I use Sketchup pro for about 4 years, I work as production designer in film and television, I found this wonderful tool fast and functional, the thing I like most is that you can draw directly in 3D. In my work requires a certain speed design, and an immediate view in 3d with Sketchup is perfect to illustrate my idea.
The program can be customized as you wish. My method of working is very simple, after reading the description of the scenes in the script, I run a small comp fast on paper, then step directly to the design with Sketchup, I really like the interaction with Photoshop to manipulate textures in real time.
Here are some examples .... the limit that sketchup has had to manage the textures on curved surfaces, was brilliantly solved with a plugin by Frido.http://forums.sketchucation.com/viewtopic.php?f=323&t=44552#p397448 to render use Renderin and Artlantis studio are two rendering engines very fast and give a fair result, Renderin is very easy to use, great for beginners.
It is a plugin for Sketchup, and is completely integrated with the program. Its limit is very heavy with the models above 80 megabit is possibility a program crash. Artantis is a stand-alone renderer import the template directly from Sketchup in its interface, and runs very heavy models.
SketchUp for Cinema. like many of my colleagues production designers from around the world. we use successfully SketchUp Pro Google, for illustration, design and layout, it has become a program of great artistic expression, for all of us, I personally do not think I'll be able to do without more. Information about my latest work Dracula 3d.
I have designed over 13 different locations to film all this with sketchup pro 8, which then were built in the theater. One of these is the barracks, where the vampire Dracula commits a massacre. Since this is a horror movie.
I had to create environments gloomy. I manipulated the textures with Photoshop, showing dirt and moisture, with the plaster decadent.
In 1800 the lighting was still obtained with oil lamps, this has helped me to give a mysterious look to the barracks. The movie is coming out in Italy November 22, 2012, will be distributed throughout the world.