If you have ever played with 3D modeling/drafting software, you’ll know that most of it is non-intuitive and is riddled with bugs.  It involves refreshing the screen a lot because of artifacts that occur when deleting lines and your CPU fan ramping up to full speed.  None of this describes Google Sketchup.  It’s the easiest and best 3D modeling package I’ve ever used.  Today I spent some time drawing a 3D model of my house in order to chose some landscaping for the front yard.  It took me a couple of hours to draw but most of that was spent running back and forth between the computer and the tape measure.  If I had an assistant, I could have hacked it out in about 30 minutes I think.  I haven’t decided on the landscaping yet but I’m fairly pleased with the result.  Here is another house that I designed from the ground up for a piece of property I’m trying to market.

I would say it took roughly 4 hours but that was the first model I made so I had a lot of undo’s and other learning mistakes.  On both of the houses, I drew every line by hand besides the trees but I was easily able to import pictures.  For instance, the siding on both drawings is actually just a picture of siding that I rescaled to work as a texture map.  There are several video tutorials available and I think you can watch them all and be proficient in less than 30 minutes.  Google Sketchup is totally free for download so no excuses.

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