large house, thought to have belonged to a wealthy banker named Caecilius Iucundus, is among the first 3D models created by the research team to document and preserve the city. The team has now released video material of their work, showing their creation of a 3D model of an entire block of houses.

11 Historical Examples of How to Design Doorways, as Selected by Sketchfab

10:00 - 31 August, 2016
11 Historical Examples of How to Design Doorways, as Selected by Sketchfab

Our friends at Sketchfab have noticed a recurring trend: among the many 3D scans shared on their platform, a significant number are of historical doorways. Often neglected in today’s designs, doors and doorways are essential physical and mental transition points between the interior and the exterior of a building. While Mies van der Rohe’s strive for visual continuity and the use of glass doors has some critical advantages, it is not applicable – or only poorly applicable – to every design case. Fortunately, history shows that visually and spatially differentiating doors and doorways from the rest of a facade can be a resourceful alternative.

With this set of 3D models selected by Sketchfab, viewers can explore historical doorways online and discover the spatial sequences that they can offer. From framed, indented, raised, lowered, protruding and ornamented doors, these models clearly showcase the various design strategies available for you to keep your doorway design options open.

Forensic Architecture Digitally Reconstruct Secret Syrian Torture Prison from the Memories of Survivors

20:02 - 17 August, 2016

Forensic Architecture, a research agency based at the University of London, in collaboration with Amnesty International, has created a 3D model of Saydnaya, a Syrian torture prison, using architectural and acoustic modeling. The project, which was commissioned in 2016, reconstructs the architecture of the secret detention center from the memory of several survivors, who are now refugees in Turkey.

Since the beginnings of the Syrian crisis in 2011, tens of thousands of Syrians have been taken into a secret network of prisons and detention centers run by the Assad government for a variety of alleged crimes opposing the regime. After passing through a series of interrogations and centers, many prisoners are taken to Saydnaya, a notoriously brutal “final destination,” where torture is used not to obtain information, but rather only to terrorize and often kill detainees.

Located about 25 kilometers north of Damascus, Saydnaya stands in a German-designed building dating from the 1970s. In recent years, no meaningful visits from independent journalists or monitoring groups have been permitted, so no recent photographs or other accounts exist of its interior space, except for the memories of Saydnaya survivors.

Sketchfab Strengthens Commitment to Virtual Reality With New Features

17:02 - 4 August, 2016
Sketchfab Strengthens Commitment to Virtual Reality With New Features, Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan
Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan

Online model sharing site Sketchfab last week announced three new features intended to solidify its position as one of the web's foremost platforms for sharing VR-viewable 3D models online. Originally launched in January of this year, the virtual reality features of Sketchfab's platform have proven to be popular and has even led to Sketchfab being referred to as "the Youtube of VR."

However, with its initial launch Sketchfab's VR capabilities clearly privileged simplicity and a low barrier for entry—the platform was viewable using just a smartphone web browser and basic VR headset such as Google Cardboard, and models required no extra work to make them VR compatible. As a result, Sketchfab's VR platform lacked the features of more high-end systems of viewing VR. With their latest update, Sketchfab has added useful features while keeping barriers to entry low.

This App Lets You Manipulate BIG’s Serpentine Pavilion on Your iPad Screen

16:00 - 30 June, 2016

BIG’s unzipped wall for the 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion has been a critic and fan favorite so far this summer. Its simple parametric design has inspired the array of captivating photos and even a virtual model that allows you to adjust the parameters of the structure in your browser window. Now you can play with its design wherever you go, thanks to a new app by Studioclam.

Play With a Parametric Version of BIG's Serpentine Pavilion in this Model

11:10 - 7 June, 2016

Every year the Serpentine Gallery commissions an Architect to design a pavilion which will sit on its lawn, greeting the hundreds of thousands of people who will visit over the summer months. Temporary pavilions like this are an important chance for architects to test new ideas, and to communicate to the public what architecture is and could be.

Unless you’re in London, you may not get the opportunity to visit the pavilion physically, but thanks to the web we can take you there virtually.

Courtesy of Archilogic Courtesy of Archilogic Courtesy of Archilogic Courtesy of Archilogic +8

This 3D Model Shows the Damage Caused by ISIS to Palmyra's Temple of Bel

09:30 - 6 May, 2016

In August of last year, many of the most precious landmarks of the ancient city of Palmyra were damaged or destroyed by the forces of ISIS in a violent, iconoclastic attempt to send a message to the rest of the world. Since the UNESCO World Heritage Site was recaptured in March, the question in the architectural preservation community has been how to rebuild and preserve the buildings. That process will begin, of course, with a thorough assessment of the damage.

Shortly after Palmyra was recaptured Iconem, a French company which specializes in the digitization of archeological sites, arrived in Palmyra to lead the survey. In partnership with the Syrian DGAM (Direction Générale des Antiquités et des Musées), Iconem was granted access to the city to survey the damage to the temples of Bel and Baalshamin, the Monumental Arch, the Valley of Tombs, and the museum—all sites which are of the most cultural value and therefore were the greatest targets of ISIS's violence.

The Temple of Bel in Palmyra before the occupation by ISIS. Image © Flickr User Alessandra Kocman licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 The Temple of Bel in Palmyra before the occupation by ISIS. Image © Flickr User Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 The Temple of Bel in Palmyra before the occupation by ISIS. Image © Flickr User Alessandra Kocman licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 The Temple of Bel in Palmyra before the occupation by ISIS. Image © Flickr User Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 +6

7 Outstanding Examples of Cultural Heritage in 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

09:30 - 12 April, 2016
7 Outstanding Examples of Cultural Heritage in 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

Using photogrammetry to capture and model existing buildings is a fantastic way to share cultural treasures with the world, and with VR features cropping up everywhere even enables us to give people virtual tours of a site of cultural significance from thousands of miles away. But beyond that, capturing a model of a building is also a great way to digitally preserve that structure at a given point in time - this technique is even being used by Harvard and Oxford to protect structures placed at risk by the ongoing wars in Syria and Iraq.

In that spirit, our friends over at Sketchfab have compiled a selection of cultural treasures that have been immortalized on their platform. Read on to see all seven models, and don't forget that you can view all of them in virtual reality using Google Cardboard.

4 Ways Virtual and Augmented Reality Will Revolutionize the Way We Practice Architecture

10:45 - 12 March, 2016
4 Ways Virtual and Augmented Reality Will Revolutionize the Way We Practice Architecture

It’s time for the profession to prepare. New software and hardware platforms are emerging that allow immersive environment representation—aka virtual reality, or VR—along with gestural modeling, or the translation of hand movements captured via computer vision into design information. Taken together, these two tools allow designers to visualize and virtually inhabit three-dimensional spatial conditions at “full scale,” where we can do design work with intuitive hand and body motions. The implications for architectural practice are dramatic.

First, it means we need to create new interfaces and custom workflows. The keyboard and mouse take a backseat in the design process. Second—and best of all, in my opinion—these platforms for augmented reality (AR) or VR stand to reengage the designer’s hands in the act of making, digitally.

7 Examples of How to Show Off Interiors in Your 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

10:00 - 1 March, 2016
7 Examples of How to Show Off Interiors in Your 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

When making a 3D model, just as with a physical model, one of the biggest challenges is in effectively conveying the feeling of a design's interior. This is made worse by the fact that historically, 3D modeling and viewing software has treated the design being modeled as primarily an object to be orbited around, rather than as a space to be viewed from within. The introduction of first-person viewing modes has improved this, but these still are hampered by the fact that movement is never as simple or intuitive as simply walking around in real space. All of this can make presenting interior spaces a frustrating experience.

However, there are a variety of techniques you can use to display interiors more effectively. In the second of our Selected by Sketchfab series, our partners at Sketchfab have picked out the best examples of from their platform of models that inventively show off interior spaces.

Sketchfab CEO Discusses the Impending Revolution of VR in 2016

16:00 - 21 February, 2016
Sketchfab CEO Discusses the Impending Revolution of VR in 2016, Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan. Image via Sketchfab
Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan. Image via Sketchfab

One of many companies currently supporting the growing demand for Virtual Reality (VR), Sketchfab, known for being a “Youtube for 3D Models”, has added features to their website, allowing users to exhibit their work in VR. In this recent post, company CEO and co-founder Alban discusses the likelihood of a Virtual Reality renaissance in 2016. Comparing the platform to its predecessors in digital media, audio and video, he notes that the final steps for any new form of media are: easy to use, working technology; affordable interfaces; and user generated content, prefacing that 2016 may be the year that VR reaches this final step.

15 Incredible Architectural Feats Made in Minecraft

06:00 - 15 February, 2016
15 Incredible Architectural Feats Made in Minecraft, Model of the Eiffel Tower in Minecraft. Image via LanguageCraft
Model of the Eiffel Tower in Minecraft. Image via LanguageCraft

With more than 70 million copies sold worldwide, it would be unfair to refer to Minecraft as just a simple game of textured boxes in a pixelated 3D world. After acquiring the makers of the game (Mojang) in 2014, Microsoft announced on Tuesday, January 19 that it also acquired MinecraftEdu, the official educational version of Minecraft, which is used as a creative tool in more than 10,000 classrooms in 45 countries around the world.

The infinite possibilities that the game offers have led millions of people around the world to make and share their greatest creations: cities, buildings and even the reinterpretation of historical structures. Minecraft's impact was recognized in 2015 when the Centre Pompidou dedicated an exhibition to its creative potential for children and adolescents.

We've rounded up 15 of the best models created on the platform. And if you use Minecraft, you can download most of them (via an external link provided by the creator) to add to your own account.

Adamantis. Image via jamdelaney1 Tatsuyama, Empire of the Dragon Mountain. Image via Wooraah Atlantis. Image via NewHeaven Forbidden City. Image via bohtauri +75

Tutorial: Using Vray and Sketchfab to Render and Share Your 3D Models

11:30 - 13 February, 2016

In this tutorial, originally published on the Sketchfab blog as "Sketchfab Archvis workflow based on V‌ray baked textures," Tarek Adhami guides you through the full workflow required to take your 3D Model, render it with Vray and upload to Sketchfab.

In this article I will be talking about my workflow to create a real time rendered 3D scene in Sketchfab based on Vray realistic lights and textures.

It does not matter what software you use to model your objects since what I am going to show you can be applied to other applications that Vray (or any similar rendering plugin) can support. In this example I used 3ds Max and Marvelous Designer for modeling and Vray for lighting and texturing.

8 Beautiful Historic Buildings In 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

10:00 - 9 February, 2016
8 Beautiful Historic Buildings In 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

At ArchDaily, we've said before how sharing 3D models online has the potential to change architecture for the better, allowing viewers to explore a design for themselves rather than being presented only the most flattering views via photographs. At the forefront of this 3D-sharing revolution is Sketchfab, a platform which allows users to upload their model and view it directly in their browser.

In this new series, ArchDaily is joining forces with with Sketchfab, to present the best architectural models featured on their platform, as selected by staff members at Sketchfab. In this first installment, we're taking a look at some of the best scans of historical buildings - and don't forget, all of these models can be viewed in virtual reality for the maximum architectural experience!

How To Tune Your 3D Models For Online VR Viewing With Sketchfab

11:30 - 31 January, 2016
How To Tune Your 3D Models For Online VR Viewing With Sketchfab, Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan
Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan

Earlier this month, Sketchfab announced a new feature which would allow any 3D model on their platform to be viewed in virtual reality on a device such as Google Cardboard. At ArchDaily, we think this is a huge step in defining how we will view and share architectural design in the future, and one of the best things about the new feature is how seamlessly it blends into Sketchfab's existing model sharing platform. At the same time, it's worth bearing in mind that creating a model for VR may take some extra consideration. In this post originally published on the Sketchfab Blog as "How to set up a Cardboard VR scene for Sketchfab," Bart Veldhuizen explains what designers can do to make their models as VR-friendly as possible.

With our new Cardboard VR button, Sketchfab has become the easiest way to view your designs in Virtual Reality. You can now literally publish your model to Sketchfab and view it on your Cardboard in under a minute.

As Cardboard relies on mobile devices, there are some extra things to keep in mind. In addition to displaying a regular Sketchfab model on the lighter hardware of your phone or tablet, we now render each image twice (once for each eye). So it won’t come as a surprise that you need to keep some things in mind when designing a Cardboard scene.

This tutorial will give you an overview of the most important limitations and will help you to quickly teleport yourself into your first Cardboard experiment.