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Hope everyone is being responsible and staying safe, I also hope you’re making the most out of your time if you’re self-isolating 🙂
In this video series, we’ll be going through top 10 free plugins that have really upped my productivity while modeling and have made things way easier.
All plugin download links will be available with each description below + I’ll be giving a brief demo of every plugin or extension as we go along. Kindly play the video for a better understanding of how each plugin/extension works.
1001 Bit Tools (the freeware version)
It has 39 helpful tools, some are very necessary if you model interiors like I do.
Since there are so many tools in this plugin, here’s a detailed tutorial for this plugin by Sketchup Essentials but I’ll show you a couple of things that I love about this tool in my video.
Front Face Tool
I bet you’ve seen me use it a lot in my videos and that’s because it’s important to have all faces positioned correctly (Here’s why).
If you have a face in an object or a component that is facing backwards, normally you’d have to select it, right click and choose ‘Reverse Faces’. If your object is complicated with too many polygons, that can take forever to fix.
Well, this tool is here for the rescue of your precious time; just click the button and start dragging your mouse over all backside faces.
This is witchcraft in display guys; thank the developer of this plugin for your saved time.
I have sentimental feelings towards this one because it was my first plugin to use ever and it literally saved me form getting fired from my internship back in 2014.
Let’s say we have a curved window opening + a straight rectangular window and we need those to fit. This scenario was similar to the trouble I was in when I was an intern.
At the time this looked like the end of the world for me since I didn’t know how to model a curved window to save my career, so I needed a shortcut.
How this beauty works:
- You need to mimic the curve of your desired bend by either drawing it or copying the line.
- Draw a straight line along the length of the object you want to bend. It doesn’t have to be the same length by the way, but all lines have to be parallel to the Red Axis which is the X Axis in Sketchup (The object you want to bend has to be either a group or component or this won’t work.)
- Select the Object, THEN click the tool button.
- You’ll see the tool’s instructions at the bottom left on your Sketchup window. It says to select the straight line first.
- Next you select the curve or bend.
It takes a few seconds or minutes, depending on how complex your model is, but you’ll see a green outline of your object over the bent or curved line.
Because it’s a mesh outline, you can’t really tell if your shape is bent facing the right direction, so take note that these ‘Start’ and ‘End’ labels match the ‘Start’ and ‘End’ labels on the original object.
If your shape is bent the wrong way around, you can use the ‘Up’ arrow on your keyboard to toggle the curve, and the ‘Down’ arrow to toggle the line.
To draw the new object, just press ‘Enter’ on your keyboard.
You can use this tool to bend literally everything to every shape.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all tool and that you need to be smart about choosing which objects to bend and how you bend them.
Round Corner tool
If you will choose one tool only out of all 10 in this video; this is the one to get, and in the video I’ll show you why.
Why this tool is important is because if objects were this sharp in real life they would be an injury hazard, so making edges smoother is a lot more realistic and gives your objects an overall polished look.
You can see the difference between the before and after on the table in the video; the whole model is completely different and when I paint it with material, it will render into a realistic table.
This single button plugin can save your whole model from a lot of glitches.
What’s so great about this tool is that you can inspect modeled or imported objects for errors that may lag, crash, or corrupt your Sketchup file and ruin hours of hard work. It fixes what it can fix and tells you what you need to fix yourself. These problems are usually highlighted in red; you just have to orbit or flip the object to see them.
To save time and not overwhelm yourself, make sure you only inspect complex objects as you create them or before importing downloads into your model. It’s also wise to save your progress before importing anything heavy or complex with problems, in case it causes a crash.
That’s it for part one of this video, hope these plugins prove useful to you and help you make the best of your time and skills as much as they help me. Stay tuned for part two with 5 more plugins and extensions coming soon.
Make sure you like the video if you found it useful and subscribe to my Youtube Channel to get notified whenever there are new tutorials.
I welcome any questions or suggestions for new tutorial videos, so what do you want to learn next?
Leave it in the comments below or message me on any of my social media accounts 🙂 (Links are below).
Your support would make my day 🙂
A Special thank you to Charmain Webster, Ken Scharen, Jerome Graven, and Anthony Johnson for Supporting Ravenor’s.
- Sketchup 2018.
- VRay Next (4.00.02).
- Photoshop Cs6 Extended.
- Materialize 1.78
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HDRI: HDRI Haven.
Video Production: Camtasia 2018.
Music: Urban Lullaby