FOCUSED SketchUp is an online course tailored to Interior Designers that need to learn SketchUp quickly and give them tools and assets that will allow them to model and render designs efficiently with a high level of quality. Oh yea, almost forgot to mention…I’m John Kaplar, the Founder and Lead Instructor of FOCUSED SketchUp!
I created this course because we (Megan and I) needed a 3D tool to help us design spaces for both Arched Manor clients, and our own projects in The Arched Manor. I researched many different software options for modeling and rendering and concluded that SketchUp was the only way to go! I dove in…deep…and mastered the software and the rendering extension V-Ray (which makes your models look like a photograph).
While working with SketchUp and V-Ray, I noticed that there was a lot that I learned that is not applicable to interior design. I also spent a considerable amount of time researching what extensions were best, what tools I should be using, and where to get the best pre-made objects and materials.
That’s when it dawned on me – I needed to create a course to teach other designers how to learn only what they need to know in SketchUp for interior design, and show them what extensions, tools, and online resources they need. A few months later, FOCUSED SketchUp was born!
Why is it called FOCUSED SketchUp?
This course is FOCUSED on teaching you only the parts of SketchUp and V-Ray that you need to know for interior design, so that you can create amazing photorealistic 3-D renders in the least amount of time.
Some courses try to teach you all about SketchUp, but waste time teaching you things that don’t apply to interior design work. For example, some courses teach you how to add a roof to a house, which typically is not something you need to know when designing interior spaces.
Some courses teach you tools you don’t need to know, like the follow-me tool. With the extension I recommend in the course, you never need to use the follow-me tool, so you don’t need to waste time learning it.
Other courses don’t teach you SketchUp from an Interior Design perspective. They try to give you a broad understanding of all the SketchUp functionality. Let’s face it, SketchUp is a powerful tool and Interior Designers don’t need to learn everything in SketchUp. That would be a tremendous waste of time!
It's Not Just Instruction - It's Also About GIVING
Teaching you SketchUp is important, but giving you pre-made objects that you can easily import into your models will save you countless hours when modeling!
As you start to use the 3-D warehouse inside of SketchUp, you will quickly realize that you can spend way too much time searching for the object you need. It’s a terrible use of time, which is why I created “Packs” of objects that you can import into your projects and copy/move them into your space. Below is an example of one of the packs you get in the course – the Interior Door & Trim Pack. It contains 300 doors in 10 styles, and in 6 finishes:
Teaches How to Render Your 3-D Model to be Photorealistic
Some courses out there only focus on 3-D modeling in SketchUp, and don’t teach you how to make your models look like a photograph. In this day and age, clients expect to be able to visually see a rendering of their space as close to real-life as can be. Just showing a 3-D model is not enough – making it photorealistic is key to wow-ing your clients and elevating your design brand!
Taught by Someone in The Industry
This course was created because I faced the exact same problem you probably face – you need to learn how to create 3-D models not only to help you in creating your designs, but also to show your clients a “real-life” version of what your design will be. The problem is you don’t have a lot of time – you are busy with client work and can’t squeeze in a large block of time to learn SketchUp. And if you have tried to learn, you probably were overwhelmed by all the scattered YouTube tutorials and blogs around the web.
You need a focused method of learning, and that is what FOCUSED SketchUp for Interior Design is all about! I use SketchUp for our client work and it has been such a huge asset to our company and our clients. I can’t imagine designing without it, which is why I’m so passionate about teaching it to others.
It's Like One-on-One Instruction, But in some ways Better
It’s not truly one-on-one instruction – I’m not training you over zoom sessions and holding your mouse along with you (think of the movie Ghost, but your mouse instead of a clay pot)…but I’m in every lesson in the lower left corner and I talk to you like were were sitting across from each other.
I prefer this type of training because you have a person to look at, and who looks back at you. It’s not just a voice talking over the video – it’s a real person…me! And if you get stuck along the way, you can post in our private Facebook group and get the help you need from other students and me (I monitor the group daily). The group is a safe place to ask questions and be a part of our FOCUSED Family!
Zoom Coaching Calls
Another benefit that comes with the course is a 60-day access pass to our bi-weekly zoom coaching calls! This ensures that you don’t get “stuck” as you go through the lessons. These zoom calls are a great way for you to get help from me, and interact with other FOCUSED SketchUp students!
Student Reviews Say It Best
It’s easy for me to ramble on about why I think FOCUSED SketchUp is the best way to learn SketchUp and V-Ray, but our students are fantastic advocates of the program and have had some awesome things to day about the course. Check it out!
Want to Learn More About The Course?
If yes, there are two things you can do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the courses are designed for beginners (with no or little experience) and intermediates (that need to hone their skills). The first few modules walk you through how to setup your software and give tutorials on the basics of SketchUp. And remember, if you decide the course is not right for you, you can request a refund within 14 days of purchase.
V-Ray is an extension for SketchUp that allows you to render your model so that it look like a photograph. It’s the software we use to apply materials, lighting, and textures to your 3-D SketchUp model.
The course is self-paced, so the answer really depends on you and your schedule. The lessons span about 15 hours, and most students complete the course within 2 weeks (some sooner, some later).
Yes! FOCUSED SketchUp teaches you how to use the extension for SketchUp called V-Ray. This rendering engine performs millions of calculations of your model to figure out how it would look in real life, and it creates the photorealistic render. Many people are intimidated when they hear V-Ray, but I break it down into small pieces and only teach you what you need to know to make beautiful renders!
At the time of this writing, you can purchase SketchUp Pro for $299 per year. Check their pricing page for more details. For V-Ray, you can purchase the V-Ray Premium Suite package for $114 per month or pay for the annual license (which we recommend) which is half the price, about $57 per month ( $694.80 billed up-front). We recommend the Premium version over the Solo version because it gives you access to the Chaos Cloud (and other Chaos products), which allows you to render images on the Chaos servers instead of your computer.
No, both SketchUp and V-Ray have 30-day free trials that you can use for this course.
The course is recorded using a Windows operating system, but you can use a Mac as well. The only difference is that some of the keyboard shortcuts will be different, but I do my best to give you the Mac version of shortcuts and clicks throughout the course.
Yes! All students have access to our private Facebook group where other students (and instructors) answer questions, discuss problems or configuration issues, and display their work. It’s a community that is really friendly and helpful. Also, new students get 3-months of access to our bi-weekly Zoom coaching calls! You can always email a question to us too, but we prefer you post in the Facebook group first, as this may help current students and future students.