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Farewell, Blogger
Source:  Google SketchUpdate
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 19:00

If you’re reading this, you’re officially missing out on new posts at the SketchUpdate blog’s new home: blog.sketchup.com.

Since 2007, the SketchUpdate blog has been using Google’s Blogger platform for publishing articles about SketchUp. It’s been almost three years since we’ve moved on from Google, so we figured it was about time to bring the blog over to our own website.

For the next few weeks (while our new blog is in beta), you’ll still be able to read posts here on Blogger. Pretty soon, though, we’ll be redirecting these articles to our new blog.

We’ve moved the majority of SketchUpdate posts to the new site, but not all of them. Over the years, we’ve had lots of posts about Google Earth and Building Maker, two products that are no longer part of the SketchUp family. While you won’t find posts about those products on the new blog, you can look forward to many new articles about SketchUp tutorials, 3D Warehouse content, extensions, developer tools, and a lot more. Thanks for reading and sketching with us all these years -- come on over to the new SketchUpdate blog to keep on scrolling!


Posted by Mark Harrison, SketchUp team




SketchUp gets extreme with skatepark designer Dug Ketterman
Source:  Google SketchUpdate
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 05:57

Dug Ketterman is a world renowned skatepark designer with an impressive resume of projects under his belt, including multiple X Games courses. Dug is an active member of the SketchUp community, and we spoke with him recently to learn more about his insane collection of skatepark and ramp designs. He also shared some modeling advice, so even if skateparks aren’t your thing, we still think you’ll take away some rad SketchUp tips.

4.jpg
The 2012 X Games Street Course designed in SketchUp Pro

How long have you been using SketchUp?
Before SketchUp, I had spent years and countless hours drafting skateparks and ramps by hand. My dad uses SketchUp for woodworking and suggested I give it a try. This was back in 2006 and I’ve been using it ever since. The speed and no-nonsense way of modeling had me hooked. I’m attending the Art Institute of Portland for my bachelor’s in Industrial Design and have tried several big name 3D modeling softwares, but SketchUp seems to be the only one that works with my brain.


What is important in skatepark design?
There are many things that go into a good design, all of which cater to different types of skaters. Some enjoy transitions like pools and halfpipes, while others skate on flat-ground and never touch transition. However, the one thing that all skaters can agree on is flow. You need to be able to generate enough speed to take you from one feature to the next with a minimal amount of pushing and without running into other obstacles. As I am creating parks, I am constantly thinking about distances, heights, gaps, angles and materials to determine proper spacing within a given boundary. I refer to this process as 'Flow Analysis': the study of spatial relationships between skatepark elements.

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The 2013 Global X Games Street Course held in Munich, Germany is one of the riders’ favorite courses to date. They all thought it had great flow. Co-designers: Brian Harper & Ryan Johnson

How does being a skateboarder and an architect influence your park design in comparison to an architect who doesn’t skateboard?
There is something commonly referred to as ‘the contractor's kink.’ This refers to the worst placement of seams and uneven skating surfaces that general contractors and architects unknowingly design into skateparks. There are many nuances to creating a well-skating park. This knowledge can only be gained through experience skating a wide variety of terrain. Rail heights, ledge angles, grind edge materials, seam and joint placement: these are just a few of the things that can make or break a perfect skate spot.

Contractor's Kink Example.jpg
A perfect example of ‘contractor’s kink.’ No space for speed, a large seam in the concrete, and a handrail that’s too high. Photo courtesy of thrashermagazine.com

Out of all of 'em, what has been your favorite project?
It has to be the 2011 X Games Street Course held in Los Angeles, CA. I had free reign not only to design the park, but also to be on site to finalize every exacting detail, right down to the grass coming out of the faux cracks and the authentic graffiti tags decorating the brick walls. It was exhilarating working as an art director with a crew of 20+ talented concrete, wood, and steel workers to help realize a 10,000 square-foot sculpture that was about to be skated by the world’s best athletes on live television in front of millions of viewers.

X Games 2011 Street Render.jpg
The 2011 X Games Street Course designed in SketchUp Pro

XG 2011 Street.jpg
Photograph of the nearly completed 2011 X Games Street Course


What are your go-to SketchUp extensions?
The Super Section plug-in has saved me tons of steps when creating construction documents. It's a genius extension for creating layers and scenes in LayOut. Also, Bitmap to Mesh and Sandbox Tools are great extensions for creating mesh surfaces.

How do you organize your models?
Groups and components are king. I treat every element in my model as if it were a separate material in the real world: plywood, 2x4's, scaffolding, etc. Grouping each piece separately allows you to quickly scale and resize as you draw and make modifications. Components are great for updating multiples of the same object in your model all at once. And nesting of groups and components allows you to create layers and scenes with quickness and ease. This, in combination with layers, helps hide parts of the design to keep things lightweight while modeling, and make it easy to view specific elements.

What advice would you give to new and aspiring SketchUp users?
Groups, Groups, Groups. This simple habit will save you from having sticky blob models that are filled with line fragments and impossible-to-edit geometry. I would also suggest starting with basic objects around the house and drawing them with as much detail as possible. This will bring about new challenges and force you outside of your comfort zone.


Posted by Stephen Grant, SketchUp team




New 3D Warehouse User Profiles — Because YOU Matter Most
Source:  Google SketchUpdate
Thursday, 19 March 2015 00:40

We are so excited to announce brand new, more robust, user profiles for 3D Warehouse. We hope you’ll find that the revamped My 3D Warehouse page provides the features you need for promoting yourself, your interests and your business as well as improve your ability to connect with other users.

To get started, you’ll first need to Sign In to 3D Warehouse. Then choose “My 3D Warehouse” from the User drop-down menu (see Fig. 1).


Fig 1. Once you've signed in, choose My 3D Warehouse from the User menu.


Your My 3D Warehouse page shows the information that is visible to other 3D Warehouse users. To edit your profile, click the button labeled “Edit Profile” (see Fig 2).

Fig 2. Click Edit Profile to modify the profile information that is visible to other 3D Warehouse users.


Profile Info
Filling out profile info like your user profile photo (Fig. 3-A), bio (Fig 3-E), web links (Fig. 3-F), links to your social accounts (Fig. 3-G), location (Fig. 3-H) and Profesional Info (Fig. 3-I) can be a great way to let folks know more about who you are and gives you the ability to promote yourself and/or your business. You’re free to fill in as much or as little information as you want — and select privacy controls (Fig. 3-D) for setting which fields are displayed on your public profile.

Custom URLs
Another noteworthy feature included in this release is the ability to claim a custom URL (Fig. 3-B), such as: http://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/by/SketchUp. Custom URLs have to be unique, so hustle up and grab yours before someone else does!

Contact Me
This release also reintroduces a feature that gives you the option to allow other 3D Warehouse users to contact you directly via the email address associated with your 3D Warehouse account. To take advantage of this feature, you’ll need to be sure to opt in by checking the checkbox (Fig 3-C). For more information about the Contact Me feature, please feel free to check out this Knowledge Center article.

Fig 3. The new 3D Warehouse User Profiles are chock full of ways for you to share info about who you are and why you're passionate about 3D modeling.


We know you work hard on your models! By sharing more information on your profile, you are now able to connect with and more meaningfully engage your fellow 3D Warehouse compatriots. So go ahead and upload that selfie or logo, tell us about yourself, and get social! We hope you have as much fun using these new profile features as we had making them.

Questions, comments? Feel free to visit our Community Forums.


Posted by Mike Tadros (Product Manager) and Alexandra Bowen (Community Manager)




3D Warehouse Comments are back!
Source:  Google SketchUpdate
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 23:42

Commenting is the backbone of the Community — it’s a communication channel that gives 3D Warehouse users the ability to support and learn from one another. We feel a bit crummy that 3D Warehousers have been without commenting for a while, but we’re immensely proud of our new and improved system. Our sincere thanks to those of you who were patient enough to stick with us. It was really important to us to get this right, and we hope that what we’ve delivered was worth the wait.


Fig 1. We #BroughtBackComments — replies are now threaded to help make sense of side conversations.


Before you dive in, here are some things you might want to know about 3D Warehouse’s Commenting features:

• We’ve migrated all the legacy comments from our old commenting system.
• You’ll need to be signed in order to use commenting features.
• Comments and replies are now threaded to help make sense of side conversations.
• You can add a new comment, reply to an existing one, and even edit or delete your own comments.
• You’ll notice a flag icon alongside all comments. If you find that a comment is offensive or abusive, (as shown in Fig. 2) click the Flag icon to alert our community moderators. Flagged comments will automatically appear in the state shown in Fig. 3 below until they’re reviewed:

Fig 2. Click the flag icon to mark a comment as abusive.


Fig 3. This is what a comment will look like once it's been flagged.


• Comments are enabled for every model by default. If you’d prefer, you can easily disable commenting for any of your models while in Edit mode on the model details page (see Fig. 4):

Fig 4. You can enable or disable comments for any of the models you've published on 3D Warehouse.


• Lastly, we’ve introduced a notifications feature that will help you stay up to date on conversations. You can manage notification preferences on the new Edit Profile page (see Fig. 5).


Fig 5. You can now receive email notifications when other users comment on your models, or reply to your comments.


Now, more than ever, we’ve made it possible for you to connect with professionals and hobbyists of all sorts. We invite you to start a conversation with other 3D Warehouse community members who have shared their great modeling work for all to see and use.

Of course, comment threads usually benefit from a degree of decorum. We hope you’ll engage in discussions that make 3D Warehouse an interesting and helpful place — and avoid those conversations that do not. So go ahead: give props, make suggestions, ponder polycounts or the future of the universe. 3D Warehouse comments are back, and we’re excited for the conversation to begin, again.

Questions, comments? Feel free to visit our Community Forums.

Happy commenting!


Posted by Mike Tadros (Product Manager) and Alexandra Bowen (Community Manager)




Smart modeling for building performance using SketchUp and Sefaira
Source:  Google SketchUpdate
Thursday, 12 March 2015 06:35

A few members of the SketchUp team recently traveled to New York to spend a little time with the folks at Sefaira. Sefaira provides energy and daylighting analysis to help architects and designers drive decisions like form, orientation, and facade design with the aid of real-time feedback in SketchUp.

Together, we worked on a webinar called Smart Modeling for Building Performance. The focus of the webinar was to take a closer look at some of the decisions that drive building performance, as well as some SketchUp techniques that aid in this kind of modeling at early stages of design.


Check out the recorded version of the webinar from Feb. 19, 2015. The techniques shown in this video are aimed toward the use of SketchUp with the Sefaira extension.


We also put together a list of resources and answers to questions that were presented during the webinar. You can access those here and find more information about Sefaira on their website or on the Extension Warehouse.


Posted by Josh Reilly, SketchUp Team





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