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Reply by Bob Babcock

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Posted on Sketchup General Questions

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Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2841 days


#1 posted 03-25-2008 04:19 AM

As mentioned the free version will not export 3D models other than kmz for import to Google earth (pretty cool to play with that though) Clients think its pretty cool to zoom in on their project from outer space…:)

The sketchup render is better than most people think. The key is to get good materials textures. There is an extraordinary bunch of wood textures at:
http://www.defcon-x.de/textures/
Click on the thumbnails and then save the resulting page jpg to your materials directory. They are huge files so you’ll want to resize them. I used some in the Skecthup challenge:
http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/Treefarmer/blog/1965

I haven’t played with Bryce in years. I used to love the landscapes it would generate.

There is a very good blog (Design, Click, Build) on Sketchup at Finewoodworking.com. I used to contribute to it (you’ll find some of my video tutorilas there) but dropped it when I found LJ. Tim Killen on FWW is doing some amazing design work with it. FWW’s online subscription is a must for any serious woodworker IMO, amazing knowledge base there. I’ve done a few tutorials for Sketchup here as well. Just look at my blogs. I’ll try to add some more and feel free to ask any questions. Probably best to PM me so I’ll be sure to see it.

Sketchup is easy to learn for some and tough for others. I think it has to do with taking the time to view the tutorials avialable on the web and paying attention to the items that catch people. Sketchup has a very different way of creating geometry and its the subtle things that Joe mentions above that cause problems…stickiness and inference are just two that come to mind. One rule…you can’t make too many components. I make components of just about every piece in a design.

Accuracy isn’t a problem. You can type in the exact accuracy you need for almost any command. One of my blogs here talks of setting up Sketchup for woodworking.

I’ve said this many times and I’ll repeat it here. I have 30 years of design/drafting experience. I’ve used Autocad, Microstation, and other graphic and 3D design software professionally for over 20 years and use Autocad almost every day. I do all my woodworking design in Sketchup. Its the easiest and best software package I know of for creating accurate 3D designs.

I have a plugin for Sketchup that extends its realism but don’t use it much. I have seen some very realistic things done with some but they aren’t free. The native renderer suits my purpose 90% of the time. Especially for woodworking.

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


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