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Sketchup-ur-space Magazine - June 14

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COVER STORY

SketchUp Plugins – The Best Way to Enhance Functionality

Do you want to do something more with SketchUp? Do you think that your 3D designing ability is sometimes limited in SketchUp? Do you want to add a photo realistic rendering to your 3D images? If you are really facing these problems then here is your solution and it’s called - plugins.

The plugin is an add on software which works with the main software to enhance its functionality. But it can not work separately from the main software. In SketchUp, there are many plugins available which work in integration to make it more usable and attractive to its users. It is not possible for one software on its own to fulfill all the requirements of the user. That’s why; plugins come to fill the gap to meet all the requirements of the user. SketchUp with added functionality is able to do more things like curved shapes (onion, dome etc), physics stimulations and much more.

There are lots of plugins available for SketchUp. Let’s discuss some of the various categories of plugins that are available out there, and ready for download!

Rendering Plugin: This type of plugin is used to add photo realistic rendering to 3D models. These plugins are used to achieve a more ‘real life’ effect of the design. We can also experience different types of lighting in the model at different times of the day. We can illuminate any object like a television or light source with the help of these rendering plugins. Kerkythea, RenderPlus, IRender, TrueSpace, Blender, Vue, V-Ray, Indigo Render, Twilight Render and Podium are some of the most popular among the render plugins.

Building Performance Analysis: Building performance analysis plugins are used to assign important information like location, building type, road type, room type and construction type and HVAC systems to a SketchUp model and then analysis each part with the help of the plugin. There are so many building performance analysis plugins on the market like; IES VE SketchUp Plugin and Open Studio.

Viewer Compatibility Plugin: Viewer compatibility plugins are used to give an interactive view of the model for any web page without a browser plugin. These plugins are generally use for sharing the 3D model online. Google SketchUp Web Exporter (Beta), Hypercosm Teleporter, eDrawings Publisher, RPS 3D PDF Exporter, ICEvision and AR-media are the viewer compatibility plugins for SketchUp.

Productivity Enhancement Plugins: Productivity enhancement plugins are used to customize any option of SketchUp, enable automatic assessment and many other things. You will find lots of productivity enhancement plugins like Photoshop CS3 Extended Plug-In for Google 3D Warehouse, SpecifiCAD™, RpReports, RPS Productivity Tools, ProjectSketch, SU Animate, Urban Developer, 3skeng, Waybe and SketchyPhysics.

Workflow Enhancement Plugins: Workflow enhancement plugins are used to create and get high quality 3D models in SketchUp. One can translate native SketchUp files into 3D CAD, do animation, load IFC data from BIM application, staple rendering, scene manipulation, data optimization and many other things. There are many work enhancement plugins available which support SketchUp namely: ArcGIS, IFC2SKP, PolyTrans 3D Pro File Conversion System, NuGraf Rendering, Scene Manipulation and Data Optimization System, TacForge GeoSketch, SimLab 3D PDF exporter and i.materialise. These are just a small sample of what is actually available out there on the Web today.

In this way, SketchUp can spread its wings with the help of various plugins to give you the ability to create more complete drawings in 3D. There are many more plugins other than these with more utilities for users. A great deal more functionality can be added and achieved to SketchUp with the help of plugins, to make it even more user friendly. Plugins definitely work for the betterment of your modeling which will gain both profit and appreciation as well.

For any queries and feedback kindly mail at: debarati@sketchup4architect.com

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