Book Review : The Sketchup Workflow for Architecture
Book Author: Michael Brightman
Sketchup Version: Sketchup Pro 2013, Layout 2013
Although I am not an architect, I do work in the construction field. So this book speaks to me in a unique way. I believe this is one of the best books written for using Sketchup in architecture. The most value from this book comes from the specific workflow Michael Brightman uses whenever he creates a new project in Sketchup. Living up to the books title, he reveals perhaps the most important aspect of any design project; Creating a system and process that can be applied to each project the same way.
The book doesn’t stop there. You might think you need to know how to use Sketchup already in order to get any value from this book. But the chapters that cover the basics of Sketchup and Layout are really excellent. It’s one of most concise, well thought out set of instructions designed to get you up and running on Sketchup and Layout in no time. The illustrations and analogies used in the book provide great leverage in helping the reader truly understand the core concepts and fundamentals of Sketchup.
This books serves as an excellent text book for learning Sketchup and Layout, but is also a great reference guide for looking back and refreshing your memory on certain tools or tips. If you are in the construction industry and would like to start using Sketchup to design your model in Sketchup and create full set construction documents in Layout, this book will show you how to do that.
If you’d like to learn more about the Author, Michael Brightman, check out what he’s up to over at www.BrightmanTal.com
Book Review : Sketchup 8 for Dummies
I’ve always liked the format of the Dummies book series. In fact, I own about 7 various Dummies books, including this one. And who better to write the “Google Sketchup 8 for Dummies” than Aidan Chopra. If you don’t know Aidan, he actually works on the Sketchup team as the “Sketchup Evangelist.” If you’re curious about what that means, you can hear him explain it to me on my podcast.
But wait, isn’t Sketchup now owned by Trimble, and isn’t there a newer version of Sketchup out right now? Yes, those are both true, but thankfully, not much has changed with the core functionality of Sketchup. So you can still learn how to use Sketchup even though the book was written for version 8.
That’s why I still recommend this book. It provides a great foundation for people looking to learn Sketchup, and you learn it from someone who knows Sketchup inside and out.
This is the official Trimble Sketchup website, and the link goes to their “learning hub”, where they have a number of different resources there for you to learn Sketchup. If you’re brand new to Sketchup, I’d definitely watch the few videos on that page, then check out their link to more video training to dig deeper.
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.
Here is the official Sketchup extension warehouse. This should be the first place you look for plugins for Sketchup. With Sketchup 2013, you can even install the plugins directly from Sketchup, making easier than ever to install and manage plugins.
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.