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DonJohnson

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I posted the following comments in the topic 'Anyone using Turbocad', but it occurred to me later that someone looking for info' on Sketchup would not look in that topic - unless it came up in a search. At the risk of appearing repetitive, therefore, I have put them in again under a more appropriate title . . . . . .

No one yet seems to have mentioned the excellent - free - tutorials provided by Jos P Zeh at http://www.srww.com/google-sketchup.htm.

As perhaps a typical experience, I looked at Sketchup, thought it was wonderful compared with Autocad and other programs I had used before retiring. Then I tried to do more than just create basic shapes, etc., and found it was not quite so easy to learn as I progressed. (Objects didn't do what I wanted, and kept 'sticking' to others, or changing their shapes unexpectedly)

I have approached most other stages to becoming as self-trained computer analyst/programmer/manager using a 'suck it and see' way, with books and lots of trial and error, but this time I just got very frustrated, and cast Sketchup aside.

Some time later, I saw a reference to the tutorials mentioned above, and thought I would give it one last try. The tutorials can be downloaded onto your own PC, so can be run 'offline' and stopped/started/re-run without continued use of the 'net, which was the first good point. (Download them in the background whilst doing something else - perhaps using a free download manager - eg GetGo!)

I took my time and worked through the tutorials starting from the basics, and quickly realised where I had previously made life difficult for myself. As Joe says, 'As soon as a part takes 3D shape make it a component' - and preferably put it on its own layer as well. It takes but a few moments to do so (hardest part is thinking of a name) but the reward is that parts can be manipulated/copied/edited easily - and they do what you expect. Suddenly I 'got' Sketchup, and started to make real progress.

I won't pretend that you don't have to spend some time following the tutorials - and practising on something new (I found with computer programming that you have to set yourself a 'real' task and try to solve it to get anywhere with a new language), but this would be true of Autocad or any other program.

Joe's tutorials are videos of him actually using Sketchup (I found Jing as a result of this) and he has left in the odd error and necessary correction so you also see how to do things 'wrong' as well as 'right', which is very comforting - especially when you get more experienced and can see that he has pressed the wrong button before he does! He has a pleasant teaching voice and manner, which makes learning quite enjoyable.

I cannot recommend these tutorials enough, they would be worth paying a lot of money for - but then I would probably have never bothered with them if I'd had to pay for them before using them.

If you want to get to better grips with Sketchup, I suggest that you give them a look.
 

Eric The Viking

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Hi Don,

In case you haven't found it yet, there's a design section of the forum, which has a lot of SketchUp discussion, as, obviously, it's very popular, being free'n'very clever'n'all.

We also have a number of expert SketchUp users, especially Dave Richards (DaveR), whose work is presently featured on the SketchUp splash screen (at startup).

So you've nearly come to the right place for Sketchup enthusiasm. I suggest you ask the mods to move this thread over to there. That's not at all for pedantic reasons, but because you raise several helpful points, and people using search for that sort of thing later might miss it here (as they'll look in Design first).

I hadn't thought of using Components ubiquitously before, but it makes a great deal of sense now you've pointed it out!

Cheers,

E.
 

DonJohnson

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Thanks Eric, I saw the Design forum, and hummed and haahed about where to post, but finally got it wrong! :lol:

I'm not sure how to get it transferred, but I'll have a go!
 

SketchUp Guru

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Thanks for the nice words, Eric.

Don, Joe does some nice tutorials. His last name is Zeh, though. As Eric pointed out, with the Design forum here, there's a lot of instant and personalized assistance available right here.
 

DonJohnson

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Hi Dave R, thanks for the note about Joe's name, which I have corrected - pesky script fonts ! #-o

And I now know where to come for help for personalised assistance when I get stuck !

Whilst testing GetGo as a download manager, I picked on Joe's 'Primitives, Components & Layers' which I had not downloaded/noticed before, and then watched it all the way through. I must say it explained the subject very comprehensively, and I now understand why previously I got some strange effects with components on different layers. Layer 0 Rules OK ! (hammer)

Thanks, Don
 

SketchUp Guru

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Joe had a lot of problems with layers when he was first starting with SketchUp. He had some really interesting models because he was using layers incorrectly. I remember a desk that he had drawn. It was a "poster child" for why one needs to use layers correctly in SketchUp. I helped him get that sorted out although I don't know if he ever fixed that model.

I would suggest that you also read the online help for info on Layers as well as check out a blog post I did on layers. I think I've written about layers numerous times here as well.
 
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