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SketchUp Software


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I was wondering if any users have experience with SketchUp software. It seems like a great product but I am wondering how it is able to interface with Vectorworks.

Katie, do you know if this software is compatible with VW? Is this a compliment to VW or can VW already do what SketchUp promises to do?

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Hi Matthew;

Great to hear from you! Thanks for the info. I already have and use Doodle.

Though SketchUp does have the ability to simulate a rough sketch, the real ability is to model in 3d. The demo that I saw, showed the ability to create and intelligently manipulate 3d volumes.

I know that when I first saw the advertisement for this product, I thought that it was the same as Doodle. I thought that it took existing 3d wireframes and rough sketched them.

From what I can see it's true power is easy 3d model creation. My thought is that this could be used to create a model in design and then export to VW for design development and working drawings. I have not used VW 3d Power Pack. Are the two similar?

This is a link to the SketchUp site that shows a Quicktime, (for Mac), overview of the product.

http://www.sketchup.com/video_qt.php?file=http://downloads.sketchup. com/Demos/z4-features-overview-mac.mov

This movie gives a shorter overview of the product. http://downloads.sketchup.com/Demos/a1-watch_me_first-mac.mov

Matthew, your valued imput is always welcome. Thank you.

[ 11-10-2002, 01:53 PM: Message edited by: Kevin ]

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I purchased this software for the Mac (OS X) after trying it out on a Windblows laptop I have. It is fantastic. Quite honestly, it allows you to be loose in sketching out ideas to scale and in real time (perspective, 3D walkthroughs) as I would hope could be flexibly done in VectorWorks. If I were to describe it simply, I would say it does what VWA should do dynamically without having to fully construct a model.

I have exported a plan to SketchUp and traced over it to do a quick 3D model to show a client. It took me 40 minutes what VWA would have taken me taken me 2 hours to accomplish (fully rendered, with textures and shadows).

To be fair, VWA is quite capable of doing everything that SU can do, it only takes longer. VWA's 3D component should be as easily editable as SU. The benefits of which should be clearly apparent to NNA. One of the other benefits of SU is the fantastic library of symbols and textures it comes with, not to mention local City data for site-specific rendering of shadows for our region.

On the downside are the odd keyboard shortcuts that force your hands into contortions and to rely too much on the mouse to navigate to the tools palette. I haven't found a way to edit the shortcuts as in VWA.

Would be great to see these two programs melded together!

[ 11-11-2002, 12:39 AM: Message edited by: Irving ]

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SketchUp is not really aimed at the same market as VectorWorks, but there is a 3rd Party Add-on for VectorWorks called "Doodle" that can stylize your 2D drawings in a similar fashion.

If you are working in 3D, you can always take a 2D snapshot with the convert to polygon command and then process that with doodle.

You can find Doodle at PanzerCAD

[ 11-10-2002, 12:57 PM: Message edited by: Matthew Giampapa ]

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I recently purchased Sketchup to use with VW. I can't say enough good things about well, both!

I use SU for quick 3D studies and presentations but I also use it to help my clients understand the drawings I do in VA. I export the 3D model of a new home I've designed, and SU gives me unlimited (and super fast) freedom to explore in 3D! The transperancy feature in SU is amazing! Once you download the demo and start playing with the "push/pull" tool, you'll immediately realize the benefits of this software. SU isn't nearly the architectural and design software VA is but I feel they compliment each other quite well!


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Well it looks like a few of you are using the program already.

It looks pretty neat.

I'll add this product to the wish list as an application that has features our user's would like to have in VW.

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Thanks for the info. I am still wondering if you are able to use the SketchUp model for your VW design development and working drawings? Or do you redraw the model in VW?

As I think about this, it seems to me that both SketchUp and VW 3D Power Pack can probably only be used as preliminary massing tools. Once the massing is established, one would still need to construct a model using the wall, roof, window, and door tools. Is my thinking correct on this?

Thanks in advance for any experience and advice that you can offer.

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thanks for these posts. sketch up seems like a very good product. i just downloaded the demo to try out. how about NNA looking into buying them up and incorporating it into VW? if it can some how be worked up to seemlessly translate all that into working drawings, VW would beat everyone else hands down!

katie and matt - how about calling over to germany and see if they would cough up a few euros? [smile]

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  • 1 year later...

Anyone had any luck importing Sketchup DWG's into VW lately?

I see that there are applications to import the sketchup files into AutoCAD Desktop and ArchiCAD.

I tried and I get a 3-D model, sure. But, the solids are subdivided into hundreds of traingle shaped 3-d polygons.

Where have I gone astray?

For the record, our office design team is using Sketchup and the working-drawings team use VW and AutoCAD. We are trying to avoid buying ADT.

Thank you,


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Originally posted by jfmarch:

SketchUp, besides the awful name, looks like a really good tool. My guess is that Autodesk will buy it out and destroy it...

i can't see anyone buying them out in the near future.

great tool, great people, they have an understanding of the new world of software that the giants miss.

Vectorworks doesn't need to emulate the features.

it only need to make a bridge, they are different tools for different tasks and if they play well together can both gain from the other being installed on their users computers.

Sketch up all so works well with Art?lantis so a plug in bridge woulds be a good thing

[ 03-21-2004, 10:07 PM: Message edited by: iboymatt ]

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I use SketchUp all the time. I use it for design models and for 3d sketches in construction documents. In many ways it is quicker than doing the same things in VW.

Yes, VW can do everything SU does but there is a simple elegance to the way you do it in SU that is difficult to understand until you have tried it. They have just about nailed the user interface thing.

I would love to see VW add some SU features.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love sketch up too.

Is a very fast drawing software and VW, even if is a different tool, can import some features such as transparent solid view, anti aliasing, model rendering (not realistic but very clear, fast and nice..), a nice GUI..

Will we see this features in the next VW ver.?


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