Google's SketchUP Pro Review
by Amit Dixit
CGIndia Featured Review
SketchUP, was first introduced by @Last Software, a small group of AEC software industry veterans. Google and @Last Software comes together while working on development of Google Earth Plug-in for SketchUP, and knowing the potential of SketchUP, Google end-up acquiring @lastsoftware in somewhere around March of 2006. SketchUP or Google SketchUP is a simple, yet amazingly powerful tool for creating, viewing, and modifying 3D ideas quickly and easily. Though it had been developed for the conceptual stages of design, SketchUP is more than a powerful 3d tool for creating presentations.
So here, we begin with Review of SketchUP Pro ......
First of all, I would like to tell you that free demo version come with, 8 full working hours of use and you may use it in one go or divide the time in numbers session. This come pretty handy for the people with time constraints as you can spread 8 hours in various sessions and the demo version won’t expire until you spend 8 hour.The SketchUP user interface is designed to be very simple and easy to use. Especially for the first time 3d modelers, its interface is clear and very easy to grasp, n’ if you stuck somewhere the quick Reference guide comes handy for a rescue. The Interface resembles little bit like FormZ 3d modeler, but it’s not even a bit TDS like FormZ interface. Even with no experience you will easily get around and really have fun while working, which should go hand-in-hand with the design process.
For people who are new to SketchUP, the Getting Started application includes self-paced tutorials, which are simple to learn and introduce you to many of SketchUP unique techniques, tools and procedures.
Though it’s always better to first go through the tutorials or at least read them for making the learning process fast, I get off directly, skipping the tutorials and starts off with the 3d modeling. What I want to emphasize here is that the application interface is so easy to understand that I have no problems in getting around even as I haven’t or barely touched any 3d application in last one ½ years. I decided to make a very simple 3d model of house with little or no detailing, but I want to make it fast.
Screen Shot showing the interface and the basic 3d model i made in 50min...its fast
SketchUP is up to the task in hand and makes the 3d modeling a breeze and allows you to be more creative, thanks to its user friendly interface which allows you to put all your thinking behind design rather than on 3d modeling process.
Push/Pull Tool, comes very handy for making the 3d modeling process fast, it's enables you to click on a shape and simply push or pull it to create your desired 3D form. Much more than just an extrude tool, it allows you to create complex forms quickly and efficiently.
Though I haven’t added any detailing to the basic 3d model I have made, its not very hard for you to imagine how useful the freehand tool will be for adding details or may I say its really your digital freehand and as simple as using your hands for sketching (especially on Tablets PC or Pen tablets).
Beside freehand tool, there are line, arc, rectangle, circle and polygon tools for creating any desired 2d shape and push/pull tool give them the 3rd dimension. In SketchUP Move/Copy, tool is mostly used for modifying the form, along with standard move and copy functions. You can easily learn about all the SketchUP tools, their functions as well as the related short-cuts from handy Quick reference card under help drop down menu.
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