Do you need SketchUp Pro? (SketchUp Pro 2018 vs SketchUp Free)

Do you need SketchUp Pro? (SketchUp Pro 2018 vs SketchUp Free)

In this video you’re gonna
learn why design professionals in architecture, interior
design, and related fields need SketchUp Pro to do their jobs. In fact, I’ll show you
how these professionals have been able to create
better presentations, streamline their workflow,
and do their jobs faster using SketchUp Pro. I’m Alex Oliver, founder
of SketchUp School. The place where professionals go when they’re serious
about learning SketchUp. And in this video we’ll
cover the ten features of SketchUp Pro that matter most to people using SketchUp professionally. Also stick around to the end of this video and I’ll link you to a
page where we can help you decide if SketchUp Pro is right for you. Keep watching! Do you need SketchUp Pro? To help you answer that question, I’ve gone through our
entire video course library and I made a list of the SketchUp Pro only features that we teach. In total I came up with a
list of ten key features that professionals depend
on to get the job done. If you need any of the
features on this list, then you need SketchUp Pro. There’s one thing that
will be helpful to know before we dive into this list. There’s a paid version of SketchUp and there’s a free version of SketchUp. The paid version is called SketchUp Pro and for a long time, the free version was called SketchUp Make but in November SketchUp released a brand new web-based version
called SketchUp Free. Now because SketchUp Free
will be the free version going forward, in this video we’ll focus on the differences between
the web-based, SketchUp Free, and the desktop application, SketchUp Pro. Last thing before we move on, all versions of SketchUp share the same core toolset
for creating 3D models. So most of the SketchUp
Pro features we’re covering are things that go above and beyond creating basic 3D models. If you’re about to give SketchUp
a try for the first time, I recommend you watch
another one of our videos called “Watch This Before You
Get Started with SketchUp”. You can find a link to
the video right here. Okay, let’s dive into the ten key features that professionals depend
on to get the job done. We’ll start by taking a
look at three features that help with design presentations. Then we’ll jump into two
features that help you integrate SketchUp into your workflow and we’ll finish by
looking at five features that I like to call the
SketchUp power tools. Let’s jump into the
first group of features. Number one, renderings and
walkthrough animations. When you’re trying to
sell your design idea, it helps to have a pretty picture and you can save a low-res
image out of SketchUp Free but if you step up to SketchUp Pro, you can export high-res images. And in Pro you can add
a rendering extension that helps you create more photorealistic or styled presentation images. Plus you can go beyond static pictures and use Pro to export high
res walkthrough animations that tour clients through your design. And again, you can use
a rendering extension to create animations
with realistic lighting and reflections. For rendering in SketchUp Pro, we created a whole video about it. So be sure to check that
out if realistic images are something that you need. You can find a link to
the video right here, Now, sometimes you need more
than just a single image or animation, which leads
us to our next feature. Number two, design presentations. To really sell your idea, you may need to create a more
complete design presentation. Now, if you’re like most
designers I run into, that means you’re trying
to take a graphics and drawing tool like illustrator and a drafting and
documentation tool like AutoCAD and a page design and
layout tool like InDesign and then use them all together
with the 3D model you get out of SketchUp to come up
with a design presentation. It can get pretty complicated. Now don’t get me wrong, I use all of those tools from time to time but it’s important to use the
right tool for the right job. And when the job is to
present your SketchUp model, LayOut really is just the better option. LayOut comes with SketchUp Pro and you can use the two together to create beautiful design presentations
for your clients. These can be things like early schematic design presentations, comparisons of different
product and material options, or detailed illustrations
that help explain how your design will work. Really you’re only limited
by your imagination. Just keep in mind these things when you’re setting up a
presentation in LayOut. Make sure to set up
scenes in SketchUp first. Then in LayOut, set each viewport to a specific SketchUp scene
and don’t forget to lock it. You’ll avoid some really huge
headaches later, trust me. Finally, import other files
and use LayOut’s tools to add text, vector drawings, and any other graphics
and styling you need. While we’re talking about LayOut, let’s go ahead and talk
about our next feature. Number three, detailed
construction documents. Yes, you can use SketchUp
Pro and LayOut together to create detailed construction documents. I’m talking about properly
scaled plans, elevations, sections, alongside construction details, product schedules, bills of materials, and all documented using
custom line weights, symbols, dimensions, labels, text, and all of it pulled together
on the right size paper with custom title blocks
so you’re ready to print or save as a PDF. You don’t need to hassle with
another program like AutoCAD. It’s so much easier to document your SketchUp model in LayOut. Here’s how it works. You start by setting
up views of your plans, elevations, and sections
as scenes in SketchUp. Then you send your project to LayOut. In LayOut you have a viewport, which is like a live look
into your SketchUp model. You can make as many copies
of the viewport as you’d like and place them on as
many pages as you’d like but here’s the key, you must
right click on each viewport and set your desired scene and scale. And make sure to lock the viewport. Then you’re in full control
as you document the design with LayOut’s powerful tools. Okay, we’ve covered the three
presentation focus features, now we’ll move on to the
next group of features. Workflow integration. We’ll start with number four,
start from as-built drawings. You don’t always design
things from scratch. Sometimes you need to start
from an as-built drawing or a design sketch. With SketchUp Pro, you
can import those drawings as a starting point and even better, you can make sure they
come in at the right scale so your SketchUp model is dead accurate. Here’s how. In your top menu, you can choose to import an image of a sketch or other drawing, a PDF of a floor plan
or technical drawing, or a DWG DXF if you’re
starting from a CAD file. After importing an image or a PDF. you’ll need to scale it. With CAD files they come
in at the right scale but you do need to be sure
to turn them into a group if they aren’t already. Then you can use your
imported file as a reference as you model right on top of it. So that’s the importing
feature in SketchUp Pro. Next up, number five,
export to other software. I’m a big fan of using the
right tool for the right job and SketchUp’s really great for most tasks but there are situations
where you’ll need to get your SketchUp model into
another design software. The good news is SketchUp Pro plays nice with most of the other
tools you’ll need to use. You can export 2D and 3D DWG or DXF files as well as a number of different 3D files that can be helpful for things like building information modeling
in applications like Revit, fabrication using CNC machining, or post production in other
3D applications like 3DS Max. Just know that when it comes to exporting, each situation will call
for a different recipe of SketchUp settings and
target application settings. So be prepared to experiment a bit or ask somebody who already knows a lot about your specific situation. Alright, we’ve made it more
than halfway through the list and now we’re up to some
really cool features that you can find inside SketchUp Pro. Collectively, I call them the power tools. These are extra features
inside SketchUp Pro that help design
professionals with problems that they regularly face on the job. Let’s take a look at these power tools. We’ll start with number
6, the sandbox tools. If you need to model terrain
or other organic shapes, you need the sandbox tools. With the sandbox tools, you
can model terrain from scratch or create the terrain from
an imported site survey and then incorporate 3D
models into the terrain. Beyond terrain, you can
use the sandbox tools to create other undulating
or organic surfaces too, If you want to give these
tools a try, just know that by default the sandbox
tools’ toolbar is disabled. So in order to see it, go to
your top menu and select view. On a PC go to toolbars. On a Mac go to tool palettes. Look for sandbox. On a PC check the box
to turn on the toolbar and on a Mac just click on the word. You should see the toolbar up here and you’re ready to
give these tools a try. Okay, next up, number
seven, the solid tools. Often, the key to creating
more complex shapes in SketchUp is to figure out how to either
add or subtract geometry from a more simple shape. That’s where the solid
tools come into play. So let’s use a custom piece
of furniture as an example. To easily model the joinery, you can overlap one shape over another and use the solid tools to trim away what you don’t need in just one click. In general, you can use the solid tools to add shapes together
into a more complex shape, use one shape to cut out
geometry from another shape, or overlap two shapes and keep
only the intersected part. Just like the sandbox
tools I mentioned earlier, you’ll need to activate
the solid tools toolbar from the view menu and then keep in mind, that the solid tools only work on solids. So that’s any component or
group that has a closed volume. Alright, next up we have number eight, the dynamic component tools. Let’s say you need to work with something that comes in more than one flavor. So take a cabinet for example. Creating one in SketchUp
is pretty straightforward but creating a kitchen full of
cabinets takes a lot longer. This is the kind of situation where dynamic components
are really useful. So rather than creating
them all from scratch, you can search the 3D
Warehouse for cabinets that were made as dynamic components and download one into your model. Then activate the
dynamic component toolbar from the view menu. After that, open up the component options to see what a dynamic component really is. It’s a component that has
been programmed with options for different sizes and
configurations of the cabinet. Make different selections and click apply and the component will
reconfigure on-the-fly. It’s a huge time saver and if you have a special
situation in mind, you can create your
own dynamic components. Alright, just two more features left. Next, let’s talk about number
9, the advanced camera tools. If you work in film or
TV and you need to know what your model will look like through a particular camera, then you need the advanced camera tools. Here’s how they work. Start by enabling the
toolbar from your view menu. Then use SketchUp’s navigation
tools to frame your shot. Next, add and name an advanced camera. Right-click and pick the type
of camera you’ll be using and you’ll see dark gray
bars that let you know what’s out of frame but
here’s an important tip. Before you navigate, be
sure to lock your camera. That way it’ll stay, put rather
than following you around. Alright, I’ve saved the
best feature for last. Number 10, extensions. With SketchUp Pro you can go to a website like the Extension Warehouse and find free or paid
extensions that help you model almost anything you can
imagine in SketchUp. For example, you can find extensions that do simple useful things
like round or bevel corners or you can find ones that do harder things like create complex organic shapes. There are two ways to add extensions. One, you can go to the
Extension Warehouse. You’ll need an account. Then browse or search for
the type of tool you need and then click on the red button and follow the steps to install. The second way, you can find extensions on other websites that can be downloaded. If you do that, to
install them in SketchUp, start by opening up
your extension manager. Then click the red install button and pick the downloaded
.RB or .RBZ extension file. Once you’ve installed a new extension, you’ll have a new toolbar,
new menu items, or both. If you don’t see the extension, you may need to enable
via the extension manager or even try restarting SketchUp. There you have it. The ten features of SketchUp Pro that design professionals rely on most. If you liked this video, be sure to subscribe to our
YouTube channel right now. That way you won’t miss out on other SketchUp training videos like this one. Just click on the subscribe
button right here. If you’re ready to invest in SketchUp Pro, then you’ll want to invest in
knowing how to use it well. Our video course library is filled with $8,700 worth of SketchUp training exclusively for professionals. Head over to our SketchUp school web site and try it for free. If you still need help
deciding if SketchUp Pro is right for you, click
this link right here. Now, I want to turn it over to you. Which feature from this video are you most excited to try first? Are you planning to try LayOut? Or are you excited to add new extensions? Do me a quick favor and let me know in the comments below right now. Until next time, happy sketching.

87 thoughts on “Do you need SketchUp Pro? (SketchUp Pro 2018 vs SketchUp Free)

  1. I’ve used AutoCAD for 26 years to produce construction documents for custom homes. I’m going on 5 years producing 3D models with SketchUp Pro and have done a few renderings with V-ray and Thea Render. I have resisted migrating away from AutoCAD and using Layout to this point because AutoCAD has become second nature in my creative workflow. I’m not really excited about it, but to answer your question at the end of the video, my next move would be to become proficient with Layout. My workflow includes producing structural framing plans, which are not normally built into a SketchUp model of a complex custom built home. It all comes down to time efficiency and drafting quality for me to justify a complete transition to the Trimble system.

  2. Dude you got me loving your course. Im still in my trial period but do not expect to leave anytime soon. You are making me love Sketchup all over again.

  3. Used to be able to use plugins with free versions. It seems like su has locked it down. Really lame. I only use su pro for geolocation and obj export. Most of my models are created in Blender these days. The lack of regard for modern modeling technology is where sketchup really lags. Even with plugins that can mimic results aren't actually true quads. AND the lack of native UV support all these years later is astounding.

  4. Also note that the EULA for free version, does not allow commercial work. Though probably a good chunk of the user base disregards it.

  5. Maybe point out that the free version really has no printing capability included, and for sure no scaled printing. Need the Layout program included with PRO (or some other method) to see the output on paper.

  6. Do us a favor and let us know: Which feature of SketchUp Pro are you most excited to use on the job? Let us know here in the comments.

    Oh, one more thing: Do you have any advice on how we can improve our YouTube channel and videos? Leave a comment and let us know!

  7. Loved your tutorials/videos….Just need a little help.. can you please make a tutorial on statue/skulpture 3d modelling from a CAD File. Thanks in advance

  8. I am interested in getting SketchUp . You information has made it very clear on which one I need. Thanks very much. It's Pro for me.

  9. Most of outstanding features mentioned in this video just disapperared from free version of SketchUp. SketchUp Make is capable of almost anything mentioned (excluding AutoCAD export-import, dynamic components, and layout). But Make for non-commercial use though and you still need Pro.

  10. When you go to point, just roughly point and quickly bring your hand back to the original position. Will look better. Also do this with your looking direction. Great video presentation. Finally someone is making great informative videos that take the mystery and confusion out of their products 🙂

  11. Great presentation. As a commercial photographer I am always on the lookout to enhance my images. It would be nice if it were possible to integrate my images with a sketchUp drawing.

  12. Excellent presentation Alex!!!!
    I am using SU free for a few years and afraid to go to SU pro for all the new features to learn.
    I am interesting in Layout and putting together a set of construction documents. Can we make the skp file into a dwg file to send it to the consultants? Most of them use ACAD.

  13. have always used Sketchup.. have always wanted Pro.. but after watching this simple video, I now know I need Pro!!!

  14. Excellent presentation. I use SketchUp Pro daily, and the only item on this list I haven't really used is Advanced Camera.

    I wouldn't be able to get much done without the drawing import functionality. Also, Layout has made huge leaps in the last couple releases. If Layout were a little more friendly I would be using it for all my projects, and I design 180,000 sf buildings on 5 acre sites!

  15. No, I need SU Make 2018. Free is a waste of my time and Pro doesn't have anything I need. Make was perfect for me.

  16. Thank you for the video i really enjoyed it, i liked the dynamic component feature because i am interested in the interior design (kitchens, offices , bathrooms…).
    I am a beginner with Sketchup and i'd like to learn in it and go in depth in it, i am looking forward to receiving your help or just guide me to start well.
    Thannk you

  17. I've used sketchup make on a 90 dollar pc and now a 1600 dollar gaming rig. Why does sketchup still have problems with making a vase? Same problem in two different machines. Sketchup not responding. Operations that slow down or stop the software entirely. Any ideas?

  18. Hi I have a question about some weird problem with my sketchup make 2017 and I'm hoping someone has an answer for me. I am woeking on a big assignment for my finals to become an interior adviser, I am currently working on the Vitra Haus Loft! the problem is not only with this document but with all of my latest designs. When I have worked in the model for like a few hours and I save it to my laptop, and I try to open it again later that day, I get some weird error that says it is locked by another user, while I am the only one using this computer and I save it to the same folder.. Is there a solution for this? do more people have this problem?

  19. What are your thoughts on Sketchup VR? Using applications like Enscape to dive into the file? Workflow, peripherals, comparability.

  20. I learned quickly that I just need the free version for right now. I was investigating the course and it did say if you're a hobbyist this course is overkill. I don't need to know the rendering and what not nor am I using this to get a job for architecture and other things. I'm just a comic artist who needs easy backgrounds that I can get multiple perspective points and lighting to make it look good. Yeah I can draw it up and draw the lighting myself but that's just way to much time! Maybe in the future when my bank account is more steady I'd take the course to just learn properly.

  21. Can you assign a specific color to lines in layers in SketchUp. For example: Layer "A" to be red. Layer "B" to be green

  22. Iam an interior designer. Iam using sketch2015 version. But my out put quality is low. How i can improve my rendering quality.

  23. thanks for the video, it is amazing
    I am a Revit user and i'm interested in expanding my knowledge.

    it seems that layout mimics what Revit does. Where can I learn more?

  24. love Sketchup Make. I would like to start with your courses from Step 1 to see if I missed anything. The capacity to import contoured surfaces is very exciting and will save me a lot of time, because I have drawn these by hand.

  25. Another very exciting topic is pre-made objects. I normally draw from scratch that is laborious. I would be interested in finishing tools for skirting, cornices and architraves.

  26. Excellent presentation, Alex. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will look into the differences to make the best decision for my current needs. The Pro version has so many options that I can imagine people wanting to move to this version simply for more pleasure – as well as for better tools. Thanks so much!

  27. I only need sketchup make tools. I dont even need to render things and for example make a presentation of my product. What i do need to have is to export my building from sketchup make to another program.. I would like to see that this problem soon is fixed for people like me. I dont even make houses hahah. Just for fun decoration in my no limits park

  28. I have a question. I want to make buildings for Cities Skylines 8with lights in the windows at nighs and so on…) Do I need some other softwares instead of SketchUp Pro? Blender is too complicated to me and programs like 3D Max are ways to expensive for me. I am a poor man…
    If only SketchUp Pro is needed, can you make a tutorial about it? It wuld help some of us a lot!

  29. i am working on models that are all under 6 inches and i am keeping running into issues where i am working too small. some are less than 4 cm.

  30. This does not help the new learner at all! You have a preconceived conclusion that no one needs basic free sketchup. If I could learn to use free then I might see a need to upgrade, but until I can do the basics I'm certainly not going to fork out hundreds of dollars for a program that I can't make do hardly anything. I wish that I could find a series of videos that address the version of free that is current on the web. Every video I have found so far starts out with Pro, so most of the things that are demonstrated do not apply to web version free SU. Oh how I wish I had never gotten rid of AutoCad!!!!

  31. can sketch up pro do what revit can do in the means of defining material. I mean lets take a floor as an example. The floor is made of four layers (concrete – slab, filling,cement mortar and tiles) – each layer can be quantified (area, or volume), and then to be calculated for bill of quantities?

  32. I need a simpler way to print woodworking plans using windows. I need to be able to draw a plan and print it to paper as it appears on my screen. make is too complicated.

  33. For a small business I would prefer to split the cost of Sketch Up Pro into 2 or 3 payments, could that be an option? I'm not an architect or designer, but I make some presentation for selling shade sails (sailmaker is my craft)

  34. Kudos for this presentation. Of late, I did not notice, how Sketchup has grown over years. Obviously, the Pro version is excellent. But how much would the Pro version cost in India, IN₹ vis-a-vis US$?

  35. I think you said on beginning that you would speak about the free version on the end. But basically this video is about what you can do with the paid version but almost nothing about what you can do with the free version.

    I'm trying to see if I invest time on Infusion 360 or sketch up or any other that you work for free. I'm an hobbiest and I don't get income from my project or because I'm using an 3d app or software so I would like to have an true idea of what would be my limitations.
    For someone that doesn't dominate the software, watching your video, I can't really see if I can't use sketchup free for what I need.
    Your video is more focuses on what you can do with the paid view.
    I need to create 3d models and then be able to print so I can go to my garage/shop and bring the project to light.
    Can I or not, do that with the free version?

  36. sir in this sketch up can i become draftsman also plzz reply i am your subscriber i do also 3ds max and autocad as well as sketchup

  37. Hi
    Can I use 3D sketch up models to cut down by laser the design and build a maquette out of the 3D model ? Like on AutoCAD or 3D Max?

  38. Thanks Alex. One question I have still, though. I am using SketchUp Make 2017 desktop edition to tinker around. I downloaded the program on my home computer, made a file of a shed, emailed it to myself, then opened it up on my work computer where I am also tinkering around with SketchUp Make 2017 desktop edition. When I opened the file at work, I noticed that all my layers were there, but I could not hide/show them, almost as if you guys may have disabled this feature to discourage people from using the free version and being able to collaborate with others. Is this the case, or am I just making some noob mistake of not understanding my layers dialog box? Thank you for your time.

  39. Sorry to hear of the way SketchUp is going. It used to be that SketchUp provided a useful program for free. I can't justify paying $695+$125 yearly for maintenance for SketchUp Pro just as a hobby, and without extensions the other versions are just too limited. The whole reason for my interest would be to make components and write extensions for it.

  40. is sketchup shop a good bridge between free and pro? I can't afford the pro version but like some of the features you've mentioned here

  41. I am an interior designer and decorator, one of my friends advised me to learn SketchUp, I am new to it, I wish you can advise me of which program I can get , I
    thank you

  42. Thank you for detailing the ten reasons to chose Sketch up Pro. I am an Architect and I am interested in Layout. I will be using your Sketch up school. Thank up.


  43. Once I saved my work to SketUp free, Can I export working file that saved on SketchUp Free and open file in SketchUp pro? if so, How? Thanks

  44. Sketchup is the tool I always wished to have to create my dream house, and other plans. Thank you so much for such easy tool.

  45. હા સાહેબ આ skechup pro vray માટે કેવું computer PC version જોવી

  46. Hi i am keen to learn SketchUp personal as i have just retired from my 47 years of working and wanting to start some woodworking can you assist thanks Greg

  47. I am an old SketchupPro customer. The 2019 subscription purchase doesn't come with a key or license. And the link Trimble promised never came. Now, the only thing I have is my payment receipt, this means I am locked out from Sketchup. Also in my Trimble account my subscription doesn't occur. I reinstalled the software, restarted several times. No sketchup. I will no go back to Autodesk and autocad. Lousy customer post service on top of all my license problems.

  48. Thanks.

    Pro also has support for 3d mouse. On the web based version it only zooms in and out, pretty much useless.

  49. My concern is, can you key in the license key of a SketchUp Pro in SketchUp Make and unlock all functionality included in Pro version?

    SketchUp doesnt provide access to older version of the software anymore, and yes I know SketchUp have provided link to donwload older version of SketchUp, but I can only find previous version down to 2017, anything else older are not accessible.

    I need the installer for SketchUp Pro 2016, but I'm only able to get the installer for Make. Which bring me to ask this question

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