The Best Sketchup Resources
There are so many sources online for great information about Sketchup. These are my absolute favorite and most valuable. You will find answers to your questions, inspiration by talented artists, and challenges to test your abilities. I share these links with you with my personal review and approval. You can expect the same level of quality from these great sites as you do with mastersketchup.com
This is the official Google Sketchup website, and the link is to the “New to Google Sketchup” page. I’ve actually found their site to be hard to navigate, so I provided a link right to the page. These tutorial videos are high quality, and are best for people who have no experience with Sketchup at all. It goes through each concept at an easy pace for anyone to catch on to.
I love this site because they continue to push the limit on what you can do with Sketchup. I quick browse on this site and it’s obvious that these folks are professional and they are certainly Sketchup experts. They have plenty of tutorials that cover advanced techniques for using Sketchup, and also tips on using external programs such as Photoshop to refine your Sketchup models. Even if you are a Sketchup novice, you will strengthen your motivation to learn more about Sketchup because the examples on their site are truly inspiring.
If you are a carpenter like me, you will absolutely love the “Digital Job Site” at the Fine Homebuilding website hosted by Matt Jackson, aka The Timber Tailor. When you read the slogan, “Where the boards are straight, the weather’s great, and there really is a board stretcher”, you’ll know you’re in good company. What I really like about the Fine Homebuilding Digital Job Site blog is it takes Sketchup and looks at it from the perspective of a problem solver, not just a 3D model maker. You’ll find many articles that look at common construction problems that can easily be addressed in Sketchup.
Rob Cameron’s understanding of how woodworkers and carpenters think really shows when you watch his videos. He has figured out a way to teach people how to use Sketchup by jumping right in and modeling something. He has helped many people Sketchup a second chance who had previously gotten frustrated and gave up. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t have the patience to sit through long and boring tutorials, give Sketchup for woodworkers a try, it just might be what you need to grasp the essential concepts of Sketchup.
The “Sketchup: A 3D toolbar” podcast is hosted by Cameron Harris and has hours and hours of video tutorials for Sketchup. His tutorials are in depth and cover a wide range of topics.
This is the best forum and the most helpful community of Sketchup fanatics online. With 100,000′s of posts, you can bet there’s an answer to any question you have about Sketchup. It is a very active forum which you’ll find people will respond to posts within hours, sometimes within minutes. It’s truly incredible the amount of help you can receive from this community at the Sketchucation forum.
Jim is a Sketchup genius who develops plugins and offers them to the world for free. Check out his plugin page to download them. He updates his blog every once and a while when he’s got an update or a new plugin being released. It’s definately a page worth checking out.
While they do sell premium plugins, they also offer many of their plugins for free. And most of the plugins they do sell are very affordable. Although I haven’t tried all of their plugins, the ones I have tried worked very well.
If you’re looking for a little friendly competition, head over to the Sketchup 3D Challenge. Every few weeks they challenge readers to create a 3D model entirely in Sketchup, and people can vote to see which one they like best. Anyone can enter, and the winner gets a custom certificate to show off their Sketchup skills.
If you’re looking for a book to help you follow along while learning Sketchup, take a look at the following books. Although I try to offer as much information as I can for free on my site, sometimes it’s nice to have a book that can guide you step by step through the entire process. Full disclosure, these are affiliate links. So if you make a purchase I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Totally optional, like I said you can find all the information you need to learn Sketchup for free, but if you’d prefer a step by step guide, these books are great.