SketchUp Pro bucks the trend associated with expensive 3D modeling software like 3DSMax and Cinema4D and gifts a free, easy to use alternative with which you can also post your creations onto Search engines Earth for the world to see. The most recent version has been integrated with Google Maps as well so that geo-tagging your creations is easier than ever.
This expert version of Sketchup is aimed at professionals who need CAD software which high on power and features, and low on learning curves. This features some useful advantages within the basic version including ability to Export to CAD, add text and graphics to layouts and more advanced features .
There’s a refreshing lack of specialized jargon in SketchUp Pro and unfamiliar terms to beginners such as the ‘Extrude’ tool have been renamed towards the more obvious ‘Push/Pull’ for example. There are plenty of helpful hints and instructions throughout too helping you get to grips with ‘snapping’ whenever you draw rectangles, circles and other shapes. Sketchup Pro intelligently predicts to want endpoints to meet and photos them shut for you, saving lots of time messing around.
SketchUp Pro doesn’t lack in features though despite its ease of use and includes all the usual collection of drawing and filling tools you’d expect, neatly accessible in the toolbar over the top of the screen. Instructor hints put out on the right of the screen in order to thinks you need them. Other options can be accessed via the menu system, you can also choose to place extra palettes within the workspace to save wading through choices. Of particular note is the ‘Materials’ palette , which contains over 100 different pre-specified swatches, such as vegetation, metal and glass. The Shadow Settings palette is also worth keeping to hand, as it enables you to apply realistic shadows via easy sliders.
The real fun however is when you export your SketchUp Pro drawings into Search engines Earth. You can send images of your 3D designs via email or upload them for free storage with Google’s 3D Internet Warehouse . Alternatively, you can geo-tag them in one-step using Google Maps which has now been integrated into Sketchup Pro. You receive a snapshot when you add a geo-location to your model which today includes 3D surfaces data plus color aerial imagery .
There are some issues with SketchUp Pro however. Most irritating is when trying to create domed surfaces because of the cumbersome nature of the Extrude tool, although pushing and pulling straight lines is significantly easier. However , the ability to export to CAD format means that anything you discover tricky or difficult in Sketchup Pro, you can finish off in an additional application.
SketchUp Pro provides a refreshingly simple approach to 3D graphic design while giving the power and CAD format foreign trade features that professionals need.
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