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In this course, author George Maestri explains how to model and render 3D objects and scenes using Google SketchUp 8. The course covers the fundamentals of the application, from navigating the user interface, manipulating objects, and building basic shapes to importing objects from Google Earth, animating a scene, and modeling organic terrain using the Sandbox tools. The course also explores SketchUp Pro features, which are available as an upgrade. These include tools for creating dynamic components and adding interactivity, as well as sophisticated importing and exporting options for working with outside applications.
Another thing we need to mention about the SketchUp Interface is the Preferences window. So let's go into Window and let's go into Preferences and this is where you can really control how SketchUp works. Let's just go through some of the basics here. If we go to the top under Applications, we can set our Default Image Editor. So, for example, if you wanted to use Photoshop, you would just select it here. Under Compatibility, we have different ways to change the mouse wheel style as well as how to highlight components and groups.
Under Drawing, we have different types of click styles, as well as whether or not you want to display crosshairs and also some options on how to use the Push/Pull tool. For Extensions, now this is actually kind of important, if you have additional extensions you want to bring into SketchUp such as utilities that sort of thing, you can click them on or off here. Later, we are going to be using the Sandbox tools. So I'm going to go ahead and click that on. Now, under Files, this is really just where to look for files initially.
So, if you have a specific texture directory or materials directory, you can set that, so that way everybody can point to the same server, and that sort of thing. Under General, do you want it to create backups? Do you Auto-save? That can be very important that can help you in case of a failure of your computer or something like that. You can also have it check models for problems and automatically fix those if those problems are found. The next one is for display. This is just how it uses OpenGL to control how it displays and I usually check everything On to make sure I have fast feedback and this will work for most fast graphics cards.
Now, this is where you can set your shortcut keys. We're going to leave all of our shortcuts to default, but you can actually change and add your own shortcuts if you want them. This one is which template do you use when you start up. Now do you want to use feet, or Inches, that sort of thing? This is where you would set it, and also what sort of workspace do you want to use? Do you want to use large or small tool buttons? Now I'm going to keep these at large. So those are some of the basics of the Preferences window and as you work through SketchUp you may have to change Preferences from time to time, so now, at least you know where everything is at.
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