I was working in three-dimensional computer graphics while we were still defining it. I was heavily involved in VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) and I remember seeing a diagram that showed which three-dimensional language would most likely be chosen by the web Consortium.
Second Life © was way out in front with VRML a distant second. The fact that Second Life was backed by outfits like Time Warner made me think that VRML didn’t have a chance. That, and the fact that I had just learned from Mark Pesce (creator of VRML) that making VRML multiuser was not feasible. The final blow was when I went out to LA for SIGGRAPH and looked up and saw my VRML world up on the Jumbotron with all of the names, labels and credits removed! My entire work had been stolen by an outfit called SGI Cosmo which I hope has gone under by now.
Anyway, it was at that point that I decided to give up on computers in general and 3D in particular. Oh, I’ve always had a computer around but I was down to an Acer laptop basically just for checking email, Facebook etc. that was about the year 2000.
I’ve always been a model builder, it’s what I do. I’ve always wanted to build a model of the universe, especially after reading all of Bucky Fuller’s work but, the tools just weren’t available. I mean, they were available if you had several thousand dollars to shell out. I finally settled on using POV-Ray, a textbased modeling program that I have used a lot for illustrations in this blog. The problem with it is that I never could manage to find an easy way to do the 60° coordinate system that Fuller advocates and nature uses. Doing it all in text just required too many calculations. Well, I think I have found the solution!
SketchUp Make is a free program which I have been using to build the model I’m calling Bucky’s World. There’s also a SketchUp Viewer for users who don’t want to download the entire 3D program or who want to be able to view the models on mobile units. The more I use it the easier it gets for me to do some of the more repetitive items. It has an excellent suite of tools and available models and is nicely customizable for whatever kind of work you’re doing.
I’ll be updating regularly and will keep you apprised of progress.