Google SketchUp gives you the power to create 3D objects
I have been waiting for months since Google acquired this company. I know that they will be releasing this as a freeware soon. That soon is now, check it out! There are also available video tutorials from the website so you can get going fast. Really easy to use.
Google has released yet another beta software package: SketchUp. SketchUp is an application that allows you to create your own 3D objects, color and texture your designs, use real-time shadowing effects and grab from a large library of pre-configured objects to add to your design. And as is always the case with most of Google’s software, it is completely free. There is also a commercial version called SketchUp Pro 5 which has a host of additional features, but you may want to take a stab at the free version first to see if it’s suitable for your needs. From Google:
Google SketchUp (free) is an easy-to-learn 3D modeling program whose few simple tools enable you to create 3D models of houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects – even space ships. You can add details, textures and glass to your models, design with dimensional accuracy, and place your finished models in Google Earth, share them with others by posting them to the 3D Warehouse, or print hard copies. Google SketchUp (free) is a great way to discover if 3D modeling is right for you.
SketchUp (free ) includes these tools:
* Drawing and modifying geometry: Polygon, FollowMe, Offset, and Intersect with Model.
* Construction: Dimension, Tape Measure, Protractor, Section Slice, Layers, Area & Length Calculation
Using SketchUp (free ), you can:
* Draw, modify, measure, rotate, and scale geometry.
* Place section slices to view and work on model interiors.
* Add pre-made textures to your models, or create new ones.
* Add pre-made components like trees, cars, doors and windows, and people to your models, or create new components.
* Soften and smooth faces.
* Cast real-time shadows for any location on earth.
* Simulate movie camera placements.
* Perform walk-throughs.
* Create presentation tours.
* Import 2D images (.jpg, .png, .tif, .tga, .bmp) and 3D models (.3ds, .dem, .ddf, .dwg, .dxf, .skp).
* Export your models to Google Earth.
* Export 2D images of your models (.jpg, .bmp, .png, .tif).
* Print your models.
* Create add-on programs using the Ruby programming language.