"SketchUp is a deceptively
simple, amazingly powerful tool for creating, viewing, and modifying 3D
ideas quickly and easily. SketchUp was developed to combine the elegance
and spontaneity of pencil sketching with the speed and flexibility of
today's digital media.
Developed for the conceptual stages of design, this powerful yet
easy-to-learn software allows for quick and easy 3D form creation, the
result is an interface that supports a dynamic, creative exploration of
3D form, material and light.
SketchUp combines a compact yet robust tool-set with an intelligent
guidance system that streamlines the 3D drawing process."
SketchUp can be used to
- generate three-dimensional
massing models to study building heights, solar impacts, and
relationships of existing buildings to proposed development;
- create diagrammatic figures
in three dimensions that easily display complex information;
- model ground level
- produce basic scaled forms
and shapes for use as underlays for hand drawn graphics.
SketchUp also enables
computer-generated graphics to maintain a sketchy, loose character that
most programs do not allow. This is an important aspect to remember as
Planners. Very clean, hard-edged computer graphics, when presented to
the general public as preliminary designs, convey a sense of permanence
and finality that we don't want to present prematurely. It is important
to show plans at early stages as works-in-progress.
The SketchUp software is
available on select computers in the DCRP computer lab, all computers in
the LAEP computer lab, and also as a free
trial download for use on personal computers. Once the trial
period has expired, reduced-cost student licenses can be purchased for
continued use. The program is easier to use and more affordable than
many traditional CAD programs, and provides excellent user support.
tutorials are offered by @Last
Software, the developers of SketchUp. They do an excellent job of
providing a general overview to the software, as well as covering many
complicated tasks as well.
Tips and tricks for using
- Watch and listen to the video
tutorials; they are awesome! They will tell you all that you need to
know to start using the program, familiarize you with the SketchUp
terminology and commands, and venture into very advanced features.
SketchUp in itself is a shortcut to creating output similar to much
more complex drafting and rendering programs.
- Newer releases of SketchUp have
improved importing function. For very large site areas, or when base
files can be obtained from outside sources, SketchUp can import .dwg,
.dxf, or .eps files. Depending on the origin of the file, it can even
be manipulated as an object.
- Quick plan-view sketches can be
imported as ground-plane bases for SketchUp models. This allows quick
sketches made on trace over aerial photos to turn into rough 3D models
in a matter of minutes.