In This Chapter
Comparing SketchUp with other 3D software
Finding out what you can and can’t do with SketchUp
Looking around the application
Once upon a time, software for building three-dimensional (3D) models of things like buildings, cars, and other stuff was hard to use. I mean really hard — people went to school for years to learn it. And if that wasn’t bad enough, 3D modeling software was expensive — so expensive that the only people who used it were professionals and software pirates (people who stole it, basically). Then along came SketchUp.
Operating under the assumption that lots of people may want — and need — to make 3D models, SketchUp’s inventors designed a program that works more intuitively than high-end modeling programs. In SketchUp, you don’t think about 3D models as complex mathematical constructs (the way computers think). You build models with familiar elements: lines and shapes.
So do you need to know how to draw to use SketchUp? In the latest version of the software, not really. Traditional drawing is about translating what you see onto a flat piece of paper: going from 3D to 2D, which is hard to do for most people. In SketchUp, ...