I have closed my Seismic Analysis series for now, in order to pursue a modeling career (Ha!). This is necessary to get more realistic models, and to try to get automatic animation for the results. I want to simulate a shake table, which is the main bug-a-boo of 'old guy' earthquake engineering.
Modeling is like virtual Lego on steroids! Everybody should do it! You basically take simple geometric shapes in 3D, move them around a bit, and assign properties. People who want to start, should get Art of Illusion, and go wild! Here is one of my illustrations I used for Wikipedia, on 'cast in place' bolts.
These are just simple geometric shapes. The use of a finite element modeler just goes one step further, and can create a mesh of bricks for a Shrekian Analysis. As I said before, I'm now fooling around with gmsh, and I hope it does what I want!