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Sketchup-ur-space Magazine - June 14

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Interview Arpad Varga - who uses sketchup for data representation and analysis purposes

Hello! Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi, I'm Arpad Varga from Hungary. I'm a software developer, mainly working for the industrial sector. My work is not directly connected to Sketchup. First I used SU for hobby projects around my home only. Now I'm using Sketchup for data representation and analysis purposes at my work, so I'm interested in extending Sketchup's possibilities trough ruby scripting.

You are a software developer and your profession is not directly connected with sketchup. How do you get accustomed with sketchup?

Since my childhood, I liked to play around with 3D graphics. I tried a lot of 3D modelers over the years, and finally I chose Sketchup because of it's rich functionality and quick learning curve.

You apply sketchup for data representation and analysis purpose. Please share your views in this respect.

Yes, why do I import my data into Sketchup? Well, Sektchup is very dynamic. Anything you got in Sketchup could be manipulated and viewed any way. For the first time, when I found myself with the need to represent data in 3D or 4D, I had no idea, what will I see, and therefore had no idea, what will I have to do with my data, to make it usable. This questions pointed me out, that I need a universal tool, like Sketchup.

What features of sketchup do you prefer most?

Simplicity. I like that I can do anything using simple tools. Extensibility and connectivity. Ruby is a very powerful tool to implement anything you are missing right inside of Sketchup.

What is the easiest way for loading Ruby script into sketchup automatically?

You just copy your script into your Sketchup Tools folder, and your are done. I can't think of anything easier than this.

What are the advantages of ruby scripts for sketchup?

Sketchup is great for most of things right out of the box. But people have different needs. If you need something, you can't find in Sketchup, you have the ability to make it for yourself. Also scripting opens the door of interaction. You can import/export your data with scripts, you can even manage to integrate Sketchup with external systems as well.

What are some of your significant projects in which you applied sketchup successfully?

Gas consumption forecasting. In this project Sketchup was the key to understand what's behind real gas consumption data. I've been working on an algorithm to forecast future gas consumption partially based on historical data. On a certain level of complexity, I wasn't able to find how to go on with the solution, because the algorithm produced some side effects, and I did not find the reasons why. I recognized, that I have to represent my problem somehow differently than before, because usual representation contains simply to few information. That was the time to call Sketchup for help.

What are some of the most general problems users face while utilizing sketchup first time in their professional life?

Simplicity again. Because one of Sketchup's primary goals is (I think) to keep things simple. Therefore you have to learn, how to combine simple things to achieve more complex goals. But there are very good tutorial videos publicly shared, so anybody stuck on a problem can find the solution online.

What functionalities should be included in sketchup in near future?

Maybe the rendering engine could be a little bit more flexible. I have problems with OpenGL on my notebook, and as much as I know, other people have the same problem.

What suggestions do you want to provide for newbie sketchup professionals who are working as a developer?

Combine everything with everything. Sketchup is flexible, use it on your way.

Please provide your feedback on sketchup-ur-space magazine?

Sketchup-ur-space is something everybody using Sketchup should know. I think there is a giant work behind, which you can find in the publications, tips-and-tricks, reviews and so on. Thank you for the opportunity for the interview, and I hope your community will keep growing.

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