Getting 3D models from Google Earth by Sebastian Morales

Update: There have been some questions about apple maps vs google maps and which will return better results. I haven't yet tested apple maps but judging by the picture quality I am guessing that it will give better results (at least for the texture).

Google left vs Apple right

Google left vs Apple right

Original Post

Thinking about it, this method can be applied to a lot more than google earth models... In this particular case I just wanted to get the corner of a particular building in the city of New York. 

In the past I remember people using programs like 3D ripper that would try to capture the geometry directly from openGL, I actually tried it once but without any luck. The other problem with that approach is that you need a windows machine. 

In this method we will use a photogrammetry approach. 

Start by scouting your building.

Identify what you want to capture and what is irrelevant. The clear the idea here the better the chances of success. 

Start a Quicktime screen recording 

Try moving at a regular speed about the object of interest, I would say that you have about 1.5 minutes to capture all the geometry you want before you run into problems afterwards. Maybe you can push it up to 2 or 2.5 minutes. I really haven't pushed the method to it's limits.

Move around and make sure to get all the different angles you may need. 

A good tip here is to only capture the section of the window with no words, logs or icons, this will save you time later and increase your chances of success. 

This is also one of the reasons why I like using google earth better than google maps, you can turn all icons off. 

Here is the actual video recording I used if you want to get an idea.


Isolating Frames

The free version of Autodesk Remake (formerly Memento) will only allow you to upload up to 250 frames. Now, our screen recording is about 1.5 minutes long, at 60fps, it means we have about 5400 frames. Truth to be told, most of those frames are repeated since we were moving slowly compared to the screen recording. 

There are probably a couple of ways to do this but the one I am most familiar is using photoshop. First import the video frames as layers, limit to every 20 frames or so (5400/20=270), let it run and then export the layers as files. This last step might take some time but that is it.  


This is one of the easiest steps to follow, open Remake, select Create 3D from Photos. Select the images and Create Model. The defaults work fine.

You are almost done but this step actually takes a long time, hours. Go out on a date, have some nice dinner, and get back to work. 

Hopefully if everything went right, the moment you open remake you should be able to open your new 3D model. 

I hope it this was helpful! 

Midterm Ideas + Isadora HW2 by Sebastian Morales

Midterm Ideas!

For the midterm Roi Lev, Akmyrat Tuyliyev, Ari J Melenciano and me will be working together. For this first week we were tasked with coming up with 3 ideas for projects as well as locations to do them at. 

The ideas are quite challenging but very exciting, props to Akmyrat for coming up with two of them, and two Roi for thinking of the concept for the other. Left to right, for the first one we would install mirrors along the train platform, the mirrors would be pointing to cloud images in the ceiling. 

The second idea consists of projection mapping an elevator in the exact place where the elevator used to be before ITP became the entire 4th floor. Then we could project ITPers throught the history of the program. 

The third idea, by far the most challenging one, consists of remembrance for the catastrophe of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The concept still needs some working due to the importance of the event. If we are going to do it, it needs to be done properly. 


For HW2 we had to create a simple patch with at least two scenes and one effect. 


The piece has actually 3 scenes, the first two can be observed in the following video.

Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees. by Sebastian Morales

For me, the reading started with a fruitless trip to the library, well it is difficult to really know if the trip was in fact fruitless. Lets say I didn't find the book as I was hoping for since the 3 copies were checked out... I did however, find something else. 

Back to the reading. Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees. Here embedded the older version of the book, easier to read than pixelated copies. 


One of my favorite quotes form the reading is about how artists "build energy by the interaction between things, that one and one don’t make two, but maybe five or eight or ten, depending on the number of interactions you can get going in a situation". When he makes this quote he is referring to how he is placing the dots on the canvas, but I really like how it resonates with a earlier quote in the reading, a warning to the reader:

"You have to make it very clear to anyone who might read your essay, especially any young artist who might happen to pick it up, that my whole process was really an intuitive activity in which all of the time I was only putting gone foot in front of the other, and that each step was not that resolved."

I think together these two thoughts express the importance of the process. And how ideas and questions tie together, not in an additive way but perhaps in a more unpredictable way. In a way impossible to foresee but non the less possible to follow. 

Finally, I want to mention a thought that I wound really interesting:

"The civilization that you and I live in makes most of its critical decisions based on logic. I feel that maybe a hundred and fifty years ago [art] began to drop out of that; it began to become less logical. Even though it proceeded logically, it found questions that could not be answered logically”


F for Fake- Orson Wells by Sebastian Morales

The movie is an interesting commentary on the perspective of reality. As well as in the importance of such reality. 

It make particular emphasis in the importance of experts, especially in the realms of art. How this people who in a pretentious way are the guardians of the truth, and in this case, art world, can be easily tricked. Yet their authority is rarely challenged. Meaning that if one is able to get through them then there is no one to stop you. 

The movie documents the stories of two master forgers, the first one Elmyr de Hory. Who although talented, failed to create his own style and lived to copy masters and humiliate critics.

The second one, Clifford Irving, makes the world believe he is Howard Hughes through a series of fake telephone interviews and myths. 

Through out the movie, it is hard to tell what is truth and what it is not, Orson himself plays with this concept thought the movie going through absolute lies to what he calls truth. This strategies could however be used to set base lines and easily pass a possible lie as truth. 

There is a [63:15] story of Picasso(probably fake) (besides the main one with Kodar) that really spoke to me. The story where Picasso is being asked to identify if a paining is a real Picasso or not. He keeps denying all of them until the person asking tells him he saw him paint that particular painting. Picasso simply responds: "I can paint false Picassos, as well as anybody". 

It is hard to tell, but I have the impression that today we live in more honest days, I mean, I know as well as you do that it is all lies. But that is my point. We all know it is all lies. 

Inserting link:, I just wished it redirected to the white house website...