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Pixel art lawn mowing previsualisation: paper or pixel

It’s still winter here in Melbourne, Australia. That means the wet weather can make it pretty difficult for me to get out and mow some backyard lawn art on the weekend. With that in mind, I’ve been using Google SketchUp 8 to previsualise new lawn art designs for my backyard lawn.

This lawn art design is based on Jason (@draggin) Toal’s ds106 skull pixel-art. I used the Geo-location > Add location feature to import the satellite image of my backyard into Google SketchUp 8. I then used the Rectangle and Push/Pull tools to create each ‘pixel’ that makes up the skull.

I’ve uploaded a version of the DS106 skull pixel-art lawn design without photo textures to Google’s 3D Warehouse. The 3D Warehouse is a repository of 3D models that have the potential to be used in the 3D Buildings layer on Google Earth. I’ll need to complete the  photo textures for the DS106 skull pixel-art lawn model before it has a chance to be reviewed against the Google Earth acceptance criteria.  In the meantime, you can download the model and place it in your backyard or a patch grassy land in your area.

A screen capture of the 30cm x 30cm DS106 skull pixel-art lawn design.
A screen capture of a magnified view of the 30cm x 30cm DS106 skull pixel-art lawn design.
The DS106 skull pixel-art lawn design SketchUp’d and uploaded to the 3D Warehouse!

3 replies on “Pixel art lawn mowing previsualisation: paper or pixel”

THis is exactly the kind of ds106 insanity that I love. Lawn art of a skull pre-visualized on Google Sketch-up. How dreams up this shit? Well, I guess Rowan Peter, and that is why he rules!

Jim, you’re too kind!

I originally started previsualising the lawn art design by cutting up pages of the local newspaper into 30 cm X 30 cm squares. That method doesn’t allow the design to reviewed in it’s final context (my backyard) before I actually go out and do it. I also wanted to previsualise the lawn art in a way that allowed me to share the lawn art with others who might want to start their own lawn art campaign!

I want to finish the model by making the photo textures, that way it has slightly greater chance of making it into Building Layer of Google Earth. I think the chance of that happening is pretty slim, as lawn art doesn’t really count as a building or structure. I’ll try and work it up enough to meet the Google Earth acceptance criteria.

On a related topic, I wonder if it’s possible to create a local iteration of Google Earth. If so, SketchUp could be used to create and populate the local iteration of Google Earth with fictional and real assets for DS106/UMW related activities. All participants of the DS106/UMW activity would refer/browse this local iteration as they make their way through the activity. It would be like a DS106 universe.

This would be most effective particularly if the DS106/UMW activity is wrapped around a real world location scenario that requires the wholesale destruction or reconstruction of the environment. Actually, it might be easier to build an augmented reality layer, and then get each participant to browse the DS106 universe with a Layar browser on their mobile device. Using Layar could be more portable. Not sure. Anyway, that would be a fun project to get happening!

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