Google has launched a free version of the 3D modeling software it acquired when it bought "@Last Software" last month.
Google has launched a free version of the 3D modeling software it acquired when it bought @Last Software last month.
Google SketchUp, which is free for personal use, includes simple tools for creating 3D models of a variety of items, including houses, sheds, decks, home additions, and woodworking projects.
The software comes with a plug-in for Google Earth, so that 3D items created with SketchUp are picked-up by the service that typically provides satellite views of geographical locations. In addition, Google has also released 3D Warehouse, which is the online storage for work created in SketchUp. The service enables users to search and share 3D models.
Brad Schell, product management director, Google SketchUp, said that the new Google SketchUp is for the hobbyist, really anyone who wants to build 3D models for use on Google Earth.
The fee-based version, SketchUp Pro 5 that costs around $495, is intended primarily for professionals, such as architects, designers, builders, art directors, and game developers.
Meanwhile, the company believes that the decision to release a free version of the application is similar to their mission to make infor-mation accessible and useful.
However, the free version is available only for Windows 2000 and Windows XP Home and Professional editions. A version for Apple's Mac OS is on the cards.
The new software requires 80MB of available hard-disk space, a video card that is fully compliant with the OpenGL application specifi-cation, Internet Explorer 6.0 or later, and Windows Media Player or QuickTime 5.0.