Physics engine in Sketchup

I knew Sketchup was a great modeling tool, but apparently it’s also scriptable via a Ruby API and embedded web browser. At Google’s IO conference, Scott Lininger showed off some of this awesomeness.

20 min into the video below we see Scott capturing keystroke events within the browser instance and using them to control a modelled character. The character, its surroundings, and even the whole visual rendering style can be edited in real-time with the standard Sketchup tools.

Later he shows this YouTube clip that has more advanced physics demos made with the SketchyPhysics plugin. Wow.

EA skate has just about everything I could ask for in a skateboarding game (another post entirely), but you can’t design your own spots. Next logical step? Build a skateboarding simulator based on SketchyPhysics. The spots are already waiting.

SketchUp action

Over the weekend I finally gave SketchUp a try and got pretty wrapped up in it. I was up till 3 Tuesday night putting the finishing touches on my first contribution to 3D Warehouse. Of course it’s a skate spot.

Hubba Hideout

A great feature is that you can recreate a scene in 3D using a 2D image, but the problem is that your error goes up quickly as you try to guess angles and distances outside of the origin axis lines. You end up with a model that looks OK at the angle of the photo, but is more noticeably messed up when you shift the view. Most photos of the Hubba ledge aren’t at good angles to accurately map the perspective in SketchUp, so I had to tediously piece together the geometry based on several photos and a some guesswork.

So, when can I skate this?