Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It all comes full circle...

Our final project of the year in Ms. Kubisch's Spanish class was to create and illustrate a children's story. I made a short story about a 10-year old girl who goes with her mother and her pet dogs to the Zoo. The plot, simply, is that the girl and her mother go to the Zoo and lose one of her 6 dogs, then have to walk around and find him. Of course, I illustrated with SketchUp. This project was one of many examples that I used in discussions at 3D Basecamp about SketchUp's application in almost every school course.

On Monday, I was reading SketchUpdate, the SketchUp blog, and I came across this post explaining that the pre-made component people in SketchUp are actually based off of pre-acquisition employees. Here's Aidan, John, and Dusty, just to name a few.

Allyson was the person who brought me to Google in the first place, has been my contact in the months leading up to the trip, and was my "tour guide," if you will, while I was there. As it would turn out, Allyson and her daughter are the central character of my Spanish class story!

Here's the story (PDF), and a rough English translation (PDF), for anyone interested.

What a small world.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

SkechUpdate Blog - 3DBC Post #2

(This is the design contest I discussed previously; bonus points if you can find me in the picture below!)

Sportables: a Design Challenge!

Last Wednesday's keynote at our 3D Basecamp by Cameron Sinclair (Co-founder, Executive Director and "Eternal Optimist" of Architecture for Humanity) was a real highlight for me. I've been talking to AFH for a long time now, especially about the talented SketchUp folks we have in our user community. We've been trying to come up with something that we can all do together – something that shows how great design work can make a real difference in the lives of ordinary people around the world. To that end, we decided to kick off a new Design Challenge with Architecture for Humanity.

The Challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to design a "Sportable". Sportables are highly-transportable and deployable play spaces that can double as a sustainable infrastructure nodes for the community in which they operate. Continue Reading...

SkechUpdate Blog - 3DBC Post #1

Dispatches from 3D Basecamp, No. 1

Posted by Beth Callas, SketchUp 3D Basecamp Team

Coming to you live from the Google SketchUp 3D Basecamp 2008! Nearly 400 SketchUp enthusiasts have descended on our Mountain View campus for two-and-a-half days of 3D modeling abandon. With plenty of SPF on hand, we’re enjoying the 85 degree weather with folks from all over the world. While some attendees breezed in by way of the light rail from San Francisco, others made the trek from as far away as Western Australia. Continue reading...

Interestingly, for me at least, this post only showed up on Saturday, though it was added on Wednesday. I have no idea why...


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Coming home

It's early afternoon on Sunday, here in New York. We left the hotel about 6:00 am yesterday morning, made it San Fransisco International, and we were in the air by 8:07. The flight, suprisingly and fortunately was only about 4 hours and 50 minutes. Any longer, we would have had issues, for as soon as we left baggage claim, thunder storms hit.

Here are a few pictures from my dad's camera of my presentation on Friday. All of our pictures (4 cameras, sorted down) from the trip are available on my Picasa album. At first, I was going to have an album per day, but instead, I just created one big album. This proved to be much better, for I could simply put the photos into iPhoto and hit export and not have to worry about changing links, code, and slideshows on this blog.

Anyway, here are the pictures:


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Presentation Notes & Info

Here's the information regarding my presentation, "Making Your Mark with SketchUp," given on Friday morning of 3D Basecamp

  • Click here for the OUTLINE that was handed out to attendees (PDF download)
  • Click here for the POWERPOINT PRESENTATION from Making Your Mark (PDF download)
  • Watch the RCDS 3D TOUR movie (Part 1 | Part 2) below (Youtube link):

  • Watch RYE: 3D, the Rye CBD tour below (YouTube link):

If you attended my presentation, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below, or send me an email--
Again, thanks for attending


Friday Recap

I woke up about 6, got to Google about 7:45, then just chilled with new friends until about 8:50. It was then when Allyson brought us up to Seville where I set up my presentation.

Then I presented. And it went fine.

The biggest request I got, however, was for access to my movies, slides, and information about my projects. Since I included my blog link on the presentation, I'll put a post related to just these items.

After the presentation ended and the adrenaline died down, we visited the Google store one last time to swap one sweatshirt and pick up some other pieces of paraphernalia. I'm honestly coming home with close to 15 Google articles of clothing (of course, not all are for me.)

Deciding not to do any of the ongoing sessions, I spent time in the Basecamp tent talking to people and just relaxing. One of the people I met in person over these last few days was Chris Fullmer. I originally came into contact with Chris in the summer of '06 when he began a website called SuWiki (You guessed it, a SketchUp Wiki.) I was asked to be a judge for their logo contest. It was a surreal experience to meet someone like Chris whom I had only known as an email address or avatar. I had similar opportunities to meet people such as Gaieus, the administrator of the SketchUp Community Forums and Aidan, the "Steve Jobs" of SketchUp, if you will. I also has the wonderful (kinda inspiring even) opprotunity to meet people who had read my blog and to see the comments from those who had, but were unable to attend either Basecamp or my presentation.

Following another delicious lunch from Charlie's (today it was "General David's Chicken" among other items,) we headed into Tunis, another presentation room, to see the results of the Architecture for Humanity/SketchUp challenge.

Here's the deal: following Cameron Sinclair's keynote, he posed a challenge to the 3DBC participants (read the keynote post for information about what his group does first.) The challenge: build a fully portable youth soccer stadium for a team of street kids from Brazil while incorporating an entrepreneurial or "green" aspect. Groups who completed the task had 3 minutes to present and explain their model to attendees and judges before first, second, and third place 3DBC winners were announced. This challenge is going global within the next few hours and will be open to anyone in the world (with cash prizes) through the end of the month. I'll post more information as it becomes available.

Anyway, following all this, we ended up leaving Google after saying our goodbyes and such. We took the Caltrain (MetroNorth of California, basically) to San Fransisco. En route, we were joined by my dad's Milburn (NJ) High School friend, Billy. We went to the San Fransisco Giants (vs. Oakland A's) game with Billy's family.

In true California fashion, we made an In-N-Out Burger run upon arrival to Mountain View after returning from the game.

Now we're back. And I'm exhausted.

I'll put up pictures and the presentation information (I promise) tomorrow upon return to New York in the late afternoon.

Until then, thank you for reading this blog. Whether you were here at 3DBC and I met you, you came to my presentation, or we didn't meet, or if I provided you with 3DBC updates from afar, thanks for following along. For the foreseeable future, I'll be continuing this blog, so please continue to read.


Friday, June 13, 2008


Ok. That was pretty sweet.

I presented at 9:15 this morning to a full room, probably 100 people if not more. Allyson introduced me and the presentation went off without a hitch. Asside from the computer lag for one moment, it was awesome. I can only wonder how many times I've said "Awesome" this week.

I'll leave it at that for now. We're off to do some bluebiking :)

If you were in the presentation this morning, thanks for coming and for visiting the blog. I will have more information, slides, handouts, and material coming soon. Please check back!


Nailed It!

It's done. And it actually awesome. More later


It's 11:23 here... which means it's 2:23 at home. Poo, no one's online. Nevertheless, I write to report that I finished reading over my presentation and editing the videos.

I'm very excited, I'm including two videos totaling 9 minutes (5 and 4 seperatly.)

Anyway, I'm off to bed..... but I'm WAYYY excited. Should be fun :)



I don't think I can really create a post title that's any more fitting than "Wow." That's exactly what this day has been: Wow.

Let me start with last night, my sleeping to be exact. It came to me, for some obscure reason (during my sleep) that RCDS bares a striking resemblance to Googleplex. 50% of my time thus far at Googleplex has been spent in and around the tent in the main "quad." I realized that the view I've been exposed to for the past day resembles the view one has at RCDS when exiting the big glass thing we call the cafateria. To the left side of both pictures, there's a bridge. For RCDS, it's a library, for Google, it's an air-bridge.

In my last post, I forgot to mention I made a trip to the Google company store. I did some damage. Basically, there won't be a day for the next 2 years where something on me will say Google.

This afternoon since my last post has been interesting as well. The session I went to at the end of the day was called "Cool SketchUp Stuff." This was originally the presentation I was supposed to be a part of. Three presenters (I guess I would have been one of them) showed 3 unique uses of SketchUp. Let me recap them (not in the correct order, intentionally):

First was a guy from Sweet Onion Creations, a group that takes SketchUp models and prints them in 3D. Basically, instead of your printer spitting one layer of ink on a paper, it puts down a layer of clay, then a layer on top, then another, then another... eventually creating a physical model of up to 8 inches. That's pretty sweet.

Presenting third was Rob Bell who hooks SketchUp to a woodworking table. His work in SketchUp then gets created in physical space by a drill on a track that takes away bit by bit of the plywood on the woodworking table. Here's a picture of him sampling.

The second person to present (who I'm mentioning last) was John Martin who demo'd a program called iClone. Simply put, iClone takes a SketchUp model and uses is as a background or prop for an animation. You can make people walk down the street, or have the camera fly around a car as it moves down the road. It was only earlier today when my dad asked, "When's SketchUp going to become an animation tool?"

Well, about an hour later, I ran into John in the elevator of our hotel and introduced myself. He had read my bio and actually offered a copy of iClone for free. Within 5 minutes, I had ended up in the doorway of his hotel room getting a free copy of both iClone and his other product, CrazyTalk. I'll give them both a try and report back. I can't thank him enough, though, for the unexpected software!

After that, it was off to dinner at a local fish place, then back to the hotel where about 10 presenters and attendees were preparing for a secret meeting (regarding SketchUp 7??) My dad and I spent more time talking with Diego, then headed back upstairs to where I sit and write this now.

That's all for tonight. I present tomorrow morning, and it should go well. If it doesn't, then I guess I'm not coming home.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

A day of workshops

Today has been full of workshops, to put it simply. I started the morning with a session on Photo-realistic rendering of SketchUp models. This has been an area that I've always been interested in, but never really learned a lot about.

Second was an overview of Boston Architectural College, their curriculum, and their SketchUp integration provided by Diego.

Following another fantastic lunch (some of the best pizza I've ever had,) I took my (thus far) favorite session of the day: "Building a presentation from start to finish with LayOut." What is LayOut? SketchUp's little, ignored brother only available to Pro users. It's a program that integrates your SketchUp model in a presentation format.

Here is a screenshot from LayOut. About two years ago, I dedicated my entire spring break to precisely modeling the renovations of a friend's kitchen to provide visuals before the construction began. It's the most detailed model I've ever made, so it was the perfect model for me to experiment LayOut with.

I took a break during the session following and took another bike ride around. No crashes this time.

Right now, I'm waiting for "Cool SketchUp Stuff."

More to come. Pictures too.


Keynote & Partying.... Google Style

Last night, we entered Charlie's to see a totally different layout than what had been there for lunch:Cameron Sinclair gave the keynote. He leads a volunteer architect team that organizes volunteers to design and build new homes in disaster areas, like the tsunami and Katrina. All very very interesting. And he's a great speaker.

Then it was off to the BBQ where we sat with a college senior and two young architects from Oregon. My dad and I ended up playing 3 games of pool against some of the other guys there, too. A band, aptly named "The Experience" played.

En route to the restrooms, I noticed the live search projection. That is, in the lobby, a projector displays seemingly every search currently being put into Google. I tell you, it's extremly easy to get lost watching this list form... and every so often an entertaining one comes up. One of my favorites was "Best Brothels."


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Taking a break

I opted not to go to my 3rd session of the day. None of the choices appealed to me and, honestly, I needed a break. I actually instant messaged with Mrs. Rees for a moment before having a conversation with Jon, the guy running this whole thing. I had to pull away from my conversation with Mrs Rees because of it.

As I sit here and type under the tent, workers are putting the legs on an air hockey table, a pool table, and a ping pong table for tonight's dinner. There are two foosball tables too. So Google.

Google has hundreds of blue bikes that are everywhere. Find any one, ride it to wherever you want to go, then just leave it. So I picked up a bike and got going... only when I neared the road, I noticed there were no breaks. It took me a minute to realize that pedaling backwards, just like a bike with training wheels, stops the bike. Too bad I realized that after I almost crashed.

This afternoon, I did a session on using the Google products to advance your models followed by a session on building "Green." Both were very interesting for the most part...

Tonight is the Keynote followed by a BBQ and music.

Some thoughts and things:

Reporting from Kiev

This place is crazy. We showed up this morning and spent our time meeting "Googlers," other presenters, and attendees. The central quad of Google has a huge tent, a smaller sample tent, and a stage. Oh, and a Google "Micro-Kitchen".... a.k.a. free food. and lots of it. I met Jon and Allyson and spent most of the morning sitting with Allyson, Diego Matho, and Paul Moore. Diego and Paul are professors at Boston Architectural College and Diego is also a presenter (also under the control of Allyson.) We got a tour of campus (kinda) which included seeing Charley's Cafe, the three presentation rooms, the Presenter Ready Room, and some offices. Very cool.

Then lunch at Charley's. It's basically like the best college cafeteria I've ever seen... only this isn't college. The food at Google is hyped beyond belief.. the result: it's all true.

I'm now in a presentation discussing how to use the Google applications (Youtube, Blogger, 3d Warehouse, etc.) to promote your model. I know some of this stuff, but there's some amazing stuff I'm learning. It's SketchUp from every aspect possible... Google, marketing, and sales.

More to come. Pictures too.


Goog Morning

The spelling of this post was an accident, but I decided to leave it.

So it's 7:30 am and I'm adjusted to California time. At about 10 last night (1 EST) I began to crash and my, that was a deep sleep.

So I've woken up and after [complimentary] breakfast, (this hotel is, shall we say, "off the hook") it's off to Google for registration.

This'll be a long (THE longest) day of the stay, so I probably (maybe) won't be on the internet as much. After registration, there's the opening lunch at 11:45 at Charlie's Cafe (location #22), 3 workshops, a cocktail party for the SketchUp Education attendees (which apparently includes 29 students, of college age I presume. I'll follow up,) then the opening dinner with Keynote speaker Cameron Sinclair.

Should be fun :)


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

And touchdown, part II

Out we went again, to kill some time. We visited Stanford, had a smoothie and took some pictures (most of which I classify as "artsy" and used the DSLR for... so I won't upload them just yet)

Then to Chevys, an awesome mexican place. Then back to chill at the hotel more, then the essential california experience: In-N-Out Burger. I had a double double & fries animal style... and for a second dinner, it was pretty awesome. In-N-Out is a rival to Burgers Shakes and Fries... a winner yet to be declared.

That's all for tonight. Off to Google tomorrow :)


And touchdown

Where do I begin? Not having internet for the last 3 days thanks to a lightning bolt to the house did not make my life easy. Nevertheless, at 5:15 (EST) this morning I was up and by 6:30 we were out the door to JFK. An uneventful but long (can you say 6.5 hours?) flight ensued, then we touched down in San Jose at 3:15 (PST.)

Rental car? A red mustang. 'nuff said.

So we made our way to the hotel and that's where we are now...
Not much more news to report, but here are the pictures from today, thus far. Remember, it's only 3:15 PM so there's much more of the day left for photos here.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Blog time zone

Well, we're one day away and I've just changed this blog's time zone to Mountain Time, -7. I'll blog as often as possible.

I layed out most of my clothes last night despite a power surge that took down two of our computers, some outlets, and some lights for some reason. Fortunately, my laptop and files are fine.

More to come soon!


Sunday, June 8, 2008

So soon...

So Gaieus has made a communal Picasa Web Album for all attendees to post their pictures to. I'll try my best to post my pictures to MY picasa album and put the nify little slideshows on this blog. I'll post my best on the communal one, probably. Google has free wifi (cmon, it's google) but I don't know what my timing and availability will be.) I'm actually looking forward to meeting some of these people who I've only known as computer aliases or email contacts.

I received the Google Non-disclosure agreement via email a few days ago. Nothing to worry about, and it seems that we can still take pictures. Basically, if they announce to us that they're building nuclear bombs or something, it means I can't tell you. I would post it here, if it weren't labeled confidential. As discussed on the SketchUp Community Forums, it doesn't seem to be 3D Basecamp-specific. That is, anyone who visited the campus for any reason would have to sign it.

I guess I'll pack tonight, but it should be fun. Of the technological things I'm bringing, there's the laptop, my dad's Windows laptop (to work as a backup, if necessary,) at least 3, maybe 4 DSLRs and point-n-shoots between the two of us, and my portable external hard drive. The external hard drive (damn, I feel like a secret service person or something in the way I write this) will never be with me. During travel, it will always be on my dad or in another secure location. It's got, not only my entire laptop backed up, but also my presentation and such. Basically, it will be available if we run into computer issues.

I'm giving SketchUp until Tuesday night to post the outlines/handouts for the sessions (mine included.) Otherwise, I guess, I'll just put mine up here.

Incidentally, Monday is WWDC. That means Monday is the Steve Jobs keynote. 3G iPhone, anyone? That'll be going on all week in San Fransisco.

WWDC, 3DBC, and Digital Wave, all in one week! Can it get any geekier?

For the record, In-N-Out Burger is really close to both The Grand and Googleplex. YESSSSSS!

(the yellow marker is the hotel, the green marker is Googleplex and the little flames are In-N-Outs :)

View Larger Map


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"Making Your Mark with SketchUp" and more...

So an email was sent from the folks at Google containing this information about a week ago, but the email linked to some Google Docs, not the 3DBC website... oddly.

Enough time has passed and the links have been posted by others on the SketchUp Community Forums, so I figure it's public information now.

Making Your Mark with SketchUp
Friday, June 13, 9:15 - 10:00 AM
Room: Seville

In this presentation, Andrew will present his SketchUp models that have opened doors and attracted the attention of local press and government. Having been introduced to SketchUp in 7th grade, Andrew has created expansive models of his school campus and the Central Business District of Rye, NY. He used SketchUp for two summers as an intern in the Rye City Planning Department and presented to the City Council, as well as school administration, parents, and students. Andrew has channeled his interest in architecture and urban design through SketchUp and made a positive impact on his school and community. During the presentation, attendees will see how one computer program has brought new opportunities, challenges, and life skills to this 17-year-old high school student.
Edit: * Fixed link


6 Days

The presentation is done, the handout is done, school is done. I'll post them both on this site once they go public and/or after the actual presentation.

So basically, I'm absurdly excited for this. The idea of going to Google astounds me still. Going as a presenter and on their money is still distant. This might just be every geek's dream.

I wrote the presentation with some humor and zest. I've got a story to tell, not a product or tool to sell or show. I want to incorporate so many thing from SketchUp in terms of education to SketchUp's effect on one person's life.

In an email yesterday from the folks at Google, they wrote that they'll be recording all the presentations and putting them on YouTube. I'll be posting the link here once that happens.
They'll also have a "presenter ready room" ... I don't know. Thats cool.

If this post makes absolutely no sense, I'm sorry. My brain is... off :)