Should I Learn SketchUp?

image038I teach a lot of people. So I hear a lot of comments, concerns and questions. A common question is about SketchUp. Should a Vectorworks user learn this? I admit that SketchUp looks very seductive, but you can model everything you need in Vectorworks, so why bother?

This is a simple design that you could probably generate after going through chapter 2 of my Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual. All it uses are simple extrusions, but it does not convey the feeling of the outdoor space.

I heard one client of mine say that they were investing time and money into learning SketchUp, but then they asked about some simple 3D modelling in Vectorworks. If they invested the effort into Vectorworks, they could model the designs they wanted and they would only have to learn one program.

I think this came up in one of the recent 3D Special Interest Group sessions in September 2014. Vectorworks has very powerful 3D tools.

image039The other area that makes people think that SketchUp is easier to use is the OpenGL rendering that it uses. It just looks better than Vectorworks. But this isn’t really true, it’s just that most people forget to set the high quality options in Vectorworks. When you set the highest quality OpenGL options in Vectorworks, 3D modelling looks great.
Some users think that SketchUp has better 3D navigation. But I just don’t get this. The flyover tool is just a click away, and if you use a mouse with a middle button, you can instantly access the flyover with the control key and the middle mouse (mouse wheel) button.

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