Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Virtual Home

speccy red bedroom
Image Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com

"My Virtual Home" is Free downloadable software for making 3D Home Designs. It is great fun to use, but requires a reasonable computer, and a good internet connection.

Here at Passy World we downlaoded and tried it out, with a view to it being useful for students doing house plan Perimater and Area type maths assignments.

Click the following links for some typical example assignments.

http://its.guilford.k12.nc.us/webquests/areaperim/areaperim.htm

http://schools.nyc.gov/offices/teachlearn/documents/standards/math/es/67dream.html


Using a modern design program on computer like "My Virtual Home" is an engaging and enjoyable way of doing these types of assignments.

It would certainly be a more fun, and better learning, than using the traditional ruler, colored pencils,and grid paper.

Here is an Intro Video about the My Virtual Home program.



YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp8dFe_2p9M


Here is another Intro Video that goes for three minutes.



YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b06Nh02Of_k


This video shows how to Navigate around in My Virtual Homes.



YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP6GlhPJwJo


Here is a demonstration of Changing channels in MyVirtualHome.

These are like different libraries that can be used while making your home. The "Better Homes and Gardens" channel is more focussed on outdoor garden design, and the Building channel appears to be for making houses.



YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdNLGacHR44


Here is a video on How to Display Measurements onto floorplans.

This is what we need students to do before taking screen shots for their assignments.



YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4cC85tZpqI


This video shows how to use the program Menus.



YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfe73REzqew


Here is a walk through (has no sound) of a completed home.



YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hETqJrYQ5g0



Downloading the Program

This is easily done by clicking the "Download" button on the following site:

http://www.myvirtualhome.com.au/

As soon as the program is started for the first time, it is necessary to Register your details by giving a valid email address that a verification email can be sent to with a link that needs to be clicked. You can however use the program for three times before needing to verify it.

The program has to download all the components for given houses from the Internet, and this can be up to 150Meg or more of data for a large home that is already furnished.

The System Requirements state that at least a 128M 3D graphics card is needed. The PC we tried it on had an old NVidia gaming card in it, with an AMD Quadcore processor, and it was reasonable quality, but not quite 100%. It was okay while moving through the house, but angled lines were slightly jagged whenever we stopped moving.

We are not sure how this program would run on a school laptop, but expect that it might be a little bit glitchy in the display. There could also be slow download times for components, depending on how good the school's wi fi network is.

Here is a screen print a house plan with measurements shown from our PC:

House Plan with Measurements

Here is a screen shot of the walk through view of these rooms:

Inside VHome


My Virtual Home is a really well made fun program, and is great for designing houses and trying out different floor plans.

It would be great for students to use for doing part of a typical Areas and Perimeters House Plan assignment at home, but we are not sure how it would go on the laptops at our particular school.

We would need to get the program installed in a computer lab that has reasonable machines, but it would be painful to register each install and give each PC a password.

We have emailed My Virtual Home to find out if educational institutions are using the program, and if there a free site version available without passwords that is easier to install and manage. Pending a response, we will update this blog post.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

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