2625 Butterfield Rd. Ste 104S
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
Phone 630-472-2851
Fax 630-472-3150


Digital Design 2016
Google SketchUp Workshop with Author Daniel Tal
Additional class added for 2016!

Please join ILCA and nationally recognized expert, trainer, and author Daniel Tal for a 2-day workshop on learning how to use the 3D modeling software SketchUp. This workshop is hands-on in a computer lab setting intended for basic and advanced users!

Day 1 will review SketchUp basics and to model a simple site plan and structure. This includes a review of important tools and approaches to generating simple to complex models.

Day 2 is intended for intermediate and advanced users wanting to take their SketchUp skills to the next level. Daniel will provide hands on training using powerful extensions, custom tools for SketchUp, to generate complex, detailed site plans. Day 2 will include a detailed approach to grading and terrain modeling, rendering and advanced tips and methods to improve speed and efficiency.

The seminar will include take-away models that you can use on your own to work with SketchUp, handouts, custom tutorials and other material intended to help attendees maintain the learning momentum from the class.

The class is limited to only 20 students per day. The class will be hands-on in a computer lab setting. You must sign up for both days of the 2-day course.


Northern Illinois University Hoffman Estates
5555 Trillium Boulevard – Computer Lab #135
Hoffman Estates, IL 60195

Class 1 (2-days) SOLD OUT

Class 1, Day1: February 23, 2016 - Sketch Up Basics
8:30am – 4:00pm

Class 1, Day 2: February 24, 2016 – Intermediate/Advanced SketchUp
9:00am – 4:00pm

Class 2 (2-days, this is the same content as Class 1)

Class 2, Day1: February 25, 2016 - Sketch Up Basics
8:30am – 4:00pm

Class 2, Day 2: February 26, 2016 – Intermediate/Advanced SketchUp
9:00am – 4:00pm

Quick Links:

Who should attend?
The workshop is for landscape designers, design-build landscape contractors, landscape architects, any other landscape professional looking to dive deep into Google SketchUp.

What is SketchUp: SketchUp is a 3D modeling program for applications including landscape design and architecture. The program is easy to use and a powerful tool for visualizing landscape design to clients, colleagues, and field staff. There is an online Open source repository of free-of-charge model assemblies (e.g., landscape elements, windows, doors, etc.), 3D Warehouse - to which users may contribute models. The program includes drawing layout functionality, allows surface rendering in variable "styles", supports third-party "plug-in" programs, and enables placement of its models within Google Earth.

Landscape Architects: Landscape Architects have the opportunity to earn 12 CE credits by attending the full 2-day workshops (360 minutes of instruction, per day). Credits are earned for the time spent in the seminar learning about the approved health, safety, and welfare topics of: planting design, site design and engineering, and the use of site materials and methods of site construction. Credit is not earned for lunch and break periods.

Learning objectives:

  1. Attendees will understand architectural and site design fundamentals and how those will interact with the finished landscape.
  2. Attendees will understand how to integrate other design and visualization tools such as AutoCAD.
  3. Attendees will understand how grading and terrain elevation are handled on a digital platform in order to produce better designs.

About the Instructor: Daniel Tal

Daniel Tal is a registered landscape architect with over 17 years of experience. Daniel has worked on a variety of projects ranging from large master plans to capital projects in the US and internationally. Daniel is a 3D modeling and visualization expert. He has authored two books with Wiley and Sons publications on the topics of 3D modeling for professionals: Google SketchUp for Site Design and Rendering In SketchUp.

Daniel combines his experience in the design profession with his knowledge of 3D applications. This allows for a high-level of articulation and presentation of project design. Daniel provides lectures and presentations to firms and professional organizations on 3D modeling and consults on research and development of 3D tools and applications for software companies.

Course Outlines:

Day 1 - SketchUp Basics

(1) Getting Started

  • Navigation tutorial
  • Select tool tutorial

(2) Drawing and Modification

  • Line tool and creating faces
  • Rectangle Tool and PushPull
  • Measurements Tool
  • Creating a 10'x10'x10' cube

(3) Inference System

  • What is SketchUp Inference System
  • Locking the Inference with arrows

(4) Components

  • What are components
  • Types of components - examples (trees, benches, shrubs, tables and chairs, lights)
  • Creating a component
  • Getting components: Sketch3D, FormFonts, 3D Warehouse

Lunch Break

(5) Intro to Architecture Modeling

  • Massing model of house
  • Adding the roof using Instant Roof
  • Detailing windows, doors and more

(6) Intro to Site Design

  • Site model drafting
  • Adding color
  • Extruding surface

(7) Add Character and entourage

  • Layers! Layers! Layers!
  • Move tool tips
  • Copy/ Array / Rotate with the Move Tool
  • Place Entourage SketchUp custom tool
  • Keep the model organized

Day 2 – Intermediate / Advanced SketchUp:
Extensions, Terrain Modeling and Demos

(1) SketchUp Extensions

  • What are extensions
  • Why we use them
  • How they work
  • How to install them

(2) Demo - AutoCAD to SketchUp

  • Preparing the AutoCAD plan for import
  • Importing the AutoCAD plan into SketchUp
  • Modeling the site base from AutoCAD line work in SketchUp – using Extensions
  • Swapping blocks with components to create entourage

(3) SketchUp introduction to Site Grading

  • How to make custom grades
  • Learning to use the Sandbox tools
  • FromContour site grader
  • Grading process from curbs, ramps to sloping walks

Lunch Break

(4) SketchUp Site Grading Extensions

  • Custom Tools for Grading
  • Tools On Surfac
  • How they work
  • How to install them

(5) Overview and Demo of Digital Elevation modeling

  • Generating complex terrain models from CAD survey
  • Modeling roads and trails
  • Defining the grading extents
  • Drawing grading profiles in SketchUp
  • Modeling proposed grades
  • Exporting proposed grases back to AutoCAD.

To Register: The class is $750 per person. The fee covers the training, refreshments, lunch, and materials. The class is limited to the first 20 participants.

Online Registration Form

Paper-based Registration Form

Contact Julie Nicoll of ILCA staff at or 630-472-2851.


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