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Google SketchUp 8 For Dummies [Paperback]

by Aidan Chopra
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 28, 2010 0470916826 978-0470916827 1
Go 3D with Google's exciting architectural design software for Mac and Windows

Whether you need to learn 3D modeling for business or you're just eager to see what you can create, Google SketchUp and Google SketchUp 8 For Dummies are for you. Available in both a free hobbyist version and a full-featured professional version, SketchUp explodes the myth that 3D modeling software must be complicated to learn and use. This book will take you step by step through downloading and using both versions on both Mac and Windows. There are even video walkthroughs on the companion Web site.

  • Google's exciting 3D modeling software offers hobbyists as well as architects, engineers, and industrial designers a less complicated tool for architectural rendering, urban planning, set design, game design, and other uses
  • This guide explains both the free and professional versions for both Windows and Mac
  • Covers the basic concepts of 3D modeling and how to build a 3D model, print or share your work online, export your drawing to another design package or Google Earth, and create a detailed set of plans
  • Companion Web site features video walkthroughs

Google SketchUp 8 For Dummies gets you up and running with 3D modeling quickly and easily.


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Google SketchUp 8 For Dummies + Google SketchUp: The Missing Manual + Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp for Woodworkers:  Basics
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

You can quickly and easily model in 3D! Get going with SketchUp 8 so you can start creating today

Where do you want your imagination to take you? SketchUp will help you get there. This powerful software lets you easily create 3D models, and Chopra shows you how. In no time, you'll build 3D settings, add textures, create animated walkthroughs, export your models into Google Earth, and more. There's no limit to what you'll be able to do!

  • Get to know your components — create SketchUp components to simplify your life as you design 3D models

  • Keep your geometry organized — learn how to use the twomain tools to organize your model and work cleanly

  • Build a model from scratch — import a photo and build whatyou see by tracing with SketchUp's modeling tools

  • Whip up some style — discover how and where to apply styles, then add shadows for a more realistic look

  • Show off your models — from walking around a building tosetting up scenes with different camera views, find out howto best present your work

Open the book and find:

  • What you should and shouldn't expect SketchUp to do

  • All about establishing the modeling mindset

  • Steps for using components to build smarter models

  • How to model with photographs

  • Methods for working with styles and shadows

  • Techniques for geo-modeling for Google Earth

  • Tips on exporting images and animations

  • How to stay organized with layers and pages

Visit the companion Web site at www.dummies.com/go/sketchup8fd for a bonus chapter and videos demonstrating more of what you can do with Google SketchUp!

Learn to:

  • Harness the power of the latest SketchUp and SketchUp Pro features

  • Produce professional-quality 3D models and designs

  • Develop compelling presentations to showcase your work

  • Export models to Google Earth and print and share your designs

About the Author

Aidan Chopra is the product evangelist for SketchUp at Google. He writes and edits SketchUpdate, a popular e-newsletter and blog that reaches hundreds of thousands of SketchUp users worldwide.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470916826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470916827
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Aidan Chopra is the product evangelist for SketchUp at Google. He writes and edits SketchUpdate, a popular e-newsletter and blog that reaches hundreds of thousands of SketchUp users worldwide.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No more a DUMMY! April 1, 2011
By DKM
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Before I read this book, I thought I knew a lot about Googe SketchUp 8 but afterwards, I realized how little I really did know. Sure, I had progressed beyond the novice stage some time back but this book filled in all those little gaps in my knowledge base, eliminated all those bad practices that I had developed over time and generally made me so much more productive.

For example, I was using LAYERS in the same manner that I was used to in earlier 2D packages. Author Aidan Chopra gently but firmly pointed out the errors of my ways and that LAYERS in SU8 (which is a 3D drawing package) is used in a different way and that I should be placing more importance on GROUPS and COMPONENTS.

Aidan makes the point that his book is not for the complete novice, explaining that he does not cover all the menu items and icons within the SU8 package. But, and this I think is important, he does presume that you are perhaps new to 3D modeling. To this end, he steps the reader through the early chapters at a gentle pace, culminating in Chapter 4, which is entitled "BUILDING BUILDINGS". From here on, the going gets a little tougher but nothing to be frighten about. Indeed, I was fascinated with the chapter entitled - "BEYOND BUILDINGS", which taught me how to draw organic forms with the SCALE TOOL; something that had eluded me up to that point.

I found it a well rounded book, with the balance just right between the written word and illustrative diagrams. After the first read, it can easily be used as a reference book, with chapters dedicated to particular subject matter. An excellent product and highly recommended!

No more am I an DUMMY!!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Tool For A Beginner January 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's easy to understand. You can jump right in and start using SketchUp. The use of bullet points, tips, etc are precise and to the point. My only slight disappointments are with the Kindle version. The Color Plates seem to be missing and they break up a page, so a page on the Kindle isn't necessarily what is a page in the actual book. So, you can't always see a diagram they are talking about while you are reading what the diagram refers to.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book unsuitable for Kindle - May 20, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased the original 2007 version of SketchUp for Dummies years ago. When I saw the version 8 update was available for Kindle, I purchased it. I expected a Kindle version of a paper book that requires access to color images to be formatted to render useful gray-scale images for the Kindle. That is not the case. The required images are the same as in the paper version, and they are of no value in the non-color Kindle.

The version 8 Kindle book appears to contain no new material and even the errors in the four-year-old 2007 paper release remain uncorrected.

Additionally, even with the large Kindle DX, the reference images are too small to be of any value.

It is disappointing that Amazon allowed release of this book for the Kindle.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Google Sketup 8 for Dummies July 3, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book does an excellent job of explaining Sketchup 8, it's tools and many of the techniques used to obtain desired results. I was able to take a client's idea for an invention from his verbal desciption to a 3D model in a couple of weeks with what I learned from this book. Now if I could find a similar book explaining how to use Sketchup's most popular 3rd party 3D rendering and animation solutions like Podium, Blender and Poser, I'd be able to take my sketchup models to the next level. Any suggestions?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent introduction to SketchUp April 20, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You can download Google SketchUp for free. Once you have it one your PC or Mac the question is how are you going to use it? Lynda.com has a video course that gets you oriented. Aidan Chopra on the other hand systematically walks you through the many uses and tools of SketchUp and SketchUp Pro. While he suggests that you might want to read mostly those chapters that particularly interest you, it is just as good as a A-Z textbook. Sitting at the computer and going through the exercises is the best way to familiarize you with the enormous potential of this application. There are helpful references to websites and plug-ins.
Designers and Architects are probably the primary users of SketchUp, but anybody interested in the third dimension can benefit greatly from this application and Aidan's guidebook. SketchUp your own house and be amazed at what you learn in the process!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic January 10, 2011
By bucky
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Everything thus far from Aiden Chopra is well written and reader friendly. "Right to the chase" with the facts and the meat of the subject matter. This software is very powerful, yet fun, and the opportunities it presents for conceptual site planning is exponential...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a start! June 3, 2011
By ChuckM
Format:Paperback
I was introduced to 3D modeling with the book from
Punch! (written in someones fourth or fifth language,
accompanied with photos from the original Brownie
Camerea). Aidan Chopra"s guide thru the SketchUp world
is outstanding. Beautifully written with logic and
humor, it quickly snatched me into the SketchUp World.
I was soon boring one and all with my latest 'discovery'
found in the book.

Please count me in an a contributer towards Mr. Chopras
shrine in Boulder.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brother Chopra makes SketchUp 8 easy... plus he's funny. September 2, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm an old country architect and so glad I've lived long 'nuff to see, have and use Google SketchUp 8 Pro. Brother Chopra (SketchUp Evangelist) 'splains everything in his book: "Google SketchUp 8 for Dummies"... bonus: he is funny! I'm an old designer of passive solar houses. SketchUp's "shadows" capability is worth the Pro price. If'n you youngin's out there wanna see how aggravatin' it was to build a cardboard model of a house, then take it out into the sunlight, tilt the whole shebang until the sundial indicated: "March 21st..." then find a copy of Ed Mazria's 1979 "The Passive Solar Energy Book" and see what it took to demonstrate a design to a client. After you showed the customer the drawings and photographs, (once you got prints back from the drugstore)... they'd hate something and literally, back to the drawing board, build a new cardboard model... wait for a sunny day... sheesh!
Get a copy of Google SketchUp 8 Pro, Brother Chopra's "Google SketchUp 8 for Dummies" and you can bask in the sunshine, anytime.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Faster learning.
I bought this book trying to learn sketchup in a faster way. Definitely it cut the learning time to a small fraction. It is weitten in a very didactic way.
Published 1 month ago by Celso A. Solano
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well written reference for SketchUp
The book is very well organized and written. Mr. Chopra injects lots of humor in his writing, but still get his point across. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Wudwerk
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction!
A great introduction to a wonderful piece of software. The online tutorials by the author are great supplements. I wish the pro version was a little more affordable...
Published 2 months ago by Robert G. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars So Helpful !!!...
This is a great resource to a Google feature I only recently even knew existed!!!
It's a 'must-have' for anyone embarking on an Architectural Drawing class or career... Read more
Published 3 months ago by connie lease
5.0 out of 5 stars Dummy to Competent User
This is a well illustrated book with a companion website. The author goes into great detail about how to do things in Sketch and then demonstrates it by using the examples on the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by BeachBuilder
4.0 out of 5 stars Good intro
I bought two books for SketchUP. This is the easiest to understand. I am not a pro at SketchUP, and this makes it easy to understand.
Published 3 months ago by David
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed it was focusing only on architectural rendering
Should have known from the cover illustration. I wanted a primer on producing engineering drawings. Google SketchUp - The Missing Manual is marginally better.
Published 4 months ago by Reid Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like having an actual book in your hands
I know there are a lot of tutorials online, both written and video, but nothing quite compares to having a book to leaf through. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Steven J. Greenfield
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
It teaches you on how to learn Sketchup 8. The main complaint I have, is it constantly calling you to refer to a later chapter that you haven't read yet. Read more
Published 5 months ago by no body
4.0 out of 5 stars I find it helpful
I'm making a 3D model of our house to help with renovations and I don't find the tutorials they have online to be very helpful, so I bought this book. It's helpful. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Willow Scott
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