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SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization: Beginner's Guide


Google SketchUp, the most popular architectural software package, is used by millions of architects and visualizers throughout the world. But what you may not know is that it's also the most powerful 3D design software on the market. With this book in hand and patented technology such as the PhotoMatch, Push-Pull, and Face-me components you can produce commercial quality photo-realistic or artistic output of your designs.

This book shows you how to master SketchUp's unique tools to create architectural visuals using professional rendering and image editing techniques in a clear and friendly way. You'll be able to get started immediately using these SketchUp tools and open-source rendering software. The book shows you how to create architectural visuals from your SketchUp models. In no time you'll be creating photo-realistic renders, animated fly-overs, and walkthroughs. You will also create composites of real and rendered images, creating digital and paper presentations to wow clients. For the impatient, a "Quickstart" tutorial is provided in the first chapter to get you rendering a photo-realistic scene immediately. The rest of the book builds on this knowledge by introducing in-depth concepts, tricks, and methods in an easy-to-follow format through quick tutorials.

Using easy step-by-step explanations, this book opens the door to the world of architectural visualization. With no prior visualization experience you will quickly get to grips with materials, texturing, composition, photo-compositing, lighting setup, rendering, and post-processing. You'll also be able to take SketchUp's unique sketchy output and add the artistic touch to create pencil and watercolor scenes. With this book you'll be able to get started immediately using the free SketchUp download and open-source rendering software.

This easy-to-follow beginner's guide shows you how to use SketchUp as a full featured professional rendering, animation, and visualization tool.

What you will learn from this book

  • Render ultra-realistic soft shadows from multiple light sources
  • Master low polygon modeling techniques that you need to adopt for visualizations
  • Work with texturing techniques utilizing PhotoMatch and your own digital photos
  • Enhance your models by adding depth of field and other post-process tricks in GIMP
  • Learn and implement a fool-proof visualization workflow
  • Devise movie-set scenes to digitally photograph your projects
  • Enhance your SketchUp scenes by adding lamps, sun, and sky lighting
  • Add smooth camera paths for airborne and walk-through animations
  • Learn all of the simple tricks to ensure great-looking models when rendered
  • Benefit from SketchUp's mind-blowing features and clear your mind of any preconceptions


Written with a fast-paced but friendly and engaging approach, this Packt Beginner's Guide is designed to be placed alongside the computer as your guide and mentor. Step-by-step tutorials are bolstered by explanations of the reasoning behind what you are doing. You will quickly pick up the necessary skills, tips, and tricks for creating successful SketchUp visualizations with practical examples that help you to learn by experiment and play.

Who this book is written for

This book is suitable for all levels of Sketchup users, from amateurs right through to architectural technicians, professional architects, and designers who want to take their 3D designs to the next level of presentation. SketchUp for Architectural Visualization is also particularly suitable as a companion to any architectural design or multimedia course, and is accessible to anyone who has learned the basics of SketchUp.

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