Thursday, March 13, 2014

SketchUp Education & Innovation at 3D Basecamp 2014

3D Basecamp 2014 is coming up next month, with a focus on SketchUp education for all ability levels. This is the place to fine-tune or improve your 3D Basecamp or SketchUp skills!

The Details:
3D Basecamp 2014 will take place April 14th – 16th at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa in Vail, Colorado.

The conference is uniquely built to provide training sessions, workshops, presentations and more to help you improve your skills in SketchUp. According to the 3D Basecamp website, the conference is one “where architects, set designers, woodworkers, construction managers, students, robot builders, archeologists, and engineers all get together to share what they know.”

Attendees will learn everything from how to create construction drawings in SketchUp Pro to how to use SketchUp Make for 3D printing. I am happy to be providing two presentations and an engaging workshop at 3D Basecamp 2014.

My first presentation will be titled “Refining Your Interiors: Matching Textures from the Real World”. In the 45-minute presentation, you will learn how to alter the materials in SketchUp’s Paint Bucket, find other textures outside of the program, and work with manufacturers’ images to complete your real-world projects.

Another presentation I’ll be doing at 3D Basecamp this year is “Refining Your Interiors: Customizing Components”. Since most interior design project budgets normally don’t allow from-scratch modeling of furniture and fixtures, you need a time-saving alternative. This presentation will demonstrate how to alter 3D Warehouse components to create an approximation of real-world pieces.

Both of these presentations will relate to my workshop, “Editing Textures and Components for Interiors: Hands-On Workshop”. You’ll be able to use what you learned in my presentations and apply that knowledge hands-on! The workshop trains participants on creating and editing textures and components for real-world projects. This three-hour workshop will take place on Tuesday afternoon.

I hope you’ll join me in one or all of these presentations and the workshop, since it will offer an excellent opportunity to apply some real-world techniques to your SketchUp skill set.

Registration for the 3D Basecamp 2014 event is completely sold out, so this looks to be a really great event! See you there!

Friday, February 7, 2014

I  am pretty excited to just have been invited to present at the National  SketchUp conference next April in Vail.  I was chatting on the phone with Aidan Chopra, who wrote the Bible "SketchUp for Dummies" and felt like a teen-age girl wanting to pinch myself.

For those of you who don't know about this conference, it's called SketchUp BaseCamp.  It's 3 days full of seminars from the top SketchUp Gurus from around the country.   I'll be talking about some advanced material and component modeling techniques for interior designers.  Tons to learn and an incredible hotel deal in this amazing ski mecca.  Just checked and airline tix are $178 round trip.  What's not to like?

Here's some more info:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Try a Great new Kitchen Cabinet Plug-in for $1

There has always been a surprising lack of complete kitchen in the 3D warehouse for interior designers to utilize.  My friend, Eric Schimelpfenig (great name, huh?) at SketchThis has developed a great plug-in of cabinetry components to address this hole.  Eric is a certified Kitchen Designer and a SketchUp Whiz, so this was a perfect niche for him.  The Plug-in is easy to use works well for basic cabinetry layout.

Even better, you can now give this plug-in a try for only $1.  Go to for more details.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Free Texture Downloads for 7 days

Finding free high-quality textures is always difficult.  Here's a great resource...once you sign up, you get to download 20 free images a day for 7 days.  I just tried it today...had luck finding some good wood flooring images, which always seem to be hard to locate.

The best tip for searching on this site is to put in the search terms "seamless texture".  I also like to use just textured backgrounds to "paint" my rooms with.  If you scale them correctly, they can just look like plaster or faux finishes, and they have much more depth than just painting on a solid SketchUp color.

Here's some wood floor examples I found....

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

SketchUp for Architects

Using Layout for Construction Documents

One of the questions always posed to me is "Do I need SketchUp Pro?". Probably the biggest advantage of the Pro version is the inclusion of an add-on program called Layout, which allows you to import your SketchUp model into construction documents and thendimension and annotate them there with more precision. Some architects and designers use this method solely to create their working drawings.

Below is a couple of examples to illistrate how powerful this feature is.

Interested in hearing more from the "guru" of architectural layouts: Check out this Youtube video by Nick Sonders at

Monday, September 9, 2013

Textures in Mac

The Paint Bucket Tool is unquestionably the one tool that is very different between the Mac and PC.  If you've taken any of my classes, you know that I'm teaching with a PC, but Mac users can pretty much follow along, with the exception of applying and altering textures with the Paint Bucket tool.  I always feel a bit sorry for ya'll when we get to that part of the class.

So, I've tried to hunt down some additional resources for Mac users to help alleviate my guilt about leaving you a little behind when we use this tool.  I've found an incredible online resource thats a compendium to the Rendering in SketchUp book I talked about a couple of weeks back.  Find it at
The textures that come packaged with SketchUp have always been a sad affair for interior designers. Tiles, flooring, fabrics all look like they were chosen in 1970. I've often recommended Formfonts as a source of great textures, but their subscription rate is $199 every year.
I'd like to recommend an additional sources of textures: CG Textures They provide a variety of textures for a variety of fields...including graphic designers and moviemakers. So, you'll find an incredible variety of textures available. Furthermore, you can download some many textures in small versions for free. For a yearly fee of $76, you can download larger files and tileable versions.
Look for more information and a video on how to utilize this amazing resour

ce in my next newsletter.