How best to learn Sketchup?


chrisphr

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  • 3 weeks later...

People say "dive in," and I agree, but there's an important part missing.  You have to WANT to draw something.  In my case I re-learned sketchup because I was trying to figure out some plans I'd purchased.  Some of the information was ambiguous so I modeled it in 3-D and did "air carpentry."  By the time I had it drawn I had both figured out Sketchup, and how I wanted to build the item.

569ba84794b76_RouterTable.thumb.png.af45

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I actually just started learning sketchup. I watched a handful of videos and then just dove in. Theres still alot to learn but i can comfortably draw up projects with joinery details, cutlists etc.

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I find Jay Bates videos extremely helpful. He does a whole sketchup tutorial series. And on his sketchup project vids he calls out every action as he does it, giving a real good idea of the flow and process.

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Once u get over the initial phase of understanding it, it gets very simple. I was intimidated at first and thought id have to rly strap in and do some learnin... nah... just go!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/23/2015 at 9:25 PM, Bob Lang said:

The second link gets you where you want to go. Scroll down and you can buy it for $5 less as a download.

This link http://readwatchdo.com/2015/05/look-inside-the-new-woodworkers-guide-to-sketchup/

takes you to a preview of the revised version.

I have finished reading Bob Lang's pdf-book.  I give in high marks.  It was much better instruction than the Dummies book, particularly as it was focused on wood working.  I recommend it.  I haven't looked at the other resources that others have recommended, so I can't compare to them.

I'll keep at this because I believe SketchUp is a powerful tool.   But it is like working in an alternative universe. I think there are going to be instances where the most efficient means to put idea to paper is going to be a pencil.  

 

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On 9/5/2015 at 11:26 AM, Bob Lang said:

Just to make things clear, Fine Woodworking does not sell any of my work. It gets confusing because after I published "Woodworker's Guide to  SketchUp" they came out with several products titled "SketchUp: Woodworker's Guide". It's different enough to not be a direct rip-off, but close enough to show up in an internet search.

You can purchase most of my work directly from me, there is a link in Jeff Branch's post above. It might cost you a little more than buying on Amazon, but you will be directly supporting the guy who did the work.

Bob

Maybe I'm missing something.  I read that the download is $5 ... the only option I see for a download is $35.  I don't want to sound cheap but I also don't want to pay $35 if I can pay $5. :)

ETA:  Never mind ... I read it as $5 and it was $5 LESS.  My bad.  Leaving here so people don't point out I tried to hide the fact that I'm a dumbass. :)

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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Sketchup has a YouTube channel with tutorials that's pretty helpful and I also got my first taste from Mathias' website.  

Having a resource like Bob Lang who contributes to this forum on a regular basis has also been a boon.  I think we should not try to snub him by following his posts about his products with one that promotes getting it for free.  If we really want to be a woodworking *community we should support the members who put out products that make our life better.

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  • 2 months later...

As someone who has been using Sketchup since about 2007, there are four things that will make learning it easier.

 

First, don't sit down with the intent of learning the software.  Sit down with the intent to make a model of something.  Having an end goal in mind will cause you to seek out a method to do what you want to do, and you'll learn skills as you go.

 

Second, learn the hotkeys, and, third, practice navigating the camera.  "O" activates orbit, the spacebar activates the standard pointer.  If you have the orbit tool selected, you can hold down a modifier key (on my MacBook it's the shift key) to pan.  If you know how to orbit, pan, and zoom quickly and effectively, your time in the program will be so much more pleasant.

 

Fourth, groups and components are your friends.

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Skipping the rest of this thread, my problem is that I have sat down to learn Sketchup about four times.  Each time I watched videos and tutorials to learn to model whatever basic piece I was preparing to build or just had in my head.  Upon successful completion, I walked away and didn't touch Sketchup for a while.  When I returned, I had retained zero of the information and had to go back and watch the same videos and tutorials.  Without using it on a regular basis I just can't remember the shortcuts and ways to quickly access the tools and capabilities that make the program what it is.

Maybe that makes me dumb?  Probably, but I bet I'm not alone on this one.

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1 hour ago, bleedinblue said:

Maybe that makes me dumb?

If so, then welcome to the club. I did a course by Joe Zeh, which was very good, & then didn't use it for a several months. Went back to it & had retained almost nothing. Recently did it again & then made a model for a planer flip cart and a router table. It seems to be sticking a little this time around.

There are charts you can download showing what the keyboard shortcuts are, which helps to refresh the memory.

Joe Zeh's videos used to be free on his website but then Pop Wood bought them & offer them for sale. His presentation is slow & plodding, but very thorough.

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 Despite having used 2-D graphics for years I was about to walk away from sketch up. Dave Richard's approach to the product gave me that "a-ha" moment required to suddenly wrap your head around the fact that you're working in 3-D space not on the sheet of paper.

I believe his DVD is sold through fine woodworking magazine. Something the effect of 'sketch basics'.  It is inexpensive and gives you some solid foundation to build on. I believe he also has a follow up DVD which is more specific to woodworkers but I wouldn't try to jump straight to that one without the foundation laid first. 

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Mentioned a few times above, but Mathias Wandel's 3 or 4 part video is realllllly good. Every time I forget sketchup , I return to this video for a refresher. Particularly the navigation setup tip with use of right-click and the scroll button.

Then I remember that sketchup is stupid and I go back to a pencil, pad, and relative dimensioning.

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On 1/29/2016 at 11:27 AM, Mark J said:

I have finished reading Bob Lang's pdf-book.  I give in high marks.  It was much better instruction than the Dummies book, particularly as it was focused on wood working.  I recommend it.  I haven't looked at the other resources that others have recommended, so I can't compare to them.

I'll keep at this because I believe SketchUp is a powerful tool.   But it is like working in an alternative universe. I think there are going to be instances where the most efficient means to put idea to paper is going to be a pencil.  

 

That's pretty high praise in my book.  I used the dummies book and I loved it.  Within a day or so of using the dummies book, I had some fairly complex designs made up. 

My one bit of advice is setup your toolbars how you want.   Get all the buttons you'd ever imagine using out in the open as soon as you can.  Get rid of the big buttons and go small. 

And use the help forums as often as you can.  As in google your question.  The sketchup education sites all have specific tutorials for what you want to do.  After you learn the basics, you'll quickly say "I want to do X".  Just google that, and you'll see how. 

And if you do end up spending quite a bit of time drafting or working in 3d environments, quite often I find my myself reaching for my Space Navigator.  It's a bit pricey, I got mine used, but there quite a few projects I've found that it made life much easier. 

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