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Featured Modelers: NilsW and Do-nuko

Google Building Maker has been a hit since its release and several individuals have been geo-modeling their cities using the new tool. With over 315 buildings in Switzerland, NilsW is rapidly filling in unbuilt areas in Zurich, Switzerland. While on the other side of the world in Sapporo, Japan, do-nuko has added over 160 buildings.

Building Maker is a recent addition to the modeling tools available from Google. It offers access to geo-accurate, oblique photographs taken by an airplane and a simple set of building blocks. It all happens via web browser: users align the blocks to the imagery and Building Maker maps the photos to the building shape, then uploads the resulting photo-textured model to the Google 3D Warehouse. Each building is then reviewed for inclusion in Google Earth. Building Maker supplements our geo-modeling tool set that already included Google SketchUp, the ideal software for creating complex, customized 3D buildings using photographs from any source.

NilsW uses all of Google's geo-modeling tools. "I've been a Google Earth user for years and I really love the 3D buildings. It's a thrill to make buildings and know that they can be seen by the whole world. The first building I made was in Zürich, where I live and work. I found the modeling process to be pretty easy because I had already been working with 3D programs, although I have to say that SketchUp is a lot more fun than those. I used the Google Earth snapshot in SketchUp to model and texture the buildings from photos I had taken around the buildings."

He saw the potential for Building Maker to help him model more buildings, more quickly. "I love Building Maker for simple buildings. I started using right away because it let's me model buildings without having to go out and take pictures. It's also easier for me to figure out the building dimensions. It's really fast, though I'd like to see more tools for making complex forms. Maybe there could be an Expert Mode in Building Maker. I am using SketchUp for complex buildings. SketchUp is great for detailed modeling work. Creating buildings is really fun and I want to be famous!" NilsW works in IT and is a photography (loves Panoramio) and architecture enthusiast.

Do-nuko also works in technology as a programmer and loves MANGA. He also started with an interest in Google Earth's 3D building layer. "I wanted to put my town in Google Earth, of course; but it seemed like an impossibly big task. That's why when I first started with Building Maker, it was a shock! I couldn't believe how fast and accurately I could model. It made me realize that modeling my town could be a reality. I have completed most of the buildings along one of our main streets (see embedded video). Working with simple buildings is really easy. If you have a little patience you can do even complicated buildings too. I want to ask the developers of Building Maker to please also add tools to make rounded roofs!"

Check out what these two master Building Makers have put together in this video, and be sure to check out their Profiles on the Google 3D Warehouse.

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Aerilius said...

You two have really earned this honor. I also used building maker for some models and I found out that in "old europe" there are quite difficult buildings. So at least some kind of a dome tool in BM would be very useful!

tomcioZG said...

You're absolutely right Andreas. Dome tool is necessary for proper modeling. Some buildings are very difficult to comply with the BM. About FM - Congratulations guys :)

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hva said...

I'd like a lot to contribute as well using the new tools, but I'm on linux.
How long yet are we going to wait for linux versions of sketch-up and sketch-up related tools?

Anonymous said...

NilsW and Do-nuko: Congratulation!!!

@hva: It should be possible without any efforts! Not without reason, I have proposed to the Sketchup team to use Building Maker in the GE-internal browser. Which works just perfect on linux.
And I hope it's only a matter of time until there is a GE-plugin for linux, because why should Google deny to its future Chrome users integral parts of Google Maps?

modelhead said...

It is a good addition although for those that wish to model small towns and cities without a multitude of big square buildings it is not providing much for the viewer in the context of things like Street Views. I really like to see the detail at street level in my models. It makes a much more compelling experience and as well becomes a 3d compliment to Street Views rather than a disapointment.

Gürkan EROL said...

I cannot conceive of anyting better :))