Simple 3D Excitingly Easy

Woah, I’m totally hyped about creating a 3D drawing on my laptop!!!  That’s my Project Table — well, sorta.  😉

Photoshop [Ps] is certainly a wonderful tool in interior design.  It can fairly accurately portray colours, sizes, placement, etc. on a flat, two-dimensional [2D] surface — or plane.  But, it’s terrible at portraying the 3D environment.

Ana White designs construction plans for various furniture projects & recently shared an intro to the software she uses — Google SketchUp.  Unless you want the ‘pro’ version, the download is free.

I reviewed a few of the tutorials at the Google site but when it came time to draw the first exercise [a simple chair], I dug right in & started with my project table.  The first base unit I tried was the kitchen end — just a few errors, so it’s a little out-of-whack.  😐

Starting with a basic rectangle, I used the push/pull tool to create the second plane.  To make the shelves, I drew a smaller rectangle & pushed that space out.  Here’s where I ran into problems:

  • I didn’t know where to place my cursor in the top left corner so I was ¾” in [width of my plywood] on both sides — thus the top shelf appears to have a wider border.
  • x
  • There’s a point when you’re pushing a piece that you can make it disappear [like all the shelves on the other unit] but when I made the lower shelf, I ended up pushing the space onto another plane [the blue box coming out the back of the first unit].
  • x
  • Somehow or another I made the first unit too wide — don’t ask me!
  • x
  • I tried to find a way to move or edit my rectangles & boxes but anything I tried created new planes or other weird shapes I didn’t want.

😉  I can turn one of those mistakes into a design feature — if I say that the blue box represents the space the glass from the base unit can take up under the tabletop.  Ya know “I designed it that way.”  😎

I got the rectangles for the second unit closer to the edge so it’s more accurate that way, but the exact measurements are still off — need to work on that.  But the pushing went well & all three shelves portray the open back.

I enjoyed orbiting to another plane to create the tabletop.  And I used the move tool to place it on the units when it was still a 2D rectangle — then I could make it the proper height.

I found it very easy to understand Google SketchUp concepts & start drawing — I think it took me longer to write about the process than to actually create the drawing.

For me to show all the sides of a project in Ps, I must redraw it each time.  I easily created these various views by simply orbiting around the finished table — although, sometimes the lines can be a little wobbly if I don’t get the angle right when I take the screen shot!  😛

But look, we can even see underneath.  😉

My carpenter is quite happy with the results –> Oh, if you’d given me that diagram at the start I would’ve had a better understanding of what you wanted.

Well, there’s so much more to learn — especially getting the exact measurements.  But I think I’ll be using this software a lot — it’s so much easier for our poor human brains to understand the multi-dimensional drawings.

Simply A Dawne Thought

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