Home > Computers and Internet > If It’s 3D in C# You Want….

If It’s 3D in C# You Want….

30-Sep-07 11:06 pm EST Leave a comment Go to comments

Ever seeking the opportunity to play around with 3D technologies – for that day long into the future when I write killer games  for prople a quarter my age – I decided to have a look at Google’s "SketchUp" package, intended for creating 3D objects within its Google Earth environment.  The package is released and the "Google Earth Community" is pretty good about creating buildings and architecture for cities all over the world, although the folks at Google have obviously decked out a number of American cities in 3D already, as one sees when using Google Earth 4.0.

Anyway, SketchUp has other applications for us C# developers.  Potentially.   No, my first searches for a tool that reads or maniuplates .kmz files (the file format Google Earth and SketchUp use) but thanks to their Open Source Software (OSS) approach to the KML file format, one can easily build a C# app that does read these files and output 3D graphics.

How?  Well, for starters, .KMZ files are actually .ZIP files which contain .KML and other support files.  So, all one need do is leverage an API (Applicaiton Programming Interface) for ZIP files, and then pulling out the .KML file content from there should be a sinch!  At that point, the .NET support for 3D graphics proramming and DirectX should have you well on your way to creating your own 3D engine that usees KML.  Why is this useful?  Because SketchUp is a tool that already lets you easily (and I mean really easily) create 3D objects for your environment.

I didn’t have time this weekend to create any wee demos for release here, but it’s on my "todo" list for an attempt in the next few weeks.  Of course, there’s projects at work demanding my attention, and those have a nasty habit of derailing these little endeavours of mine…but that’s life. 😉

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Terry Glavin

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