You can use SketchUp to create 3D layouts of your designs.
If you are in the planning stage for the construction of a building, house or other structure, you will soon find yourself working with professional architects, designers and contractors. While their help and advice will no doubt prove invaluable, you want to ensure that your views and wishes with regard to the project are also taken into consideration. One problem that can crop up in this regard is that it is often difficult for non-professionals to convey to a professional their vision. While people will use simple sketches for this purpose, a more effective approach is to use the freeware version of the 3D modeling tool Google SketchUp 7 to create a 3D layout of the design you have in mind.
1. Create a basic sketch of your plans. You will need one drawn that shows the shape of the outer and inner walls. You should also have one or two images showing the structure from the side. You should write in height and length numbers for the walls.
2. Scan the sketch that you drew from above into your computer. Save it as a JPEG.
3. Open Google SketchUp 7. You will see a human shape standing in the scene. Select it and delete it.
4. Select “Camera” from the menu and choose “Standard Views.” From the options, choose “Top.”
5. Select “File” from the menu and choose “Import.” In the dialog box that appears, locate the file that you scanned and open it. Use the mouse to place the image onto the ground plane.
6. Select the “Line” tool from the toolbar on the left. Use the tool to trace the outer edge of your design. Then use the tool to draw in the lines for the inner walls.
7. Select the “Push/Pull” tool from the toolbar. Click on the outer walls and raise them to the height you want for the walls. Repeat this process for the inner walls. You now have an open roofed layout of your design. Save your work.