Demystifying the 3D Pipeline

Led by: Bryce Stout & Matt Simpson

First we took a look at a model that has been accepted.

There are three stages of evaluation that happen to accept a model.
Stage 1:
Three people evaluate the model, checking for duplicates, overlaps, looking at imagery of the building and satellite views.  Two of the three must agree that this is an acceptable model.
The model is compared against other models in the same spot.  The best model wins and only one model per spot is accepted in GE, however both models stay in the Warehouse.

Stage 2:
The model is put through a simplification process.  Points that are too close to other points are culled.  Textures are optimized so that huge textures on small faces are simplified.   The desired goal is to have models that are no larger than a certain size.

Stage 3:
A group of all the newly rejected (which could have been previously accepted if a better model is now available) models and newly accepted models are created.  A group of all the new imagery is also created.  These are all pushed to the server once a week on Thursdays of all that was submitted by the previous Tuesday.

Notes:
- Google accepts roughly 65% of the models which are submitted.
- Building Maker models are more readily accepted because it used Google imagery.
- Acceptance/ Rejection emails are sent twice per day.

Questions
Question:
If a model gets rejected and the owner doesn't think it should have been rejected, what can they do?   The user's example model  had imagery that was different from GE.  However the imagery in GE was out of date and the model had current imagery.  

Answer:
There is a "Tell us why we are wrong" link provided on the page where you can explain and try again.

Question:
A model can be  rejected because of too much geometry.  This can be fixed by simplifying the model.  What is the maximum number of faces allowed.

Answer:
There isn't a set  number of faces.  A simple face can have three vertices.  A complex face can have many more than that. The decision is based on overall model size, not just face count.

Question:
"Renton House" by Fguerra was rejected because of incomplete textures.  What does this mean?

Answer:
The model had few photo textures applied, mostly SketchUp textures because the imagery had cars and trees in the way.  It is better to use the imagery because then the model blends with the neighboring buildings.  SketchUp textures stand out and don't look uniform.  
One possibility is to take a piece of the siding image where the trees don't show instead of using  the entire image.   Incomplete textures might mean textures are missing from a building or it might mean that you have sketchup textures vs. photo textures.

Question:
How many models are submitted per week?

Answer:
A lot.

Question:
Say you put extra information into a model (model details).  When a better model replaces your model, the information is not passed along.

Answer:
Correct, the information is not passed along.


Question:  
If you submit your model and then change it what happens?

Answer:
When a SketchUp model is explicitly uploaded it starts the acceptance process again.  It does not remove the the first model from the process, it just adds it again.  When a building maker model is saved (which happens automatically) there is an hour or so delay before that model is added to the review process so that if the model is being edited and saved over and over only the last revision will be added to the review process.

If you have a model in GE and you change it.  If the new version of the model is rejected, then your model is removed from GE.  However it is still in warehouse.  So you would have to resubmit the previous version or a newer version to get it back on GE.

Question:
What if you upload a model to warehouse, but you don't want other people to be able to download it?

Answer:
There is a checkbox on the upload form "only owner and collaborators my download".  Check this.

Question:
People say you can take an OpenGL screen grab of a model on GE and create a model from that.  How?

Answer:
No one knew the answer to this one.

Question:
How can you add a link to some URL in your model.

Answer:
Put the URL in the description of the model.

Question:
There is a new place page link for a model, however it is not clickable.

Answer:
This has just been fixed.  It is clickable now.

Question:
There is a model in Central Park with a model on top of it - Bethesda Fountain.   Both models were accepted.  Already reported an inaccurate model, and it was removed, but came right back.

Answer:
We do not have enough resources to handle all of the "report inaccurate models" in a timely fashion.

Statement:
Boulder has lots of models that are placed where they do not belong.  There is a "Colorado Spam" search in warehouse that contains all of these.

Question:
If you are modeling one house in a block of row houses, do you need to texture the sides of the building where they are attached to another building.

Answer:
No, even if you model just one piece of row housing, you don't need to texture the walls that are shared by the row.
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