3D models for robot using SketchUp and exporting them to Alice
Exporting 2D images from SketchUp:
By choosing SketchUp I was sure that I would not using these models to create parts but to simply to model form and function of the robot so that I could generate images like the ones bellow or potentially to create animations. The 3D image part is easy as SketchUp has a built-in image exporter: (File --> Export --> 2D Graphic...). Alternatively, if for some reason you are unable to use the built-in exporter you can always just take a screen capture by pressing the 'PrintScr' key on the keyboard and then right clicking and selecting paste in a blank word or image file.
Exporting 3D images from SketchUp to Alice:
|Robot model loaded into 3D world|
As for my intention to create 3D animations of the robot, that would be a bit more difficult. I learned programming using a language called Alice. Alice is a beginner programming language that uses its code to control 3D objects in a simulated world. SketchUp saves by default in a .skp format that as far as I know only SketchUp can read, but it can export files as a .dae format which can be read by some other 3D object programs. In order to load 3D objects made in SketchUp into Alice they first need to be converted to a .ase format. The process of doing this is a bit complicated but here it goes:
- You will need to download and install/extract the following programs (all are free to use).
- GoogleSketchup: http://sketchup.google.com/
- Blender: http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/
- Biturn: http://mirex.mypage.sk/
- Alice: http://www.alice.org/
You can now experiment by writing your own code to move the object. You can also add other pre-made objects to the world to make it more interesting. Alice has a built in video exporter so that you can export your videos directly as movies.
My completed 3D animation using my custom model:
|Completed 3D model of Salvius Robot|