Build your own Portus in Sketch Up and share it with us

Following upon last year discussions initiated on Twitter via #buildyourownportus and in the course and summarised in a post by Matthew Tyler-Jones on “The Portus MOOC and modelling“, I have found extremely interesting how many people wanted to build their own Portus model and experience modelling as interpretative process.

Graeme covers, in his post on “Build your own Portus” and extensively during the MOOC, some of the techniques used to give a sense of the site and how the modelling helps archaeologists.

And I want to start exactly from this point. One of the aspects about modelling that facinates me the most, which I think it’s the next natural step, is how information is shared and re-used. Normally, once a model has been created it’s circulated to experts for comments. In the last couple of years I have been looking closely to the visualisation created by Grant Cox (via ArtasMedia) and how he communicate with the rest of the team. Modelling a particular building in 3d, not only helps in the interpretative process, but creates a solid base that can be easily shared and re-used and where changes can be tracked down following the different versions.

You might would like to try to build your own 3d model and share it with us! I think this is a good way to experience this “less traditional” technique that is becoming more and more popular.

Grant use a quite sofisticate software, 3ds Max, but there are free softwares, like Google Sketch up, that allows users to create and share their own models online. I think Sketch Up is ideal as it work across different platforms (as well as on tablets and phones) and it’s really user-friendly.  I have created a step-by-step document to guide you through the process (from how to download the software to how to share the model with us) and I have also created a basic sketch up file, which already contains all relevant information from the Modelling Help Sheet, that you can use to start your model. Have a look to the guidelines and download the Sketch up file on the course website.