When you write and publish a book independently, you don’t need to worry about the bean counters or the salesmen. You can do what you want. In “Building Blocks of SketchUp” I tried to write the book I would have liked to have when I was learning SketchUp. One of the things I struggled with was what each of the tools did and how they did it.
I’m getting closer to releasing this new guide to the basics of 3D modeling in SketchUp, and this screenshot shows what the table of contents looks like in Adobe Reader. Each entry in the TOC is an active link, so one click on the text takes you to that page or video. Adobe Reader can also display thumbnail views of each page, that’s what you see on the left of the screen shot. Those are links too, so click on a thumbnail to go to that page in a flash. Sure beats leafing through a printed book to find page 178.
A lot of SketchUp rookies share the problem I had with learning the specific functions of tools, so I added a book within a book. At the end of the text is what I call the “Basic Tool Guide” for the most used tools in SketchUp. The Basic Tool Guide is 47 pages with short 2, 3, or 4 page sections that explain how specific tools work, what to watch out for to stay out of trouble, and special features you may not have noticed.
This is a screen shot of the first page of the section that covers Push/Pull. In Adobe Reader, I switched the view in the left hand pane from “Pages” to “Bookmarks”. Bookmarks are another way to make information on specific topics easy to find and fast to get to. These too are links and the text entries are chapter headings and subheadings.
There is also a bookmark for each of the 50 or so short videos embedded within the text pages. There isn’t any substitute for seeing what button to push, where to move the cursor or what to click on when you’re learning SketchUp. In “Building Blocks of SketchUp” videos are right there within the book and a simple click with the mouse turns the video on. Hover the cursor over the video and controls magically appear so you can rewind, pause or fast forward.
The image at right is a screen shot of the video in the Push/Pull section of the “Basic Tool Guide” included in my new book “Building Blocks of SketchUp. We’re wrapping up our final edits and getting ready to offer the entire book for sale.
In the meantime, I’ve uploaded the Push/Pull pages from the “Basic Tool Guide”. Click on the link at the end of this post to download it and take the enhanced PDF format for a test drive in Adobe Reader.
“Building Blocks of SketchUp: A Comprehensive Digital Course in the Fundamentals of 3D Modeling with Video Tutorials Embedded Within the Text” is now available as a download in enhanced PDF format. It will be available as a physical copy on a disc delivered via the US mail. in the next view weeks.