Good to know! I'm learning it now in college and it seems a heck of a lot easier to use than Autocad.
It’s SO much easier than AutoCad.
In grad school when I was working on my thesis, I started modeling the same project simultaneously in both AutoCad and SketchUp just to try it out to see if I liked it. I’d been using AutoCad for over eight years of architecture school and work in various firms and was pretty fucking proficient in it — but within about a week I had switched over to SketchUp exclusively for the remainder of my thesis. Because after using it for only a week I was modeling at least 10 times faster (not to mention more cleanly and more accurately).
There’s no doubt that AutoCad is way more powerful than SketchUp, but for nearly all stages of schematic design, the only thing I care about is SPEED. The faster you can model bad ideas, the faster you can throw them away. You become less attached to unworkable designs, because you didn’t spend a month modeling them. And you become less afraid of quickly trying out a crazy or completely new direction, because it’s only gonna take an afternoon. In schematic design stages, this sort of iterative mentality is invaluable, and having tools that encourage it is wonderful.
And if you use the pro version, you can cut sections and plans and export them to AutoCAD dwg files and use that as a base for construction and dimensioned drawings. And for renderings I used to export to 3dStudioMax and use V-Ray, but now there is a native V-Ray SketchUp plugin, so you can do complete photo-realistic material and lighting renderings right in the program.
Is that Google Sketchup you're using for that bedroom in the gabled attic?
Yeah, the pro version. I love it so much — I used to model in AutoCad and Rhino and 3dStudioMax back in architecture school, but now I use SketchUp almost exclusively. It’s so so much faster (for architecture at least) than anything I’ve used before. Plus the integration with maps and the seemingly endless library of components made by other users is fantastic.