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.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I'm really excited about one of the latest and greatest SketchUp books. It's called Rendering in SkechUp by Daniel Tal...and comes in at a whopping 640 pages. That is a lot of incredible info from one of the masters. And unbelievably, it's under $30 at Amazon. At that price, it needs to be in your library, if only to browse at the lovely pictures.

Feel overwhelmed? As usual, I'll be distilling the best tips from it for my rendering classes.

Great review at

Order the book at

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Olioboard Design Site

Looking at an interesting new site to make a quick design board of your plan called Olioboard.

It doesn't allow you to put your products choices in a perspective scene, like SketchUp does, but it does allow you to drag real products from their catalogs (including big retailers like Crate and Barrel, Dwell, etc) or drag images from other websites into a one-point perspective space.

You can use a scene of your real project that you've created in SketchUp as a backdrop. Although it's not terribly intuitive, if you're in the "Design a Room" tab, you can click on the "my items" tab, and then upload the image as your scene to work with.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Great Free Online Classes at Creative Live

Do you know about Creative Live?  They offer online classes for creative folks.  If you catch them on release, they're also free and have some great content.  They do have a lot of photography classes, but look past those for some great marketing / business / digital tool classes also.  I'm looking forward to an upcoming Photoshop class in August.

 Check it out:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

SketchUp Sage

SketchUp Sage 

This is one of the premier SketchUp sites which has hundreds of posts, tips, lessons, help forumns, and links to everything you need to know. I'm linking to the Tips and Tricks page on the site...which could keep you delighted for hours, but check out all the tabs for great information. 

Find it at

Fine Woodworking SketchUp Blog

Great SketchUp Blog and Tutorials on the Fine Woodworking Site

I're probably not a woodworker, but these tutorials contain an amazing bunch of tips and tools. And, you never know when you might want to custom design a piece of ...See More

New Small Group SketchUp Classes this summer

New for this summer is small group classes...and I mean very small. Class size is limited to 4 students per you'll get lots of personal attention. Check out my website at for all the details.

See3D featured in June Master Builder's Magazine

I'm excited to be profiled in June's issue of the Master Builder magazine...even though it was finally just released this week. You can link to the article at: More

Great App to instantly create a floorplan from a room: Magic Plan

Here's my latest digital toy: It's a digital ap called Magic Plan, and was named App of the Week in 93 countries.

Magic Plan allows you to capture a floorplan by first pointing your device at corners / architectural features of your room....See More

New Facebook Page

I've been busy creating a new and improved Facebook site.  While I will post information about my classes, etc. on the site, it's main purpose will be to disseminate information about SketchUp and other digital design tools from all the best sources.  I'll be scouring the web and beyond to find the best information I can to help you efficiently run your design business.

Let me know if you come across any interesting sites yourself and join my SketchUp Community.

Please be a friend of See3D.  Check out my site at

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Project Spotlight: Presentation Styles

Project Spotlight:
Presentation Styles
          Many people think they don't want to use SketchUp because the models look like...well....SketchUp.  But your models don't need to look like the default SketchUp style.  You can use SketchUp's Style Palette to customize your SketchUp models.  Or you can go one step farther and bring the images into an external image editing software, such as Photoshop.  You're probably saying, "but wait...I don't have several thousand dollars to spend on another program".  The good news is that you have all the tools you need in Photoshop's consumer version of the program, called Photoshop Elements.  This program is often on sale for under $100 and gives you all the editing tools that I use from the full program.  Using these tools, you can "tweak" your images even more to customize them.  
               We cover how to use Photoshop elements in our intermediate interior design details classes.