How Sketchup became Google Sketchup
Sketchup has a complicated history. For the first time the public version of the program was released back in 2000 and the application began to quickly gain popularity. There was an empty niche on the market in software for enthusiasts and novice modelers who were interested in computer modeling, but were not ready to pay hundreds of dollars for professional programs like 3Ds Max, Maya and did not want to spend a lot of time mastering them.
It was for their purposes that Sketchup was ideally suited - a fast, simple, sometimes primitive, but fully functional graphics package that made it possible to quickly understand and assemble three-dimensional objects into a decent picture. Plus, Sketchup had free starter versions, which only added to its popularity.
In the wake of rapid growth, interest in Sketchup arose and, neither more nor less from Google itself, which was primarily interested in the compatibility of objects created in Sketchup with Google Earth. In 2006, Google bought the rights to the program together with a software developer and since then the application has been called Google Sketchup.
Google Sketchup was released in 2 versions: Sketchup Make - a free version with limited functionality and Sketchup Pro - a full paid version for professional use. However, Google quickly lost interest in the project, concentrating on other company's products, and the Sketchup in 2012 was sold to the investment company Trimble, which is developing the product to this day.
Main features and features of Sketchup
Sketchup has almost no tool presets and geometry options are set during or after using the tool in the box in the lower right corner of the screen. The sketch does not support the displacement (displacement) function, since the developers felt that in a simple application, users do not need this and the complication would be unjustified.
Sketchup has a large library of models and styles that you can add to your work or download ready-made models for Sketchup from the Internet.
The application supports Ruby macros, which allows you to create your own macros to reduce the number of chores and load many macros created by other people.
Sketchup allows you to systematically work with scenes, where the camera position, rendering mode, etc. will be fixed, and supports layers. For architects, it is useful to be able to view a separate model in section and reflect the offset of dimensions, as in drawings, while all markup when working in Sketchup is in real dimensions (optionally in meters or inches).
Full integration with Google Earth helps to expose completely realistic shadowing mode depending on the geographic location of the architectural object.
Sketchup system requirements
The simplicity of the application also affected the system requirements of Sketchup. Fortunately, for confident work, you need a fairly simple computer by modern standards without specific bells and whistles. The only thing to consider is that you will need a more or less modern processor for Sketchup, because since Sketchup 2017 only 64-bit systems are supported.
Sketchup minimum requirements
1 GHz processor
4 GB RAM
500 MB free space
Video card with 512+ MB of video memory with support for OpenGL 3.1 and higher
Sketchup Recommended Requirements
Processor with a frequency of 2 GHz or more
8 GB RAM
700 MB free space
Video card with 1+ GB of video memory with support for OpenGL 3.1 and higher
As you can see, there is nothing serious about the Sketchup system requirements, everything is at the level, I would say, of an ordinary office computer. For large scenes, of course, you need more RAM to work quickly, but in general, I don't see the need to assemble a fancy computer to work in Sketchup, as for 3Ds Max or Maya.
Sketchup currently has a rather confusing system of licenses, which are divided into Personal (for personal use), Professional (for professional work), Higher Education (for higher education), Primary & Secondary (for primary and secondary schools). Let's discard the last two, because to obtain such licenses, you need to dance with a tambourine, especially if you are not applying from the USA or Canada.
Sketchup Personal licenses are divided into free, Sketchup Shop, and Sketchup Pro. In the first version, you will be allowed to indulge only in the browser version of Sketchup, without the ability to model individual objects, with limited import / export formats, in general, this is a heavily castrated version and is suitable for initial acquaintance with the program (well, why not take a look for free?) and the simplest of pampering in three-dimensional design.
Sketchup Shop. There are more formats for import / export, all the main ones are present, but they will not be able to model them in 2D, individual materials and styles are greatly reduced, etc., and all this also works only online, in a browser. Sketchup Shop costs 119 USD per year, which, in my opinion, is a bit too much for such functionality. The Sketchup Pro version does not have all these artificial restrictions, but it also costs $ 299 per year.
For professional use, a version of Sketchup Studio with advanced features is also offered, albeit for a cosmic 1199 USD per year. Let me remind you that for comparison, a 3Ds Max subscription license costs about 60,000 rubles per year. And here are the prices for a simple editor ... I don't know, you need to really love Sketchup to buy this license.
For beginners, there are 2 options for the legal use of Sketchup. One of them is to use the free Sketchup license mentioned above and work with a number of restrictions in the browser. To do this, you just need to go through the simplest registration on the site and go.
Another option is to download the latest version of Sketchup Make 2017 available for free. It may not be the latest version of the program, but everything you need is in it and you can install and use it absolutely legally, if you know where to download Sketchup for free directly from the official website.