A Note from the Editor’s Desk
A huge thanks to all you folks for finding a place in your heart for ‘SketchUp ur Space’. I need your cooperation, not only in the form of your appreciation but also in constructive criticism. I think that criticism is the only way for improving performance. If we perform well, we can serve well. Our intention is to serve not only the SketchUp expert, but also all the general users and aspiring 3D designers. We, together hand in hand, can make this ‘global village’ into a ‘3D global village’. We want to share the fun of making 3D models in SketchUp with everybody around the world.
After learning about the various benefits of SketchUp from our previous issue, we are now discussing Plug-ins in this issue and their use in Google SketchUp. We can make 3D models in SketchUp, can view it from different angles, can have virtual sections in the design, can apply color or make animations by creating different scenes. But if you think this is not quite enough to do justice to your creativity, then there are Plug-ins, lots and lots of Plug-ins, with different features and functions. Now you can have a free ride without any limitations in the 3D world of SketchUp and greatly extend its function and modeling capabilities.
First of all, let’s consider ‘what is a Plug-in’? Plug-ins are small programs which can add certain tools you may need to increase productivity and facilitate your workflow, adding functionality to the main software, in this case SketchUp. These Plug-ins can not run without the help of the main software. Just like that, SketchUp also has some Plug-ins already built into it which adds more functionality to it. SketchUp Plug-ins are written in Ruby script. You can download many of them from dedicated Plug-in Websites and various SketchUp forums. Many Plug-ins are free but some on the dedicated Plug-in Websites, you will have to pay for.
Plug-ins are generally developed by a third party to extend the capabilities of SketchUp. The most popular Plug-ins are those which are able to add photo realistic rendering to your final images. One can also get building performance analysis information, viewer compatibility for different types of software and productivity enhancement from different Plug-ins. These Plug-ins make SketchUp more complete and compact and there are hundreds of them to choose from with new ones being developed everyday. Now you are not bounded by the limited inbuilt SketchUp features. You can simply add whatever you want to enhance your 3D modeling experience, with Plug-ins.
From our cover story title: ‘SketchUp Plug-ins – The Best Way to Enhance Functionality’, you will get to know all the nitty gritty aspects of SketchUp Plug-ins. This in-depth discussion on Plug-ins will help you grasp a better understanding on the subject. You will learn about different categories, names and utilities of various Plug-ins available for download.
In our guest column this month, there are two write ups by Al Hart, a well known Plug-in developer, about ‘Attributes and Reporting in SketchUp’ and ‘Lighting Channels for Rendering’. These two articles will surely enrich your knowledge in SketchUp. Another great article by Justin Anderson about ‘Technology Education can flourish with SketchUp’ deals with how children can benefit from using SketchUp in their education. This article is very relevant in terms of the modern education system today. We also have a feature article on Laserscanning Europe, which will help give you a clear perception on how and why laser scanning is important for lighting design.
A blog dealing with ‘SketchUp in Film Making’ gives wonderful information on how SketchUp has become an important 3D tool in film making. One can use SketchUp in designing sets, giving special effects, deciding camera angles and shot sequences and much much more! You will also get a directory of SketchUp Plug-ins with it. There are numerous Plug-ins with short descriptions enlisted in that directory. I hope that it will be very helpful and useful resource to have a large collection of Plug-ins in one place. The Tips and Trick column contains information and guidelines on how to download and install Plug-ins for SketchUp.
I hope that, you will enjoy reading our November issue of ‘SketchUp ur Space’ and hope it will make a name for itself globally and in the 3D world of SketchUp. Kindly let me know your feedback; the good as well as the bad! Please E-mail me with your reactions.
KNOWLEDGE IS THAT FRUIT THAT GROWS BIGGER WHEN SHARED!