3D Development (SketchUp)

Updated: Nov 6, 2019

I started developing the Type Cube inside 3D software and to get help with this (as it's something I've never done before, I spoke to George Baldwin (who is the technician running software support at UWE). I actually spoke to him a while ago pre-dev (https://www.aalvkdotcom.com/post/3d-design-dev-consultation) and so he was already clued up on what I wanted to achieve. He suggested kicking things off with SketchUp, to create a fairly accurate 3D model of the letters and the cube itself.

There was definitely a slight learning curve with using SketchUp, but after a couple hours working with George's support in the IT room on floor 4 of the Arnolfini, I felt pretty comfortable creating shapes. Luckily all of the edges are straight and nothing is spherical inside the cube, which makes the whole process a bit easier.

I also found this table online, which has all the hot keys for the software. Because I'm so used to using the Adobe Suite predominantly it was strange controlling navigation in different ways. But these shortcuts really helped improve the speed of my workflow.

As expected, I made a lot errors on the way. I've tried to document these but there were so many little things that needed changing I simply couldn't log them all. You'll just have to believe me...

Here, I created the 'A' and the 'B' before realising that these were old versions of the letter that had since been modified inside the cube. At this point I didnt feel too confident on SketchUp so I erased them completely and started again.

I've tried to illustrate the difficulty I had here with the connection of the 'A' and 'P'. I couldnt work it out on paper but fortunately through now using 3D software, being able to see the shapes from all angles helped heaps.

What I found problematic on SketchUp was the 1mm grid I was using to lock shapes created. The measurements I made were sometimes off, so I found a YouTube tutorial which meant I could use a 5mm locking grid. This meant the shapes I created were much more accurate...

I also tried creating an actual grid to lock points to but it kind of got in the way and you cant make it more transparent.

After creating each of the letters for the first layer, I realised that some of it was wrong.

You can see gaps inside and also inside the 'O' and also to the right of it. It was actually pretty shocking to see how many errors I made. Especially since I thought the sketches were so accurate. But regardless, ventured yonder to fix them.

Fixed. Though you can also see that even with the 5mm locking grid to create shapes with, SketchUp is not full accurate, leading to what looks like some errors but (I hope) they are alright.

I carried on doing the exact same for layers 2 and 3...

Again, some strange gaps. I'm hoping these will disappear inside Rhino 6 when I create them in there. I also thought about the order of the layers. Maybe Layer 3 can actually be on the bottom and not the top, since it has the later letters inside?

Separated. The typeface looks like this. It's been awesome finally seeing the Type Cube in a 3D context and it's really helped me visualise exactly how it looks.

Now, moving on to Rhino 6. I figured I would test the full cube and the joining segments in this more accurate software.


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