When you actually start using SketchUp, you will see that it is really quite easy to create complex models with ease. There are really just a handful of tools – but they each do several things and are each both powerful and simple and easy to use.
One of my favorite tools is the “orbit” tool. Once I have created something I often find myself spending a fair amount of time rotating around the object to get different views of it. In fact, one day I was in my third hour of modeling on something and one of my students walked into my office for the third time and said, “That’s funny – the last time I was in here, you were just rotating that picture around. Is that all you do?” I explained that there was more to it than that – but, in truth – he had caught me admiring my work.
This is both satisfying and useful. Every artist needs to stand back from their work and take a look at it, squint at it, and evaluate it. This tool allows you to do that with ease.
More importantly than that though, is the fact that it keeps you connected with your work. The freedom to quickly rotate the piece you are working on makes it feel as if it is right in your hands and you are free to manipulate it as you see fit. This, to me, is one of the things that makes SketchUp such a creative program to use. You are not separated from your work by too many palettes or commands that remind you that you are using a machine to create your work.
It doesn’t take long before you forget you are working with a computer program and are fully drawn into your creation. That’s the really cool part. You know you have been using the program a lot when you look at real-world objects and subconsciously think, “Orbit, Push-Pull, Move, Follow Me…” (And yes – that actually happens to me…)
Ready to start your modeling career…?