One can now sign up for 2014 SketchUp Basecamp now at Eventbrite. I hope it works out for you to go!


Quora is a question and answer website that gives experts a chance to explain answers to complex and difficult questions.  John Bacus, who is the Project Management Director at SketchUp, answers “Why is 3D modeling so frustrating?”   To see how he answers that question, head over to Quora:!

With a commercial license of SketchUp one gets two additional pieces of software: Style Builder for making your own sketchy styles and LayOut 3.0. LayOut is a really powerful program that works with both vector and raster file types. It’s like the lovechild of Autodesk AutoCAD Paperspace and Adobe Illustrator. It allows one to take SketchUp files and put them to a layout board (paperspace) at a scale! But since the program comes from SketchUp, it is easy to use and can dynamically work with your model. The work can be printed out on plotters and saved as pdf’s. But there’s a third option, you can use it as a presentation tool that can show the model off as one rotate’s the file. So it could be used in place of Microsoft Powerpoint!

To learn more about LayOut, see the follow link for videos from the SketchUp team. Start with the one called, “What is SketchUp?”

SketchUp 3D Basecamp 2014 has been announced! The dates are April 14-16, 2014. Currently, there is only sign-up notification when more information will be given out. But Sign Up Now to know when Registration Opens!

So it’s been awhile since there has been a new post. There will be more posted soon: new plugins to check out, new add-ons, and new features to try. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for all kinds of new news!

SketchUp 2013 is released! This is an entirely new version now based on the year rather than the version sequence. There are some notable changes such as: the free version has been named SketchUp Make; toolbars are rebuilt and stay in place; and LayOut (a program sold with the Pro version) has performance increases. The newest feature is the Extension Warehouse for SketchUp ruby plugins. This lets you search, download and install plugins from inside of SketchUp! For more on all that’s new go to their SketchUp Pro New in 2013 page or more details including known issues can be found on their Release Notes page.
Extension Warehouse

TopoShaper Image

Fredo6 on the Sketchucation Forum has created a new terrain maker called TopoShaper. It will take your grouped contours and create a terrain surface from them. This is not duplicate of the Sandbox tools, but rather a significant upgrade in power tools for landscape architects, landscape designers, and site designers.

Here are some of the ways it is different from Sandbox tools: It will fix breaks in your contours (say from elevation labels) and allow you to manually make changes too. It let’s you view the terrain and contours in multiple views so you can see and edit as needed. The terrain surface sits close to the contours but does not use the contour vertices. So it doesn’t pull to a point, but rather fits the best concave shape it can for the whole length of the contour. It also allows you to set the size of the terrain grid so you can choose the level of detail that you want. The terrain that it makes is a grid or quads rather than a network of triangles (a TIN). This will let you edit the surface with Artisan or other plugins much easier. It also creates a skirt around the edge of the topo for a clean look.

He has a manual to show how to use the series of tools/buttons. And the plugin can be downloaded here: Note that you need to have the latest version of the Fredo Library, LibFredo6 v4.8a, in your plugin library for this plugin to work. PLEASE consider donating to him via PayPal if you think this or all of the other plugins he has made are valuable to your SketchUp process.

Have you always wanted to be able to see thumbnails of your models but somehow they are not showing up in 32-bit Windows Explorer?  It’s easy to add:


With Admin privileges, go to Start, then Run…

Type in: Cmd

Then type: CD C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp

Once you are to that location then type: Regsvr32 thumbsup.dll

Cover of Rendering in SketchUp

Daniel Tal’s Rendering in SketchUp is now available in printed form on (as well as Kindle form).
The book covers the broad subject of creating high-quality photo realistic images from SketchUp using 3rd party render programs. Three different integrated render programs are reviewed: Shaderlight, SU Podium, and Twilight Render. The book gives in-depth information on the workflow and techniques behind creating great renders. Interior and exterior lighting values are detailed along with post-processing using Photoshop.

Images from the book and greater detail are shown in this video:

Companion chapters to the book can be found online at Ambit-3D. One can find links to ruby scripts and websites mentioned in either of Daniel’s books on the Ambit-3D website as well.

Spread 3D allows you to present your 3D model to anyone on any computer without prior experience with modeling (and without sharing your SketchUp file). It can be embedded into PowerPoint, viewed on a laptop, or put to the web where it can be viewed on anything using Flash. Right now it is on sale for 99 euro for the pro version which is a great bargain! It is useful to share your model over the web with clients especially. There is a free version so you can try it out for yourself.

Here is a demo:

(use the icons in the upper right to move around in the model)

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