Showing posts with label Sketch Up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sketch Up. Show all posts

22 September 2010

Geek-to-Chic at New York Fashion Week

The following is a guest post by my friend and colleague Mark Johnson, FAIA. Mark attended two events last week I had to miss. In a 24-hour period he went from the granola-loving heights of Google's Boulder, CO campus to the glittering streets of Manhattan where he took in a Fashion Week runway show. Mark has a great sense of humor and amazing stamina. Without further ado, here's Mark:

Last week’s guest post from Google 3D Basecamp was pure “Geek.” Full immersion in the deep woods of virtual camping left me yearning for an experience with more panache, a contrast from the wool caps of Boulder. New York Fashion Week fit the bill, nowhere near the great outdoors and intoxicating for its whiplash dose of “Chic.” I admit Google SketchUp and Kitchen & Bath (K&B) Design are light-years from the fashion runway… how many 20-something runway models cook, anyway? But to my surprise, SketchUp was the toast of the town when placed in the hands of able K&B designers armed with their computers, iPads and Google apps! Here’s my take on “Chic Week” from New York.

Mannequins at New York Fashion Week? They're really Google SketchUp avatars descending on NYC.

The Bath Challenge results from Fashion Week are…“faaaabulous, simply faaaabulous.” So let’s start with some inspiration from the Jason Wu runway show. His first dress is a literal smattering of Geek to Chic. I respectfully call it: “Tribute to hand-drawing with Rapidograph ink pens and ruined shirts in architecture school”...splat! I could have worn a suit like this to design studio every day and never cleaned it. Where were you, Jason, when I needed you? It’s a lovely suit. Practical, and no pocket protector needed!

My favorite suit of the show! Stylish and hides everything I ever spilled. Easy on the cleaning bill.

For the Luxury Bath Challenge, four teams of designers/architects/bloggers were the guests of Brizo Faucets and competed in the Brizo Luxury Bath Challenge, cosponsored by KraftMaid Cabinetry and DeNova Countertops. To pull this off in 2.5 hours and not miss Jason Wu’s runway show was the challenge. It meant finding a quick, easy way of designing, drawing and presenting four luxury bath designs. The choice was multimedia; a combination of hand-drawing and narrative for developing design concepts, followed by team workshops where online images, SketchUp and 3D product models from the sponsors’ collections in Google’s 3D Warehouse were all employed. Not for the faint-hearted… I guess that’s why a few of the architects skipped the Challenge. Since I’m an architect, I can poke them to a point, then they get testy.
Here are pictures of the Design Challenge teams hard at work on their luxury bath designs. Their presentations and the awards ceremony later at the Showtime Show House capped off a wonderful day in NYC . How did we crash a penthouse party during Fashion Week? It’s another win for K&B designers and SketchUp! Check out the descriptions with each picture:

Hard at work on the Luxury Bath Design Challenge - Gloria Graham, Erin Beneker Loechner @erinloechner, Trevor Williams and Eric Schimelpfenig @SketchThis

Corey's team - Linda Merrill @surroundings, Nancy Hugo @nancyhugo, Corey Klassen @coreyklassen, and Michael Tadros @MikeTadros

Kimberly Dowdell, explaining her team's design concept for a luxury bath "Oasis"

Corey Klassen @coreyklassen, takes the judges through his team's bath design. Very architectural in feeling.

Our esteemed panel of judges; Brendan "Cannon", Judd Lord, and Keith Baltimore

Paparazzi and cameras everywhere. They heard about the Luxury Bath Challenge and beat us to the party.

Trevor Williams, Erin Beneker Loechner @erinloechner, Gloria Graha, and Eric Schimelpfenig @SketchThis

Cannon shares the judges' choice for first place; a "Spa" inspired design concept by Veronika Miller @Modenus. Her team members include Bob Borson @bobborson, Maggie Stack King @ecofabulous, and Celine Kwok

I’ll wrap up by sharing another gorgeous Jason Wu’s dress. It captures all the connections between Geek and Chic. If you’re a Google SketchUp geekster, you instantly see how the “sketchy line” tool would make it a breeze to draw this high-fashion dress without crashing your computer. If you’re a K&B designer, the colors may inspire your next project. If you’re a Fashion Week Celeb who found this post on Paul Anater’s blog @Paul_Anater… why of course, it’s a “Jason Wu.”

Jason Wu's tribute to the "Sketchy Line" tool in Google SketchUp? Maybe...

16 September 2010

Geek-to-chic events showcase K&B/interior designers' “Tech Moxie”

The following post is written by Mark Johnson, FAIA. Mark's a good friend and colleague and he's reporting from two events I didn't make it to this year. I'm happy to host his dispatches from a conference at Google's Boulder Campus and then from Fashion Week in New York. Unrelated events? I don't think so. You can follow Mark on Twitter; he tweets as @MarkJohnsonFAIA. So without further ado, here's part one of Mark's adventures from the road.


I was delighted to attend major events in just two weeks where Kitchen & Bath (K&B) and Interior Designers dominated social media and embraced the newest design technology offered from Google. Why is this tipping point so important? Historically the K&B/Interior Design community has been content to follow rather than lead in adoption of online and tech tools. Architects have been the resident design geeks, but not for long…

Question: “Can a designer be Geek and Chic?” You say it’s an oxymoron and I’m a moxie moron for even suggesting? Stay with me for this two-part blog and I’ll try to prove it’s an important sea-change. Dive in, I promise you won’t become a pocket-protector misfit.

The Podium at 3D Basecamp - A mashup of High Tech & Camping with Shrek
Google 3D Basecamp where "It's Hip to be Square"

The events I attended couldn’t be more different and that’s what’s so exciting. I’ll call Google SketchUp 3D Basecamp in Boulder, “Geek Week.” I’ll dub the Luxury Bath Design Challenge at New York Fashion Week 2010, “Chic Week.”

Mark Johnson FAIA proposing "Unconference" Session on Social Media and Google 3D Warehouse. Aidan Chopra wondering... Does this topic have traction??

Let’s start in beautiful Boulder where Google’s indoor camping theme had their employees wearing wool caps in August…yeah, pretty geeky, but in a chic sort of way. We talked tech around virtual campfires; amazing what you can do with LED lights, a fan, fabric and kindling…not very romantic, but it was a geek fest after all. Don’t worry fashionistas, Part 2 will cover New York Fashion Week so hang in there, you need to read this.

Camp #4 - The On-Stage Wilderness with Google dudes and a roaring virtual campfire.

Trekies, I mean Techies, from around the world converged on Boulder with the unbridled enthusiasm of tweenage boys attending a Boy Scout World Jamboree. All the while, who’s quietly tweeting to the world about the release of Google SketchUp Version 8? Why it’s a cadre of K&B designers at 3D Basecamp, iPads and Macs in hand, and their Florida friend, Paul Anater @Paul_Anater, tweeting from afar.

Camp #5 - "Unconference" Session on Social Media +Google 3D Warehouse. No campfire, just lanterns...

Rachele Harless Gorsegner @misedesign, Eric Schimelpfenig @SketchThis, yours truly @MarkJohnsonFAIA, and @IntDesignerChat interloper, Alex Oliver @igloostudios were all there to witness the Version 8 launch, post over 50 tweets, and add a 34 pic photo album to Facebook by the next morning. I’ve included some pics with captions so you can see the brain damage we inflicted. Not to worry, most of it was virtual.

Camp #3 - Rachele Harless Gorsegner & David Pillsbury @davidpillsbury goofing off with the Google Team

Boulder is pretty laid back so our band of K&B SketchUp power users showed them how it’s done. In fact, on “Unconference Day,” Alex Oliver and I each led conference sessions highlighting Social Media, Google Apps, 3D Warehouse and our segments of the design industry; building products for architecture, interiors and K&B. Our quantitative analysis demonstrating how to generate ROI metrics with free Google Apps raised some eyebrows…Uh oh, this is getting geeky. In plain speak; 3D building and interior products are some of the most popular collections in Google’s entire 3D Warehouse.

SketchUp Road Warriors: Mike Tadros, Eric Schimelpfenig, David Pillsbury, Mark Johnson, Alex Oliver So to our many friends on the K&B and Interiors side of the business, you were well represented at "Geek Week". We even recruited a few through the wormhole to the K&B side of the Universe. Next post; on to New York for "Chic Week". No camping gear allowed…although a few celebs were spotted wearing “camo” near the runway! Eeww.

03 September 2010

SketchUp 3D Basecamp, Continued: Great Minds Think Alike (or Not)

Note: Google invited 250 of their devotees to a three-day meeting that started Wednesday. I was among those invited and although I couldn't get my schedule cleared enough to attend, I was asked to nominate someone to attend. I nominated Rachele Harless Gorsegner, a friend of mine and the woman who writes The Conscious Kitchen. Rachele's already written a dispatch from day one of the conference and now here is day two. Thanks Rachele!

The three-day 3D modeling conference for the SketchUp community continued Thursday, with a solidly packed day of "unconference" sessions.  Affable and highly entertaining Google emcee, Aidan Chopra, facilitated a large brainstorming session in which various individuals nominated topics for sessions.  Individuals were asked to write their ideas on sticky notes and then step up to the microphone to introduce their idea.  Their sticky note was then taken by Googlers and put up on a scheduling board.

As you can see, there were plenty of ideas to be exchanged at this unconference!  The brainstorming session was actually so fruitful that it ran over the time allotted, and the first unconference session start time was pushed back from 10a to 10:30a.

The topics were incredibly wide ranging, all the way from somewhat expected and highly relevant topics like "Tips and Techniques," to more elite super-user topics such as photorealistic rendering and building information modeling (BIM). There were some tangential topics such as exploring and harnessing the power of social media, as well as eclectic topics such as using SketchUp for set design in the film industry.  How creative and unexpected!  Unconference sessions ranged in size from 5-6 attendees all the way up to, by my estimate, 40 attendees.

Mitchel Stangl, shown as a topic leader in this picture (see the green shirt), was definitely one of the more engaging and passionate speakers.  Mitchel is the very definition of a SketchUp power user; he works with incredibly large and complex models, and has been using SketchUp since 2001, when it was "born."  One of his sessions, on the topic of creating 2D construction documents from 3D models, turned out to be one of the most popular topics of the day.

Following the unconference sessions, all attendees were invited to an hour-long session to propose and prioritize features for SketchUp version 9.  Yes, you heard that right -- version 9.  The very day after version 8 was released, the SketchUp team was already encouraging and soliciting feedback for their next release.  (My only explanation is that they must have learned to get by with about three hours of sleep per day.)  It was interesting to see which suggestions met with wide support (e.g. reflection property for SketchUp materials), whereas other suggestions sparked quite a bit of debate (an iPad viewer for SketchUp?  "YAY!"...  "NAY!"...  a web-based version of SketchUp?  "COOL!"... "WRONG DIRECTION!"...).  If you missed out on the conference but have ideas for SketchUp 9, there's certainly many opportunities and avenues to offer your ideas to the SketchUp team.  If there's one thing I learned this week, it is that the SketchUp team is very accessible and receptive to feedback.

Mark Johnson, FAIA and Eric Schimelpfenig, AKBD
On the fun side, the 3D Basecamp event provided a great avenue for getting to know, as Google calls them, your "Birds of a Feather."  While at the event, I met some kitchen and residential designers, some manufacturers, and also the guys from Igloo Studios, producer of popular SketchUp tutorials and classes as well as creators of hundreds of  useful components in the SketchUp 3D warehouse (i.e. cabinetry, plumbing, appliances).

The second day concluded with dinner and a party at the Google offices.  The party was on the deck, which was accessed by going up the stairs of a central rec room.  It was something of an oversized romper room for adults, including not only this awesome rock wall (note "GOOGLE" in the upper right corner), but also: massage chairs, a ping pong table, a pool table, and super soaker water guns.  

The Google deck welcomed us with a beautiful vista of the Rocky Mountains.  Can you imagine being able to come out here to this gorgeous deck, to eat your lunch every day?  A brown bag lunch never looked so good.

Sadly, my last interaction with the Google SketchUp crowd was this parting shot (literally).  I was unable to attend Day 3 of the event, which promised numerous interesting demos from various plug-in vendors ("Friends of Google") for SketchUp.  Most of the plug-ins offered functionality for photorealistic rendering as well as energy analysis calculations -- all very interesting stuff.

Thanks to Google and the SketchUp team for being gracious, welcoming, and enthusiastic hosts!

02 September 2010

SketchUp 3D Basecamp, Day 1: A Birthday Party and a New Arrival

Note: Google invited 250 of their devotees to a three-day meeting that started yesterday. I was among those invited and although I couldn't get my schedule cleared enough to attend, I was asked to nominate someone to attend. I nominated Rachele Harless Gorsegner, a friend of mine and the woman who writes The Conscious Kitchen. Rachele's written a dispatch from day one of the conference and here it is. Thanks Rachele!

Today marked the start of the Google SketchUp 3D Basecamp "unconference," hosted just a block away from their main offices in Boulder, CO. What is an "unconference," you ask? An unconference is Google's quirky way of nurturing the exchange of ideas and information surrounding popular topics. As part of the gathering, all the participants brainstorm the topics and then vote on them. The winning ideas are then slotted into a discussion agenda for that day.

I am one of approximately 250 SketchUp users attending this 3rd bi-annual unconference, courtesy of an invitation extended through Paul. People are here from as far away as Australia and Peru! There are architects, vendors, script authors, super modelers, evangelists, and dare I say, even a kitchen designer or two. There is a great energetic vibe among the attendees, in part because we are celebrating the 10th birthday of SketchUp (celebrated with cake, champagne, and song), but also because today marked the product launch of SketchUp version 8!

At a high level, the new SketchUp includes improved geo modeling, debuts an entirely new set of tools for Solid geometry, and adds some much improved drafting functionality in Layout 3 (included with SketchUp Pro 8). We were treated to an in depth demo of what the new SketchUp can do. You can read more about the latest SketchUp version on their official blog.  I have to say that the Solid Tools are amazing! The examples that they used in the demo involved complex joints in fine woodworking, but that said, I think this entirely new aspect of modeling can really change the way you use SketchUp. Check out this detailed video to learn more on the Solid Tools and how they work:

Tomorrow, Day 2, will be the real "meat" of the unconference. For now, I will leave you with a few more fun photos from Day 1:

John Bacus, SketchUp Product Manager, polls the audience on their SketchUp experience. "How many of you are SketchUp experts?" he asked. Some people raised their hands. "Put it this way," he said, "how many of you, know other people, who label you as a SketchUp expert?" The number of raised hands increased at least by 100%.

This is the real, live Bryce, the beloved SketchUp model scale 2D figure for version 6. He was later replaced by Sang in version 7. In SketchUp version 8, Sang is replaced by Susan. The 2D scale figures have all been real people who work in the SketchUp offices.

Google gave SketchUp software free version 8 to all attendees of 3D basecamp on an "environmentally friendly" bamboo USB stick. Aiden Chopra, emcee for the unconference, appropriately noted that bamboo is not so friendly if you are either bamboo, or a panda.

01 September 2010

SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization

SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization: Beginner's Guide shows you how to master SketchUp's unique tools to create architectural visuals using professional rendering and image editing techniques in a clear and friendly way. You'll be able to get started immediately using SketchUp (free version) and open-source rendering and image processing software. The book also shows you how to create watercolor and pencil style sketchy visuals. In no time you'll be creating photo-realistic renders, animated fly-overs, and walkthroughs to show off your designs in their best light!

And so begins Robin de Jongh's SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization. Every word of it is true.

I have been using SketchUp for nearly three years now and my embrace of that software has opened up avenues of expression I never knew were available. Over the course of time that I've been writing this blog, I've reviewed three SketchUp books. The first was Aidan Chopra's Sketchup 7 for Dummies. The second was Mike Tadros' Real World SketchUp. De Jongh's new title is a fitting and perfect addition to my SketchUp Library.

De Jongh's SketchUp 7 for Architectural Visualization sounds like a heavy tome, but in reality it's an approachable and sensible guide to turning SketchUp renderings into mind bendingly photorealistic visualizations.

In the first chapter alone, De Jongh talks his readers through the basics of drawing a room in SketchUp. If you can take SketchUp that far and want to go even further, then this book's for you.

Here's the SketchUp model from chapter one.

Three pages later, he (and his readers) turn it into this.

DeJongh's book is about SketchUp sure enough, but he delves into the world of open-source software that SketchUp works with beautifully. For photo manipulation he uses Gimp. For video production he uses Virtual Dub. And for his renderings he uses Kerkythea. All four of those incredibly powerful applications are available at full strength to anybody and they are all free. Software costs are an enormous barrier to entry for start ups and it's nothing short of a revolution that those barriers are falling by the wayside.

Between those four applications, anybody can open a business and make a living with an investment of time and a decent computer. I use those applications every day and it's a real thrill to see them getting the respect they deserve.

DeJongh's 377 pages are filled with logical and easy to follow instructions. His tone is conversational and supportive. After every action he directs there's a sidebar explanation of what just happened. People who read his book will not only pick up new skills, they'll understand them and it's that understanding that makes this such a valuable addition to anyone who's serious about three dimensional visualizations.

Robin de Jongh's SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualizations is published by Pakt Publishing in Birmingham, England. You can buy this book from them directly in the currency of your choice and they ship free to the US, the UK, the EU and select Asian countries.

It's on my very short list of recommended instructional books for SketchUp. What are you waiting for? Climb aboard the SketchUp train!

02 May 2010

Kraftmaid cabinetry has a project file on Google's 3D Warehouse

Kraftmaid Cabinetry has a library of completed kitchen designs on Google's 3D Warehouse. They have been streamlined from their original designs in order to fit into the 3D Warehouse's 10mb maximum size, and they are there to serve as a starting point for designers and SketchUp users. Anyone can download them and they're available for free of course.

These models can be used as is,or you can download them and pull them apart to either customize a design for yourself or to learn a bit more about how modeling in SketchUp works.

Direct link to the model here.

Direct link to the model here.

Direct link to the model here.

Direct link to the model here.

Direct link to the model here.

Direct link to the model here.

Kraftmaid is a company embracing new technology and new media with a passion I find to be laudable. Oh and you can even find a couple of my models in their collections. Check out Kraftmaid's 3D Warehouse project files and tell them I sent you.

01 May 2010

The American Gothic house is now on Google Earth

How cool is this? My American Gothic House is now on Google Earth and Google's 3-D Warehouse. Google Earth models are unattributed and this is about the coolest unattributed use of my work ever.

Thanks to you Mike at Igloo Studios, Mark at Kraftmaid and Chris from Google. That the American Gothic house is on Google Earth now proves the whole point of my KBIS presentation. Namely, that Google's SketchUp isn't locked behind a proprietary wall, it's integrated with the rest of the world. The world is changing Kitchen and Bath Industry, and embracing those changes is the surest way to guarantee a place for all of us.

25 April 2010

American Gothic explained and renovated

As many of you know, I was in Chicago last weekend for my industry's big trade show and conference, KBIS. As many of you know too, I was there to do three presentations a day on the subject of Google SketchUp. There were five of us presenting topics related to technology and the kitchen and bath business and we were sponsored by Kraftmaid Cabinetry. Our presentations were considered to be continuing education and we were awarding CEUs, so this was pretty serious business. My fellow presenters were Mark Johnson, the Director of Sales + Marketing for Kraftmaid; Bart Frost, the Manager of Sales Training at Kraftmaid; Eric Schimelpfenig, a designer with his own training company called Sketch This!; Alex Oliver, the CEO of Igloo Studios and me. Thank you fellas, thank you Google and above all thank you Kraftmaid. Last weekend's presentations were a rollicking success by any measure.

I did a sneak peak at one of my presentations before I left called Help Me Grant Wood. Well, it wasn't so much a sneak peek as it was a lot of chest beating because I was worried that I'd painted myself into a corner. I wanted to tell a story first and foremost. I also wanted the technology I was using to support my story, not be my story and I think I did pretty well. Enough people have asked, so I'm going to recreate what I did here. Imagine this as a multimedia extravaganza with flashing lights, roaring crowds and me in a Madonna headset at center stage.

My story starts with Grant Wood's iconic painting, American Gothic.

American Gothic debuted in 1930 when it won a contest at the Art Institute of Chicago. The judges hated it, the critics hated it and it won because a wealthy patron of the Art Insitute loved it. Needless to say, it went on to become one of the world's most iconic images.

The house in the background of that painting is a real house and it still stands in Eldon, Iowa. The woman is Wood's sister Nan and the man is Wood's dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby. Dr. McKeeby never dressed up like an Iowa farmer and Nan never dressed up like a farmer's wife. Neither of them stood in front of the house in Eldon. Wood painted studies of all three subjects separately and merged them when he painted what would become American Gothic.

So what does this have to do with kitchen design? Everything and nothing.

Google Earth is another Google project and it's a community-generated 3D map of the world. So if we start in Google Earth, this might make a little more sense. Bear in mind that his is all animated in my presentation.

If I zoom in on the convention center as shown in Google Earth, you can see that it's a 3D model. That model and the rest of the models in Google Earth were rendered in Google SketchUp.

 So let's pop up the street to the Art Institute of Chicago, where Grant Wood's American Gothic still hangs.

And finally, let's zoom down to Eldon, IA. Eldon has no 3D models yet, but that will be fixed soon enough. [Edited to add, as of 4/28/10 The American Gothic House IS on Google Earth now --PA]

OK, back to Chicago now.

I wanted to recreate the house in Grant Wood's painting and I wanted to make it as accurate as possible. I poked around on Google for a couple of weeks and I found the property records for the famous house on the corner of Burton Street in Eldon, IA.

On that property record, I found a measured foot print of the house. It was some significant progress.

I dug around some more and I found a bunch of photos of the house, and it seemed that each one showed me a detail I was missing. I amassed quite a collection of photos.

I even found and old newspaper clipping that showed me the back of the house.

So because I'm working in the amazing SketchUp, I imported that foot print I found as a .jpg, scaled it and then built my house right on top of it. Here's the footprint, in scale and on the ground.

I then imported a bunch of reference images and stacked them at the back of my model. I'd delete them later, but by having my references in front of me while I worked, I could see what I was aiming for at all times.

So with the house drawn and my references hidden away, I ended up with this.

Using the tools in SketchUp and my reference photos, I could calculate the pitch of the roof in the photos, I could recreate the columns on the porch and most amazingly of all, I could recreate that Gothic window.

Keep in mind that I drew all of this from scratch so far and I used only the functions available in the free version of SketchUp. By drawing everything to scale and by recreating the house almost exactly, it's now an acceptable model for Google Earth. My American Gothic house is in the process of being positioned in Google Earth and in about another week, Eldon will get its first 3D building.

OK, so the outside's drawn. Now what? Grant Wood's Dinner for Threshers provides a glimpse of what the American Gothic house would have looked like in its day.

I want to do something different though. This is after all, my story. So I went with something a little more contemporary but still grounded in place.

Knock on the screen door and take a peek.

Here's my interior renovation. I used Kraftmaid  cabinetry in a maple slab door called Avery. The stain color is Honey Spice and Kraftmaid's catalog is available in the 3D Warehouse now. And. It's. Free.

The appliances are by GE Monogram, the furniture is by Thos. Moser, the faucet's from Brizo and all of those components are available to download through Google's 3D Warehouse.

I made the gantry that hangs from the ceiling at the suggestion of Chuck Wheelock from Johnny Grey. He actually suggested a pitchfork but I liked that Gothic window shape so much that I repeated it as a light fixture.

If I zoom up to the ceiling and look down, you can see that the table and chairs are sitting on a braided rug. I made that from a .jpg image I found on the internet. It's now a texture on a three dimensional image instead of a photo. The floor too started out as a photograph of a pile of lumber that I morphed into texture for the floor.

Recreating the American Gothic house and then renovating the interior was a lot of fun and a lot of work. I could not have done it the way I did it with any other rendering program out there. SketchUp's not locked behind a wall of proprietary software. One of the reasons I love it so much is that it's fully integrated with the rest of the internet and I'm limited by my imagination alone.

So with that said, let's make some videos!

All thanks go to Mark Johnson and Susan Prater from Kraftmaid; Bart Frost from Kraftmaid; Alex Oliver, Mike Tadros and Ann Savino from Igloo Studios; Eric Schimelpfenig from Sketch This!; Chris Cronin from Google and as always Peter Saal who got this whole ball rolling last year. You can download your own copy of Google SketchUp here. While you're downloading software, take Google Earth for a spin too.