Our Heavens in 3D…

For the sake of completeness, as much as anything, I thought I’d just complement the Our World in 3D… post with a brief reference list of interactive online media and desktop applications that you can use to explore the night sky, and the objects contained within it.

There are several applications around that let you observe the night sky as if you were on earth, as well as letting you explore it in a 3D navigational way…

Visit one or two of the online applications, or download one of the desktop applications. To what extent do you think that the power of interactivity brings the idea of the scale of the universe home, compared to descriptions one might find in a book, for example?

[The videos referred to in this post are available in the compilation Splashcast video show “Our Heavens in 3D” on the Digital Worlds Splashcast video channel.]


1 Response to “Our Heavens in 3D…”

  1. 1 Paul Tracey October 30, 2008 at 11:40 pm


    There are a few extras that IMSI have produced of late that either help out specific TurboCAD users, such as furniture makers, or greatly improve other products with IMSI technology.

    One of these is the IDX Renditioner. It is a plug-in for Google SketchUp that provides high-quality photorealistic rendering – fast and easily. Renditioner works directly within SketchUp and lets you control the materials, advanced lighting components, environments, background images. Renditioner is “one button” easy with 3 render options of Preview, Standard and Presentation. It is simple enough for novices and yet powerful enough for professionals. Powerful features are optimized in a jargon free interface. Simplicity paired with speed and working directly in SketchUp, means you can achieve design visualization objectives more quickly. Renditioner offers 16 megapixel renderings for large-scale printing and powerful presentation of your designs.

    It is available for Windows XP or Vista on the PC, and OS/X 10.4 or 10.5 on the Mac and runs on either PowerPC or Intel-based Mac computers. As an extra it obviously requires you to already have SketchUp, but will be fine on the free version as well as the Pro version 6.4x or later. Like all photorealistic rendering, IDX Renditioner uses a system’s RAM and CPU power extensively, and is not recommended on systems with less than 1 GB RAM, with 2 GB recommended. Being fully multithreading, dual core, quad core, or dual quad core machines will each improve system performance dramatically.

    SketchUp is a nice piece of kit, but with the edition of Renditioner it jumps from good to professional, and then you import the SketchUp drawings into TurboCAD to add another dimension.

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