By: Vincent Z.
4 minutes – that’s all it took for me to create a decent 3d model of an apartment building, complete with satellite, individual windows, elevator shaft and a rooftop gutter. Oh yes, it’s also textured with bricks and cement.
I’ve used Pro/DESKTOP and autoCAD previously, and hell I had a seriously hard time trying to cover the basics. But one thing to note is that the 2 aforementioned CAD modellers are much more advanced than Google’s SketchUp. So do not expect advanced functions commonly found in SketchUp’s commercial counterparts.
Extreme ease of use
To create any 3D models, all you have to do is to select one of the planes (x, y, z axis) and start to draw. Say you want to create a cuboid. Simply draw a square and use the [Push/Pull] function to pull it into 3D.
Sharing of user-created models
You can search or upload your designs onto SketchUp warehouse. The best I’ve seen there is a fully detailed V12 engine model. Wonderful.
Remember drawing equally spaced out squares (be it on a wall or etc). Normally it’s going to be a tough process because you’ll have to estimate using your eye-power, with the complements of constant zooming in and out. Fortunately SketchUp provides drawing cues which allows you to draw with relative ease without the compromise on accuracy.
Google Earth Integration
Google Earth is going to dominate the whole world. Now with sketchup’s integration, it’s going to back my statement further. Draw and place your model anywhere on the map! How cool is that? Now everyone’s going to see your art-sy creations!
Google SketchUp is a truly idiot-proof way for many to create their own 3D models. Chances are that on your first try, you won’t impress anyone. But spend more time on it, you’ll find yourself improving, with the actually useful help dialogue. A good alternative to pirating expensive CAD softwares!
Windows 2000 / XP / Vista, Mac OSX
Official Site (tested v6.4.112)