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Google SketchUp: The Missing Manual Paperback – Jun 1 2009

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Product Description

About the Author

Christopher Grover lives in Fairfax, California with his wife and two daughters. Chris received degrees in Creative Writing and Film from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. He's worked as a technical writer, advertising copywriter and product publicist for more than 25 years. His freelance articles have been published in a variety of magazines from Fine Homebuilding to CD-ROM World. Chris's latest project is launching Bolinas Road Creative, an agency that helps small businesses promote their products and services. He's also the author of Word 2007: The Missing Manual and Word 2007 for Starters: The Missing Manual.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 21 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A decent start May 30 2011
By HapiKamper - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've written (just a few) handouts, manuals and books about using software, mainly graphics software. These programs are so full-featured it's easy to overwhelm a novice. When you're new to the subject, never mind the program itself, it's almost impossible not to feel at sea. Which is why we buy books like those in the Missing Manual series.

I hoped for a step-by-step procedure: Double-click the icon, this window appears, click this to have this happen, click that to set a preference, click this tool and do...something.

I began on page 13, Chapter 1, "Building a Bench: Your First SketchUp Model." After a short introduction to the program and the concept of 3D, the next page is "Firing up SketchUp for the First Time." Three different methods for launching the program for both Mac and Windows are given. Then the author talks about the first window that opens. Buried in the 12-line paragraph is a casual mention that if you're creating something (like the project later in this chapter?) you should choose the Woodworking template. Unmentioned (but pretty obvious) is "click OK to continue."

Then there's a tour of the interface and instructions on how to set it up and how to change how you're viewing your creation. Then there's a digression on templates and how to create templates (which I'm a long way from attempting). Then, finally, on page 32 is "Bench: Starting Your First Mode." And it begins with 1. Open a new SketchUp document with File > New. Hello! That's where you left me, some 18 pages ago! But at least here are instructions.

Things got much better down the road. The instructions are step-by-step, and there are frequent sidebars, call-outs and other notes that add more information as you go.

The book begins by orienting you to the three-dimensional world. Yes, we live in a 3D world, but working with one is a little (a LOT) different. Starting with a simple bench, you move on to create a house. Once the house is created, you can add textures or work with photos to create a realistic appearance.

The book is fairly-well illustrated with black and white screenshots throughout. The author is very good about providing instruction for both Mac and Windows users. Too often its assumed that both platforms work identically. It was nice to see the differences recognized and spelled out.

The last two chapters (of 15) contain instructions for working with features included with SketchUp Pro, the $495 version for industry professionals. Not having any plans to move up to that version, I skipped them.

By carefully reading and following the instructions I've been able to create and complete several projects. I'm finding that 3D is an entirely new ballgame. Learning my way around it has been quite an adventure.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Perfect tool for a beginner Dec 21 2010
By Fabio - Published on
Format: Paperback
Somebody could say that you can learn exactely the same through Youtube tutorials or downloading PDF sketchup manuals. I totally disagree.
This manual is a great "step by step" guide into this amazing software. Chapter after chapter I felt I have improved my knowledge systematically.
Mastering is a matter of practising, once you have read this book you feel you are ready to master.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Good Google Sketchup Book. Nov. 18 2010
By J. Zavala - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simple, yet informative Google Sketchup 7 book. There aren't many Google Sketchup books so options were limited. Excellent for the price. Learn fundamentals and become an expert through the good step-by-step lessons. Can't go wrong with this book. Recommended.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Incomplete manual June 17 2010
By Bree K - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book barely touches the surface of the ability of Sketchup. It does not even reference the rotation command. You actually can print or save a Sketchup manual yourself directly from Google in PDF format. Too bad I didn't explore that myself before I purchased this book. I'd say don't bother buying this book.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Google Sketchup May 2 2010
By Charles A. Roth - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good book - lots of tricks and tips. Good examples and very easy to read.