I've been playing with another Google toy that I never knew existed. This time, it's SketchUp - a 3d modelling/design program. I discovered it while trying to make a start on the room layouts for the wedding.
My previous experience with 3d computer design begins and ends with The Sims. This is pretty much like someone saying their experience of English literature begins and ends with having read Peter Andre's autobiography - technically it's a book and it involves skills like the turning of pages and the reading of words, but.
Nevertheless, SketchUp is very easy to use and Google have done their usual thing of short, helpful video tutorials. Within a couple of hours, I had produced this:
That's a proper size layout of the room where the reception will be held, complete with the correctly-measured tables, chairs, sofas, bar unit and so on created from scratch (Google do have a "3D warehouse" of ready-made objects but I was having fun). At the moment I'm still populating the room with the various items it needs to contain. Then we'll be able to shuffle them about until we're happy.
Yes, I know I could do this with paper. In fact I bought a pad of graph paper for this very purpose. But a computerised layout won't scatter everywhere as soon as there is a breeze, and I can delete and move lines without making it messy. Plus, I can view it in 3d and in all sizes.
I know it's not exactly *pretty* at the moment, but there is the potential within the program to add colours and textures and shadows and whatnot. I think if I go too far with that my poor little computer might fall over, though, so we'll get the basic layout sorted and saved and then play about with details.