Chapter 1

Introduction

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In my years of teaching SketchUp, as well as other Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, I have seen very proficient users of this software. Students and professionals take easily to SketchUp, and, before long, some of them produce very detailed building models and professional-grade renderings. But I have also found that too many people don’t go beyond the basics and believe that some of the advanced modeling (or good-quality photorealistic rendering) needs to be done using other software. Very often, they painstakingly pick up that other software only to find that it is too complex, which likewise leaves them unable to do what they wanted.

Sometimes even advanced users of SketchUp master one aspect of the software (photorealistic rendering, for example) but are completely unaware of the power that SketchUp holds in other areas—Dynamic Components and Ruby scripting are good examples. As you will find out in this book, SketchUp is a very powerful design and 3D modeling tool. Some of its core features—for example, its extendibility with plugins—make it flexible enough to be useful for a variety of disciplines. The large number of high-quality plugins that are available for SketchUp these days bears powerful witness to this.

This book attempts to help the basic to intermediate user make the leap from simply creating ...

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