Monday, December 9, 2013

Make-it Monday: SketchUp Modeling the New Home/Game Space

The Wife and I have a proven strategy for effective moving. The two key components of this strategy are fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope rolls of color-coded packing tape, and a highly accurate SketchUp model of our abode-to-be.

Color-coded tape FTW!
We used this strategy during our move into our current place, and it proved to be one of the quickest and easiest living-transitions I have ever experienced. Now that we once again find ourselves on the eve of movin' on up, it is no surprise we have, once again, rolled out our old battle plan.

Over the weekend, I began work on a SketchUp model of the new house. This began with a brief stopover to take detailed measurements of the various living spaces. I then used these to whip up a model of our new living/dining/gaming space. We have already begun using this model to figure out furniture placement, new furniture purchases, and potential paint colors.

The room modeled here is the main living area of the new house, which has an open dining room attached. One of the great things about our little family is that we are both totally on board with having our gaming out on display in our lives. This room will not only hold our couch and TV, but will also eventually include shelves full of board games, books and gaming books, because when we have friends over, there is an excellent chance that we will be playing something.

TV area with a candidate for a new couch...
we quickly realized that the full 6-piece sectional was too big, so this model shows a three piece version.
I am still not finished populating the model with our furniture, because, unfortunately, my models of our current apartment and all of our stuff are entombed on a busted hard drive, so I've been forced to rebuild all of the furnishings.

This space will soon be full of shelves... oh, and chairs. Chairs are good too.
One of the tricks to modeling for moving is to not get too caught up in the details. I have intentionally left the models a little low-fidelity in order to save time building them, and to keep the model from getting bogged down in rendering as it grows. However, that being said, it is important that certain elements like the outside dimensions of furniture, window heights, and even overhangs for things like railings be accurate, as these can affect furniture placement in significant ways, depending on the circumstances.

Now, you may be wondering about my previous SketchUp post in which I hinted at making video tutorials on this stuff. Well, I tried to start but quickly realized that Fraps and SketchUp reeeeeally do not play well together. They basically talk to each other as though it is opposite day. When Fraps indicates it is running, it's not, but when it isn't, it is... but not exactly. I only learned this after recording an entire tutorial session only to discover that Fraps recorded everything around the tutorial like getting the screen set up and going to check on the file when I was done. I even tried to play the opposite game with the software, but it seems like there are some rule of which I am not aware... so that didn't work either. In short, I tried, but have not yet succeeded in recording a SketchUp session. I will be sure to let you know if and when I do.


  1. This is really cool. When we/I was shopping for a new couch I had to put together our room in Illustrator. I haven't played with SketchUp. Sounds like a really good tool.

    1. Plus, I did all this in the free version!

  2. Did you check for secret passages before you bought that place? Were is the trap door to the dungeon located? Under the couch, or the rug?

    Crongrats U2

    1. There is a creepy old dried out sump in one of the storage areas. Almost deep enough to hide bodies... almost. ;)


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