Improve your scamps with Google SketchUp

Us Copywriters notoriously suffer from ‘draw-like-an-idiot-child’ syndrome. This usually isn’t a problem for those with Art Directors, but even then, there’ll always be times when you’ll want to be able to make your ideas look good by yourself. To display in your portfolio, for example.

I’ve been looking into various ways of doing this, and one method I’m really enjoying is 3D modelling. It’s obviously not applicable to all concepts, but if you’ve got something like a product design or experiential idea to execute, it could be ideal.

Program-wise, you really can’t go wrong with Google SketchUp. Like all Google programmes, it’s incredibly user-friendly. And vitally, it doesn’t have so many features as to be overwhelming, while still managing to be powerful enough for super-complex models.

I’ve watched the first four SketchUp tutorial videos today (the absolute beginner ones) and played with the program itself for maybe 2 hours, and already I feel like I’m getting it. While you’re practising, it’s a good idea to try modelling the things around you – here’s a quick model I made of the perfume bottle on my desk:

Yes, the glass really is that thick. Sigh

SketchUp is free and not very demanding on system resources (although it probably gets that way when you’ve got a complex model going on – I definitely noticed some lag in the more advanced tutorial videos), so if you’ve always fancied trying your hand at 3D, it’s well worth a few hours of playtime.

Download SketchUp here.

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