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Joining the Computer Age: Learning Sketchup

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Blog entry by Mark A. DeCou posted 2541 days ago 1613 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I first heard of SketchUp during the Thorsen Table Challenge. Someone had done some cool drawings of a table, and posted them. I commented on the cool software at the time. Karson brought a copy of the program with him this past weekend during his trip to Kansas. I started playing with it some this morning, and WOW.

I had no idea that something so free, could be so easy. What’s the catch?

I haven’t been able to draw up anything yet, other than playing with the concepts, and flopping it around and looking at it in different planes. Intersecting them, and learning to erase errant lines.

Where was this software when I struggled through Engineering Graphics I & II in college?

As I get better, I can see this becoming a big part of my concept drawing process.

Thanks to the jocks that alerted me to the program, and for Karson seeing that I got a copy.

If you have any tips, or drawings you want to share, let me know, I am a sponge soaking this up right now.

Mark

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com



21 comments so far

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2940 posts in 2596 days


#1 posted 2541 days ago

Mark,
Is this the free software you are referencing?

If so, the “professional” version costs $495. My guess is that they get you liking the “free” version in hopes that you’ll want the “full” version.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2688 days


#2 posted 2541 days ago

Have no fear about the free vs paid versions. The free version does 90% of what you would ever likely want to do. By the time you might want the pro version you’ll realize how much time and money it saves and won’t have a problem shelling out $500. Just the ability to show your clients your designs (even place it in their home) is worth it.

Make sure you take the time to go through the online tutorials. It will save you a lot of time figuring things out.

I’ve been meaning to get started on a Sketchup blog here at LJ. Let me know if you have questions. I don’t build anything until it has been modelled in Sketchup.

LOL…this was my response to Oscorner’s post of his new PW subscription siting on his Thorsen table. I don’t think my virtual table was accepted so I had to show my virtual subscription on my virtual table.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

At the other end of the spectrum….to give you an idea of the versatility of Sketchup. This animation (this version is small to be web friendly) was done to show a billionaire client what the helicopter aproach to his private island will look like. Must be nice to have that kind of money.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2940 posts in 2596 days


#3 posted 2541 days ago

Bob,
Thanks for the follow up to my comment – guess I’ll get busy and get my free version!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Buckskin's profile

Buckskin

486 posts in 2590 days


#4 posted 2541 days ago

I will stick with my quad pad, pencil, ruler, triangles and such. Sketchup is a neat toy but I dont have the time figure out how to work it. By the time I figure out how to use it for one project I could have drawn it by hand and built it.

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2940 posts in 2596 days


#5 posted 2541 days ago

”By the time I figure out how to use it for one project I could have drawn it by hand and built it.”Buckskin

I bet you’re right about that!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Buckskin's profile

Buckskin

486 posts in 2590 days


#6 posted 2541 days ago

I spent a day trying to figure out how to use it for drawings on the pet steps I built. That evening I had hand drawn, measured drawings in 30 minutes. I went out to the shop and built it in about 4 hours.

View Ashley's profile

Ashley

4 posts in 2542 days


#7 posted 2541 days ago

Where can we obtain the free version?

-- Ashley, Frankfort, Ky.

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2688 days


#8 posted 2541 days ago

I understand your point Buck. It does take significant time to learn. Once you get it though you wouldn’t go back to your pencil. In the long run it saves time. I could certainly hand draw everything. But that would slow me down (and I’m very fast with a pencil).

Just to put an exclamation point on speed. It took me 20 minutes to do the model of the table. That’s including all the joints, and by doing it in Sketchup I know all the pieces will fit perfectly.

Another thing you don’t get with a pencil is seeing the final build before you ever cut wood. I changed the design of my chair to match the tapered legs in the table and I haven’t even built the table yet but the chair is done.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2940 posts in 2596 days


#9 posted 2541 days ago

Ashley,

Right here. Choose the version on the left – the pro version costs $495.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2688 days


#10 posted 2541 days ago

Right here Ashley
http://www.sketchup.com/

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2688 days


#11 posted 2541 days ago

LOL….you beat me Tom.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2940 posts in 2596 days


#12 posted 2541 days ago

Bob, You’re too slow ;^D

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1973 posts in 3007 days


#13 posted 2541 days ago

I can see where Bob and Buckskin are both coming from. I used to feel the same way when I first faced learning to use Excel spreadsheet, and WORD, and Publisher, Digital photo editing, etc. Heck, I felt that way when I first had to learn to type. Exxon gave me a computer and expected me to use it for everything. I had sit there night after night after work, practicing at the keyboard without looking at my fingers. I finally learned it, and I can learn SketchUp also.

I don’t know what the final use of my SketchUp abilities will be. I would like to give it a shot. The 3D capability is what excites me. I don’t really need detail orthographic drawings much, just a sketch to show a customer of what is circling in my mind, with different versions and modifications and variations will be helpful. I have been looking at all of the models that I can dowload. If a guy can’t find a chair that is close to what he wants, already drawn up on the internet, it would surprise me.

Bob: Thanks for your support to us on using SketchUp.
WHere do we find the textures of wood grain that are using? Is that in the software, or something I need to download?

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1973 posts in 3007 days


#14 posted 2541 days ago

Hey Bob, if your client wants a furniture brochure of mine let me know, no helicopter needed!

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2688 days


#15 posted 2541 days ago

Unfortunately he isn’t a client of mine. I was asked by the architects to do some visualization work for the project. My contact is about 5th hand. No chance of getting closer. They are designing and building a new home and library on the island. 65 acres of paradise with no neighbors. Spending something like a billion on the buildings and improvements.

Most of the wood textures I use are what is included but I have found a source for high res textures.

http://www.defcon-x.de/textures/ these are actually to high res but a great selection to work with.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

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