20 Reasons to consider learning Blender

Depends. If you’re just rotating the object about it’s center, it’s pretty much the same. It’s a bit different if you’re rotating about a point. As I mentioned, there are plugins which makes it simpler, but not as simple as SketchUp.

Watched five of the Basic vids and liked what I was seeing so I downloaded it. Then I found that working with a MacBook Pro without a separate mouse or 3D mouse is difficult AND the Mac keyboard does not map neatly to the commands on the Short Cut sheet which I also downloaded from Adam Price’s website. I’ve been using SketchUp since before Google bought it, and am very comfortable with the commands and still learning more. SU works very nicely with the touchpad on the Mac and I’ve not found a good reason to spend $$$ on additional input devices (mainly because I sit with the Mac on my lap on my Eames Chair and don’t have any place for peripheral devices).

I’m attempting to do some of the homework that Andrew assigned on vid 4 and, frankly, am not doing very well. For example: I can’t even figure out how to UNDO, since Command-Z doesn’t do anything. SU seems to be more intuitive to me.

That being said, I can really appreciate how Blender handles contoured surfaces. It’s much more powerful than SU and dealing with textures, while much more complex, gives great flexibility. Lastly, eeVee, Blender’s new rendering engine, is fully integrated and works in real time so renderings can be displayed in 3D. That is certainly an advantage over using SU and then letting Podium work on a single screen view at a time.

I’m going to continue to attempt to learn Blender, but if I don’t move up the learning curve quickly enough I’ll off-load it and wait for the next version 2.8 to come out.

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All true. SU is purely intuitive so anyone can pick it up after just playing around with it. It lacks the power of other modelers but it’s a snap to learn and master.

Classic, I been doing exactly the same thing. I still use SU for work and landscape plans etc but I’ve been learning Blender for about 6 months now. Still amazed by what Blender can do, especially in regards to organic modelling & texturing, not to mention armature rigs in trees and wind forces to animate plants etc. Still find it tricky to use compared to SU, so much more to learn in Blender. Bit daunting at first but following Blender Guru’s vids plus all the other great resources available I’ve been enjoying my Blender sessions. I still find SU very easy to use in regards to modelling but for creating realistic looking plants etc Blender is awesome. Pretty dam cool program, and yes, the best part is it’s free, although tempted to get the HDRI Pro Lighting that Blender Guru sells. I’m currently using the free demo version and it is pretty dam handy for scene lighting, which we all know is the key to good renders. Keen to learn how I can use Blender in combination with SU more. I’ve managed to make some nice rocks in Blender and import into SU with textures but haven’t managed doing it with any plants yet. Still learning how to best texture plants in Blender. For instance I just worked out how to use a single texture image to texture both sides of a leaf using upper and lower leaf images I took myself. Been playing with the new adaptive subdivision setting with is pretty dam cool too. Looking forward to sharing some methodologies etc with fellow SU/Blender users. Nice post Aerilius. Thanks for sharing.

Another video, this one on the Scale tool. While it’s a bit more difficult than SU’s, the new Blender 2.8 (coming this fall) has a scale tool just like SketchUp. It also has palettes with buttons like SketchUp as well. Still, learning this version is good as all the shortcut keys are pretty much the same. Most translates.

Hi filibis, checked out the gITF file format exporter for blender and the importer for SU. Classic difference between SU and Blender. SU took 1 minute to install the extensions, whereas in Blender, you have to jump through what looks like several hoops (link files to use gITF nodes or something) in order to get your materials to export etc. Hopefully Blender 2.8 with EEVEE should make simpler, but at this stage it still involves a bit of setting up. I’ve tried importing Blender files into SU via several formats and Collada seems to work well with meshes. Tried obj format as well but tends to drop out edges etc. But I’ve had no luck bringing in materials with any format yet. See how I go with the Blender gITF addon and SU importer.

Couple more videos for SketchUp users interested in Blender:



This post is looking like missionary lessons from Blender in Sketchup temple :wink:

PS. I am watching Your videos and also started learning blender after @liamk887 joined the forum. Very very promising software especially with upcoming eevee. But SketchUp is most intuitive and I think is better for architects.

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Just had a play with Blender 2.80 and they have certainly changed the navigation/toolbar setup. Seems they have moved more towards buttons and less use of shortcuts. Can now use several methods for transforming objects. If you do try 2.80, make sure you enable GPU computing in User Preferences (now under Edit Tab, which took me a while to find) if supported. Took me a while to work out why my render preview and renders were like looking into a black hole…nothing.

I still think it’s too fiddly, I prefer Modo or Rhino to compliment SketchUp rather than Blender now that I have had the chance to use them. I am glad however that I put so much time into Blender as it gave me a lot of understanding I could then apply to other software in a matter of days and weeks rather than months and years as it has been in the past!

However, for hobby use, I can see why it’s entirely suitable with with no high price point.

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Yes, you need to use their glTF nodes in order to embed (or export) textures. I don’t find it hard to link/append their node and it’s quite similar to Principled BSDF node, so easy to connect/disconnect inputs. Besides it’ll most likely be even easier in the near future.

Also don’t forget that you can just use glTF to export your meshes. Embedding media is just an extra feature that others don’t have.

Talked with one of the top Blender guys and he said he didn’t think 2.8 would be ready for full-time production use until after the new year.

I’m not sure why anyone would substitute a NURBS based modeler for a poly one, and if they did, I’d recommend MoI3D instead of Rhino.

This former Modo ILM and Sony 3D guy switched recently from Modo to Blender (and he has a great free GUI to boot) and gave his reasons why:

Although Moi is good, Rhino is a bit better supported and if you are using it as a bridge between Poly and Nurbs it supports a whole lot of things including native .skp and Catia files. It’s new real time raytracing viewport in 6 is miles ahead of a lot of the competition.

I am using SketchUp, Rhino and Modo as my primary tools now (Modo replacing Blender only in the last few months).

I would have sticked with Blender if I did not get such a good deal on Modo through a friend, also now that I am working full time in the 3D industry this is a lot more emphasis on me to learn Modo rather than Blender as it’s used a lot in many studios in my city.

But the Rhino <> SketchUp file compatibility is a real God send.

Good to know about Rhino. FWIW, Moi3D had the best NURBS to poly export interface options I’ve ever seen and it also supports export to SketchUp. Plus you can literally cut and paste NURBS from Moi to Rhino. Might be worth a look. Though no Grasshopper, which is a game changer.

I think it is great to consider alternative tools to SketchUp for whatever work you do. I don’t really consider Blender a competing product to SketchUp any more than I think of 3DSMax or Maya in that way. Blender is designed to appeal to the same folks who like those big DCC applications. Of course, being free (gratis as well as libre) helps to open it to a wider community than Autodesk will sustain with the tools they sell.

I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for Blender and I always have. Not to brag, but my first experience with Blender was version 1.23 running on an SGI Indigo 2 that I bought (used, cheap) on eBay. I remember having to build it from souce myself, but I could be wrong about that. Somewhere deep in my library is also a copy of Ton Roosendaal’s original Blender manual; graphically beautiful from the height of the ‘deconstructivist’ phase of late-90’s graphic design. More than a little opaque from a learning perspective, unfortunately, but still… beautiful.

Blender is such a unique project in the FOSS community, both in the scope of its aspiration and its longevity in the community. Ton should be sainted for the labor he has put into it over the years. For those who don’t know the history, it is documented here in great detail.

SketchUp’s great strength, I think, remains the simplicity with which hard-surface models like buildings and furniture can be made in it. We all stretch the tools we love in unexpected ways, but at its heart, this is what SketchUp is really best at doing. We aren’t likely to implement a full particle system into it any time in the near future, so you’re going to have to look somewhere else if that is critical to your work.

No creative person should be satisfied knowing or using only a single tool, particularly not if their happiness or livelihood is bound to that tool. Rather, I think you should learn as many different tools as you can, then figure out how to stitch them all together into a unique process that meets your unique needs. You’ll spend an uncomfortable amount of time faffing about with importers and exporters (“why can’t there just be a universal file format?” is a subject for a longer thread than this one…) but in the end you’ll be in a better place.

So, from my perspective at least, this has been a great thread to read.



@jbacus… This is awesome!

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Hi Roju,

As with SU, BLENDER also has extensions that will help with Architectural/Building forms. See the link below:-

Over & out,


Chip, thanks a lot for your video. I use Allplan (very common Arch.-Cad in Europe), Cinema4d, Lumion and SketchUp. The simple use of 3d-guidelines an the very handy snapping function in SketchUp is outstanding. Never saw that in other programs.

But after watching your video, I consider using Blender instead of Cinema4d!
Do you know if its possible, to do renderings within a network (Render-Nodes) in Blender?

Yes it is!

Thank you Liamk887!