Although we live in a 3–D world, most of us think in 2–D. It’s almost as if we exist in the mythical Flatland. Thankfully, todays software and computer systems are powerful enough so that we can design, create, and analyze in 3–D – even if we’re just a hobbyist working at home on our own time.
Here’s a good example. For a seminar presentation, we needed a 3–D walk-through of a humanoid robot. In this particular case the actual dimensions didn’t have to be exact, so we imported photos of popular robot (you can easily guess which one from the images), then built the 3–D geometry using the SketchUp design program.
After the basic model was finished, we added some full size objects – walls, floor, doors, etc. so that viewers would have a feeling for the relative sizes. Then the camera angles and move sequences were selected so that SketchUp could do its magic, sweeping the camera around while creating the video clip images.
Here’s one of the video clips we used for the seminar-
Note: We could have created a video image with much higher quality, but the rendering times would have been much longer. We felt that this image quality was good enough for our purposes.