Sketchup for Interior Design books

Sketchup for Interior Design books
Now Sketchup 2013 for Interior Designers

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New SketchUp 8 book from Bonnie Roskes

A new book by Bonnie Roskes, titled “Conceptualize, Create, Communicate -- Designing Living Spaces with SketchUp,” complements my four-part series, with which  you are familiar.

 Though there is some overlap between her book and my series, there are several differences. As a structural engineer, she has been writing for SketchUp many years, focusing primarily on children in grades K-12.  I am a trained architect and interior designer who has used SketchUp to convey my design ideas and then publish tips on this blog.

To be fair, I asked a student, a reader of my books and a co-worker to contribute their opinions about Bonnie’s book.  We all agreed on two points.

First, Bonnie targets interior decorators and furniture manufacturers more than interior designers and architects. Many of the examples are how to model tables and sofas while the 3D Warehouse offers thousands of objects of this type.  Interior design demands much more, although I think knowing how to model furniture is very useful .

Second, my fellow reviewers felt that omitting a single click can be frustrating and found that my step-by-step style makes it easy for a beginner to master the program.  During my 15 years of teaching computer programs I have found that my procedure -- incorporating concept applications into memory -- is the correct path to using the software to create new projects.  It allows each person to learn in his or her own way.  

Bonnie’s book is interesting in many ways and applies modeling concepts without going into detail about each click.  This is not my way but it is still useful to know different procedures.  Bonnie’s methodology leaves open the directions to an intermediate level, and sometimes previous knowledge is needed.

The title Bonnie chose for her book led me, and my fellow reviewers, to expect spaces rich with ideas on how to use Sketchup for interior designers. But it does not prove as helpful to architects and designers. Architects are responsible for designing aesthetically and making sure that the objectives are the end-use of the building. Engineers are responsible for applying the principles of engineering science, mathematics and physics to their design projects. When engineers attempt to design aesthetically they often come up lacking.

The spiral binding makes manipulation of the book very easy and allow readers to make notes. At the end of each chapter a Model-It-Yourself section is offered where the reader can strengthen the acquired concepts. 

In the end, there are many readers, different ways to learn and a variety of writing styles.  Bonnie’s book will appeal to many.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Carving and Moldings in Sketchup

When we have to refer to elements that enrich our interior spaces we cannot forget of moldings and carving. There are many plugins that can help you to define a geometry to use in this kind of details. Today I will show a simple tutorial by creating a fireplace.

I know that not many SketchUp users take advantage of the Solid tools, but believe me, it’s amazing what you can achieve with them.  This is the final model of the fireplace. Note the carved flutes on both sides.

This is the way I did it:

  • I defined a flat face and a path.
  • I used Weld plugin to convert the disconnected edges of my curve into one entity. In this way I don’t see the edges on the curved surface.
  • Next, I used the Extrusion Tools by TIG to create the flute. 

  • I took the profile of the jamb and with the Push/Pull tool I completed the geometry. I converted it into a group to use it in a later step with the Solid tools.
  • I placed three flutes on top of the jamb. 
  • Check that you are in presence of volumes through the Entity info window, otherwise the Solid Tools can’t be used. 
  • Using the Subtract option, I took away one by one the flutes from the jamb to get this result
  • I used the Follow Me tool to complete the mantle and the frame 
Finally, I brought together all my groups to complete the fireplace.