Archives for posts with tag: SketchUp

In the coming posts, you will see some of the best plugins available for landscape, site design, and construction. At the top of the list are the many plugins that Vali Architects have made for SketchUp. A recently revamped Instant Site Grader is a amazing way to take topography and match it to a building’s foundation. So if you have a walkout basement on rolling terrain, this plugin will make it easy to combine the two. There are also ways of adjusting the topography so that it is less rigid looking. The plugin costs $15, but it is worth it! There are other plugins on the Vali website that will be featured, but feel free to look around.


The SketchUp team unveiled the 2014 version this morning! There are lots of fixes with this version but the most interesting change is a revised and improved 3D Warehouse. The look of the warehouse has improved immensely, but the model collection is also better. There is now a products catalog with better organization. There is also an ability to showcase your models with an orbit and zoom feature over the web using a WebGL browser.

If you have a Pro version with a maintenance release, the upgrade to 2014 is free and readily available. Their blog post about getting on the maintenance program can explain any further questions you may have about upgrading.

Eneroth3 has made some wonderful plugins for SketchUp. It is amazing to see what she has done as a programmer. This past Fall she put out a new plugin called Fractal Terrain Eroder. It subdivides terrain and then “crunches” it down to create a much more varied terrain. In the end the terrain looks more natural and it doesn’t take much time for the user to create it. And the plugin in listed in the SketchUp Extension Warehouse so it is easy to load. Try it out!

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?”

Daniel Tal has a new book coming out this month called “Rendering in SketchUp“.  It will cover a few rendering programs, how they work, what you can do with them as well as settings to quickly get high-quality images from them.  The book is meant as a reference, since it is a massive subject.  Also some chapters are available online for free.

For a quick overview, check out this recent interview.

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