...and yet, still an absolute blast to play!
Nothing better to shut the world out for 20 minutes than some mindless FPS blastathon, to my mind. Particularly if it's funny. And Serious Sam really is funny: The original trailer:
I've been playing video games since pretty much the dawn of video games, back in the 70s and early home-consoles of Pong and Breakout. I still occasionally play video-games...
Bit limited in functionality, but allows you to zoom to the extents of the model, rotate with left-mouse, scroll in and out with the mouse-wheel. There's a little 'Full Screen' arrow-pair in the top right corner too.
I've written about this before. The answer is no. It's bloody useful.
Also, and even though it rhymes with Tim: It's not BIM, notwithstanding the obvious capture of spatial relationships. The clue is in the 'I'.
Al wants to muck about with our bijou gardenette and create some little sunspotty bits of patio. Which I'm all for... but not on a random basis: If we're going to do a PROJECT then I want to know what the PROJECT is going to achieve and what the end result of the PROJECT is going to look like. Because I am that kind of guy, the anal type who has to plan and consider and work through the possibilities... whereas Al just wants to do STUFF, even if early STUFF scuppers later STUFF and costs oodles.
I'm sure we're not alone in this particular variant of domestic conflict.
Anyhow... I refuse to lay waste to perfectly healthy patches of green something without a bit of an exercise in visualisation. I have a bit of history with 3D-Design: I cut my coding-cloth building applications around PDMS (3D for pipes and flanges, Oooh-Err Missus) and have a more than passing interest in BIM, given my current role. But I haven't actually played with any 3D tools for a while, not since Google's early days of investing serious cash in SketchUp, which has always been a bit of a marginal oddity in the architecture/civils world... not really Revit, not Microstation, not really a PROPER MAN'S TOOL that can be used for PROPER WORK.
And I don't really know if it is now, either. Because Google flogged Sketchup to Trimble a year or so ago and you can no longer download - for free - an all-singing version. So I have no idea whether its historic Achilles' heels - production of decent 2D drawings fit for construction-purpose and proper management of objects and associated information - have really been addressed. But you can download a free version - Sketchup Make - which lets you do just about anything you might want, apart from hand plans to a builder and tell her to get on with it. So I did, figured it was about time I got up to speed with it again.
It's bloody good. It's hard to know how good, to be honest, because I'm familiar with many 3D design concepts which I guess some might struggle with at first encounter and I also know what a ball-ache 3D tools can be, albeit I've been somewhat out of touch with the nitty-gritty of the serious player's offerings for a few years. But this exercise in modelling my house - which is accurate to 10mm in most respects - was hours of effort, not days. And that includes having one 'throw it away now I'm vaguely up to speed' pass and a fair amount of time playing with better ways to achieve the same end.
Yes, I know. I'm meant to be planning the garden... but I got a bit enthusiastic. I can feel an urge to start modelling door-handles coming on, so I'll stop fiddling and get back to locating the sunbeds...