Ever had the urge to try your hand at 3D design? Perhaps something without the rocket science learning curve,yeh right. Maybe even have some fun at the same time? Interested? Then have a look at Google SketchUp a free download from your 'favorite' search engine people. SketchUp boasts a surprisingly powerful set of tools that allow you to literally design buildings and entire environments. You can paint and texturise the results and basically have license to indulge your inner child. I particularly liked the orbit tool that gives you an almost God like view from every conceivable angle. It's great!
I came upon it quite by accident whilst still recovering from a visit to YouTube (some very bizarre postings there!) So I downloaded it, followed the 'easy peesy' tutorial and entered into the virtual and near addictive world of SketchUp. Within minutes I had created the ever so technical (not really) effort you see above. Which, for some reason, came out looking like the secret designs of some covert CIA doomsday laser weapon? Actually I might just find a buyer for it on Ebay!
Seriously, its loads of fun and you don't have to have any design experience to use it. You might find that if you've ever used Photoshop, Illustrator or any such program then your knowledge may well enhance many of the more subtle features available, such as adding colour and texture to 3D structures. Of course as with all free software Google doubtless hope that you'll be so blown away by SketchUp that you might just sign up for the rather pricey SketchUp Pro (£315.00 before vat. ouch!) Of course that all depends on your needs and how far along the 3D road you plan to go. If like me you simply enjoy unleashing the creative id in new and diverse ways then download the basic version now!
For those interested here are the minimum operating requirements: Windows NT (SP3 min), 2000, and XP or Mac OS X (10.3 min). SketchUp 5 will not work on Windows 95, 98, and ME (sorry folks) do not install SketchUp 5 on any of these operating systems. Thank You.
Catch you later