Google SketchUp for Site Design: A Guide to Modeling Site Plans, Terrain and Architecture / Edition 1

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Google SketchUp for Site Design illustrates a holistic approach to SketchUp: how it works and more importantly, what to do with it.

Filled with tutorials from front to back, the book focuses on the start and completion of projects that include rich detail and expression. Each part and chapter of the book builds on the previous chapters and tutorial.

You will learn how to approach modeling site plans, buildings and site elements: from modeling each of these exterior environment elements to piecing them together to generate a singular and expressive model.

The book culminates with tutorials demonstrating effective and simple ways to include grades and terrain using the Sandbox tools and how best to integrate the entire approach with AutoCAD and SketchUp.

Also included are links to supplemental on-line resources such as YouTube tutorials and free tutorial and example models from 3D Warehouse.

The book is useful for all SketchUp proficiency levels including beginners, hobbyists, and professionals.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book adds valuable information about features not even mentioned in the "Missing Manual". This book allows you to create settings for your creations. SketchUp provides a "sandbox", an interface with tools that create organic geometry. In other words, you can push and pull "terrain" around to create hills and valleys. Then using other tools create streets, sidewalks, and planters. Place the buildings you've created on the terrain, and add vegetation around them - suddenly you have a world! This is a solid book, with good start-to-finish instructions in creating 3D objects, whether a bench or a cathedral." (eJournal of the Tucson Computer Society, December 2009)

"This book illustrates a holistic approach to SketchUp, how it works and more importantly, what to do with it." (San Francisco Book Review, November 2009)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470345252
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/24/2009
  • Series: CourseSmart Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 273,764
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Tal, ASLA, is a practicing landscape architect in Denver, Colorado, and a SketchUp specialist who conducts workshops and seminars on SketchUp for landscape architects and architects. Daniel also consults on SketchUp tools and future SketchUp developments to meet the needs of landscape architects and architects, and helps Beta test SketchUp releases.

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Table of Contents

Part I Introduction to SketchUp.

Chapter 1 How to Use this Book.

Who Can Use This Book.

What the Book Covers.

Learning Tutorials.

Free Downloadable Tutorial Models.

Download Pre-Made Components.

The Four Parts.

Chapter 2 SketchUp Basics.


Basic SketchUp tools.

Chapter 3 Components and groups.

Component Instance.

Components within Components.

Components and Layers.

Pre-made Components.

Additional Information.

Chapter 4 Problem Solving.

Problem Solving SketchUp.

Chapter 5 Ruby Scripts.

Downloading Ruby Scripts.

Part II SketchUp Process Modeling.

Chapter 6 Introduction to SketchUp Process Modeling.

The Built Environment.

2D = 3D.

Drafting the Flatwork Base.

Applying Material and Color.

Model Organization.

Adding Volumes.

Adding objects to the Flatwork Base.

Review the Completed Model.

Modeling from Imagination.

Chapter 7 Detailed Site Plan Modeling.

Download Tutorial Model.

What are Site Plans?


Preparing the drafting "Trace".

Trouble Shooting the Subdividing of Face.

Review the Completed Base.

Preparing to Add Color.

Adding Detail to Volumes.

The Completed Flatwork Base.

Chapter 8 Custom Components - Site Furnishings.

Modeling Process.

How Components (and Groups) Work.

Follow Me.

Model Organization.


Chapter 9 Custom Components - Architecture.

Sculpting the Building.

Building Mass.

Making Window and Door Components.


Setting the work space.

Chapter 10 The Completed Model: Arrangement andPresentation.

Arrangement Methods.

Order and Adjustments.

Creating and Exporting Scenes.

Chapter 11 Architectural Tutorial.

Case Study: Jefferson County Courthouse Building.

SketchUp Process Modeling.

Working with Arcs and Circles.

Hidden Geometry.

Components and Faceted Surfaces.

Components and Adjusting Massing.

Courthouse Tutorial.

Part III- Sandbox Tools.

Chapter 12 Introduction to the Sandbox Tools.

Playing in the Sandbox.

Ruby Scripts and Sandbox tools.

Additional tools and concepts.


Chapter 13 Conceptual 3D Grading.

Conceptual Grading.

SketchUp Process Modeling and Conceptual Grading.


Chapter 14 Complex Canopies.

2D Plan to 3D Form.



Chapter 15 Sandbox Architecture.

Drape Tool.


Part IV AutoCAD to SketchUp.

Chapter 16 Overview of AutoCAD to SketchUp.

General Overview.

Chapter 17 Organizing AutoCAD.

AutoCAD tutorial file.

The Nature of AutoCAD Re-organization.

Importing the Flatwork File.

Chapter 18 Modeling the AutoCAD Flatwork Base.

The Problem with AutoCAD Lines.

Methods for Healing the AutoCAD Flatwork Base.

Method #1 - Healing with the Line Tool.

Method #2 - AutoCAD Clean Up Ruby Scripts.

Next Steps.

Chapter 19 Arranging the Model.

Replace the Components.

Final Touches.

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Unleash the Power of SketchUp!

    SketchUp is a very powerful 3D modeling tool. As a practicing landscape architect and a SketchUP specialist, Daniel Tal shows you how to use SketchUP the right way in "Google SketchUp for Site Design."

    I have written several books on LEED, Architecture and Landscape Architecture myself. I know the most important and the most difficult part of writing a book: To understand and digest very complicated issues yourself, and then explain them to your readers in a simple and straight forward manner.

    Daniel Tal understands and knows the arts and crafts of writing. He is able to understand, digest, and simplify the complicated and overwhelming SketchUp software and explain it to readers in a concise and simple manner.

    Daniel Tal actually had two independent landscape architects (Carol McClanahan and Natalie Vaughn) tested his manuscript before the publication of this book. Neither carol nor Natalie had any prior experience using SketchUP. Based on the common user errors and software problems discovered by their tests, the tutorials in the book were clarified, added or removed.

    "Google SketchUp for Site Design" is a good guide for design professionals who want to unleash the power of SketchUp!

    Gang Chen, President, ArchiteG, Inc.
    AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Real Estate Broker (DRE# 01232392)
    Bestselling Author of books on LEED, Architecture and Landscape

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    Best guide to sketchup so far

    If you picked up Aidan Chopra's book 'Sketchup 7 For Dummies' and then picked up this book one might feel a little jaded at having to learn so many thing all over again. Don't get me wrong, Chopra's book is amazing for anyone getting started in sketchup, but just when one thinks one has some knowledge, opening this new book at first gives you the realization of just how little one really knows. Which is a good thing !!

    Firstly this book is in full color, (a first for Sketchup manuals) with hundreds of images that clearly show what is intended. It is also one giant of a tutorial, where each lesson builds on the next and the author makes you work at it, by leaving you on your own, in some cases, to figure out the next phase of a tutorial. This approach is very creative at it makes you really read the book and pay attention. It also makes you repeat things over and over and that, again, is a good thing, because repetition is the best way to really master something like sketchup.

    Does the book cover everything in sketchup ? No, I doubt any book could accomplish that, but it really is a great starting guide to getting organized and learning the ins and outs of 3 D modeling.

    The book is written by a landscape architect but, it covers many areas that will provide a huge learning curve for anyone interested in using sketchup and one can apply almost all of the methodology and guides contained in it for various fields of practice.

    In essence, this book is hard to beat when it comes to learning sketchup and hopefully the author will one day write another guide to cover some of the things not covered in his book.

    This book helped me a great deal and I'm still learning from it and am sure it will always be at my side rather than languishing on a book shelf like some other sketchup books I've acquired.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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