UPDATE: Earthware’s Vscapes product now offers 3d Building developments for our clients in Virtual Earth and Google Earth. For more details see our Vscapes virtual landscapes page for details and client stories.
As part of an in house training exercise here at Earthware I went into town and captured some photos of the Town Hall here in Letchworth.
This building was constructed in 1935 and makes a nice challenge for anyone wishing to create a building for Google Earth due to its unique architectural features. The biggest challenge faced is the need to keep the model simple enough to not to exceed the restraints of Google Earth yet detailed enough to look like the building the model is designed to represent. Below is a short list of tip I believe are essential to creating an efficient Google earth model.
- When creating textures from photos always crop them and remove unwanted items from the picture as this will reduce image size.
- Always resize and save your textures at the lowest quality possible that still retains the level of detail you require. A good web texture is no more than 30k
- Remove all redundant geometry from your model such as the base plane of the model and any polygons that have formed within your model while you have been creating it.
- Create curved surfaces from a number of straight lines to give the appearance of a curve. For example if you examine the tower on the town hall model you will see that the curved dome is made up of a few flat angular pieces.
- Use your textures to show building details like windows and doors rather than modelling it for real.
These few useful techniques should get you well on your way to creating web efficient and Google earth compliant models in no time at all.
I have submitted the Town Hall model to Google in the hope that they will embed it in Google Earth so that anyone scanning the sights of Letchworth will be able to view it in its natural location. For now clicking on the image will take you to 3D warehouse and allow you to download the model to you computer or view it in Google Earth.
Let me know if anyone finds this useful!