Evidence Markers in SketchUp

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When we model crime scenes in SketchUp, we often need to attach metadata (pictures, descriptions, etc) to individual objects within the model. SketchUp has a couple of text tools built-in, but we find both of them to be a bit messy and cumbersome. So we decided to create our own evidence markers that we can position within a model, then add an identifying number or letter, and a text description—just like the real thing!

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Triangular markers and flat cards with customizable letters/numbers.

These are customizable dynamic components, so the identifying letters or numbers can be changed on the fly. We made a set of triangular markers, as well as a set of flat cards that align themselves to whatever surface they're placed on.

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Changes can be made to the marker numbers or letters, color, or description in the component options window

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Then clicking on the marker with SketchUp's Interact tool pops up the description!

The technical details: Because SketchUp's 3d text is not editable after creation, each marker contains a full set of 36 characters (A-Z, plus digits 0-9). Behind the scenes, the visibility of each character is toggled on or off to match the marker's identifier. Credit goes to SketchUp user pcmoor for the proof of concept and dynamic component logic that makes it work.

Want to try them for yourself? The triangular marker and card are available for download on SketchUp's 3d Warehouse. However, to use the dynamic features you will need to insert these into a separate model (via the 3d Warehouse or Component panel)

Can you solve this crime?

Thanks to SketchUp users Giuiano M., Cody C., Ivana P., Nick J., hideman, and Belgrade Sim for the models we used to create these mysterious clues.

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Joel is a designer at Fat Pencil Studio