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Google SketchUp Gets Upgraded

Google SketchUp 6 includes a new feature called Photo Match that adds the ability to create a 3D model from a 2D photo.

Google on Monday quietly released an upgrade to its free consumer 3D modeling application Google SketchUp and its $495 Google SketchUp Pro.

Google SketchUp 6 includes a new feature called Photo Match that adds the ability to create a 3D model from a 2D photo. Photo Match also lets users apply photos to model surfaces and link photos taken from different viewpoints to represent multiple sides of a building.

Version 6 adds a new Styles feature that lets users apply styles models, such as watermarks or something Google calls "Sketchy Effects" -- the ability to give models a hand-drawn look. It also adds a Fog tool, useful for verisimilitude or perhaps to conceal hastily created structures.

Google SketchUp Pro 6 includes a feature called LayOut for assembling interactive presentations. It facilitates the integration of 3D models with 2D design elements such as photos, illustrations, and text. LayOut also allows for output to large-format, high-resolution documents.

The upgrade also includes a 3D text tool, as well as speed and user interface improvements.

Google SketchUp 6 runs on Windows 2000 and XP, but Vista is not yet supported. It also runs on Mac OS X.

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