February 21, 2008
How would your campus look in 3D?
Google posed the question last January and 364 teams responded by using Google’s free 3D rendering software, SketchUp, to recreate their college campuses. Over 4,000 3D buildings were submitted to Google from universities all over the US and Canada. A small team of students and staff from Liberty’s Creative Media Department recreated the Liberty campus using SketchUp and Google Earth. Well over a thousand reference photographs, as well as building blueprints, were used to accurately recreate Liberty’s campus. The project began in April and before the June 1st deadline, the entire campus had been rendered in 3D. All of the buildings were then placed on to the virtual campus using Google Earth.
The team had to overcome a number of obstacles to make the project a reality. The first challenge was the large elevation changes that make up Virginia and Liberty Mountain in particular. The team had to create bases for the buildings so that when they were set on the terrain, parts of the building would not be hidden by the landscape. This also ensured that no buildings would be “floating” over the terrain.
The project was part of the training and experience that you receive while participating in the Online Creative Services internship. Students have the opportunity to learn and refine their skills with a number of different creative programs, including Flash Animation, PhotoShop, 3D software like SketchUp and Cinema 4D, and various web design software.
The Liberty University 3D Campus team consisted of students Dave Lee, Chris Wagers, Isaiah Gillis, and Debbie Funk. Brad Blackburn, Wally Wellborn, Lachelle Kozma, and Edgard Luz were advisors on the project. The Liberty University Google Earth team would like to thank the following people for their help and support during this project: Les Schofer, Matt Quicke, Lee Beaumont, Dave Helt and Al Sites. We would also like to thank the various departments at Liberty University who provided information and support.
To begin exploring Liberty University’s virtual 3D campus, simply download Google Earth, which is available for free from the link at the end of this article. Then, download the Liberty University buildings from the collection located on the Google 3D Warehouse, also available from the link at the end of the article.