Series: Missing Manual
Paperback: 602 pages
Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (June 1, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #383,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #52 in Books > Computers & Technology > Graphics & Design > 3D Graphics #55 in Books > Computers & Technology > Internet & Social Media > Web Browsers #147 in Books > Computers & Technology > Digital Audio, Video & Photography > Video Production
I've written (just a few) handouts, manuals and books about using software, mainly graphics software. These programs are so full-featured it's easy to overwhelm a novice. When you're new to the subject, never mind the program itself, it's almost impossible not to feel at sea. Which is why we buy books like those in the Missing Manual series.I hoped for a step-by-step procedure: Double-click the icon, this window appears, click this to have this happen, click that to set a preference, click this tool and do...something.I began on page 13, Chapter 1, "Building a Bench: Your First SketchUp Model." After a short introduction to the program and the concept of 3D, the next page is "Firing up SketchUp for the First Time." Three different methods for launching the program for both Mac and Windows are given. Then the author talks about the first window that opens. Buried in the 12-line paragraph is a casual mention that if you're creating something (like the project later in this chapter?) you should choose the Woodworking template. Unmentioned (but pretty obvious) is "click OK to continue."Then there's a tour of the interface and instructions on how to set it up and how to change how you're viewing your creation. Then there's a digression on templates and how to create templates (which I'm a long way from attempting). Then, finally, on page 32 is "Bench: Starting Your First Mode." And it begins with 1. Open a new SketchUp document with File > New. Hello! That's where you left me, some 18 pages ago! But at least here are instructions.Things got much better down the road. The instructions are step-by-step, and there are frequent sidebars, call-outs and other notes that add more information as you go.
I have a 3d printer and needed to learn a 3d drawing program to be able to design my own objects. I had never used a computer aided drawing program before, so I downloaded several to try my hand at using them. I have a technical degree but found that the insistence of the CAD programs to implement rules before I was done with my creation to be difficult to intuitively work around. I ordered this book because SketchUp was one of the programs I was evaluating for use. This book is over 500 pages long, but on page 139 I was able to design and print a 'seasonal' dryer vent cover (I made a separate screen to insert into the screen cover that can be rotated inside the main cover to change the size of the vent holes for each season). The book has made me unstoppable!In all seriousness, I do recommend that if you are new to CAD programs that you read each and every page rather than just try to find the first project to create something. If you skip around, you might miss fundamental instructions like which template designs in inches or spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to accomplish a simple task like how to adjust measurements, how to make sure the measurements are what you want to begin with, how to get rid of the annoying person standing in the middle of the drawing field, and is she really necessary? (I don't find her annoying anymore, the people standing in the frame are named after developers, and s/he isn't necessary). I really like this book and recommend it to anyone who will actually read it as a valuable manual. This book is what made my decision for me to use SketchUp for my 3d modeling. It has given me many 'aha' moments and I am sure there are many more to come in the next 400 pages.
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