SketchUp as a hobby

I’ve used around 65mm in the passed when taking 3D pictures, even for objects not that close by. Later I noticed/read that to get better depth i.e. 3D for say landscapes or things further away (mountains or clouds) one needs to increase the distance between points of view.

P.s. for viewing though around 65mm, or as you say 63.9mm, is necessary when not using special viewers.

For traditional stereo images for viewing with those red/blue glasses see
The page has a link to that has an old but still handy 3D image maker for download.

Random use of the Follow Me tool …


Starting with some free clip-art I found on the web (4496 x 5200):

I used BMP Tracer to import the outlines into SketchUp:

Deleting un-needed faces:

Extruding and intersecting with an oval cylinder:


cat.skp (559.6 KB)


At the risk of re-inventing the wheel, I came up with a simple plugin that allows you to wrap any supported image type around a cylinder. For example, using this copyrighted image from the web to make a beer can:

The plugin is here if you want to play with it.


An excellent little plugin, thanks.

I created a panorama on the inside of a cylinder and set the opacity of the outside to 0%:

I then added a 360 animation and captured the central portion of it here:

panorama.skp (1.2 MB)


I’ve modified the plugin to create cones as well. Originally I had used the four-point rectangles for the image mapping, but they resulted in a perspective distortion; i.e., I want this:

But I get this instead:

This is documented (hence known) behavior. By triangulating everything and mapping the image to the triangles, I get something closer to what I want. By subdividing the cone into multiple levels, it approaches the acceptable:

I’ve updated the plugin here … the model is attached here: cones.skp (873.7 KB)

[added] Since a disk is simply a flattened cylinder, text can be easily wrapped around a circle by mapping to a disk using this image (for example):

and these settings:


[more added]

By mapping to the opposite side you can reverse the wrapping direction:


You’re hiding your wares under a bushel, you make great plugins and I’d suggest you post them as separate threads, people tend to stop reading familiar threads.
I’d also say post them at sketchucation and become part of their plugin store.

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Moi aussi!

Thanks for the kind words, @Box … as I’ve indicated before in this thread, puttering with code is one of my hobbies, especially where math and geometry are involved. I like mixing and matching the nuts and bolts that makes things go, but I’ve never been very good at making things user-friendly. Functional, yes. Pretty, no.

On another note (as you may have already expected), I also wrote a plugin to map an image to a sphere (once again, I’m probably re-inventing the wheel). Here’s a video where I mapped to both front and back with an alpha channel image:

The new plugin is here.

[added] Something I’ve wanted to make for a long time …

Some notes on uploading this to Shapeways for 3D printing in color …

  1. Set the model units to decimal meters
  2. Use the tape measure tool to resize the model so that the sphere radius is 0.5m
  3. Export the model as a DAE file (in meters) with these options:

Name: earth.dae

  1. Edit the DAE file to change this line:


to (remove directory):

  1. Move the earth.gif file into the same directory as the DAE file
  2. Zip the DAE file and the GIF file together named as
  3. Upload the zipfile to Shapeways specifying inches for the upload (not meters)
  4. Result … 1" diameter model of the earth in full-color sandstone:

My new project is a 19th century carriage clock. Unlike the Wankel engine that I never completed due to a severe lack of “hard” data, I have a physical model that I can reference as needed. Since any timepiece is only as accurate as its base oscillator, I’ve started with that component before proceeding with the rest of the gear trains. So far, I’ve got the case, face and hands, and the main mounting plates done:

Here’s a photo of the escapement:

The rendering needs a lot more work, but I’ll worry about that after I have the rest completed:


I wonder if you could use “sketcy physics” (or whatever the plugin is) to actually get it to work? :slight_smile:

Are you taking this “thing” apart to take measurements?

After removing the clock assembly, I disassembled the case to make the model of it. I don’t plan to go any further since I’m all thumbs when it comes to touching things (there’s a reason I only make things using a keyboard). For the works themselves, I’ve been working from photos and using my digital calipers to get accurate measurements where possible. However, most of the pieces are in places I can’t get to with the calipers so I ordered some long dividers to transfer dimensions (they arrive today). I found a really good website that has very detailed photos of what should be where and how to make it work, so I’ve been sort of reverse-engineering things as I go along. The escapement movement isn’t quite faithful to the real one, but the individual components are constructed so that it’s mechanically functional. Starting with the output shaft of this assembly, I plan to follow the natural connection of things as they progress through the rest of the gears.

I plan on using my involute gear program to accurately model the gears … in theory, when I’m all done, one should be able to oscillate the balance wheel and drive the hands and chime. In theory, at least. I suspect it would be quite a load on a physics engine to make it work.

However, since everything is neatly laid out on planar co-ordinates, it should be fairly simple to create a plugin that rotates each component about it’s reference axis while insuring the ratio of the angular movements match the gear ratios. Hmmm …

Here’s a side photo (with lots of parallax):

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I’ve pretty much finished the time-keeping side of the clock. The next step is to add the chime feature (in the red area):

The clock-works so far:


Still needs screws here and there …

Exported as an STL file and imported into MakerBot:

I doubt if the gears will turn properly ;(

There is a conical depression on the opposite side of the brass plates at each end of the gear axles. This is for the purpose of providing an oil reservoir to provide lubrication.

Editing the plate component, I created 24-segment circles and then used a smaller circle to alt-extrude the frustrum. After only a couple of these, I happened to notice how many triangles were being generated:

I ended up creating square holes in the plates and inserting a scaled component of a (pointy) cone:

This produced a much tidier result:

It also allowed me to later easily change the cone angle globally across all of the oil cups. A quick test render gives this:

BTW, if you look closely at the quality of work, you can see why this clock by an apprentice (G.H) is only worth about $300. The design is identical to a Henri Jacot clock, but doesn’t have his immaculate workmanship.

Clockmaker’s mark:

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