Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

SketchUp 7.1 Architectural Visualization

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Book Reviews 62

dango0 writes "SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization – Beginner's Guide is a detailed guide that will figuratively take you by the hand and teach you how to make stunning photorealistic and artistic visuals of your projects with free software and free resources that you can find all over the Internet." Read on for the rest of Dan's review.Robin de Jongh is a consulting engineer and designer who has successfully used SketchUp for multi-million-pound new developments, and a whole bunch of smaller projects, from steel staircases to new product prototypes. He previously ran an architectural and product visualization company. Robin holds a degree in Computer Aided Product Design and is a professional engineer registered with the Institution of Engineering Designers in the UK. He writes a blog about SketchUp for design professionals.

Frankly, when I saw that the book has 400+ pages, I thought "this thing is full of fluff and will bore me to death." But to my pleasant surprise I found a lot of descriptive pictures, and that's exactly what a visual-based guy like me understands best. So, without further ado, I'll make a brief presentation of the chapters that will enlighten your path to fast, easy and breathtaking presentations of your projects:

Chapter 1 – Quick Start Tutorial

This chapter is a fast forward for those impatient to get to the realistic sketchup scenes. Here you'll find out how to model the scene, fix the lights, add textures, background, and make a quick render in Kerkythea.

Chapter 2 – Plug in and Gear Up

You will find that with a couple of free plugins and some other software you can turn SketchUp into a fully functional 3D modeling, visualization and animation suite similar to . let's say 3D Max!!! (well the truth is this part made my jaw drop)

Chapter 3 – Composing the scene (free sample available)

This chapter will teach you how to make modeling a less hard work by setting your scene prior to starting work. Here you'll use CAD plans, site images or even Google Earth to build the optimized scene for quick rendering or animation. (I know you will love this part of the book, so I got a sample of this chapter from the publisher for you guys – See it Here)

Chapter 4 – Modelling for Visualization

The pro modeling methods you can learn here will save you both the time, and the hassle of working with large polygon counts that can slow down your PC considerably, and at the same time will show you how to make those photo real renderings we all love in a blink of an eye.

Chapter 5 – Applying Textures and Materials for Photo-Real Rendering

Since the world evolved really fast lately, we have at our disposal a lot of free online image resources, professional digital cameras, and so a really effective way of bringing the "model" to life. The tutorials you'll discover in this chapter will show you some unique photo and material handling tools to create surreal, mega easily textured scenes.

Chapter 6 – Entourage the SketchUp Way

Now you have a scene, with modeled buildings and applied textures, and the next step you wanna take is to make it shine with some Entourage, like cars, furniture, and of course trees and bushes and other nice things. In this chapter you'll learn how to find the best libraries, and also to create your own (that you can give to others, for FREE or CASH).

Chapter 7 – Non Photo Real with SketchUp

Some other free software that you will learn how to use is GIMP, a powerful photo editing photo suite, that can simulate sketchy pencil and watercolor styles. And yeah, almost forgot about this, you will learn the AWESOME "Dennis Technique".

Chapter 8 – Photo-realistic rendering

Some in depth presentation and step by step introduction into Kerkythea, the amazing free rendering software, with proven best settings for test renders and final outdoor and indoor scenes. This chapter amazed me, because it covers everything you need to know about getting professional photo-realistic renders out of a simple SketchUp model.

Chapter 9 – Important Compositing and After Effects in GIMP

We all know that the rendering process isn't the end of the line, because there's lots of subtle but important after effects you can apply to make the image even more effective. This particular chapter covers how to add reflections without rendering, creating depth of field effects from a depth render, adjusting levels for realistic daylight scenes, compositing real and rendered images.

Chapter 10 – Walkthroughs and Flyovers

Here you will find tutorials that will show you how to create storyboards, set up cameras and paths in SketchUp with extra plugin functionality, export test animations and final renders. Photo real animations are then composited to make a simple showreel.

Chapter 11 – Presenting Visuals in LayOut

This final chapter I really enjoyed since I like to play with layouts. The layout module is bundled as part of SketchUp Pro and is introduced in this final chapter for those who wish to explore the free trial before committing to Pro. You will learn how to bring together SketchUp models and artistic or rendered output into a screen presentation or printed portfolio, adding borders, text and dimensions.

I'm an architect, and I've worked with paid software before, but I gotta tell you, the free applications are most of the time way better than the paid ones, for the simple fact that they're made by passionate people who upgrade and tweak things all the time. If you want to learn how to use free software that delivers results time after time, please check out this book. I guarantee you won't throw your money away; the price for this book is way too low for the knowledge it shares and the results you can achieve.

You can purchase SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization: Beginner's Guide from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

cancel ×

62 comments

yes but, (-1, Troll)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 4 years ago | (#32667040)

please point me to the linux version.

Re:yes but, (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32667158)

I'm pretty sure this version is compatible with linux, assuming you have a scanner that works and the patience to scan in each page.

Personally I would just sit down somewhere comfortable and read the book without going through linux, though...

Not to be nit picky, but... (5, Insightful)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | about 4 years ago | (#32667524)

This book review is not a review. It is a chapter-by-chapter summary. If Slashdot is going to do this "book review" section, could we please get some reviews? I know that most people don't read book reviews anyway (most Slashdotters aren't the literary type), but this kind of thing needs to be pointed out so that we can keep up the quality of news/submissions.

What we really need to know is whether this book sucks or doesn't, how well the material is presented, and what is lacking from an expert's perspective.

Re:Not to be nit picky, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32667670)

The point of a paid-for review is such that the actual quality of the book is obscured, and the author can inject pavlovian phrases like "photoreal" and "FREE or CASH". This one never graduated from marketing school, as you can see from the grade school phrasing and structure. Slashdot placements must be going cheap these days.

Re:Not to be nit picky, but... (1)

mattdm (1931) | about 4 years ago | (#32667766)

It's barely even a chapter summary! The descriptions tell you, for example, that the chapters contain something "AWESOME", without hinting as to what that might even be. I'm half-surprised it didn't just come out and say "You'll have to buy the book to find out!"

Speaking of literary... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | about 4 years ago | (#32668332)

(most Slashdotters aren't the literary type)

I don't think a book about using free software is all that "literary", but maybe that's just me.

Re:Speaking of literary... (2, Insightful)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | about 4 years ago | (#32668510)

The perhaps failed point that I was trying to make was that literary-type people have heavier exposure to books and know what book reviews are or are supposed to be. Most people here have their heads glued to the computer screen and aren't sitting in an armchair reading all day. It's a completely different "culture." The literary type is more academic, so he is going to pick up on this kind of thing, but he is not going to have the time or energy to be as technical as your average Slashdotter.

Most technical books are rarely completely read--much information is redundant from book to book--and are typically used as references. Not necessarily the case in a philosophical/political text where the reader may waste two weeks of his life if he doesn't have a good review to go by! In the Slashdotter's case, a book review can save the reader money by helping him to select a book that is well-written but will be obsolete in a few years.

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32668746)

Quite the insightful comment

Copy-Paste advertisement. What the hell? (1)

PMBjornerud (947233) | about 4 years ago | (#32674802)

Hijacking an early post, because I am disgusted.

Comparing Chapter 11 reviews:

From TFR:

This final chapter I really enjoyed since I like to play with layouts. The layout module
is bundled as part of SketchUp Pro and is introduced in this final chapter for those who wish to explore the free trial before committing to Pro. You will learn how to bring together SketchUp models and artistic or rendered output into a screen presentation or printed portfolio, adding borders, text and dimensions.

From Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/SketchUp-7-1-Architectural-Visualization-Beginners/dp/1847199461/ [amazon.com]

Layout
is bundled as part of SketchUp Pro and is introduced in this final chapter for those who wish to explore the free trial before committing to Pro. You will learn how to bring together SketchUp models and artistic or rendered output into a screen presentation or printed portfolio, adding borders, text and dimensions.

Either awful copy-paste, or awful slashvertisement. I suspect someone with an interest of selling a lot of these books, trying to push favorable reviews as many places as possible.

Alternate version (3, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | about 4 years ago | (#32667054)

There is also Google Scatsup. It's exactly the same in every way, but is spelled differently for some long forgotten reason. Also, it's total crap.

Re:Alternate version plagiarized (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about 4 years ago | (#32671304)

The true alternate version is on the author's blog, which shows that this is just a paraphrase of the author's own blog post.

http://provelo.co.uk/2010/05/sketchup-7-1-for-architectural-visualization/ [provelo.co.uk]

Of course we don't read the articles here, so how could we have known? Maybe plagiarized is too strong, since they did give the source and they did paraphrase. But I think it qualifies.

Diagrams will never make up for real code. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32667152)

Abstract and often ambiguous diagrams will never make up for real code. Never.

There are far too many "architects" who sit there all day drawing out massive diagrams of software systems, adding complexity that isn't needed, and in the end still not providing something that's usable.

You could fire those architects, hire some good developers, and actually get a software product developed, tested and in the field, well before those architects have "perfected" their "designs".

Software architecture isn't like designing buildings or machinery. It's misleading and unproductive to think that it is.

Re:Diagrams will never make up for real code. (2, Funny)

rwa2 (4391) | about 4 years ago | (#32667228)

Watching this thread with a supply of "whooshes" on hand for deployment.

Re:Diagrams will never make up for real code. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32667320)

Software architecture isn't like designing buildings or machinery. It's misleading and unproductive to think that it is

* Weinberg's Second Law: If Builders Built Buildings The Way Programmers Write Programs, Then The First Woodpecker That Came Along Would Destroy Civilization.

Re:Diagrams will never make up for real code. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32667840)

If software projects would get the same upfront design instead of a continuing stream of modifications on the initial design, and get the same funding as a building project, I'm sure the software would be a lot more stable.

Re:Diagrams will never make up for real code. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32668676)

I don't think he's saying that buildings should be designed like software is designed.

I think he's saying that software shouldn't be designed like buildings are designed.

He's just pointing out that those software architects who try to design software as if they were designing a building often produce nothing but useless shit.

Re:Diagrams will never make up for real code. (4, Insightful)

MrMarket (983874) | about 4 years ago | (#32667324)

Yes, but designing buildings is like designing buildings -- which is what the author suggests SketchUp can be used for.

Where does it say it can't be used? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32667494)

When did the on-topic (but incorrectly marked off-topic) parent poster say that diagrams shouldn't be used for such things? That comment specifically addresses software diagramming, which can indeed be done with SketchUp.

Diagramming works well for physical objects, where there is a 1-to-1 correspondence between reality and the drawing. It doesn't work well for abstract things like computer programs, where there is no such mapping.

Re:Where does it say it can't be used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32667730)

When did the on-topic (but incorrectly marked off-topic) parent poster say that diagrams shouldn't be used for such things? That comment specifically addresses software diagramming, which can indeed be done with SketchUp.

Maybe it's marked offtopic because the book isn't about software architecture??

Free is not always better (3, Interesting)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about 4 years ago | (#32667296)

I do architectural design and SU is not the answer to every problem. If you're doing multi-million dollar designs, heck, spend a couple bucks and use programs that are easier and more powerful. Sure, it can be fun to try to learn and navigate your way through the program, but give me my architectural design software with ease and simplicity and powerful photo-realistic images in a fraction of the time of SU. Play with free. Work with paid for programs.

Re:Free is not always better (3, Informative)

Voytek (15888) | about 4 years ago | (#32667392)

True, but you are not the target market for this tool.

Re:Free is not always better (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about 4 years ago | (#32667922)

Hmmm. Title to this article "SketchUp 7.1 Architectural Visualization". I must be misreading something. My apologies.

Re:Free is not always better (1)

Dynedain (141758) | about 4 years ago | (#32669152)

True, but you are not the target market for this tool.

Ahh, but the GP is the target market for the book (as am I). And those in the target market know that Sketchup is the wrong tool. Therefore the book is a bit of a waste as it's advocating the wrong tool for the job.

That said, Sketchup does have a very valuable role in the architectural design process, and can be a useful tool for archviz, but really as an intermediary step, or for schematic uses.

Re:Free is not always better (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | about 4 years ago | (#32670068)

Sketchup does have a very valuable role in the architectural design process, and can be a useful tool for archviz, but really as an intermediary step, or for schematic uses.

I'm gonna go ahead and disagree with this too. While I agree all architects, not just the poor ones, are the target market for this book, people just need to stop using SketchUp, period. If you have access to quality design/BIM software such as Autodesk's Revit, SketchUp can only slow down and complicate your process. When I do space/mass modeling in a true architectural software, I get real time area and volume updates. I can apply materials to the walls that display properly on the face as well as showing the proper thickness in sections. The model needs no converting formats and heavy editing to become the actual paper documents. The list of positives is endless. The only negatives I hear are from people that are stuck in their ways.

I can't tell you how many SketchUp models I've had to fix thanks to designers just using their imagination. Square footages were off, material transitions weren't fully thought out, spaces were left out, etc... I'm all for thoughtful and uninhibited design process, but there's no sense in making a beautiful design if the program doesn't fit or the materials don't work. Now that I'm the one doing the designing, all these things have to be solved during the initial design process, making for a better building and less headaches in the construction process. All that = Time & Money. A value FAR beyond the cost of the software.

Re:Free is not always better (1)

Dynedain (141758) | about 4 years ago | (#32670462)

Oh, I agree, Revit/Archicad are much more robust solutions. But in early massing phases, they're waaaay too much overhead for what's needed.

And believe it or not, there are a lot of firms out there not using BIM (like mine, but that's a whole different story), and for them Sketchup is the way to introduce digital 3D into the workflow.

Re:Free is not always better (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32667558)

Exactly. It's like the idiots who maintain that Duh GIMP is a professional tool. It's so hard to not just laugh in their faces when freetards make this argument. And before someone comes along to say "BUT BUT IT'S FOR AMATEURS!!!" one can just point out programs like Paint.NET that are far easier to use and more powerful than Duh GIMP even for amateurs.

Re:Free is not always better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32669904)

One program that is very hard to learn, and basically useless is Adobe Photoshop. Spent some time to figure it out and it really is unintuitive. Makes Gimp looks like a gem. What do professionals use to make their time worthwhile?

Re:Free is not always better (2, Insightful)

TopherC (412335) | about 4 years ago | (#32667584)

Of course, just because a program costs thousands of $ doesn't mean it's any good either. I'm short on examples, but in my experience the more expensive the software the worse it is. AutoCAD and ClearQuest are the only ones coming to mind now, as I think I've mentally blocked out the worst experiences. There are exceptions to this of course. Fluent is pretty good.

But I agree in general that if you're doing professional work, your software choices are expanded because cost is not an issue.

Re:Free is not always better (0)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 4 years ago | (#32667604)

Except that as bad as AutoCAD is it's still better than the freeware tools.

Re:Free is not always better (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about 4 years ago | (#32667902)

I'm short on examples, but in my experience the more expensive the software the worse it is.

I can give a good example where $1000 is well worth it. I've been using Chief Architect for almost 13 years. It is stunning. It allows me to design real working drawings and do what SU does but a whole lot more and a whole lot easier. The article is correct in saying that SU can making a great looking image with a "simple design", but it will take more than a little bit of time to do the same with a complex design.

Ultimately, Google designed this so people would help populate their 3D Earth with buildings...just the shells. Its grown to a little more than that, but it still lags behind lots of software that specialize in this area.

Re:Free is not always better (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about 4 years ago | (#32673582)

Ultimately, Google designed this so people would help populate their 3D Earth with buildings...

Not to nitpick or anything (ah heck, who am I kidding, I love to nitpick) but Google bought SketchUp when they acquired @Last Software, they didn't design it.

Re:Free is not always better (2, Interesting)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 4 years ago | (#32668140)

I do architectural design and SU is not the answer to every problem. If you're doing multi-million dollar designs, heck, spend a couple bucks and use programs that are easier and more powerful. Sure, it can be fun to try to learn and navigate your way through the program, but give me my architectural design software with ease and simplicity and powerful photo-realistic images in a fraction of the time of SU. Play with free. Work with paid for programs.

Sometimes, you only need to create a design once, even on a paid project. For example, I was recently creating three dimensional views of an object for a patent application and used Sketchup because it was quick, easy, didn't need to be textured, and wasn't worth the purchase of a commercial program that I'd only use once.

Of course, your mileage may vary - doing many architectural designs like you do would quickly pay for the expense of a commercial program.

Re:Free is not always better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32668498)

I can give a good example where $1000 is well worth it. I've been using Chief Architect for almost 13 years. It is stunning. It allows me to design real working drawings and do what SU does but a whole lot more and a whole lot easier.

I have to ask: Is Chief Architect easier to use because it's easier to use, or because you've been using it for more than a decade?

Conversely, how much of your difficulty occurs from SU working differently than Chief Architect? (I have this problem with PhotoShop and The GIMP. GIMP's interface just drives me nuts.)

Re:Free is not always better (1)

jackbird (721605) | about 4 years ago | (#32673408)

I've seen plenty of multi-million dollar designs at major firms that started in SketchUp (I work as a freelance architectural renderer, and am often handed said SketchUp files as part of my reference material). Yes, at some point you have to make a construction set and/or BIM, which SketchUp is not capable of, and when things start getting really detailed and the major strokes are locked down you probably want to switch to CAD or Revit, but for concept development, and to a lesser extent design development, SketchUp has capabilities that are unmatched for quickly trying out and modifying concepts.

Re:Free is not always better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32674604)

I'll take an analogy: gimp versus photoshop.

I use gimp and it's fine for the nerd I am to work on my private photos.
I see professionals using photoshop in youtube videos, and frankly photoshop seems way more intuitive, easy to use, etc ...

Gimp is fine for me to install on all the pcs of the familhy, but if I made a living with photo retouching etc ... I would definitely buy photoshop.

Same applies for any type of software, as long as the professional software is clearly better than the free one.

multi-million-pound?! (3, Funny)

oddTodd123 (1806894) | about 4 years ago | (#32667426)

Robin de Jongh is a consulting engineer and designer who has successfully used SketchUp for multi-million-pound new developments, and a whole bunch of smaller projects, from steel staircases to new product prototypes.

When did they start describing buildings by weight? Because those are certainly some heavy buildings.

Re:multi-million-pound?! (2, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 4 years ago | (#32667826)

When did they start describing buildings by weight?

Pretty much since we started doing the calculations. The Empire State Building [newyorktra...tation.com] , Sears Tower ( now Willis Tower) [visit-chic...linois.com] and the CN Tower [worsleyschool.net] (ok, not a true building in the strictest sense) all have weight measurements.

Because those are certainly some heavy buildings.

Considering the Empire State Building weighs 730,000,000 pounds, those are small buildings.

And yes, I get the whoosh.

Re:multi-million-pound?! (1)

jank1887 (815982) | about 4 years ago | (#32667854)

when they're trying to figure out if the library will sink with and without the book load.

Re:multi-million-pound?! (1)

DCstewieG (824956) | about 4 years ago | (#32667920)

My fellow Americans are so stupid. This is a British thing. We measure buildings by stories, they do it by weight. The better question is why doesn't the summary say multi-million-kilogram?

Re:multi-million-pound?! (1)

oddTodd123 (1806894) | about 4 years ago | (#32672996)

We measure buildings by stories

Are you the same fools who start counting your floors at 0 instead of 1? (The first floor in America being the "ground floor" in Britain.)

Re:multi-million-pound?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32668454)

Wow you are ignorant, British Pound which is 1.4885 US Dollars

Re:multi-million-pound?! (1)

oddTodd123 (1806894) | about 4 years ago | (#32673008)

How come the dumbest people always post anonymously? Is it because you are too dumb to figure out how to register?

Re:multi-million-pound?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32669488)

I'm a detailer for a Texas-based prefabricated steel building company. For those who don't know, a detailer in this situation is responsible for generating fabrication drawings for the shop, shippers (that include sheeting, trim, insulation, cee and zee cold formed steel and other items) and construction drawings that show the erector how to put the building together. I suspect IKEA detailers do something similar.

You jest, but the overriding factor in calculating the selling price is the weight of the steel. That and the complexity of the design.

I have used Sketchup in the past to detail complex building; skewed walls, canopies under parapets with recessed soffit, nasty stuff. Our salesmen regularly use Sketchup to prototype buildings for prospective customers.

However, as an integrated product, Sketchup does lack, especially in the area of generating shop drawings. Better is Prosteel, which we use and probably Tekla, which we are almost certainly going to purchase soon.

Looks to be plagiarized (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32667560)

Unless the submitter is this author, this review has been plagiarized from this site:

http://archtopia.com/2010/05/22/book-review-sketchup-7-1-for-architectural-visualization-beginners-guide/

Re:Looks to be plagiarized (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 4 years ago | (#32667592)

Hint: They are the same person.

Re:Looks to be plagiarized (1)

mattdm (1931) | about 4 years ago | (#32668244)

I also like how the one comment on that blog post is a link spammer, and the author doesn't even notice and instead posts a pleasant reply.

Re:Looks to be plagiarized (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 years ago | (#32667786)

Its probably actually the books arthur spaming it all over.

Re:Looks to be plagiarized (1)

roothog (635998) | about 4 years ago | (#32668376)

It's plagiarized from the Amazon product description (which is probably taken from the back of the book or something), as pointed out by dalerb in a comment below.

Wait, where's the review? (5, Interesting)

mattdm (1931) | about 4 years ago | (#32667732)

What we've got here is a table of contents with a few sentences giving a teaser-style description of what that chapter contains. And then a conclusion literally (in the literal sense of the word literally) begging people to buy the book.

Or, to put it another way, a review of this review:

Frankly, when I saw this article has 10+ paragraphs, I thought "this thing is full of fluff and will bore me to death." But to my surprise, it could be skimmed so quickly that I didn't have time to be bored, and that's exactly what an ADHD-type guy like me understands best. So, without further ado, I'll make a brief presentation of the review that will enlighten your path to fast, easy and breathtaking... moving on to other things.

Introduction:

There's a badly formatted section that tries to give you the technical details about who wrote the book and stuff.

Chapters:

Then, one by one, as if filling out the required length in a book report for 7th grade, each chapter in the book is described, but not in a way that tells you any more than what you'd get by just reading the titles.

Conclusion:

I'm a Slashdot reader, and I've read book reviews here before, but I gotta tell you, even though most of the time they're really poor, this one is exceptionally weak, for the simple fact that it tells you less than you'd get from simply looking at the book's entry on the publisher's web site. Or on Amazon, for that matter. If you want to learn whether this book is worthwhile, please check somewhere else. I guarantee you won't throw your money away; because I know you, and you're not the kind of person to just go and do that with your money on a whim. Right?

Re:Wait, where's the review? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32667896)

Also of note is the fact that as overly bubbly as this review is, it only received a 5/10 rating. The reviewer probably meant 5/5 stars, but the Slashdot book review guidelines suggest (mandate would be too zealous a word) an out-of-ten rating style. It's terrible on all fronts.

Re:Wait, where's the review? (1)

rhizome (115711) | about 4 years ago | (#32668620)

Slashdot book reviews have been weak chapter-by-chapter "synopses" for years now. They simply do not have any standards beyond (perhaps) word count. Best just to exclude them from your front page.

RE: (3, Funny)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 years ago | (#32667770)

!'m an architect, and I've worked with paid software before, but I gotta tell you, the free applications are most of the time way better than the paid ones,

You do realize the second half of that sentence makes it clear the first half is a lie ... right?

Re: (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 4 years ago | (#32675284)

You didn't notice the 'not' operator at the beginning of his sentence?

Try trueSpace (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32667818)

I still think the best 3D modeling software is trueSpace, which is now available for free at CNET.com.

They used to charge over $500 for the software, but Microsoft bought them out and released it for free. You can get it from http://download.cnet.com/TrueSpace/3000-6677_4-10187286.html

Re:Try trueSpace (1)

mattdm (1931) | about 4 years ago | (#32672826)

Interesting for 3D modeling. Looks terrible for architectural work.

This is the Amazon Product Description (4, Informative)

dalerb (935786) | about 4 years ago | (#32668040)

This is pretty much a cut-and-paste of the Product Description from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/SketchUp-7-1-Architectural-Visualization-Beginners/dp/1847199461/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277316764&sr=8-1 [amazon.com]

Re:This is the Amazon Product Description (1)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | about 4 years ago | (#32668988)

Holy crap, I was expecting some similarities, but you're right: the author just ripped-off the whole thing.

Summary:

Chapter 1 – Quick Start Tutorial

This chapter is a fast forward for those impatient to get to the realistic sketchup scenes. Here you'll find out how to model the scene, fix the lights, add textures, background, and make a quick render in Kerkythea.

Original:

Chapter 1: Quickstart Tutorial

Photo Real Gallery Scene - This chapter is an immediate fix for those who are impatient to get photo-realistic rendered SketchUp scenes. Straight away you will learn how to model the gallery scene, fix up lighting, add materials, add a photo background, and finally render in Kerkythea.

The rest of the "review" is the same.

The review's author stole his "review"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32668060)

If you follow the link to the book author's blog, you'll see an amazingly similar post: http://provelo.co.uk/2010/05/sketchup-7-1-for-architectural-visualization/

Much of the text of this "book review" is copied directly from the book author's blog post. C'mon Slashdot, you can do better than this. Right?

I'm confused (1)

whitefox (16740) | about 4 years ago | (#32669482)

First, the reviewer writes he was reluctant to read through "400+" pages of fluff; Amazon's website says it's 408 pages. So why does the summary state it's 113?

Second, if the reviewer guarantees the book is so worthwhile then why does it only have a rating of 5/10?

Two things to pile on (1)

Qubit (100461) | about 4 years ago | (#32671106)

Other people have already pointed out several ways that this review is, to put it nicely, lacking. I'd like to mention two more important points.

1. Hyperlinks...do you use them?

Reviewer writes

(I know you will love this part of the book, so I got a sample of this chapter from the publisher for you guys – See it Here)

Yeah, see it where? Did you (reviewer and/or editor) do the most cursory of read-throughs to see if there were any blatant instances of "click on this text that's not a hyperlink but really, probably should be" ? I guess the answer would be no.

But don't be sad -- I got a free web coupon from the ice cream factory for everyone -- Click to See it Here!

2. SketchUp isn't Free Software. It's not entirely free as in beer, either. Be more clear on Slashdot.

SketchUp [google.com] is a product hoovered-up by Google. They have a free-as-in-beer version as well as a Pro version for $495 (US) [sketchup.com] . I can't even believe that in this whole review there wasn't even a link back to the software's website. I mean, that's like the first place people would want to go after reading the review or buying the book.

Reviewer states that this book will

teach you how to make stunning photorealistic and artistic visuals of your projects with free software

Okay, so it's "free" in the sense that you're not paying money for it. Well, at least if you download the free-as-in-beer version of SketchUp. Don't get the Pro version, or the trial version of the Pro software...

Some other free software that you will learn how to use is GIMP

Yes, GIMP is free-as-in-beer, but it's also Free Software (note the capitalization), which is actually something that (most of) the readers of Slashdot care about.

The reviewer also mentions Kerkythea [kerkythea.net] , a project which seems to be internally confused about how free and open it is. Their About page [kerkythea.net] says that

Kerkythea is a standalone renderer...I want to believe that KT can now be considered among the top freeware/open source renderer engines

But Kerkythea isn't open source and doesn't have open distribution, as their License page [kerkythea.net] confusingly describes:

We believe in free software that continues to be of high quality, user friendly and can be used in your commercial work without any fees or any other restrictions. We have only some terms of usage to basically protect our hard work.

Kerkythea is freeware copyrighted product and can be used under the following terms:
1. You can not re-distribute Kerkythea software from web sites or other ways of massive redistribution (for example, magazine CD). Person to person redistribution is permitted provided that the package is distributed without modifications and without gaining money from this action, or any kind of advertisement material.
2. You can use Kerkythea and its produced output (rendered images) for your work (including commercial) completely free without any fees. Mentioning the rendering software is appreciated but not required.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 January 2008 )

So to sum up, the KT teams "believes in free software [that] can be used in...commercial work without any fees or other restrictions," but then puts a pretty big restriction on software distribution. Hmmmm... think that's confusing? I sure do.

But I digress...

It really all comes down to putting in the effort to author a solid review.

I wish that the reviewer had paid a little more attention to both the markup of the review (e.g. missing hyperlinks) and to the particular licensing and distribution requirements on the software he was promoting, so that instead of us spending our time doing a post-mortem on the review like a 8th grade English teacher grading essays, we could be discussing the contents of the book and the software it describes.

Re:Two things to pile on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32671896)

Is it just my imagination, or are all the spectacularly poor book reviews all for book from Packt publishing? Slashvertisements much?

Disable Advertising... (2, Funny)

Colz Grigor (126123) | about 4 years ago | (#32674010)

Hang on... I checked the "Disable Advertising" checkbox which Slashdot conveniently provides "As our way of thanking you for your positive contributions to Slashdot."

Why did this article still show up?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...