Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Google SketchUp VS Google Building Maker

Today I tried my hand at Google's new browser-oriented 3D building maker.


It's supposed to be an easier, faster way of generating 3D buildings for Google Earth. They released it yesterday.


I like SketchUp more.


For one thing, The "Building Maker" is limited to certain locations. I 'built' a model of a building in Vancouver, because Vancouver and Toronto were the only Canadian cities covered under the tool. The rest were U.S. cities and some European ones.


The Building Maker tool is way more inacurate from using SketchUp. Maybe it was my first time using it, but it's basically shaping a building footprint and dimension around a real building from oblique ortho imagery. When the dimensions line up with the building in the photo (and you get a dozen different views from all sides to get each side of the building), you hit 'save' and it automatically saves to the 3D Warehouse, fully built to dimensions, and photo-textured.


Here's my result:




















Not spectacular, no?


Now here's the finished product of a model I created using Google SketchUp, with Streetview imagery serving as my textures:



Is this better-looking or what?


I think, unless you are perfect at this 'Building Maker,' sticking to SketchUp is better. It is more work, but it can be fun making 3D models from scratch, and it's a lot easier now that you can pull imagery off of Streetview to act as textures.


Overall, my general opinion of this 'Building Maker' is that it's for people who are too lazy to make a nice, detailed model of a building. It's for more product-oriented people than for quality-oriented people. People who want to see their cities in 3D faster and easier, regardless of how good the buildings look themselves.


Otherwise, it's not for people like me. I like quality in my work. Not bulk or delivery of product as fast as possible. With 'Building Maker,' you get simple shapes to make your buildings out of. With SketchUp, there's a tonne amount of more flexibility in that you can add parapets, a lower roof or a ramp, or many other building accessories and configurations like a cooling unit on the roof or an add-on. Not a square. A square is boring.


-Justin C.

(Note: Sorry for the huge stupid spaces, this thing sometimes messes things up and I can't fix them).

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