SketchUp is mainly used to make Earthbound buildings and objects. But what about objects in space? My ideas:
In a rotating ring shaped habitat, “up” would be the center of a ring. By placing an axis somewhere in the model, you could define gravity for either the entire model or a cylindrical area around the axis; the height and radius of this cylinder could be editable from the properties of the axis object.
When inside this area, the camera tools would change their behavior, allowing one to walk around the inside of a cylinder as if it were the ground. Disabling collision detection would mean you would “fall” away from the defined axis.
Different options could exist for the entire model:
- Default- the way things are now
- Axis based- gravity defined as pushing away from or towards an axis- either a default axis or a custom one (as discussed above).
- Zero-G: The walk tool would be more of a “jetpack tool”, allowing you to look around and move “forward” in the direction you’re looking.
Localized gravity areas would nullify the effects of the global option set in the model.
Additionally, an alternate lighting system could be implemented; one could change the latitude (90 to -90) and longitude (0-360) of the sun’s position. This could be made to mimic the way something is lit in space.
I know this subject matter might not be the most popular among sketchup users, but it definitely applies to me and I’m sure these features would be of use to anyone designing unusual environments.