New York — Google has recently released SketchUp 7, the latest free version of its 3D modeling software for download, and SketchUp Pro 7, the new versions of the company’s 3D modeling software, released early this week, is bundled with simple templates that help you gauge size through feet or meters, but it also includes architectural design, Google Earth, and a product design template to aid you in your modeling endeavors.
SketchUp 7, like its predecessor will enable you to model just about anything you would like as long as you start with a pre-designed template. The new features added offers a realistic 3D modeling environment for designing models of gardens, homes and other objects. Free 3D modeling software such as SketchUp 7 is still dependent on high-powered graphics on a computer.
“Google described the new version is bundled with features that makes modeling more intuitive and to make it easier for beginners to get started.”
Among the new features is a new tool including Dynamic Components, which even makes it even easier for beginners to grasp, and integration with 3D Warehouse, Google said. These are 3D models that are aware of what they and act consequently. The use of Dynamic Components allows the modeler to scale object without distorting them. It gives the example of using the scale tool on a dynamic staircase, which automatically adds or removes steps as you make it bigger or smaller.
With SketchUp 7 it is now possible to search the Google 3D Warehouse, an online database of millions of 3D models, from within the application. Google portrays it as “a collection of 3D models of buildings, bridges, cars, spaceships, futons, dinosaurs and everything else in the universe – completely free … and getting bigger every day.” These models also include Credits, which not only allows modeler’s to get credit for their work, but it also allows users to understand the history of a model.
This means for instance, that once you have conceived a plan for your dream house, for example, you can download a virtual Audi A4 for your driveway after having read our review of the real Audi A4.
Once you have selected a template, you are brought to a comparatively simple design page that lets you to create squares, rectangles, arcs, circles, and lines, or to draw freehand to design your model. The new Component Options dialog box simplifies editing of Dynamic Component behavior and configuration, without the need for modeling tools. Just by clicking the mouse, the Interact tool initiates dynamic object actions such as opening a door, changing color, or moving, rotating or resizing. Any component can be dynamic, with a spreadsheet-style utility for adding behaviors.
Sketchup Pro users, meanwhile, can take advantage of a couple of additional features including LayOut 2, a tool for creating and sharing professional presentations made from SketchUp models. SketchUp Pro 7 users can also generate their own Dynamic Components.
SketchUp Pro now offers vector rendering, an improved line tool, editable paths, and redesigned geometric manipulators. Pages can be exported to JPEG or PNG format for editing or presentation in other programs. Pro also includes Style Builder, a utility for creating virtual hand-drawn sketches. Users can add to the drawings with tools such as marker, pencil, crayon, ballpoint and highlighter.
Users can also export their creations, and place their 3D model in Google Earth. And similar to Google’s other products, Google Docs and Spreadsheets; you can collaborate and share your models with friends, colleagues and family.
SketchUp 7 is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS 10.4 or higher. You can check out the SketchUp 7 launch video on the official SketchUp blog.
The basic edition of SketchUp 7 can be downloaded from Google’s Web site. SketchUp Pro 7 is a paid product, and costs $495 for a single license offering advanced features.