31 October 2007

3D Challenge #013 - Communication satellite

Note: Please read the guidelines for participating in the challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to have fun and bring SketchUp users together and help each other learn and get better at using our favorite 3d modeling program. We will remove comments that are objectionable or offensive.

This week's challenge:

Communication satellite

With the launch of the Soviet Satellite "Sputnik 1", the era of the communication satellite began in 1957. Since then, numerous satellites have been launched to provide in the need to communicate with each other around the world. This week we are going to model such a communication satellite. The design may be an existing communication satellite or your own imaginary design. For this challenge we won't make a difference between a normal communication satellite and a telecommunication satellite. We're looking forward to your satellite models...

Good luck ALL!

3d Warehouse tag: 3d challenge 013

Due Date: Wed, Nov 7 (Challenge closed)

Click here to see the submitted models for this challenge.

S.I.D. Space Intruder Detector by COSEDIMARCO

2 nd Place
Telstar 1 by D. James

3 rd (3 Way Tie)
Communication Satellite by Marian

19 th Century Satellite by Nase

2027 CNN 3D World News Cast by Don East

Congrats to ALL !!!!


  1. From the Gerry Anderson TV serie UFO (1970): In orbit around the Earth to a distance of 36.000 kilometers, the satellite of location and comunication (abbreviated SID) is the alarm system constructed ad hoc from the SHADO. S.I.D. contains the most powerful computer constructed from the man,and it is able to locate and follow the UFO in arrival from enormous distance. Thanks to a revolutionary vocal circuit, the computer is able to supply a vocal comment to the control center on the Moon. The importance of Sid is inestimabile: the satellite is a vital ring in the system of land defense, and must be considered a primary target for the attacks of the enemies.

    S.I.D. Model

    S.I.D. Album

  2. Hello everyone. Here's my first submission to your site. You have some extremely talented artists here! Look forward to participating in more of these.

    Communications Satellite

  3. Hello everybody! This my first object in the challenge.


  4. After Marco's entry this is dust in the wind...but what the hey.

    Communication Satellite

  5. Hello All

    I'd like to welcome BlackCat and sandviktus to the group. Very nice models by all (our new members as well as our regulars).


  6. Are we allowed to request challenges?

  7. Thanks Bluedog. Happy to be here.

  8. Sorry- "Bluesdog." It's early...

  9. My First sketch up challenge and it was to make a satellite.


  10. Hi

    here's my satellite:
    It's a communication satellite built with 19th century technology.

    Because electron tubes or integrated circurits (to amplify an electric signal) are quite difficult to built with the available material, I decided to build a optical system.
    A large dish and some mirrors reflect the incoming light pulses from a ground station to a ruby crystal. So the incoming light both triggers and pumps the ruby, the light is therefore amplified by stimulated emission of radiation.
    Because the amplification is too weak, I added an undulator. This one is powered by a simple steam engine. The fluid in the tubes outside the housing expands (-->steam) in the four solar panels, then runs through the steam turbine (wich powers the generator) and cools down in the condenser...

    Keep in mind that it has more than 2.8 million faces; maybe you want to turn AA down to prevent SU from crashing if your machine is too slow.

    [url=http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=521795125b92aec9e190ab16a1d71571] 19th century satellite[/url]

  11. uhm..

    how can I post a link? This site doesn't seem to support ubb, or did I get sth wrong?

  12. Hello Nase

    To post a link, take a look in the "3D Challenge participation manual" on the Top right of topic page.


  13. Nase, that satellite is awesome but way too complex....i think you may lose a few votes because of people who can't open that.Anyway great work and i like the idea.

  14. Another newbie here- July 1oth 1962,the world lauds the launch of Telstar 1, the first commercially built telecommunications satellite. Developed by Bell Labs for ATT and a conglomerate of European companies, Telestar 1 relayed the first television signals, as well as telephone and photograph facsimiles, from Maine to England and France. The 170 pound,34.5 inch spheroid was launched via a N.A.S.A Delta rocket.

    The name Telstar was also lent to the 1962 pop hit by The Tornados five weeks after launch, as well as to video game consoles in 70's and atheletic shoes.

    1:1 scale model was extrapolated from N.A.S.A publication SP-2 and from various photographs and a short newsreel.

    Telstar 1

    There is some great looking stuff here, a lot of creative minds at work- Good luck all!

  15. Hi Nase,
    Marian says right. The model is very good looking but too complex to manage.
    Try to use Components instead of Groups. This could help your model.

  16. Hi all

    Here's the Link: 19th century satellite
    I'll rebuild the modell due to some renderproblems; so a lowpoly version is on its way, but I don't know if it will be finished in time.


    Hi & thank you for your help. I did use components (lots of them, if you compare filesize and the number of faces ;) , everything that exists several times either is a component or is built of components ) The groups you mentioned consist of components; I don't think it speeds things up if I make a component out of components. In this case it's the number of faces that matters.


  17. Hi
    Now everyone should be able to have a look at my satellite: here is the lowpoly Version for the challenge, and there is the HIGHPOLY version to challenge your computer ;)

  18. Nase, I would be glad to talk to you about how to lower the file size and enhance the performance of your SketchUp models. It's very easy.

  19. Hi flagfreak

    Highpolymodels for slow machines? sounds interesting :D
    But I'm pretty sure many of us would like to know about it. Could you describe it here or upload a sample scene with instructions?

  20. Hi everybody
    I tried to verify the difference in filesize and usage between a model with a mix of groups and components and a model with only components.

    Number of polies and model are the same, only the modelling tecnique change.
    I tried to simulate Nase Model (I use your panels).

    This is the result:
    Groups and components (rar file): 435 Kb

    Only components (rar file): 168 Kb

    I used components of components as much as I can.

    In the second example filesize is less than the first but it is hard to manage as well.
    I think this is due to a difficult or bug of SU to manage a lot of faces at a time.
    I had the same problem with a model of mine.
    Let me know your impressions.

  21. Ooops I forget
    I have a new Pentium 4 Core Duo 2Ghz with 4 Gb of Ram


  22. Hi marco

    Impresseive decrease od filesize!
    I didn't think that there's such a big difference between groups with components and components with subcomponents. Think it could be interesting, how much filesize is needed for the position, scale etc. for a component in contrast to a group.

    But as you already mentioned, the problem is the number of faces/polygons. I think the bottleneck (or at least one of them) is the GPU.

  23. Hello All

    There is a BIG differance between filesize and low poly. File size is just that, the amount of Kb or Mb of the file you created. Poly is the edges and faces within the model. Two models can be 1Mb and one having 10 times the faces and edges. Obviously, the more faces and edges, the more diffucult to navigate. Using 24 sides circles to extrude a small shaft is overkill compared to a 10-12 sided circle. Same for spheres and so on.

    I RECOMMEND all read the "Most Common Mistakes" tutorial located on the front page of the blog in the upper right hand corner. The info there will answer all your questions of filesize vs Poly.

    Good Luck All

  24. Howdy All, It's great to see so many new names and entries. Here is my "Manned" Communications Satellite. This is a future satellite for CNN news to broadcast real time 3d video from anywhere on the face of the earth and from space activities. I'm ready to buy a 60" HDTV that has a 3d real time picture. Anyone else have a similar fantasy.
    2027 CNN 3d World News Cast

  25. CubeSats P-POD

    VHF amateur radio Communications Satellite CubeSats P-POD


  26. This is a ground based satellite. Sending RF to space and back, with it's own isolated frequency.

  27. Howdy again, here are some Kerkythea renders of my CNN satellite.
    As always I'm open for comments and critique.
    To new members of 3d challenge. Keep up the great work. I've learned a lot from this very helpful group. Every new challenge has been full of new ideas.
    2027 CNN Satellite Renders

  28. Hi Bluesdog

    I don't think that anyone of us can tell the necessary amount of faces for a tube, sphere etc. as long as we don't know what will be done with the model. For GE it's quite simple: just enough faces to position the texture. But most of us will render the modell (e.g. don east, great work btw.). As long as we don't know if it will be rendered only as a whole or if someone also wants to render some scenes of details, there is no way to tell how many faces are really necessary.

  29. Hello Nase,

    You do have a point in your statement but I don't agree with everything. I think every model should fit it's purpose, just like you said. I disagree with your point that you don't know how a model will be used here. When participating to these challenges the goal is to learn how to use the program with all it's tools and how to use these to create a good quality model (efficient, clean, etc). Although some people like to render these models, it's not the goal of these challenges. If you want to render a model I think you should make a model specifically for that purpose, just as you do for Google Earth. If you want to render a detail then make a model of only that detail, instead of the whole object which you won't see. I personally don't really mind if you choose to make a model high-poly. Choosing for this means that you are aware of the fact that you can control this by, for example, picking the number of edges of a circle. There are lots of people that are not aware of the control they have about their model and the tools they used to create it. This also means that they are not totally aware of the fact that this influences the model file size, needed computing power, usefulness of the model, etc. THIS is where these challenges are all about, making people aware of the program possibilities by creating random objects. In contrast to learning from a book, these challenges are about finding this out yourself by practise. With each model you create you will learn more about all the possibilities of the program.


  30. nase and J@man, your discussion is what this challenge is all about. I had a discussion similar to this back when the challenge was an airplane. The important things here are challenge, learning by doing, communicating, and practice, practice, etc. For quite some time I worked with Maya and one big problems I kept running into was models that were so complex my computer would slow to a halt. The thing I'm learning here now is how to be as efficient as possible with a model given the purpose of that model, i.e. how to build the type of model I want in the time given and have it be as efficent as possible. My communications satellite is not as clean as I would like it to be (time). On the time machine challenge I didn't even get finished on time. So I'm working on learning about time, concept and efficiency. I don't think there is any other way to learn this but through practice. And once again I would like to say that this challenge is very valuable for all of the above and more. New people lets dig in and have fun. Life long learning is a great way to go.

  31. Entry for 3d challenge 013.

    Link to picture album.


  32. I think this link should work, as you can see I have not master linking. Please bear with me.