3D Modeling with Sketch Up 8

We are in the process of finishing the basement.  The part that excites me the most is that one of the rooms will be a dedicated office space.  My personal office space.  At the moment my work area is also where we keep all the toys for the kids, an office/playroom hybrid.  In the beginning I thought this would be a good idea.  I could keep track of the kids while I worked.  I learned later that if they saw me working on the computer it meant I needed someone on my lap to help push buttons.  Not fun or inspiring.

I now have the task of designing my creative space.   I want it to be perfect, but I’m not sure what that perfect is.  Sure, there has to be a place for my computer and all my files, papers and books, but what about everything else?  I love the idea of wall to wall shelving for books, books, and more books.  Will that work in this space?  How about storage for all those things that I must have in the office but don’t want to look at, where will that fit in?

Enter Google’s Sketch Up 8 – a free 3D design program.  With this program I can create a 3D model of the room and play with the colors of the walls, furniture positioning, and see how new items will function in the space without ever leaving my chair.  When I’m happy with my arrangement I can go on a virtual walk-through and see the space.

Here are some screen shots from my office mock-up:

Mock up with existing furniture

Auditioning new furniture

But wait, there’s more! For those of us creating fiction it can be used to recreate settings and get a better grip on how different spaces feel.   Imagine, you are trying to sequence a complicated scene where several characters are moving around a house or a city.  If you have a 3D model you can create a mock-up and pretend you are there.   There is a whole warehouse of items that you can choose and place in your model, everything from houseplants to the Eiffel tower.

I will admit that there is a learning curve to using  Sketch Up 8.  Thinking and maneuvering  in a computer generated 3D environment takes time and practice.  Having strong computing skills is a must.


About Jodi

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, mandala enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, was published in November 2018 and rereleased in Jan 2020. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.
This entry was posted in Technology, Visual writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to 3D Modeling with Sketch Up 8

  1. nrhatch says:

    Is that a window above the small bookcase? If so, wouldn’t you rather place your desk in front of it ~ better view and better feng shui. 😀

    If you’re interested, here’s the view from my makeshift office:


  2. tsuchigari says:

    Did think of that, but the window looks into an unattractive window well – not quite sure if I want that for inspiration.

  3. I don’t know, after a few spiders set up shop in the window well, you could witness some dramatic life-and-death encounters that could give you some ideas!

    That’s a great idea about using the design program for settings…although I’m sure it would be distracting to me because I would end up creating entire cities instead of writing!

    • tsuchigari says:

      I won’t admit to how many hours I spent playing around with office design instead of working on something that needed to be done. Ah, technology the bane and boon of my existence. We’ll see what the spiders do…

  4. oldancestor says:

    Can you whip me up an office whil eyour at it.

    And if google can come up with a program that gives me more TIME to write, I’d be pretty jazzed.

    Not that you haven’t commented on this before, but isn’t finding uninterrupted, regularly scheduled writing time a near impossibility when you are a parent? How does one ever write well and finish it up when the world around you is one distraction after another?

    • tsuchigari says:

      I’m afraid you’ll have to do your own office, my hands are FULL. As for time, anything that promises to save time ends up making the process more complicated than it already is.

      As for me and time, my best bet to finding uninterrupted time is before anyone wakes up. During the day it’s hit and miss, I’ll sit down and be attacked within minutes. Coherent thought is a challenge. Case in point, this comment took three separate sittings.

      • oldancestor says:

        Same here. You’ll notice that my first line above is a scramble of typos and wrong words. That’s what happens when I’m trying to make my blog rounds while at work, looking at wordpress on my left monitor while editing a proposal on my right monitor!

  5. cassim says:

    good luck w/the office space. keep at it until it is PERFECT.

  6. Jodi, you’ll attack this with the same effort and inate skill as you do everything. I’m sure it’ll be fantastic!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s