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Google's SketchUP Pro 5.0 Review (...page 2)
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Among the most useful n fresh tools in SketchUP is its Interactive section tool named “section plan”, come pretty handy for knowing your creations or designs inside out. It’s basically slice through your model to see and work inside its interior. Other than this “Follow me”, dimension and Sketchy Rendering commands are worth mentioning along with some cool added features such as walk and look around tools.

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SketchUP 5 introduces “The Sandbox”, which is collection of five new tools used mainly for creating terrains. Sandbox tools can not only be used to create terrain, but can be used to create organic geometry such as a wooden bowl or the face of a person. The sandbox tools are enabled through SketchUP’s new Extension Manager. Though it’s nice addition to SketchUP, but I find it little difficult to use with comparison to other 3d modeling packages,...may be it’s an opportunity for plug-in developers to step-in and give more versatile but less TDS tool for Terrain generation.

SketchUP also comes loaded with a variety of pre-built Components in eight categories, which you can use in your models. Beside pre loaded components, you can add your own and manage them using Component Browser. SketchUP contains a sampler of a few, of the over 3000 pre-created components available on the SketchUP web site. You may use “Get More” menu item in Component Browser to retrieve additional components from the SketchUP web site and there are also several other websites that offers download of SketchUP components. This feature especially comes handy for making quick presentations by using pre-loaded components for detailing etc, as well as organizing your own 3d models libraries.

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.


SketchUP helps you Texture or color your models instantly by using the Paint Bucket tool. Also the entity info dialog box which displays information about selected entities, comes handy while texturing as you can directly edit the applied materials. The Material Browser is used to organize materials/colors into libraries and to select and to apply materials to your model. You can edit materials using “material Editor” which can be directly launched from Material browser, just like in most of the 3d modeling package. The other good part in texturing process is that you can position your texture interactively and easily by right clicking on the textured surface (right click+ texture +position).

Its Universals…..!! Goggle’s SketchUP best selling point is its Close Compatibility with the various 2d and 3d software, which means that SketchUP can easily be included in the existing pipeline of studio’s working in various industry. SketchUP offer Interoperability with all the major software’s, like 3ds max, Photoshop, Maya, XSI, Artlantis, Piranesi, VectorWorks, ArchiCAD, Google Earth, ArcGIS, AutoCAD as well as ADT and many more…you name it – it will support it (citation)….In SketchUP Pro 5.0 the DWG/DXF Import & Export has received a complete revision on both platforms. Using the latest DWG direct libraries, you get access to more DWG/DXF entities for a smoother translation into and out of SketchUP. The widely used 3DS exporter significantly improved its behavior. Enhancements include: Large meshes greater than 65K vertices or faces are split into multiple meshes, Smoothing and "welding of vertices” is now supported. Also much need 3ds import and OBJ Export features has been added in this release and it’s a much welcome feature for SketchUP users.

Basic Rendering using recently released SketchUP Rendering plug-in "Podium".

Conclusion:

First of all, I have read somewhere on SketchUP’s official website that ; “SketchUP is a deceptively simple” – in my opinion, its 100% percent true statement. Infect SketchUP is Devil in its disguise and very well armed to the teeth. Its super simple interface make’s it very easy to learn 3d application for new users and SketchUP 5 “Getting Started guide” is very well thought feature, makes you take-off and running in matters of few hours. Push/Pull makes the process of giving 3rd dimension to 2d surface quite simple and very effective. Also the Move & Rotate tool is not exactly up to my liking but that’s quite personal and depends on user to user….people who are familiar with AutoCAD and ADT surly enjoy using them. Texturing and coloring process was a breeze as simple as throwing a bucket of paint on any surface and you can position your texture interactively as well, but texturing is the area where SketchUP developer should work a bit more to make it more flexible and 3d’ish. Pre-loaded components are handy for adding detailing in your quick presentations and 3D Warehouse is there to ensure the never ending supply of Components. Compatibility with the various 2d and 3d software make’s SketchUP Pro 5 a real killer 3d application, well worth of each penny for its current price 495.00 USD/-. Now backed by the search industry giant Google what you can expect is, Nothing but a very bright future for SketchUP’s further development as well as development of various support applications like plug-ins by various external vendors to fill in the gaps. In one line – “Google has a winner in hand and so does you”!!


Related Links:
SketchUP official website
Download SketchUP Pro 5.0 Demo
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