Halfway through working on the Mess Hall and Galley for my starship, I was given the opportunity to work with the Pro version of SketchUp for a period of time so I decided to spend it creating dynamic components for my starship project.
I had never worked on creating dynamic components before so it was a tough go at first. I didn’t seek out to do anything too fancy, just to automate doors for opening and closing with the interact tool, aim weapons, position seating, raise and lower platforms and in one case, I made one of the holoprojectors “functional”. I didn’t know what to do at first so I studied examples of basic animations and the code behind them from example models and models in the SketchUp 3D Warehouse.
I found one method that worked well for what I needed to do and that is pretty much used in every dynamic component I made. Along the way I figured out how to make doors triggered by clicking on the controls I modeled for them, how to make doors lockable, and nested components that trigger with just one click instead of clicking each one of the joints.
The most complex dynamic component is the Heavy Turbolaser Turret. The turret can be rotated and the elevation of the cannons can be raised and lowered, the gunner seat retracts to allow access to the access tube when not in use. Even though the display screen moves with the elevation of the cannons, the image is fixed even though someday I might get it to actually work.
There are 43 dynamic components at last count and hopefully I will be able to create more in the future.