It’s here! Sketchup 2013 was released on Tuesday, and you’re probably wondering what’s new! Well I’ve got you covered. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about Sketchup 2013,
Before I jump into my overview of what’s new, I thought it would be helpful to share links to a number of important pages that will help you understand all the changes that are going on.
Official Sketchup Announcements
- Introducing Sketchup 2013 This is the announcement from Sketchup explaining the overall picture of the release. In the article, John Bacus highlights the new Extensions Warehouse, improvements made to Layout, and the rebranding of the free Sketchup; Now called Sketchup Make.
(re)Introducing Sketchup Make
This is more of a reflection on how Sketchup has grown, and how important it is to them to continue to offer a free modeling program. With Sketchup Make, they reaffirm their allegiance to always provide a version of Sketchup that is free. (Notice the backlink to my pinewood derby tutorial? Woo hoo!!)
A Closer Look at Layout
Here’s an in depth look at the specific changes made to Layout. There are numerous performance upgrades, as well as many additional features added to Layout. Some features include pattern fill (hatching), new annotations, copy array, and increased zoom levels.
Jeremy Kay is an incredible architectural illustrator. His work has been featured on RonenBeckerman.com and SketchupArtists.org. His design tool of choice?
In this podcast episode, I talk to him about his workflow, and share some tips on how you can create beautiful renderings using Sketchup and Photoshop.
Listen to the podcast using the play button above, or subscribe using one of the links below.
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In this Episode
Next time someone questions whether Sketchup is a capable design tool, send them over to StudioJDK.com.
Jeremy’s unique perspective on design is breathtaking, and Sketchup allows him to quickly express his ideas without getting in the way.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to create vibrant illustrations using Sketchup, you’ll learn a few tips in this episode that you can immediately use in your next project.
The scale tool is a great function in Sketchup, allowing quick resizing of objects while retaining proportions. Most of us use the scale tool on groups and components, but you can also scale anything in Sketchup, including any number of entities in a selection.
The Scale Tool
The most common way to manipulate shapes in Sketchup is to use the push/pull tool. By extruding faces, your model can start to take shape fairly quickly. But what if you wanted to stretch out something proportionally without having to manually place each object?
That’s where the Scale Tool comes in.
To use the Scale Tool, pre-select the object or objects you’d like to scale, then press (S) to activate the scale tool. You’ll notice a yellow box appears around the objects you selected and a bunch of green “handles” that you can click and drag to resize your object. Try dragging the different handles to learn the basic functions of the scale tool, then try some of these tricks.
If you are used to working in a 2D program like AutoCAD or if you’ve ever used Photoshop, you probably understand the basic principles behind using layers. Most people start using Sketchup expecting layers to perform the same way, but quickly find out this is not the case. This article will help you understand how layers work in Sketchup, and also show you why groups & components may be a better way to organize your model.
I should use Layers, right?
When modeling, there are two main things you want to have control over: Organizing the structure, and toggling the visibility of the different entities in your model.
Structural organization in Sketchup is handled using Groups, Components and the Outliner window. Groups and components allow you to take any number of edges and faces and place them in an imaginary protective “shell”. This shell allows you to move and manipulate a collection of entities at the same time, and the contents of a group or component become protected from other entities outside of their group.
Traditionally, the term “layers” is used in 2D programs for both structural and visual organization. You can turn layers on or off to control visibility, but they also provide a way to separate objects from each other by assigning them to separate layers. So naturally, when someone comes into Sketchup for the first time, they expect Sketchup layers to behave the same way. Layers actually have a very specific purpose in Sketchup, but it has no effect on the STRUCTURE of your model.
Whenever you start a new Sketchup model, you make decisions about the level of detail (whether consciously or sub-consciously). What drives those decisions is usually a combination of the size of your model, the amount of time you have to create the model, and the overall purpose of your model. In this article, we’ll look at a Rubik’s Cube and a couple of different approaches to modeling one.
Rubik’s Cube Level of Detail
A Rubik’s Cube is a clever puzzle, popularized in the 80′s, that consist’s of 26 colored cubes that are interlocked with each other. You can rotate each of the 6 faces of the cube to rearrange the individual colors. Once scrambled, the point is to arrange the cubes so that each face of the cube has a unique color on it.
I thought it would be cool to model a Rubik’s cube in Sketchup, and it struck me that there were a number of different ways I could approach the project. They would all technically be a Rubik’s Cube, but the amount of detail put into each model would vary greatly.
With any Sketchup model, the objective is to create a digital representation of something that effectively communicates our ideas. In order to evaluate whether or not we are successful in our objective, we need to first define what it is exactly we are trying to communicate.