Sunday, October 15, 2006

Eric Owen Moss - The Umbrella: Modelled in SketchUp, Rendered in Cheetah3D

This is a detail of an arts centre in Culver City, California, by the architect Eric Owen Moss. The first time I saw it, I thought 'Sandbox'. Sandbox is SketchUp's tool for creating smooth terrains (No. 23 if you follow the previous link). But it occurred to me that it could be used for a lot more, and when I saw this it seemed an ideal opportunity to put it to the test. This one, again, is 'eyeballed'. Luckily, I was able to find a good axonometric of how the glass sheets were laid out, which helped enormously.

A rear view of the project. The undulating metal structure supporting the glass canopy was created using SketchUp's Follow Me tools (Path Extrusion).

A 'Dutch Angle' render of the canopy, done in Cheetah3D. I love the refractions from the glass.

And here's something a little more abstract

A quick fly-around of the model, rendered in SketchUp:

The first part of a longer animation rendered in Cheetah3D using HDRI:
Here is a QTVR panorama rendered using Cheetah3D. I'm amazed by how much spatial information can be crammed into these tiny files. This panorama is rendered from underneath the main canopy space. You may need to download QuickTime for Windows to view these. I'm indebted to Rory Kelleher of for the code for embedding these in webpages.