SketchUp – Essentials

SketchUp is like Microsoft Paint in 3D. It has a patented Push-Pull tool and a very simple interface. To make a cube, all you have to do is draw a square, and pull it up.
There are more complex tools as well, but are hardly required in casual use. SketchUp is one of the few 3D programs that even a child can learn easily.
It starts up with an Instructor window that tells you all you need to know. Unlike AutoCAD and other 3D applications, SketchUp is mouse gesture dependent and not command dependent. Which means that you can manage to use SketchUp with only your mouse as well. Since it is so easy to learn, it doesn’t take long to improve working speed.
Plugins and extensions further improve speed and capabilities. Models made in SketchUp can be Rendered to look more realistic and lifelike. Plugins like V-Ray and Thea can be used for Rendering.
The SketchUp world is made up of lines and surfaces. Lines enclose surfaces in closed figures. Lines can be used to draw closed figures without surfaces as well – however, a surface can only exist within lines. Surfaces have two sides – front and back. With default material, the front of a surface appears white and the back surface appears bluish-grey. The point of having a front and back is it helps as a reference when pushing or pulling (when you pull away from the front face, values are stored as positive and the new surfaces face outward / when you push away from the back face, values are stored as negative and the new surfaces face inward). Lines and surfaces together make up objects. Note: SketchUp does not create solids. Everything is hollow. Models are made of only lines and surfaces, like paper models.

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