New book: SketchUp to LayOut

Take it from me—book writin' ain't easy. Matt Donley has done the SketchUp-using world a huge favor: his SketchUp to LayOut is an easy-to-follow, easy-to-afford e-book that should fit right between the other LayOut tomes on your bookshelf.

My own For Dummies book devotes two chapters to LayOut, which is an acceptable introduction, but which is by no means comprehensive. Michael Brightman's The SketchUp Workflow for Architecture and Paul Lee's Construction Documents using SketchUp Pro and LayOut are both aimed at professionals who want to produce complete construction documents without using other CAD software. Matt's book is the missing link. Whereas other LayOut books have addressed only architects, Matt wisely includes examples for three markets: architects, woodworkers and designers who work on kitchens and bathrooms. Smart.

SketchUp to LayOut starts with a guided tour that does a great job of welcoming folks who have never seen the software before. Very quickly, though, Matt jumps in with both feet, shining a light on the connection between SketchUp and LayOut by focusing on model viewports. As LayOut's raisons d'etre, viewports are all-important, but very few people have mastered them. This book does a great job of rectifying the situation.

Matt Donley is the man behind MasterSketchUp.com. He launched the book last week with a webinar watched by almost 500 people; you can catch the free video recording on the publication’s website. He's selling the e-book itself for $39, but you can buy it with a bundle of useful hatches, textures, styles, templates and other resources for $67. Paying $99 gives you access to a library of video tutorials that Matt is planning to create over the next few months. I can’t wait to watch them.

Congratulations, Matt. See you at 3D Basecamp!

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