Google SketchUp is a 3D modeling program designed for architects, civil engineers, filmmakers, game developers, and related professions. It also includes features to facilitate the placement of models in Google Earth. It is designed to be easier to use than other 3D CAD programs.
A feature of SketchUp is the 3D Warehouse that lets SketchUp users search for models made by others and contribute models
LEFT are some examples of the kinds of things which can be done by children in schools.
Various types of buildings can be made often historical or representing different architectural styles. These are relatively easy to do in Sketchup, as the program is designed primarily as an architectural tool.
Using a floor plan - often from the web - is a good place to begin a building.
VIDEOS showing examples of this can be seen here:YEAR 1/2 City Scape
This shows an introductory exercise that can be used with our very youngest children.
This is a another good starting point, and skills acquired here can be used again and again in other sketchup projects.
An example of a historic structure often studied by KS2.
An elaborate project based on a floor plan of our superb castle.
Another use is to create the basis for a 3D package.
Sketchup is used to make packaging the 'box', cd case or whatever, whist another page layout program can be used to create the graphics.
The method to transfer the graphic to the 'box' is straightforward - once you know how...
For a VIDEO example of this go to
As this was the children’s first go with the splendid Google Sketchup program, they made simple houses - and will move on to look at Manx Landmarks in due course. Unusually many of the structures created by Year 4 and 5 featured two floor interiors, with staircases and furniture - as well as full-featured gardens.
TUDOR HOUSES are a distinctive feature of the English landscape, with their timber frames, ‘wattle and daub’, tiled roof and brick chimney. Capturing these features in 3D was a task handed out to class 3A - and given this was their FIRST go on the incredible ‘Sketchup’ software, the results were truly fit for a king.
Mrs El-Sheik brought Year 6 to make 3-D models of the town’s Albert Tower. These weren’t just any 3-D Sketchup creations. These stand as some of the best 3-D models made on the computer bus since we began using this incredible program back in December 2003. The towers (LEFT) included all manner of architectural detail copied from photographs of the real tower which stands on a hill adjacent to the school.
On the agenda today were ‘The Victorians’ and specifically, Victorian towns and the terraced houses occupied by large families of mill workers.
The school-modelling exercise began with an early morning tour of the building to familiarise themselves with its layout. The results (left) were universally ‘superb’ and a credit to the boys and girls. Only a few examples are shown here - but all the models will be worked on over the next few days to make them even more complete. (The ‘church’ models will be most interesting...)
Meantime, Year 5 and their teachers Miss Cullen and Miss O’Reilly were introduced to Sketchup for the first time, with a view to them using their skills to attempt to create 3-D models of a WWII Anderson Shelter.
TODAY there was a range of activities to ‘support teaching and learning’ about the Peel Castle and its history, layout, flora and fauna. As well as a chance to get to grips with and label a 3-D model of the castle itself (left), there was plenty of orientating, locating and labelling photographs of flowers seen around the castle.
They began by removing the ‘roof’ from a 3-D drawing or the INCAT 050 provided for them and then set about creating closed ‘spaces’ for everything from a ‘cinema’ to toilets. They then used the component library to add seating, doors, windows and people to the cabin, and vehicles to the outside deck. Many added a ‘swimming pool’ to the bow of the vessel - maybe a bit optimistinc given the prevailing weather in the Irish Sea..
DAY 2 saw Year 6 do some of the best Sketchup work done on the computerbus by primary school pupils. Having surveyed members of the public in Ramsey yesterday about possible new uses for the soon to be demolished swimming pool, they set about proposing a design for a new leisure centre for the town. Not content with creating the model in the fabulous Sketchup 3-D modelling program, they then went on to apply the finished model to a photograph of the site to create realistic and impressive mock-ups of how their design would look.
OFTEN computer users are happy to achieve their end using just one piece of software. But to create high quality and sophisticated results it may be necessary to use several programs in combination to get the desired effect... So it was with Vallajeelt Year 2 and their ‘Olympic Posters’. The main brief was to introduce them and their teachers to the remarkable 3-dimensional drawing program Google Sketchup. But the aim of the task was to make something that would link to the ‘Olympic’ theme of the week.