SketchUp bucks the trend of expensive 3D modeling software such as 3DSMax and Cinema4D and presents a free, easy-to-use alternative with which you can even post your masterpieces onto Google Earth for the entire world to see.
Refreshingly basic approach
There’s a refreshing lack of technical lingo in SketchUp, and there are plenty of helpful hints and guides throughout to help you get to holds with ‘snapping’ when you draw rectangles, circles and other shapes. Sketchup smartly predicts where you want endpoints to meet and snaps them shut for you, saving lots of time messing around.
SketchUp doesn’t absence in functionality despite its simplicity of use , and includes all the usual collection of drawing and filling tools you’d expect, neatly accessible in the toolbar across the top of the screen. Instructor hints pop out on the right of the screen when it thinks you need them.
Other options can be utilized via the menu system, or you can choose to place extra palettes on the work area to save wading through menus. Associated with particular note is the ‘Materials’ palette , which consists of over 100 different preset pieces, such as vegetation, metal and glass. The Shadow Configurations palette is also worth keeping to hand, as it allows you to utilize realistic shadows via simple sliders.
Google Earth and Maps integration
The real fun nevertheless is when you export your SketchUp drawings into Google Earth. You are able to send images of your 3D styles via email or upload them for free storage at Google’s 3D Web Warehouse . Alternatively, you can geo-tag them in one-step using Google Maps, as this is incorporated with Sketchup. You receive a snapshot whenever you add a geo-location to your model which includes 3D terrain data plus color aerial imagery .
There are some problems with SketchUp however. This is most apparent whenever trying to create domed surfaces, because the Push/Pull tool is particularly cumbersome, although pushing and pulling straight ranges is considerably easier. Being free, it also obviously does not have some of the advanced features of many of the heavyweight rivals .
3D design and modeling for your masses
SketchUp provides the refreshingly simple approach to 3D visual design and modeling and is ideal for non experts in CAD technology.
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