3D modelling is no longer a painful and awkward process, thanks to a free application from Google. Jerome Turner introduces the main features of Photoshop, Flash and Illustrator.
The creative landscape of Photoshop, Flash and Illustrator is enough for most designers to think about, without worrying about the third dimension as well. 3D computer-aided design takes years to learn, is unwieldy and is probably not worth the trouble - better leave it to the specialists, eh?
Well not necessarily, because while SketchUp doesn't have the flexibility or power of tools such as 3ds Max, it does serve a purpose for quick visualisations and layouts.
This tutorial will give you a flavour of the versatility of the modelling environment, enabling you to draw shapes straight into the 3D space and push or pull them into full objects. My example shows the layout of an exhibition stand, but SketchUp can be used in a number of ways - for modelling packaging, architectural concept drawings, abstract objects for editorial illustration or just laying out a plan of your office.