Sketchup Crashed

Unfortunately, I don’t have a model to show today. The same problem I had in class where I wasn’t able to edit my photo match layers kept creeping up and was exacerbated by my POV starting below my model every time I tried to align a photo to a building face, despite starting from roughly the perspective of the photo. I tried five or six times with various Carleton buildings until SketchUp crashed when I called it a night, having not really started.

In lieu of a model, below are some notes and thoughts I had while I was trying to get SketchUp to cooperate.

The photos that look the nicest are often not the most useful and the photos that would be the most useful for hand building are also often not the most useful for layering onto models. I found a fantastic photo of Skinner Memorial Chapel in profile with NO TREES but then realized profile photos would not work with the sight-lines. Unhelpful photos I also found (and which were prolific on Carleton’s website and google images) are:

  • fisheye lens and other distortions
  • cropped photos
  • photos angled so they show more of the environment where the building is than the building itself

Satilite imprints are not prefect bird’s eye views and the farther a footprint is from a basic rectangle, the harder it is to trace from a satellite view. I attempted to do the Weitz building and found that because the image was from above and slightly to the left it was hard to tell what rectangles were a small wing of the Weitz or something built on the roof. Differences in height also complicated drawing the footprint because if the photo wasn’t taken directly above the building, a taller portion could obscure parts of the rest of the building.

Weather and lighting matter because it changes the colors of the buildings significantly. That said, I think it would be cool to have two sides of the same building be winter and the other two sides spring as a way to show how the building looked and how the surrounding space is used over the course of a year.

I think in the future I will stick to hand building but I definitely will make use of the georeferencing to make a starting footprint because having an idea of the basic shape to start feels better than drawing a rectangle in the dark. I think I would try to figure out how to extract textures and colors of buildings from photographs but not the faces and features themselves. I will also think more about what time of year I want to model my building in when I’m looking for photo references.

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