01 September 2010

SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization


SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization: Beginner's Guide shows you how to master SketchUp's unique tools to create architectural visuals using professional rendering and image editing techniques in a clear and friendly way. You'll be able to get started immediately using SketchUp (free version) and open-source rendering and image processing software. The book also shows you how to create watercolor and pencil style sketchy visuals. In no time you'll be creating photo-realistic renders, animated fly-overs, and walkthroughs to show off your designs in their best light!


And so begins Robin de Jongh's SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization. Every word of it is true.

I have been using SketchUp for nearly three years now and my embrace of that software has opened up avenues of expression I never knew were available. Over the course of time that I've been writing this blog, I've reviewed three SketchUp books. The first was Aidan Chopra's Sketchup 7 for Dummies. The second was Mike Tadros' Real World SketchUp. De Jongh's new title is a fitting and perfect addition to my SketchUp Library.

De Jongh's SketchUp 7 for Architectural Visualization sounds like a heavy tome, but in reality it's an approachable and sensible guide to turning SketchUp renderings into mind bendingly photorealistic visualizations.

In the first chapter alone, De Jongh talks his readers through the basics of drawing a room in SketchUp. If you can take SketchUp that far and want to go even further, then this book's for you.

Here's the SketchUp model from chapter one.


Three pages later, he (and his readers) turn it into this.


DeJongh's book is about SketchUp sure enough, but he delves into the world of open-source software that SketchUp works with beautifully. For photo manipulation he uses Gimp. For video production he uses Virtual Dub. And for his renderings he uses Kerkythea. All four of those incredibly powerful applications are available at full strength to anybody and they are all free. Software costs are an enormous barrier to entry for start ups and it's nothing short of a revolution that those barriers are falling by the wayside.

Between those four applications, anybody can open a business and make a living with an investment of time and a decent computer. I use those applications every day and it's a real thrill to see them getting the respect they deserve.

DeJongh's 377 pages are filled with logical and easy to follow instructions. His tone is conversational and supportive. After every action he directs there's a sidebar explanation of what just happened. People who read his book will not only pick up new skills, they'll understand them and it's that understanding that makes this such a valuable addition to anyone who's serious about three dimensional visualizations.

Robin de Jongh's SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualizations is published by Pakt Publishing in Birmingham, England. You can buy this book from them directly in the currency of your choice and they ship free to the US, the UK, the EU and select Asian countries.

It's on my very short list of recommended instructional books for SketchUp. What are you waiting for? Climb aboard the SketchUp train!

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