Thursday, November 8, 2012

Google SketchUp at Greenfield Primary (2)

In May this year, I posted about a project I was lucky enough to be involved in with the Year 6 class at Greenfield Primary School, here in Walsall, using Google Sketch Up to recreate Tutankhamen's tomb. For a number of reasons, it has taken a long time to put this follow-up post together, with the results that the children were able to produce.  The video below was shown recently at the Walsall ICT Conference and as a result there has been a number of interested schools who have come forward with projects of their own including Tudor Houses and Cars that they'd like me to get involved with.

The project itself continued as we had planned, i.e. the pupils were provided with a floor plan with the dimensions of the tomb for them to use as a reference. This introduced the idea and need for scale, and enabled discussion about the importance of scale and detail in a career such as archaeology or architecture. Having created their floor plan and used the push/pull tool to create the walls and roof, the children deleted the roof to give them the ability to edit inside of the tomb.

The insides of the tombs were created in 2 main ways:  Firstly, objects from the 3D Warehouse were made available to the children by the class teacher who provided a template with a number of suitable items included, for them to place within their tombs.  It's worth saying that this was probably the area the children found the most difficult, as placing the items exactly where they wanted them took time, patience and sometimes a very steady hand.  Secondly, the faces of the walls of the tomb were painted.  This was achieved in 2 ways; using the textures (such as sand and rock) already in Sketch Up and by importing their own textures from images to create hieroglyphs on the tomb walls.

Some groups were then able to add stairs down into the tomb and even an 'above-ground' area with a hole leading down into their tomb.  Finally, all groups were able to create a walk-through animation of their tombs by adding a number of scenes and exporting that animation.  You will see a couple of those animations in the video below, as well as a quick instructional video in regard to how they achieved their results.  This was a well-conceived project (by the class teacher I should add) that has created some wonderful results and really opened my eyes to the power of this software and I look forward to supporting some of the other projects mentioned above.  Finally, if you enjoy the video and are impressed by the work the children have produced, please comment below and I'll be happy to forward any messages on to the school in question.


  1. Very Proud of our hard working pupils :)

  2. Congrats on such a wonderful job, both to the students and to the teachers involved!!

    Greetings from Rosario, Argentina,

    Rita Zeinstejer

  3. These are absolutely amazing! What creative use of Google SketchUp - will definitely be stealing this idea!

  4. Very impressive. Didn't realise GSU could be put to such a creative use. Well done to you all.

  5. What great work the group did! This is a beautiful highlighting of what SketchUp can do. Kudos from California!