SketchUp Make 2015

User-friendly drawing freeware for kids, adults and pros

6.6

7053 Votes

  • Category 3D Design
  • License Trial version
  • Version (32-bit) 15.3.330
  • Size 104.66 MB
  • Works under Windows 8 / Windows 7
  • Language English
  • Program by Trimble

Trendsetters might leave you believing that you need expensive 3D modeling software like Cinema4D or 3DSMax. Google Sketchup presents you with a free and simple alternative that even lets you post your creations over Google Earth. Some 3D modeling software costs boatloads of cash, and it has a steep learning curve. Sketchup takes all that technical jargon and throws it out the window. You have plenty of valuable tips and guides that take you throughout the process.

Google Sketchup lets you draw circles, rectangles and shapes. Along with that, Sketchup can give you accurate predictions about the endpoints for where and when you want them. It saves you the time of having to mess around, and even despite the ease of use, that does not mean that functionality will be limited. Google Sketchup becomes an exemplar of how simplicity does not have to impact the flexibility of use. You have the normal filling and drawing tools that you might expect, and there is also an accessible toolbar that fits over the top of the screen. As you use Sketchup, hints from the instructor will pop up to guide you on how to use the software.

You can access other options through the menu system, and you can choose extra palettes found on your work space, which will help you wade through the various menus. One area of particular interest is the "Materials" palette. It has more than 100 preset swatches that includes glass, vegetation and metal. You may also want the Shadow Settings palette because it lets you draw realistic shadows.

The most fun comes from the export of your Sketchup drawings and Google Earth. For example, you can send your 3D designs via email or you could upload them to a free storage in the 3D Web Warehouse of Google. Whenever you add a geo-location, you will be given a snapshot. At that point, your model will have data included like color aerial imagery and 3D terrain data. Sketchup does have its problems, however; the most obvious involves domed surfaces. You hit the Push/Pull tool, and this becomes a cumbersome burden. It will pull and push straight lines. As a free software, Google Sketchup lacks some of the advanced features that professional 3D modelers will need for their work, so this may not be the best choice for everyone.

What Google Sketchup was intended for was giving a simpler approach to 3D graphic design. The modeling is more ideal for those beginners of CAD technology who still want to learn how it works. Google Sketchup is a great software that will get you more acquainted with 3D modeling software, and it can serve as a good place to learn more about it.

Pros

  • Great for beginners in CAD technology
  • Not complicated and simple to use
  • Helpful tips and guides to learn the software better

Cons

  • Not advanced enough features for professionals
  • The dome feature does not work well
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