Is Your Future Sketchy?
Just the thought of making and sticking to another New Year’s Resolution is enough to prevent success at many new endeavors. Sometimes though, the thought inspires a “sharpen your saw” perspective necessary to realize that time spent honing 3D modelling skills compares to keeping tools sharp: you can’t afford NOT to.
Rather than just sitting down with the objective of learning SketchUp software, decide to begin a simple, small project with a 3D model instead of paper sketches. Of course the first few attempts can be frustrating, but my experience is that each new project is easier and the results more useful than the one before. Before long you’ll be producing more functional, less sketchy, results. A consistant stream of better results will provide the motivation to get through the learning curve, a worthwhile resolution in itself.
There are numerous sources for learning the “baby steps” of 3D modelling with Trimble SketchUp. I personally learned many of the basic skills from Aidan Chopra who works at SketchUp, wrote the “SketchUp for Dummies” book, and posted numerous easy-to-follow video tutorials on his YouTube channel.
You’ll quickly find yourself beyond the basics of using SketchUp for simple modeling and realize its potential applications are unlimited. This is where I try to position topics at The Digital Jobsite to share applications for SketchUp that I’ve found useful. Another great resource for making strides with SketchUp is the MasterSketchUp website created by Matt Donley, another SketchUp enthusiast. Matt uses SketchUp extensively at his day job and keeps himself at the forefront of the 3D modeling scene passing this information on to benefit viewers of his tutorials. A subscription to his excellent website (and new podcast) will help you make great strides in your abilities to benefit from the time you spend weaving SketchUp models into your projects. The tutorial on Sharing Your SketchUp Model, for example, was quite helpful to me. Information from the tutorial allowed me to “sell” more than a few design-build projects to clients by presenting “live” models of their specific job.
Modeling the Future: 2013
This blog post wouldn’t be complete without at least a short tutorial, so with the impending New Year in mind here’s a screen capture of creating a sphere using the Follow Me tool and show a few things about using 3D Text in a model:
Our Friends at The Digital Jobsite
The Digital Jobsite has many parallels to real-world jobsites in terms of building methods, materials and math. Although less tangible, interactions with others who visit and work here are meaningful. On a “real” jobsite co-workers share and discuss life’s events and challenges throughout the day, during coffee break, lunch time and sittin’ on a tailgate after tools are put away. These are times to share stories, hobbies and accomplishments. And when someone is facing a particular challenge, a time to support and encourage. These days our friends at Fine Homebuilding Magazine find themselves at the epicenter of an emotional earthquake: the Sandy Hook tradgedy. In response this event, the Taunton Press has issued a statement that expresses the impact on their community. As a co-worker I’m moved by their letter: A Message from Taunton: In Memory of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims that lends perspective to the impact of this tradgedy on their hometown. Please keep our friends in your thoughts and prayers as the New Year overtakes us.