Google has announced SketchUp 7 and SketchUp Pro 7, including an updated Layout 2 program. With SketchUp 7 there are several really hot new features but the most significant feature of all is the new capability to have what Google is calling “dynamic components”, an intelligent modeling parametric system that adds to the ease of use already inherent to SketchUp’s “surface and edge” explicit modeling capabilities.
With SketchUp 7’s new dynamic components users can build basic to sophisticated modeling components that can be stretched or manipulated as a group and watch intelligent modeling consequences emerge from that single manipulation. A good example would be to see a dynamic stairway component auto-adjust to a scale change by adding treads and risers to account for a new height or length.
The new crossing line feature automatically breaks planes up for immediate push/pull modeling action and there is a new ability to program interaction into modeling components.
There are several ways in which Dynamic Components can be deployed within SketchUp 7 Pro. Firstly, they can be configured as basic parametric modeling objects setting dimensional constraints to their location in space (x,y,z) or their relative dimensions across all three axes or a selection of axes. Secondly, they can be configured to allow for component options such as color and texture. Thirdly, they can be endowed with behaviors like animation and smart scaling. Through a spreadsheet like interface you setup and manipulate Dynamic Components. Google has several YouTube videos that showcase Dynamic Components.
Other New Features
SketchUp 7 Pro and 3D Warehouse are more fully integrated with direct access from within SketchUp 7. You can perform and save searches. And in this new version you can take full credit for your models uploaded to 3D Warehouse as well as limit who has access to them. This last feature means you can utilize 3D Warehouse as an “cloud computing” store for your team’s models, only granting access to those on your project team.
Another big new feature in SketchUp 7 Pro is the ability to tag metadata to your models. This means as a manufacturer you can attach part numbers, weight, or cost figures. On the presentation side of things you can now edit textures applied to your models in your favorite editing program and then see the results automatically updated within SketchUp 7.
LayOut 2 is fast becoming a sort of CAD container application, similar to Graphisoft’s old PlotMaker program. Essentially a holder of viewports of SketchUp model data, with LayOut 2 you can create sophisticated presentation or “working drawing” sheets for print or PDF production. LayOut 2 lets you create multi-page documents thereby allowing a complete setup of a set of drawings.
In LayOut 2 your model data is linked to SketchUp 7 so that you can manipulate views of SketchUp models directly in the viewports within LayOut 2. Another key update is “scaled views.” Now with scaled views you can populate model views in LayOut 2 to exact scale. Lastly, LayOut 2 also integrates views for printing and files for presentation directly into the same file. LayOut 2 has a new presentation slide mode built right in. This enables you to showcase your project from within LayOut 2 without having to flip back and forth to SketchUp. You can orbit and fly around your SketchUp models, you can play animations and you can annotate on top of your view data.
LayOut 2 also has some nice new little feature improvements like the ability to do both bounded and unbounded text, a new measurements entry window in the bottom right hand corner (a la SketchUp itself) and a new Vector rendering option.
To learn more visit: www.sketchup.com