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Friday, April 28, 2006

SketchUp your world

Google Sketchup, released recently, is a great and fun 3D Modeling software. It has amazing interactivity and also very easy to use. Looks like Google really got the intereaction part right. I have been a user (although at an amateur level) of a couple of 3D modeling softwares but I am very impressed with SketchUp.

As soon as I got over the initial learning curve (thanks to some great video tutorials) my mind started wandering. I have been exploring the XAML markup for sometime and tried my hand at Zam3D for creating markups for 3D models. Although Zam3D is a great tool, it has a very crowded interface which can overwhelm the user. SketchUp is just the opposite of that -- easy and intuitive (love the Push-Pull tool). So I started thinking if there is a way I could export the SketchUp 3D model to a XAML file. After a little digging, I found that SketchUp exposes a set of APIs for doing just that. The greatest surprise came when I read that the API bindings are for the Ruby language -- absolutely amazing. I personally love Ruby and it looks like there is no better way to play around more than with the SketchUp API. [Activity detected, appended to TODO list]

Just for fun I made this 3D model spelling the letters of my name. Took under 5 minutes.