Monday, December 1, 2008

Quick Draw

One element of remodeling and building that I love is the designing and presentation of projects to clients.  We discuss their vision, needs and budget. If they didn't hire a designer or architect, I would draw up the usual floor plans (mostly for permit purposes) for their approval. 2-D drawings aren't the most inspirational at times and aren't a great way to show the client what the finished project will look or feel like. 
For the last year, I've been using SketchUp and what a blast! It is so much fun! It's a Google 3D modeling program that is fairly easy to master. They keep pushing the envelope and have just come out with version 7. It is a fine tool for designing and presenting to my clients their vision. It's sophisticated enough to show where shadows and sunlight might play in a design. (ie. Is the overhang right for the summer sun at 4:00 in the afternoon?) There are walk-throughs, scenes you can create to "fly" around the exterior, sectional capabilities that show the "guts" of an addition-endless possibilities. 
There are hundreds of Ruby scripts that can add functionality and enhance SketchUp. Wow!
Google is doing many things that help the user, no matter the skill level. Tutorials by them and others are awesome. 
These are just a few of the individuals and companies that are contributing to the education of SketchUp users everywhere.
Google holds a annual "Bootcamp" for training and just to show off what some designers and architects are doing with it.
They have the 3D Warehouse that holds thousands of models (from houses to soccer stadiums) and components (furniture, windows, doors etc.) that can be brought into your model. Major manufacturers, such as Pella and Whirlpool have their product lines there for download. 
My favorite page is their Green section. This page highlights Green projects by among others, Michelle Kaufman of MKD, a designer of prefab homes.
It has become an essential part of my business.

1 comment:

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

Are you aware that your posts are being republished on this site:

My posts from my blog are being picked up and republished there as content, making up the "Gardening" section, as yours make up the "Eco Home" section. I do not remember having given any site permission to do this - and would not have knowing that they sell products on the site.