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Learning Powerful 3D Modelling in Sketchup

Since the new year I’ve been playing with SketchUp. This software allows one to create 3D models that can be used in videos, 3D printings, and print or digital designs. The program has been used in a number of fields, most notably architecture for designing homes and their surroundings.

One of the nice things about SketchUp is that there is a free version. This free version allows one to create 3D models and geo-locate models (which is really cool as your models can be integrated into google maps for a geo-reference). However, the latest free version of SketchUp does has many downgrades from the Pro, or paid version. The paid version of SketchUp allows you to physically download the program, create 2D models, export animation videos, create construction drawings, licensed for commercial use, and to utilize actions, components and groups. Those last abilities are what I am currently working on, in addition to playing with a rendering software you can import into SketchUp, called VRay.

At first glance, SketchUp seems like it is very similar to Photoshop. This similarity quickly disappears after diving deeper into the program. These differences are also a downside in that SketchUp is not entirely intuitive to use. Tools that react different from how you would expect them too, moving objects in a 3 dimensional space is definitely something that takes awhile to wrap your head around, and the software is frequently glitchy.

Despite the downsides to SketchUp and its $695USD price tag, it is a very powerful program and one that I hope to continue to become better at. I’ve put up some examples of what I’ve been doing in SketchUp below. These are all basic designs of house exteriors and interiors. From here I want to continuing improving my skills with structures and creating better environments, and then start playing with my own designs for small objects that can be printed.

Structures Created in SketchUp

Let me know if you’ve ever used SketchUp and what your thoughts are on this program. Is there another 3D modelling program you prefer over SketchUp? Would love to know!

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