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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Google SketchUp 3D

Google SketchUp is 3D for everyone

Google SketchUp is software that you can use to create, modify and share 3D models. It's easier to learn than other 3D modeling programs, which is why so many people are already using it.

Google SketchUp 6
Create, modify and share 3D models

Google SketchUp is software that you can use to create, export and present 3D models. Whether you want to design a new deck for your house, build models for Google Earth, or teach geometry to your fifth-graders, you can use SketchUp to see your ideas in 3D. And when you're done, you can export an image, make a movie or print out a view of what you made.

Download Google SketchUp Free

Google SketchUp is a tool for creating, editing and sharing 3D models. The SketchUp "secret sauce" is a unique set of powerful tools that are designed to be easy to learn and use:

Edges and Faces: Thats all there is to it

Every SketchUp model is made up of just two things: edges and faces. Edges are straight lines, and faces are the 2D shapes that are created when several edges form a flat loop. For example, a rectangular face is bound by four edges that are connected together at right angles. To build models in SketchUp, you draw edges and faces using a few simple tools that you can learn in a small amount of time. It's as simple as that.

Push/Pull: Quickly go from 2D to 3D

Extrude any flat surface into a three-dimensional form with SketchUp's patented Push/Pull tool. Just click to start extruding, move your mouse, and click again to stop. You can Push/Pull a rectangle into a box. Or draw the outline of a staircase and Push/Pull it into 3D. Want to make a window? Push/Pull a hole through your wall. SketchUp is known for being easy to use, and Push/Pull is the reason why.

Accurate measurements: Work with precision

SketchUp is great for working fast and loose in 3D, but it's more than just a fancy electronic pencil. Because you're working on a computer, everything you create in SketchUp has a precise dimension. When you're ready, you can build models that are as accurate as you need them to be. If you want, you can print scaled views of your model, and if you have SketchUp Pro, you can even export your geometry into other programs like AutoCAD and 3ds MAX.

Follow Me: Create complex extrusions and lathed forms

You use SketchUp's innovative, do-everything Follow Me tool to create 3D forms by extruding 2D surfaces along predetermined paths. Model a bent pipe by extruding a circle along an L-shaped line. Create a bottle by drawing half of its outline, then using Follow Me to sweep it around a circle. You can even use Follow Me to round off (fillet) edges on things like handrails, furniture and electronic gadgets.

Paint Bucket: Apply colors and textures

You can use SketchUp's Paint Bucket tool to paint your model with materials like colors and textures. Better yet, SketchUp comes pre-loaded with a healthy library of photo-textures like brick, roofing and stone that you can use to make your model look as detailed as you like. You can find thousands more textures online, and if you're handy with a photo editing application like Photoshop, you can even make your own.

Groups and Components: Build smarter models

By "sticking together" parts of the geometry in your model to make Groups, you can create sub-objects that are easier to move, copy and hide. Components are a lot like Groups, but with a handy twist: copies of Components are related together, so changes you make to one are automatically reflected in all the others. Windows, doors, trees, chairs and millions of other things benefit from this behavior.

Shadows: Perform shade studies and add realism

SketchUp's powerful, real-time Shadow Engine lets you perform accurate shade studies on your models. Want to know how big to make the awning over your deck? Specify a geographic location using Google Earth, then use the simple Date and Time sliders to see how the sun will affect your design. Even if you're not using SketchUp for architecture, adding shadows is a great way to give your models more depth and realism.

Sections: See inside your models

You can use SketchUp's interactive Sections feature to temporarily cut away parts of your design, enabling you to look inside. You can use Sections to create orthographic views (like floorplans), to export geometry to CAD programs using SketchUp Pro, or just to get a better view of your model while you're working on it. Section Planes can be moved, rotated and even animated using SketchUp's Scenes feature.

Scenes: Save views and create animations

We created Scenes to enable you to easily save precise views of your model so you can come back to them later. Need to create an animation? Just create a few Scenes and click a button. SketchUp automatically "flies" from Scene to Scene, adding smooth transitions that you can fine-tune to get the results you need. You can also choose to export your animations as self-contained movies; SketchUp produces AVI files on Windows computers, and Quicktime MOVs on Macs.

Look Around and Walk: Explore your creations firsthand

SketchUp lets you get inside your model with a set of simple navigation tools designed to give you a first-person view. Click with Position Camera to "be standing" anywhere in your model. Use Look Around to turn your virtual head. Finally, switch to Walk to explore your creation on foot; you can even climb and descend stairs and ramps, just like you're playing a video game.

Dimensions and Labels: Add information to your designs

You can use the super-intuitive Dimension and Label tools to add dimensions, annotations and other glorious detail to your work. Once applied, SketchUp's dimensions are dynamic, meaning they automatically scale with your model. Labels are what we call "2.5D", meaning they remain visible no matter how you spin your model to look at it, but they always appear flat.

The Instructor: Catch on quickly

SketchUp's Instructor dialog box, which you can choose to activate at any time, provides context-sensitive help. Depending on what tool you're using, the Instructor displays step-by-step instructions, animations, useful modifier keys, and other handy tips for getting the most out of SketchUp.

Layers and the Outliner: Stay organized

When you're building a big, complicated model, things can get messy very quickly. SketchUp provides two useful ways to keep your geometry manageable: In addition to Layers, the SkechUp Outliner is a dialog box that displays a collapsible list view of all the Groups and Components in your model. You can use the Outliner to rearrange the nesting order of these elements, and to control their visibility without having to dig through your model to find them.

Google Earth: See your models in context

SketchUp and Google Earth are part of the same product family, meaning you can exchange information between them easily. Need a building site for your project? Import a scaled aerial photograph, including topography, directly from Google Earth to SketchUp by clicking one button. Want to see your SketchUp model in context in Google Earth? Click another button, and you can. Anyone can use SketchUp to build models which can be seen by anyone in Google Earth.

Sandbox tools: Work on terrain

SketchUp's Sandbox tools let you create, optimize and alter 3D terrain. You can generate a smooth landscape from a set of imported contour lines, add berms and valleys for runoff, and create a building pad and driveway.

3D Warehouse: Find models of almost anything you need

The Google 3D Warehouse is a huge, online repository of 3D models which you can search through when you need something. Why build something when you can download it for free? There are thousands of cars, trees, sofas, bridges, pomegranates and everything else under the sun, all contributed by people and manufacturers all over the world, and all available for you to use any way you see fit. If you create a model you'd like to share, you can upload it to the 3D Warehouse for everyone else to use.

Import DXF, DWG and 3DS: Get a headstart on your modeling

You can import DXF, DWG and 3DS files directly into your SketchUp models, which makes it very easy to start with drawings and even other 3D models. Have a floorplan of the space you need to model? Import it in, and start building right on top of it.

Import images: Paint walls with photos

With SketchUp, you can import image files like JPGs, TIFFs, PNGs and PDFs. You can use them by themselves (kind of like posters), but you can also stick them to surfaces to create photo-realistic models of buildings, package designs, and more.

Export TIFF, JPEG and PNG

SketchUp lets you export raster images up to 10,000 pixels square, so generating an image which you can send in an email, publish in a document, or project on a wall is as easy as choosing a few options and clicking Export. If you have LayOut (which is included with SketchUp Pro), you can create 2D documents with embedded SketchUp models, meaning you don't need to export images at all. Either way, you're all set when it comes to producing views of your model that anyone can use.

Export DXF and DWG: 2D line drawings and 3D models (Pro only)

Google SketchUp Pro allows you to export DXFs and DWGs, giving you an easy way to move plans, sections, elevations or even your whole model into your favorite CAD program. Exported geometry remains at 1:1 scale, and layers are preserved.

Export PDF and EPS: 2D vector images (Pro only)

With the Pro version of Google SketchUp, you can export views of your models in PDF and EPS format, allowing you to continue to work on them in vector editing programs like Illustrator and Freehand. For 2D images that need to be resolution-independent, nothing beats exporting to these formats.

Export 3DS, OBJ, XSI, FBX, VRML and DAE (Pro only)

If you're using Google SketchUp Pro, you can export your models to a number of useful 3D formats. Pros use a number of different tools, and these exporters allow SketchUp to join most professional workflows by offering interoperability with just about every popular 3D modeling application in existence.

New in Google SketchUp 6 

Google SketchUp 6 includes a number of new features, including new ways to view your models, build models from photographs, create 3D text objects, performance enhancements, and more. The Pro version of Google SketchUp 6 also includes LayOut, a brand-new tool for creating professional 2D presentations from your SketchUp models.

Match a photo: Use photographs to build 3D models

SketchUp 6 includes a new photo-matching feature that you can use to build 3D models by tracing photographs. You can use multiple photos to build a model, and you can even use your photos to "paint" your model when you're done. SketchUp's photo-matching feature also lets you line up your view of an existing model to match the viewpoint of a photo. This is handy for creating a composite image of an unbuilt project in a photo of its site.

Styles: Fine-tune your models' appearance

The latest version of SketchUp includes Styles, an all-new way to control the way your SketchUp models look. Using Styles, you can change your background, edge and face colors. You can choose from a library of sketchy edge styles to make your lines look hand-drawn. You can use Watermarks (which are also new in SketchUp 6) to add your logo to your model views, or to add paper textures as backgrounds. Even better, Styles can be saved and shared across projects to give your organization's output a consistent appearance.

Watermarks: Add logos, backgrounds and more

SketchUp's new Watermarks feature lets you add 2D images to your SketchUp models – behind them, as underlays, or in front of them, as overlays. You might use a Watermark underlay to add a sky background, or to make it appear that your model is drawn on a textured surface like watercolor paper. Watermark overlays are an easy way for you to add your logo or other graphics to model views. You'll find Watermarks in the new Styles dialog box.

Sketchy Edge Effects: Make your models look hand-drawn

SketchUp's new Styles feature includes Sketchy Edge Effects, which you can use to make your model views look like you drew them by hand. A large built-in library of sketchy styles includes pencils, pens, markers, charcoal and more. If you've ever printed out a SketchUp model and traced over it by hand to make it look less "computerized", you'll appreciate the new Sketchy Edge Effects in SketchUp 6.

Fog: Add depth and visual interest to your work

In SketchUp 6, you can add the appearance of fog to your models. It's a great way to add depth and nuance, and it's easy to do: just click a button, choose a color, and move a couple of sliders to adjust how "foggy" you'd like your model view to look.

3D Text: Create 3D text for signage and more

We're proud to introduce our long-awaited 3D Text tool, which is new in SketchUp 6. Now you can create 3D objects from any text string you type, in any font you have on your computer. You can also control what kind of object SketchUp creates: simple vector outlines, filled 2D surfaces or fully-extruded 3D letters.

Other Improvements: Faster, easier to use, and more reliable

In addition to the new features we've added to Google SketchUp 6, we've made performance improvements that make SketchUp faster and more fun to use than ever. Check out the complete list.

LayOut: Create professional 2D presentations

Included with Google SketchUp Pro 6, LayOut (beta) is a powerful new tool you can use to create compelling, multi-page 2D presentations from your SketchUp models. It's a completely separate application that we developed to work hand-in-glove with SketchUp. LayOut saves you time and effort by eliminating much of the busywork involved in creating 2D presentations, both for print and digital presentation. 

Update: Stop exporting images out of SketchUpSTRONG

In LayOut, you can insert any number views of the same SketchUp model into your presentation. When you make changes to your model in SketchUp (and you know you will), there's no need to export another whole set of images – just click a single button in LayOut, and all your model views update automatically to reflect the changes. Easy.

Navigate: Orbit, pan and zoom your models right in LayOutRONG

After you insert a SketchUp model view into your LayOut presentation, you're free to change your point of view at any time. Just double-click, then use your mouse to orbit, zoom and pan until you like what you see. Right-clicking brings up a menu of options for displaying your model with shadows, viewing specific Scenes (f you've set them up), turning on and off perspective, and more.

Scaled Views: See your models at any scale

You can choose to display SketchUp model views you've inserted into your LayOut document at any drawing scale you like. This lets you generate orthographic views like plans and elevations directly from your SketchUp model. And when your model changes, so do your views in LayOut.

Full Screen: Use LayOut to give digital presentations

With LayOut, you may never have to create a PowerPoint design presentation again. LayOut gives you the ability to display your presentations in a full-screen mode. You can use the arrow keys or your mouse to move from page to page, and even write notes directly on your pages while you're presenting. You can also spin your SketchUp model views around, and play animations that you've set up in SketchUp – all without leaving your LayOut presentation.

High-res printing and PDF export: Show your work

From LayOut, you can print your presentations at whatever resolution you need: high-res for small design packets, and lower for things like posters and boards. If you need to share your presentations digitally, LayOut even lets you export to PDF.

Text: You have full control

LayOut's powerful text-handling tools allow you to create callouts, title blocks, annotations and whole paragraphs of text. And of course, you have full control over the font, color and orientation of everything you create.

Callouts: LayOut makes labeling easier

LayOut includes a unique Label tool that you can use to create callouts quickly and easily. You can even design your own leader lines by combining settings for color, thickness and endcaps. Using the Label tool is as simple clicking to anchor an endpoint, clicking again to end the leader, and typing in the text for the label.

Sample: Duplicate graphic and text attributes quickly

Copying graphic styles from one object to another is easy in LayOut; just use the Sample tool. It even works on text objects, which makes changing the look of your presentations as quick and painless as possible.

Scrapbooks: Keep everything you need in one place

Scrapbooks are libraries of graphic elements like north arrows, drawing scales, logos and other symbols that are used frequently in your presentations. They appear in a handy dialog box, ready for you to use when you need them. LayOut comes with some starter Scrapbooks, but you're free to make your own and share them with the rest of your team.

Master Layers: Work smarter and get more professional results

In LayOut, you can work with two kinds of Layers: regular ones and Master Layers. Anything you put on a Master Layer automatically appears on every page of your presentation, except ones that you've set not to show content from Master Layers. This makes it easy to create multi-page presentations with things like logos, title blocks and other graphics that always appear in the same place on every page. It makes editing easier, too – make a change once, and it'll be reflected everywhere, instantly.

Vector graphics: Draw beautiful vector graphics

LayOut takes a kinder, gentler approach to drawing vector graphics – the tools are friendlier than others you may have tried to use. Draw shapes, color them, scale them, rotate them, stretch them and combine them together. You'll be surprised how easy it is to create beautiful vector graphics in LayOut.

Templates: Make life easier for yourself and your team

LayOut makes it easier for your team to create presentations that are consistent, no matter what project you're working on. Set up a Template with your organization's graphic identity – logo, colors, cover page, title block – and use it every time you need to start building a new presentation. You can even share your Templates with the rest of your team, making your workflow more efficient and your organization's work product more uniform and professional.


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