Model of the Lethbridge Viaduct
For this first assignment I created a model of the Lethbridge Viaduct. I made the pictures by first constructing the bridge itself. First I created a short section of the top of the bridge, modelled and textured. I then duplicated this short section to make the bridge at full length. I made the support beams underneath, creating one structure and duplicating it and placing the clones at the appropriate areas. I created an area of land and added a grassy texture for it. I took 2 tree models from the library of models Google Sketchup includes and placed them around the area where I wanted to take the first picture. I turned on shadows and appropriately moved the light source to cast the proper shadows. With the camera in position, I took a picture which matched the digital picture I had used from http://www.architecture.uwaterloo.ca/faculty_projects/terri/gallery/high_level.html . Lastly I moved the camera above the bridge, at angle, so the track and support beams could be seen at a closer view. Everything was of my own work, excepting the tree models, and all the textures, both of which came from the Sketchup library, and the digital picture from the aforementioned website.
The main difficulties were near the end, where many trees and the whole bridge were made. My laptop, unfortunately, could not handle this well and slowed down considerably, making work difficult. Other difficulties I had were finding the right proportions for the bridge, trees, and camera distance. Had I used the real physical proportions for the bridge, my computer likely would have crashed or run into other problems. As well as hardware, using the correct dimensions would have rendered the bridge much too small to see, as Sketchup seems to thicken edges considerably, and from a distances surfaces become harder to see.