Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sketchup Layout - A 2D companion to Sketchup Pro

LayOut is part and parcel of SketchUp Pro and act as 2D companion to SketchUp Pro. It is a user friendly and powerful tool for creating professional design documents, dimensioned drawings, graphics and presentations from your sketchup 3D models to exchange your ideas to clients and partners. If any users modify the model in SketchUp Pro, the alterations are updated automatically in LayOut.

With LayOut the sketchup users can get the ability to add text, dimensions and 2D elements to their 3D models to generate interactive presentations. Demonstrate as an on-screen slideshow or produce high-resolution printouts for sharing with customers or project teams.

As LayOut is integrated with sketchup, it minimizes the required time to form CDs. The users can make their design in SketchUp Pro and present in LayOut with unconstrained flexibility and revisions for performing a self-motivated presentations.

The following information will help the sketchup users to improve their expertise for applying LayOut.

Help Center
Google LayOut Help Center facilitates users to solve their queries regarding LayOut. Just search for a common term or phrase over the internet or browse through the categories.

LayOut Documentation
There exists various written guides to simplify the application of LayOut. These guides are:

User's Guide: Refer to the User's Guide for all of your questions on how to use LayOut.

Reference Guide: Refer to the Reference Guide for all of your questions regarding specific LayOut User Interface features.

Quick Reference Card: The LayOut Quick Reference Card contains a list of all of toolbar tools and their modifier keys.

Video Tutorials
There are several video tutorials arranged by Google to make easy learning of the LayOut tools and drawing procedures. The sketchup users can avail these tutorials on Google’s YouTube channel. One can also acquire the ZIP files at the Google SketchUp Videos site.

Google LayOut Group
The Google LayOut Group is an authentic place to discover answers, ask questions, and contribute to your expertise. Visit the LayOut user group at

The LayOut User Interface
Studying items in the LayOut user interface will also assist one to study LayOut. Make acquainted yourself with the following three items in the LayOut user interface:

Most LayOut commands are accessible using both tool buttons and drop-down menus. Examine LayOut's menus to become familiar with the breadth of features.

Enable the Instructor (Window > Instructor) to display information related to the currently selected tool.

The Status Bar
The Status Bar, located at the bottom of the LayOut document area, displays tips for the active tool, including special functions accessible using keyboard shortcuts. Watch the status bar while you are working in LayOut to discover advanced capabilities of each of the LayOut tools.

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Sketchup Quick Reference Card

The Quick Reference Card refers to a comprehensive print guide to all the SketchUp tools and their modifier keys. The quick reference card allows sketchup users to model swiftly and competently.

Each version of SketchUp and LayOut contains its own Quick Reference Card. The users can opt their own operating system and product to download the PDF:

Google SketchUp 8
LayOut 3

Google SketchUp 7
LayOut 2
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Customize the functionality of sketchup with Ruby API

Sketchup Ruby API

SketchUp Ruby API empowers sketchup users to extend and customize the functionality of sketchup according to their requirements. Ruby application programming interface (API) is embedded within sketchup. This interface facilitates users to create tools, menu items, and other plugins, such as automated component generators, to be included in the menus within SketchUp. Besides the API, SketchUp also contains a Ruby console which is an environment where you can experiment with Ruby commands or methods.

For additional information on the Ruby programming language, visit

To learn more about the SketchUp Ruby API, visit Google’s Ruby API Code Site. This site contains an FAQ, tutorials, documentation, and the Google SketchUp Developers Forum.

Currently, Google does not offer technical support for the Ruby Application Programmers Interface (API) or for any Ruby plugins created by third parties. General Ruby information may be obtained at

Google SketchUp Pro 7 or higher version is required to produce and edit Dynamic Components. Dynamic Components are represented with a little, green icon that looks like this

Steps to complete the installation and Demo :

Install Google SketchUp
Install Ruby
Create a script file named as googlesketch.rb
Save it in the Plugins folder ("c:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp [n]\Plugins")
To run our plugin we simply need to start Sketchup (or restart, if it's already open.)
If everything went well you'll see "Woooo!! Welcome to Google Sketch World......" every time you start the program.This one line of code uses the UI module's messagebox method to show the alert box. UI is one of the "big three" modules that provide hooks for manipulating SketchUp with Ruby. The other modules are SketchUp and Geom.
Create custom drawing tools.

Build advanced tools that increase your modeling speed and allow you to generate complex objects with a few clicks.

Automate common tasks

Almost anything that you can do manually in SketchUp can be automated with the API. If you or your company has repetitive modeling needs, a script can save you time and money.

Annotate and report

Create 3d models that go beyond geometry. You can attach text or numeric attributes to any part of a SketchUp model and then generate reports.

Build a plugin business

SketchUp is one of the most widely used 3D drawing programs on the planet. By using Google's free Ruby Scrambler, you can protect your IP and sell your plugins to this substantial user base.

Google SketchUp API Blog
Hidden Corners of SketchUp's Ruby API: Transforming Vertices
Being a Good SketchUp Ruby Citizen
Turn Your Plugin Into An Extension

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Using SketchUp For New Homes and Remodeling

The new age of new or remodeled home improvement helps us to take advantage of the latest software which helps us to create our new living area. With some designing software like Google SketchUp, the designers actually have to build the house just as a construction crew would have to. You start by building the foundation, frame, the floors and walls. Add the roof, add windows and doors, siding, shingles, and paint it. Then do the same for the entire interior, add drywall, insulation, doors, cabinets, fixtures, flooring, trim, furniture and decorations. As you can see by building in the same order as the real life builders it is possible to pre determine almost all the possibilities of the finished product. With this information I cannot see why anyone would not have their plans for home improvements modeled in 3d at an absolute minimum. The benefits are clear from just that brief overview of the steps involved to use a cad system to set up a 3d model.

Even though it may seem an added and unnecessary expense to pay to have someone put your plan into 3d, it makes things easier for everyone involved. For starters it puts all the plans into an electronic format which makes it so much easier to view the plans from practically any where. All you need is a computer and you can set up a meeting between all the people involved in your project once you have a computer setup it's possible to have a meeting of all the parties involved the builder, the architect, and the customer. Now that you have all of your plans moved to a computer file you can instantly make change orders anytime you want. Once on the computer it's easy to change the plan and confirm the changes simply by calling the designer and asking for them to be applied to the set-up and 3d model for your viewing. Each and every time that you want a change in plans it's as simple as making a few phone calls and the designer a few mouse clicks. Not only does this save time, money and effort and it also reduces the anxiety of what the change will look like in real time.

When talking about the cost to have a plan modeled in 3D we need to look at all of the things involved. Today usually when you're doing your own home improvement project the cost can easily run from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars all for a very basic remodel and new homes can cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. With such a large investment why wouldn't you want to develop a 3D model that you can check beforehand to see in real time what you're paying for. It seems like a huge expense but to pay a thousand dollars or more for a three D. model is well worth every penny for just the ease of use and having fewer questions down the road. Also it would be so much more helpful to the building inspectors if they could use an electronic format for checking all of their plans because it would make it easier for them to actually see what you're thinking of for your project. It would cut down on all of the paperwork that is involved and going from department to department when you're getting a building permit. I'm sure in the modern age most of the new inspectors probably already has a computer at their desk and would not mind all the modern day conveniences of having 3D modeling and plans in electronic formats. In these days of green, think of all the efficiency of doing plans computer to computer without all of the wasted paper and trees saved. Also all the driving mileage saved if you are building a house or doing the renovation on your vacation home that was hundreds of miles away and you could do all of this just by clicking a mouse, change the plan, look at the elevations and 3D model all without having to leave your own home or your area. Plus the modern software systems have highly accurate material list generators so you can tell exactly what you need, how much you need and some can even narrow down even further by a showing the builder exactly which pieces to cut and where to cut them eliminating it down to virtually nothing. Even though that is just a dream to have zero waste still, less is better.

Now that we're convinced that 3D modeling online is the way to go. Let's talk about some other building practices that really help the modern builder and help all of us save energy for our future. The big buzzword today is Green Building and anyone can be a green builder it just takes a little thought to score your system and say how green of a builder you are. Today by default just getting a building permit for a new house is going to make you a passive green builder. Also anything you can do to increase energy efficiency is one category of green construction. There are lots of ways to build green, one of the best ways is to orient your home layout for natural sunlight to heat and cool your house, and this makes a lot of sense especially in the northern climates where you need sun for heat in the winter and shade for cooling the summer. Plus using energy efficient windows and really help increase the efficiency by bending of sun's rays to help facilitate the same objectives. Another way is using windmills today which are becoming much quieter and smaller, you can get a small windmill that would produce approximately 1/3 of the power needs for an entire year for a reasonable price today and with tax credits you can save even more money and make an investment that will pay off in a relatively few years

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The sketchup users can enhance their design skill with Dynamic Component

Components are similar to pre-built models to be reused within SketchUp models and scenes SketchUp components are groups of geometry (edges and faces) and represented in the form of different types of models like furniture, plants, vehicles - anything. All pre-made components are available with Components browser in SketchUp. The users can also get these components from Google 3D Warehouse.

A component is only dynamic when it has parametric data. Dynamic Components will display a special badge when it contains parametric data.

Dynamic components are components that have parametrics, such as a stair component that, when resized, automatically adds more steps, or a cabinet component whose doors can open and close.
One can transform any sketchUp component into a Dynamic Component Components by allocating attributes to the component. Attributes are nothing but the simple pieces of extra information that contains the component's name, part number, description, size, cost, location, weight, number of copies. Attributes can also include spatial relationships (like how two parts are positioned in relation to each other), and behaviors (like animation and smart scaling). There are two types of attributes – Predefined & Custom. Predefined attributes are automatically obtainable for every dynamic component. On the other hand, custom attributes seem to be unique attributes characterized by the developer of the dynamic component.

Google SketchUp Pro 7 or higher version is required to produce and edit Dynamic Components. Dynamic Components are represented with a little, green icon.

Dynamic Components are accessible in two places:
• In the "Components Sampler" and "Dynamic Components Training" collections, easy to get to SketchUp's Component browser (Menu > Window > Components)

• In the Google 3D Warehouse, with Advanced Search to indicate "dynamic models" or giving the term “dynamic” in your search inquiry. For example, search [dining table is:dynamic].

The users can interrelate with Dynamic Components in four ways:
1. Applying the Interact tool (Menu > Tools > Interact) click on a component to perform the task for what the component is set up (animate, go to a scene, etc).

2. The users can configure the value of certain geometry of a component with the help of component Options dialog box (Menu > Window > Component Options). Select options from lists and type in dimensions and numbers. Click the Apply button to affect your configuration changes to the component. The component's geometry should reflect changes in the Component Options dialog box.

3. Scale tool (Menu > Tools > Scale) will facilitate the users to build a component bigger or smaller without deforming the object. Such as, some dynamic stairs are set up to automatically add steps while scaling them larger.

4. Component Attributes dialog box (Menu > Component Attributes) in Google SketchUp Pro will empower the user to edit the fundamental attributes of accessible Dynamic Components (or create new ones).

Dynamic Components Self-paced tutorials
Self-paced tutorials are SketchUp files that are intended to present a hands-on, interactive experience to improve the interactional skill of sketchup users. The tutorials provide different characteristics of Dynamic components, from interacting to uploading. All the SketchUp Self Paced Tutorials are accumulated in the Dynamic Components Tutorials Collection and are free to download at any time.

Introducing Dynamic Components
Assembling a Dynamic Component
Introducing Attributes
Embedding Textures in Dynamic Components
Saving and Uploading Dynamic Components to 3D Warehouse

Dynamic Components video tutorials
These videos are intended for those who have just started to create dynamic components. These videos are very useful to learn the fundamentals of dynamic components. One should watch these videos in the following order:

1. Getting oriented to Dynamic Components
2. Making components that copy
3. Making components that animate

Common Features
Dynamic Components

Creating a Dynamic Component
Dynamic Components User's Guide
Dynamic Components Reference Guide
Dynamic Components Function Examples

Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates

Friday, August 12, 2011

Artisan-based Renditioner Pro for SketchUp product

Lightworks, the renowned software provider for rendering solution, recently upgrade to their rendering software technology by introducing Lightworks Artisan. The new product integrates with Renditioner Pro to generate advanced photorealistic rendering and lighting control within Google SketchUp.

Lightworks Artistan comes up with a pre-packaged application of rendering technology to be incorporated into OEM (original equipment manufacturer) tools, providing pre-configured workflow and comprehensible applications.

With Lightworks Artistan the users will be able to form high quality images of virtual products or buildings even as the images are still being designed.

Lightworks Artistan contains a key features called SnapShots functionality that facilitates users to save SnapShots of scenes at any phase of the design development. These SnapShots have all the materials, lighting schemes, backgrounds and camera view settings and are accumulated together with the model file to be re-applied at any time within Artisan. The users can also return to a saved Snapshot following a number of options.

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SketchUp ur Space: SketchUp Competition

Competition is a very important thing in life. Without competition no one can get the finest shape of his or her creativity. Competition is like a booster to pump up the spirit. Good performance in any competition gives the competitors a good platform and recognition of work. That’s why Sketchup ur Space is organizing a grand competition to boost up the new talents of the SketchUp industry. Your work will display on the magazine page. The winner will get an original license of V-Ray. Apart from this, he will be featured on SketchupArtists and Sketchup ur Space.

Sketchup ur Space: SketchUp Competition
This is a grand opportunity for every SketchUp artist to get the recognition of own work. Nomer Adona and James Hanningan will judge the entries of the competition. Every participant can send maximum three entries in this competition. Every entry can has three screen shots of the processing. The competition begins on 2nd August and will close on 31st August. All the competitors are requested to read thoroughly the Rules and Regulation of the Competition. The theme of the competition is ‘Sketchup ur Space’ that means you have to SketchUp your space.

Sketchup ur Space is providing a great platform for the new SketchUp artists. They are featuring them, showcasing their works and sharing their experience on SketchUp. This one of a kind SketchUp magazine helps the 3D modelers of all over the world to get various types of resources, tips, tutorial, news of SketchUp. For more current information follow the Facebook page of Sketchup ur Space. The editor Debarati Nath is updating the page with frequent updates of the competition

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Belgian architect Laurent Brixius has recently published a brilliant new book “Google SketchUp Workshop"

Belgian architect, architectural 3D artist and author Laurent Brixius has recently published a brilliant new book “Google SketchUp Workshop”. This book is translated from the original French version “Créer avec SketchUp”.

The book is not designated for beginners. The book is meant for professionals or people who are well versed with sketchup and other 3D programs like Autocad.

The book comes up with beautifully illustrated 16 real-world professional-level projects and case studies by some expert sketchup users from a multitude of different disciplines focusing on how sketchup can be applied for architectural visualization, architectural graphics, Urban & landscape design, engineering, process plant design, woodworking, theater scenic design, video game, film conception and numerous others.

Here the sketchup users explain their high-level workflows, tips and techniques in a different field of design.

In this book the author describes the strengths and fluid spectrum's of modeling with Google Sketchup with stunning visuals, models and illustrations in the graphics world. The users can also get overview of many of the famous plug-in for expanding sketchups abilities.

The book addresses both the free and Professional versions of the Google SketchUp and instructs 2D illustration and pre-visualization through to the fully rendered 3D Model.

The worldwide professional interviewed and exposed their workflow with tons of diagrams, screenshots and in-progress project designs. The book also provides a few hints regarding why, when SketchUp isn't doing what you expect, and how to recuperate to certainty.

Laurent Brixius’ BIO

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