Category : tips and tricks

Laser Scans and Precision Modeling

As we mentioned in our previous post on Total Stations, electronic measuring devices are the standard when it comes to gathering precision data for 3D modeling. Laser scanners are becoming more powerful, less expensive, and thus more accessible for folks looking to create very precise 3D models. For what we do here at Fat Pencil Studio there […]

Navigating Avalanche Terrain
Posted by on May 8, 2017
Posted in: mapping, tips and tricks, transportation, Uncategorized

This winter I decided to prepare for my backcountry ski trips by finding routes that are lowest in avalanche danger. CalTopo was recommended to me by a volunteer with the Mount Saint Helens Institute because its MapBuilder option can show slope shading, and slopes between 34 and 45 degrees are known to be prone to avalanche. […]

Steel Bridge Animation

Recently I wrote about a model I made of Portland’s Steel Bridge. The post featured a slideshow of the bridge at different stages in its lift process, and at the time I hadn’t yet fully animated it. I’ve had the opportunity since then to experiment with a couple of different plugins for SketchUp and was able to produce a video of the […]

The Uncanny Valley

Featured Image: Roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro and the android based on his likeness. More at Geminoid.jp If you’ve never heard of it before, the uncanny valley is a phrase used to describe the discomfort-inducing zone that an image or likeness of a human passes through on its way from abstract to representational. The term was first coined in 1970 by […]

Placemaker Extension
Posted by on March 2, 2017
Posted in: creative community, geomodeling, mapping, photomatch, software, tips and tricks

Last month I had the honor of beta-testing Placemaker, a smart plugin that automatically integrates infrastructure data into 3D using the SketchUp geo-location feature. The full version has just been released (congratulations to mind.sight.studios!), and we are excited to continue integrating it into our workflow. Here’s a rough idea of how Placemaker works: the general […]

Discover the Story
Posted by on January 12, 2017
Posted in: inspiration, legal, SceneViz, tips and tricks

Last Saturday I spent the day in a hotel ballroom watching Zoe Littlepage and Rainey Booth (pictured below) discuss their approach to visual storytelling. When the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) announced this event last month, I signed up right away for an exhibit table. After all, visual storytelling is what Fat Pencil Studio is […]

All About Aerials
Posted by on November 15, 2016
Posted in: environment, imaging, legal, mapping, real estate, tips and tricks

Investigating a motor vehicle crash or crime? Planning a trip? Shopping for a new home? For these, and countless other activities, aerial photography is a valuable source of information. You probably already know how to get it: Google Maps, right? That’s a great place to start, but dig a bit deeper, and you stand to […]

Certified Content Developer
Posted by on October 3, 2016
Posted in: creative community, software, tips and tricks

SketchUp has launched a new set of modeling standards for its popular 3D Warehouse. Fat Pencil Studio has passed this SketchUp certification test to become a Certified Content Developer and is now featured on the SketchUp Resource Center page. In addition to setting a baseline for user-friendly models found online, the SketchUp certification training documents many tips for utilizing SketchUp tools. […]

Profile Builder
Posted by on August 4, 2016
Posted in: software, tips and tricks

Hello! My name is Hunter Kirkland and I’m the summer intern at Fat Pencil Studio and an architecture graduate student at the University of Oregon in Portland. Part of my time here has been spent learning a new and exciting SketchUp extension, Profile Builder. When I first started investigating this extension at Joshua’s request, the idea […]

SketchUp Basecamp 2016
Posted by on July 2, 2016
Posted in: animation, conferences, creative community, software, tips and tricks

Despite being the most widely used 3d-modeling program (35 million unique activations per year) SketchUp has been limited by it’s reliance on the Windows or Mac operating system…until now. Basecamp 2016 saw the unveiling of my.SketchUp.com, a complete 3d modeling environment inside a web browser. The new interface has pop up icons which streamline the toolbar […]