The first thing I noticed about the project was the software choices given to us for this project. I had personally never used any of them.

After trying them all for few days, I decided to use Google SketchUp because it is very unconventional and trendy compared to other applications.

However, the learning curve was still huge and came with some drawbacks. My choice of landmark/object was Calgary Tower as it seemed very simple to do at first .... but boy was I wrong!

For this project I used some textures images for background (sky/concrete/metal) from the internet.

My goal was to make something that looked similar to this image:

This is what I came up with:

The above image does not do justice to the 3D Model and is NOT a direct export from SketchUp, I used a plugin called "ShaderLight" which allows us to do "Realistic Rendering".

The Final result without this plugin would have looked like this:

My alternate angle for this picture was by having a view of city of calgary in background along with calgary tower. The result looked something like this (720p HD Render):

Without calgary tower the background image was:

However, there is more to this simple image as there are many textures/small details that cannot be seen in the above image. For this purpose I'll list more images below to show how much effort was put into this:

The following textures were used from internet:

My thoughts and conclusion: The project was not easy. Apart from the textures, I had to pretty much draw everything from scratch. Getting started was easy using google's video tutorials but being good at was very hard. Using SketchUp requires creativity and tools such as "Follow Me" require a lot of thought to get hang of. The concept of groups/components reflects upon Object Oriented work and I loved the way we could group items together and explode them when required. The drawback of SketchUp lies in its name (SketchUp) and the mere fact that the final results looks more like a sketch then a proper realistic rendered model might be a big no no for many. Luckly, SketchUp allows extensions to be used and I used ShaderLight to get Realistic modeling details from the sketched model. The anti-aaliasing features along with shadows/lightening are not that great compared to other tools and it kinda reflects in my project. However, i tried to make the most of the features and extensions and bumped some of the quality/texture up. The concept of perspective/origin/3d that we are learning in class helped a lot in this project. But I still had to draw many objects using a simple line tool, as shown in some of the images above. The model was made to actual scale of the tower ~ 620 feet.

I would suggest anyone working on such project to start early and go through the SketchUp video tutorials before starting off. The project took me a lot of hours (more than 20), and that was mostly because of the finer detaills of the tower I worked on. The images presented (especially the first result) do not do justice to the 3D model which looks way better than the 2D images provided.

Overall, I really working on this project and I am glad to learn a new technology (SketchUp). I will definitely use it for my personal use!!!