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Architectural Design with SketchUp

Subhra Bera: Editor

Alex Schreyer, the author of the book “Architectural Design with SketchUp” has introduced it talked many things about it at SketchUp’s 3D Basecamp and he had authored some new SktechUp extensions. He also published a second edition of the book to shaping SketchUp in a new way. Updated editions from beginning to till last one can be found in the SketchUp’s site: SketchUpfor Design.com and this article is simply a review of the book.

About the book: As like SketchUp team, this book is also has the same motto: It’s for everyone. It is very useful for architectural design and also has aimed for all kind of designers. There are various topics in the book such as; applying and shaping textures, mastering components, extensions, rendering etc. all are very useful for everyone.

This book don’t have the aim to teach form the beginning but it has very important information for the SketchUp users. There is a chapter named ‘SketchUp Refresher’ for the beginners. The book has aimed for exploring principles of SketchUp which are not yet covered by any other books and have lots of experienced SketchUp modelers. The website ‘SketchUpfor Design.com’ is associated with the book and here people can get much resource for SketchUp tips, news and insight.

The book has divided into five main sections, they are, component-based modeling, extensions, rendering, making and Ruby scripting. Here are some details about the sections:

1. Component-based modeling: This section is a great part which consists the information of using various groups and components for building clusters of objects and pervades models with information. As per the author, he has a thought to model every element of a difficult construction like floor detail should be designed in the software before actually building it. In the digital model there is a chance to correct the mistakes and change some things for making it even better than before.

Though it is not a new technique for the SketchUp’s users but Alex gave it a new look by applying the concrete guidance to model the design in a better way with detailed information and objects. This modeling is technically very easy one but important as it explores the main things in the book briefly. This section also gives an idea about the broader category about information modeling. We all know that BIM can be used as per the need of the design but this section casts the idea at the most basic level and the book has the instructions of doing the work, utilizing it and also organizing the items. There is also information about dynamic attributes, organizing things with industry schemes and generating departs from the model.

2. Utilizing extensions: There are lots of extensions in SketchUp and identifying the extensions and their work is not an easy job. This book has a good collection of information about assembling the models in the alphabetical order with a brief description about them. There are also step-by-step tutorials suitable for workflows which can work between extensions.

3. Photo-realistic rendering: Renders don’t have many choices and it is a complicated thing, not a simple thing like clicking button and waiting for few hours. There are lot of things than this like the settings, presets, lighting environments and many other appliances which can go with making a halfway decent rendering and it need an improper amount of background knowledge, as it’s the mixture of science and craft both.

4. Making: The second edition has come with a new chapter called ‘Making Things with SketchUp’ which proves that the book is more than only the architectural field. In this section, some famous digital fabrication techniques like 3D printing, CNC, laser cutting and 2D printing etc. has surveyed by Alex and all of these has guided with a book for modeling advice, file prep, export considerations and pre-fabrication advice in working with other kind of programs. This long section has concluded with many pages and tutorial videos.

5. Scripting: This section looks little weird for the readers and users as reading and writing simple codes is a very simple thing and don’t need any special attention. But Alex has kept this section with the title of ‘Ruby for Designers’ here Alex has focused on the use of scripts for achieving forms which can become exhausting for the models in SketchUp. Using Ruby for writing codes is to increase the using power of algorithms in making stuff when there is no other way and Alex describes it with a tutorial step-by-step process with brief description.

Lastly it is an approach to the SketchUp lovers to go through this book without any confusion as it will enhance the SketchUp using skills as it the processes are clearly-written, briefly described and completed. In the website there are sample files, about 30 tutorial videos and a direct way to communicate with author.

Article Source: blog.sketchup.co

Architectural Design with SketchUp

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