You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

Google Buys SketchUp


logo.gifSketchUp has been purchased by Google. This news is being reported at several sites, but what does it mean for Blender users (if it means anything at all)?

What is SketchUp you ask? From the site:

SketchUp is a deceptively simple, amazingly powerful tool for creating, viewing, and modifying 3D ideas quickly and easily. SketchUp was developed to combine the elegance and spontaneity of pencil sketching with the speed and flexibility of today's digital media.

Why should we care? Does Earth Viewer (developed by Keyhole, Inc.) ring a bell? It was originally $600 USD/year, now it's free as, you guessed it, Google Earth. Google purchased Keyhole in 2004 and later released a free version. Could we see the same trend with SketchUp? A freely available SketchUp would be an excellent addition to the Blender 3D workflow.

About the Author


Just a guy really into 3D, especially where Blender is concerned.


  1. (First of all, nice work on this site for Blender news. I have this on my RSS reader and always look forward to seeing new entries)

    So if I understand it correctly, SketchUp is like a sketching/planning tool for 3D design? It looks quite cool. I guess that it could really be a good addition to the Blender workflow, specially during the planning stages, or for storyboarding perhaps.

    I was wondering if some of its features (specifically Interactive Sections and Follow-me Tool) have counterparts in Blender. I'm presuming that it's a standalone program and not an online application?
    (Too bad they only support Windows and Mac. No Linux...). I think we could look forward to it being freely available after sometime, now that it has been acquired by Google.

  2. Jucato, interactive section can be "simulated" with an Ortho Camera with the Clip Start.
    Follow-me tool is a reduction of Path-Bevel.

    Of course, different software, different solutions, different results.

  3. According to SketchUp's site, the software can already be used to make models for Google Earth (quite easy too, using a plugin). So I guess that explains the Google-SketchUp connection. Now let's hope SketchUp somehow finds its way into the land of freeware and not too tightly tied to Google Earth then ;-)

  4. I dont think that sketch up would be available for free. There is no reason for google to offer it for free (sketch up is a standalone app and costs around 400$). Maybe there will be a "low function" edition...

  5. I hope it will be made free like GoogleEarth. Google has enough money. I think it would be smart to at least lower the price to around $100. Those who want to get into 3D usually don't want to blow $400 on a program that they may lose interest in. It would be great if some of the features (eg drawing edges, push/pull tool) were implemented in blender.

    I'm thinking about buying a student version, but I am going to wait awhile and see if SketchUp goes free.

  6. Sorry for double posting, but I just found this.


    "Will Google make the product free?
    SketchUp continues to be $495. There are currently no plans to change the pricing model of SketchUp or to offer it for free."


  7. I wonder what their motives behind this are. Ultimately, Google's business is selling advertisements. With Google Earth and SketchUp I can't yet see how they will connect this to ads.. For anyone interested in Google and their business, I can recommend 'The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture' by John Battelle.

  8. Google's unknown motives behind these purchases are just the thing that makes a lot of people suspicious. Though Google Earth does have higher versions that cost money, so maybe they will do the same with Sketchup like jaycun said above.

  9. I tried an education version a while back and pleasantly suprised: I've never produced models at anywhere close to the speed that you can with the app. (E.g. a house in 5 or so minutes). As an stand-alone tool its not very usefull, but having a sketching mode like this in Blender would have been very nice... Imagine creating game levels in a 3rd of the time it usually takes... sigh. O well. :_(

  10. It would be nice that the project will be released as a open source / free software project, so the source code could be integrated with Blender. The newbies feel Blender a very difficult software, but a integration with Sketchup can make it easy to learn.

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.