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SketchUP

Ramzi Hassan


What is SketchUP?
SketchUP is an easy and efficient program to use for producing 3D sketches and presentations. It can be used as 3D illustrator tool at all level of the design or planning process. It must be said here that SketchUP is not a CAD program. Meaning that you can’t use it (yet) as a drawing program in a similar way using AutoCAD for example. It is mainly made for sketch-based 3D modelling and visualizations. The user-friendly interface and the integrated set of tools make 3D modelling fast and efficient.

Why using SketchUP for planning and Design education:
In most cases architects, planners and in general designers need a tool to model and visualize ideas in 3D. This will help the development of design idea and also the communication with others. From my 15 years of experience with 3D computer modelling, I can say that most of 3D programs were found not easy to learn and to teach for designers. Designers need a tool that is intuitive, efficient, easy to use and most of all stable and not expensive. One year ago, I was introduced to the new release of SketchUP. I found SketchUP the 3D programme that was missing for designers fro long time. Simply, it is the most ideal program available in the market that can fulfil the requirements for a designer for 3D modelling. For many years, we have been using many modelling programs: AutoCAD, Autodesk VIZ, World Construction Set, and others at ILP (Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning). Based on the latest developments in SketchUP, we have now setup a plan for the coming years to start using SketchUP as a main 3D modelling program beside other CAD drawing programs. SketchUP is used also at the Virtual Reality facility at ILP (VR-Lab) to visualize design projects. A master study was produced in the autumn of 2007 showing how SketchUP was used together with high-end visualization systems for creating virtual worlds (This web link here bring you to the master study). It is proved through the study that SketchUP can be used to produce 3D models that can be incorporated into the VR system we are using at UMB. We are using SketchUP also through a new project for 3D reconstruction of historical places. Check this web link here for more information about this project. In my view, SketchUP represent the power of simplicity for 3D modelling.


We are teaching SketchUP through the following 3D modelling courses: LAD202 and LAD301

Find below some key links and learning resources that might provide you with knowledge on how to start using SketchUP and also information how SketchUP is used in various fields:

Main link to SketchUP home page
Video Tutorials from Google SketchUP web site
Self-paced Tutorials from Google SketchUP web site

Basic modelling instructions from this link here. Check the Modelling Guide pdf file.

YouTube video channels:

Google SketchUp Video Tutorials
Google SketchUp For Dummies
The SketchUp Show

Books and Training DVDs :

Google SketchUp 6 books by Bonnie Roskes
Google SketchUp For Dummies book by Aidan Chopra
SketchUp Level 1 and Level 2 DVDs by go-2-school.com
Drawing with SketchUp books by Alaste.com (English and Swedish)
Das SketchUp-Buch book by Ebba Steffens and Jens Lüthje (German)

Updated: 11.03.08
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Virtual Reality Lab

For more information contact :
Ramzi Hassan Dr.Scient.
Associate Professor, Computer Visualizations in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture.
Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning.
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB).
P.O.BOX 5029,
1432 Aas - Norway
E-mail: ramzi.hassan@umb.no
Phone: +47 64965358
Fax: +47 64948390
Mobile: +47 97001573