SketchUp bucks the trend of expensive 3D modeling software program such as
Refreshingly free of technical jargon
There’s a refreshing lack of technical jargon in SketchUp 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 manuals throughout too helping you get to grips with ‘snapping’ when you draw rectangles, circles and other designs. Sketchup intelligently predicts where you really want endpoints to meet and snaps them shut for you, saving lots of time messing around.
The real enjoyable however is when you export your SketchUp drawings into Google World. You can send images of your THREE DIMENSIONAL designs via email or add them for free storage at Google’s 3D Web Stockroom . Alternatively, you can geo-tag them in one-step using Google Maps which has now been integrated into Sketchup. You recruit a snapshot when you add a geo-location to your model which now includes 3D terrain data plus color aerial imagery .
Easily accessible tools
SketchUp doesn’t lack in functionality though despite its ease of use and includes all the usual collection of sketching and filling tools you’d anticipate, neatly accessible in the toolbar across the top of the screen. Instructor hints appear out on the right of the screen when it thinks you need them. Other options could be accessed via the menu system, or you can choose to place extra palettes in the workspace to save wading through selections. Of particular note is the ‘Materials’ palette , which usually contains over 100 different pre-specified swatches, such as vegetation, metal and glass. The Darkness Settings palette is also worth keeping to hand, as it enables you to apply realistic shadows via simple sliders.
There are some problems with SketchUp however. Most annoying is when trying to create domed areas because of the cumbersome nature of the Extrude tool, although pushing and tugging straight lines is considerably easier. Being free, it also obviously does not have some of the advanced features of many of its heavyweight rivals.
Excellent for novices in CAD
SketchUp provides a refreshingly simple approach to 3D graphic design and modeling and is ideal for non experts in CAD technology.
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