New Projects - Fresh from the Labs
This nifty program caused quite a storm at SourceForge.net some time ago, but now that the publicity has died down, I'd like to put it back in the spotlight. As an unusually easy-to-use 3-D design program, this is a project I've wanted to cover for some time.
To quote the Web site: “Sweet Home 3D is a free interior design application that helps you place your furniture on a house 2-D plan, with a 3-D preview.”
As far as library requirements go, I couldn't find much in the documentation aside from Java and working OpenGL drivers. However, even Java might not really be needed, as there's a Java Runtime Environment folder contained in the given tarball, so perhaps Sweet Home 3D will run without it being locally installed.
When it actually comes to downloading and running Sweet Home 3D, this is one of the easiest program I've come across. Go to the Web site and head to the Download section. There you'll find a choice of 32-bit and 64-bit tarballs, with a source tarball also available at the bottom of the page.
Download the appropriate tarball for your system and extract it. In most modern file managers, you should be able to enter the new folder and click on the SweetHome3D file to run the program. However, if that doesn't work, open a terminal in the new folder, and enter:
Before I continue, I should mention that the Web site has a fantastic video tutorial that will unlock the working ideals of this program very quickly. The first thing it recommends is starting off with a blueprint image, and you then can draw over the top of it. You don't need one, but seriously, get one if you can.
To use the blueprint, from the main menu, choose Plan→Import background image. Choose the picture you want to import, and next you need to define the physical size from one end of the house to the other. You need the house's measurements for this, and there's a blue line below, which you drag onto one end of the house to the other. Although the default choice is in centimeters, it can be changed either to meters or millimeters, or you can set it to use the imperial system.
Next, you need to “Define the origin of the image, by clicking in its location below”. See that blue thing in the top-left corner? Drag it over to the top-left corner of the house (you may want to maximize this window to place it more accurately).
Once you've made your way through these dialogs, choose the Create walls button, and click on the edge of a wall in the blueprints to start drawing. Each click you make defines a corner and allows the wall to change direction. When you reach the end of a wall, such as an archway for instance, either double-click or press the Esc button. Click the mouse again at the start of the next wall to resume the process. As you draw walls over the 2-D image, you'll see a 3-D house begin to take shape in the pane below it.
Doors and windows can be dragged from the pane on the left to the main plans on the right. Sweet Home 3D is exceedingly clever at working out how long a door or window should be, as well as which way it should open—the program actually works it out on the fly as you hover your mouse over different sections of the house. Even if you get the placement wrong, each object has its own mini-UI for readjusting the placement.
The Create rooms button allows you to define individual rooms within the house (cleverly independent of whether walls are there to define the area). This function's main use is really for things like texture and color, where one room can have different walls and flooring from another.
The left pane also has a selection of household items, such as chairs, washing machines and so on. If you're copying the layout of your own house, this is a great tool for testing out how a new item is likely to fit or look in your room before you actually buy it.
The coolest feature is that the bottom pane on the right actually lets you fly around your house using the mouse wheel or arrow keys, and you even can take snapshots or record a video.
Ultimately, Sweet Home 3D was designed by passionate people who knew what they were doing. The UI takes certain liberties in 3-D design controls, fast-tracking you with areas that will make a house and leaving out some unnecessary clutter that often makes 3-D design a complete headache. This is one cool project.
John Knight is the New Projects columnist for Linux Journal.
Fast/Flexible Linux OS Recovery
On Demand Now
In this live one-hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for complete disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible full-system recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.
Join Linux Journal's Shawn Powers and David Huffman, President/CEO, Storix, Inc.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- Profiles and RC Files
- Astronomy for KDE
- Maru OS Brings Debian to Your Phone
- Understanding Ceph and Its Place in the Market
- Snappy Moves to New Platforms
- Git 2.9 Released
- OpenSwitch Finds a New Home
- What's Our Next Fight?
- The Giant Zero, Part 0.x
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide