Would you like some SketchUp with those fries?

Would you like some SketchUp with those fries?

Everyone who knows me knows that I love ketchup. I put it on everything from eggs to sloppy joes, and, occasionally, corn as well. Ketchup can spice up just about anything. And as I found out today during my level design class, so can SketchUp.

For those of you who haven’t yet heard of SketchUp, it’s not quite a condiment. SketchUp is Google’s 3D modeling software, and like most other Google-produced tools, it’s quite powerful.

Within seconds, you can turn a rectangle into a box and a box into a house with windows and doors. Need a 3D car? No problem. Just create a few boxes and modify the edges. Then add a few cylindrical wheels, and you’ll soon be zooming along.

While SketchUp doesn’t allow you to walk around in an environment, the tool is perfect for level design. The shapes, edges, and vertices are all so easy to manipulate, making virtual architecture a snap. Within the next couple of weeks, I will be creating a level in SketchUp, complete with 3D architecture, characters, and obstacles, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here’s a quick look at what you can do with SketchUp: