Looking into trying Google SketchUp? If you haven’t tried 3D modeling software before, it can be overwhelming to find a program that will work well for what you need without being difficult to learn and costing a fortune. Google has addressed this need by offering SketchUp for free. This program is designed to allow you do to 3D planning and model creation without the steep learning curve of professional software. Read on for some of what makes SketchUp so great.
Simplifying 3D Frameworks
SketchUp does a good job of making building blocks of a 3D model simple enough for anyone to understand. You are presented with only two basic building blocks to use. Lines that Google calls Edges are used to create a a simple object, like a rectangle. The space inside the rectangle is called a “Face.” All you need to do in order to start creating a model in SketchUp is use the available tools to start drawing lines that connect into a face.
Once you have your first two dimensional object created, turning it into a 3D form is easy. If you made a rectangle, you simply need to use the tool provided to grab the face of the rectangle and pull on it a little bit to create a box. By combining forms that you create in this manner, you can build all sorts of three dimensional objects as soon as you start playing around with the program.
Painting and applying textures is as simple as using a familiar paint bucket fill tool with the texture or color of your choice to your model faces. Once you’ve got your design textured the way you want it, you can follow up by trying out different lighting options to see how the light and shadow will look on your form in different conditions. You can even save your model in slightly different positions to make an animation easily with the option called “Scene.”
Accurate Complex Models
One of the best things about the way SketchUp works is the way you can use the easy model building tools outlined above to create forms with mathematically accurate dimensions. If you want to use SketchUp to create a diagram for building something, you have the tools available to do so. The models in SketchUp are created with precise measurements that will translate easily into any project you need them for.
You can export SketchUp models into many different formats that are usable for printing and displaying online. If you have professional software you’d like to try with your models, you can purchase the pro version of SketchUp to export to most modern CAD programs as well as a wide variety of other professional formats.
Landscapes And Integration
You are not simply limited to your own library of objects with SketchUp. You can use the tools to create an entire landscape and populate it with objects you have either created or downloaded from the shared objects other users make available. Once you have your setting built, you can integrate it with other great software like Google Earth to share your setting with anyone. You can also download topography straight from Google Earth and turn it into a fully realized 3D model with SketchUp. Part of what makes the software so great is knowing you don’t need a great deal of knowledge to start using it to create anything you can dream up.