Blender Discussion

There are many industries involved when talking about Sketchup and Blender. I saw many ADSK 3dsmax users move to Blender, many of them are freelancer doing architecture visualzation. That just make a good point:for people want to make exterior/interior stills or animations,blender is great tool that can give you more useful functions like UV unwraping Cloth Simulation Fluid simulation rigid bodies key framing etc
But when it comes to Technical drawings,then Sketchup is good to go.


Thanks, interesting.

I originally came across Rhino in a product design/development context, where it’s a long-time major player — so it seems that the architectural capabilities are a more recent adjunct.

The project I trialed it for (3-4 years back) was one of the few that didn’t need 2D docs, so didn’t explore that side — but the last couple of upgrades have significantly boosted the annotation / documentation functionalities, so would be interesting to see how robust they are currently.

I know there are many plugins in Sketchup can do all these things,Blender is way more professional 3d package when it comes to CG or VFX. Just use the right tool to do the right thing.

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Fusion is free for Start Ups that make under $100k/yr and free for hobbyists.

Thanks for the info — didn’t see that when I was checking it out.

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Hi Doug! Thanks so much for posting :slight_smile: I appreciate your willingness to share. Please don’t take any of my comments as attacks-- they are comments on your comments.

I guess I’m the ‘other’ foot. I’ve been using SU since the very first beta. I have lots of old videos with thousands of views showing people how to do some very complex things in SU-- like creating a tire with accurate treads.

I, too, am an Industrial Designer and have been hired by Apple, Sony, DELL, Toshiba, NASA and many others in my career. Syd Mead and I worked together on real spaceship designs, My design firm created the first lunar habitat design and full scale mockup at JSC. I tell you this not to brag, but just so you know where I’m coming from.

While I’ve only used Blender for 18 months, I’m thinking my modeling is up to snuff and certainly stronger than what I could previously do in SketchUp.

The last project I created in SU was an accurate “to scale” model of the Alamo in 1836. I worked with several historians to create it and it was a joy to create-- but the poly count got so high I could no longer keep the whole file in SU. I later opened it up in Blender and it had zero problem handling it, even in EEVEE with photoreal textures.

That SU engine architecture problem I mentioned isn’t going away. It needs a redesign-- and as a former project manager, I suspect you know this.

Truth be told, if SU fixed some basic things, like their architecture, UV maps, bevels and a decent non-hacked SubD, I’d continue supporting it with my $$$.

No surprise. Wood furniture is perfect for SketchUp and really requires few advanced modeling skills.

If you haven’t seen my video on modifiers in Industrial Design work, you should take a look at it. I’m not trying to promote my product, but check out this video:

That video shows some crazy cool capabilities of Blender. The ability to keep refining the product with instantaneous photoreal updates is just magic. Please excuse my voice, I was in the thick of it with chemo treatments at the time. I’m better now.

I understand the notion that SU is better for architecture. If you pay attention closely to everything I say, I’ve never said Blender was better-- or even as good w/regard to architecture (with one exception-- Blender’s symbol booleans are way better and can cut a hole clear through a wall).

In fact, it might be a good idea for Trimble to explicitly say SU is now specifically targeted at architects and professionals in the architectural design business.

I think that would clear up a lot and set expectations at the proper level.

This is because so many people do so much more with SketchUp than architecture. People create cars, characters, set designs with elaborate materials, boats-- all things which SU is not particularly suited for. Still, they figure out the workflow, and do amazing work.

Those are the people I’m talking about and to-- not the architects that go to work each day to draft buildings. Blender does not compete well as a full architectural 3D workflow product.

I’m sorry, that is a platitude. I’m pretty sure every project manager for every company says the same. The proof is in the result-- and SU’s progress and results under Trimble management have been underwhelming to customers-- by any metric. I’m sure inside Trimble everyone goes about their job with diligence and purpose, and has a good time doing it.

As you know, Blender also does a lot “under the hood,” but they also continue to create groundbreaking technologies like EEVEE and that ridiculously cool fabric brush where you can just literally fold a blanket with your mouse. So, either you guys aren’t marketing the new tech well enough, or there just isn’t that much changing.

Perhaps that is true-- but none of the “tech” affects the current non-architecture SU folks. Sure, there may be collaborative tie-ins to BIM and documentation management-- or online previews and VR viewing, but that’s not that interesting to the non-architecture group.

This thread was explicitly set up to talk about Blender. We don’t need to talk about Blender at as that’s all they do there :slight_smile: And no one there cares about SketchUp, whereas there are people here who want to learn about Blender.


Hi Justin!

Glad to see you here. I ALWAYS try and watch your videos-- you have a tremendous and casual on screen presence. Good stuff!!!

I’m no architect, but you might want to check with some of the full time architects using Archipack, there may be some value there.

Another architect website is . I’ve spoken with Lech a number of times-- I think they may focus more on interiors.

While I certainly understand that thinking, I don’t believe it. Not based on my experience with over 60,000 downloads of products and the myriad of subsequent support issues. Just today I was helping a user setup a SKETCH STYLE rendering for an interior bathroom.

To pigeonhole Blender as soley a game or VFX product misses the target as much as thinking SketchUp is just for architects. My experience tells me quite a different story.

One of the major issues that I think people misunderstand, is how the design process affects their choice of tools. I have a whole thread about it over at, but the simple fact is people can now sketch their designs in 3D. The traditional approach taught in design schools was always pencil and paper first.

That was the initial draw for me to SketchUp. I could sketch out a concept without having to think about the tools. Then I started seeing the concept work done by people like Vitaly Bulgarov and others, who all worked directly in 3D modeling packages and I understand instantly how limited we are by our tools.


Most NURBS solid model CAD packages, including Fusion, Rhino and others, make it difficult to sketch in, whereas the value of surface modeling, like SU and Blender, is that you can move very fast. MoI3D is a great NURBS package if you’re interested in a solids modeler, which is just about as easy to learn-- yet very powerful-- as any out there. It is written by the guy who did Rhino V1-- and you can cut and paste from it into Rhino. It also has the best exporter to polys of any NURBS tools I’ve ever seen-- it can even export SKP format!

and…we’re back

Anyway, I guess this is a long way of saying more and more sketching is being done in surface modelers because they are easy to use and easy to tweak the final mesh. I find Blender for me is now at least as easy to use as SU, and it gives me more freedom to create-- and sketch.

Some non-client goofing off:


I hope SketchUp Team consider doing that, which is a wanted request for years… and not just tweaking the current version here and there…

PS: sorry for bring up this topic again :))


Thanks Trimble for subscription license, I am now learning slowly but surely Blender to leave about 20 years on SketchUp.

My workflow will be shared between Grasshopper and Blender, starting on 2.9.

I have found Cycle render engine, now I understand how to draw objects with dimensions.
And I discover the constraint engine. These features are interesting and I am taking my time on this.

I have heard a fun fact about Blender… If we have shamed paid little updates each year on by Trimble, there is a new version of Blender each 3 month free… : ))


I have recently been looking into Blender as it does seem to be a fantastic modeling program. Plus it’s free! The only thing really holding me back is the fact that it is not easy to create dynamic components like in Sketchup. I work for a logistics firm and have created a large library of DCs for the engineers to use for concepting and customer presentations. I can’t make the move until Blender comes up with an easy way to replicate Sketchup’s DC functionality. I will however take advantage of the rendering functions which are very good.

A SketchUp users asked me for some help in creating a dimensionally accurate model in Blender – based on one already created in SketchUp.

Here’s a video showing how:


when i see how much clicking and selecting stuff from menu is requried to get the same sketchup model done in blender i wonder how long i need to get this model done in blender…


Hopefully not… DCs must be one of the worst implementations of parametric objects on the market. It’s a complete joke if you compare it to solutions like dynamic blocks in AutoCAD or families in Revit. Completely useless in their current state. And completely incomprehensible that they didn’t get an update (redesign) in all these years…

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While not perfect and it definitely needs updating, the DC functionality is crucial for what I do. I do agree that there are limitations, but you can do some pretty impressive stuff once you get the hang of it. Maybe the wizards at Blender can come up with something even better.

It’s a pet peeve of mine that architects are now completely dependent on so software to do their job, and the software is conceived of and created by software developers who are programmers, not architects. My standard joke in the '90’s when I was using Upfront, was that the best thing about it was that it was written by an architect, not a programmer, and the worst thing about it was that it was written by an architect, not a programmer.

Based on a lecture a little while ago, I believe Gray Organschi uses Rhino, at least for things like their curving, mass timber bridges in the woods.


As I said in my video, I choose to use menus and buttons to make things simpler for first time users. For the most part, I never use them and just use keyboard shortcuts. So for instance to move a set of vertices I just type G for move, then X for direction, then the a number for distance. Or if I don’t know the distance or don’t care, I just use the gizmo.

For Extrude: E. For Rotate: R. For bevel: B. For Scale: S. For Inset: I and so on…

I NEVER use the buttons on the left, but thought it would be easier than telling everyone to memorize keyboard commands. Btw, the same is true for SketchUp, you can use the push pull tool or type P. Most veterans just type P.

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I believe Drivers do the same things in Blender

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Very interesting…I’ll definitely take a look at this. Thank you very much Chipp!

Hello Everyone

I work in the film industry in Vancouver Canada, and we have been having this very conversation for the last month or so. Since the beginning of the pandemic film production has completely shut down and thoughts as to how it might look post lock-down are many. The Visual Effects Department (VFX) believes that everything will go to Green or Blue screen filming that Set Design (aka SketchUp) is on its way out and we need to learn Maya, Unreal Engine, zbrush., etc The response to that was that while VFX artists are very talented they (many) don’t have a construction background and many of the ‘Sets’ look Animated, not real. (Also much too costly a process) That is not to say we didn’t enjoy them but the construction was just a bit off. (Much in line with Justin’s comment)

As a group of people we use all the mentioned software in this thread and I have had personal experience with converting to/from Acad, Revit, Rhino, Vectorworks, Maya, 3Dmax , Blender and many more. I also looked at Revit and Rhino before I decided on SketchUp. My biggest reason was learning curve. Also that many of the Construction crews and Directors had at least minimal knowledge of SketchUp and could navigate a model for themselves. I’ve had directors use my model for planning all their shots. So being; ‘friendly to use’, I feel, none are close to SketchUp. How SketchUp plays with others?

I am in Art Direction and Set Design. Started using Autocad in 1991 and SketchUp in 2007 then in 2009 I moved solely to SketchUp for all modeling and construction documentation. For me the easiest conversions to/from were with Rhino and Revit for Architectural programs. And for Animation/Illustration programs were into Maya and 3Dmax via a 3D.dwg or obj file. Exports to Vectorworks and Blender were okay but imports into SU were useless and the model had to be rebuilt.

Within our community Rhino & SketchUp are the predominant programs. Rhino has one big advantage over SketchUp in that Curves are Curves and not facets. This is the best for 2D & 3D CnC cutting. Rhino also out preforms SU in the quickness of creating a Construction Document. SketchUp has 2 big advantages over Rhino: What I call; ‘Instant Basic Rendering’ (the use of Materials applied to surfaces) and Ease of Use or, Learning Curve. A client, contractor, anyone with minimum skill, can simply use the web version to look at the model.

For Rendering I use LightUp. I like that it renders the whole model and I can walk through it but I am learning Unreal Engine and will probably migrate to that…

I don’t know how useful this information is or will be you to but they are my experiences with the programs mentioned.

All the best.


This is no longer true. In Rhino V6/V7 you can get very good looking image from the viewport, no need to render.