Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Sketchup for jewelry design


#1

Recently an architect friend told me that I absolutely need to have
SkecthUp as a jewelry design program. It is a free download
application from Google. My first impressionis that it is a rigid,
geometrical program and that it is difficult to do an organic, fluid
design? Does anyone have some experience with this program?

Lois


#2

I tried it I don’t like it. Its main benefit is that it is free.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#3

it’s fine for learning to work with axis’ and a 3D application. It
has limitations (you can’t really use it for CAM/CNC milling or to
transfer easily to waxes) as faras what you can do with the work
after completing a file- on the other hand its free, fairly easy to
learn and does make precise ssketches for pendants, complex ring
designs, anything you want to dap, and wire twisting patterns (if
you wanted to try an idea first without using precious metals) or to
visually work out a problem you are having in constructing a
piece… I tried it for while and found that an eraser and pen were
by far faster than the computer…and i could colour the work easier
by hand as well…


#4
I tried it for while and found that an eraser and pen were by far
faster than the computer..and i could colour the work easier by
hand as well.. 

Agreed! I was introduced to Sketchup by my son, and it’s great fun
to play with, but attempting to draw something like a simple ring
band with a D shaped profile, took me an absolute age! Mind you, I’ve
no experience whatsoever with CAD previously, so anyone who does
would find it much easier and quicker to use. I think it’s okay for
illustrative purposes in the right hands and of course it’s free
which is always a bonus.

Helen
UK


#5

I do sketches the old fashioned way with .3mm pencil and the shade
with colored pencils. Most of our work is bridal and so often I’m
sketching wedding bands to go with existing engagement rings, so I’m
drawing the same engagement ring 4 times when giving the customer 4
wedding band options.

I’d be interested in software recommendations. I’ve looked several
times over the years and haven’t found anything that I liked better
than doing it manually. What I do see as an advantage would be the
ability to catalog the sketches and being able to copy and paste
(only have to draw the eng. ring once that way). Any tips?

Mark


#6
I'd be interested in software recommendations. I've looked several
times over the years and haven't found anything that I liked
better than doing it manually. What I do see as an advantage would
be the ability to catalog the sketches and being able to copy and
paste (only have to draw the eng. ring once that way). Any tips? 

If you are only rendering not doing CAD/CAM then learn to use
Photoshop, it is a great tool for rendering. But It has a learning
curve just like your pencils did :slight_smile:

Jim

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#7

I always take a digital pic of all of the sketches that I do… then
they can be tweeked in any program on your computer. It’s a good way
to do approval of designs via email instead of having the customer
visit your shop if he/she lives a long distance. Keep a folder on
your computer for the sketches, then store them in a photo album for
later reference if needed. There’s nothing quite as satisfying for
me as sitting down with gray paper and colored pencils to draw my
jewelry designs by hand. I’m sure CAD has advantages though. Guess
I’m an ‘old school’ traditional woman.

Margie
http://www.mmwaxmodels.com


#8
What I do see as an advantage would be the ability to catalog the
sketches and being able to copy and paste (only have to draw the
eng. ring once that way). Any tips? 

Well, this is not truly high tech abnd some may see it as
cumbersome, but I’ll tell you how I like to do things.

I draw a design in pencil, then ink it, then scan it into Photshop.
I can tidy it up if necessary, increase contrast, re-size, whatever.
This way, I can print out copies to glue on sheet for sawing, or
erase parts and insert new ones by hand. This is also how I create
designs for etching. They are permanently cataloged on my computer,
too, as well as still existing as original drawings in my
sketchbooks.

This would at least save drawing the same thing repeatedly!

Noel


#9

If you don’t want to spend 6K on GemVision MMatrix and you want to
create renderings that can be used if need be at a later stage, AND
if you are willing to mess around and learn and practice, then Rhino
is a more affordable option. I use Rhino for creating visual designs
for clients and it is my staple software for creating.stl files for
milling. It is therefore the backbone of my business, as I run my
MDX40 with a few upgrades daily; 8 hours a day from the files I
generate with Rhino.


#10

For some reason I can manipulate the photo version better than the
scanned version of a color sketch. I use several different sources of
light for each pic that I take.I’ve tried it many times, guess I just
love to use my camera all the time.

Thanks for the snippet


#11

We do have Matrix/Revo and can and do create photo-realistic
renderings for clients, but there are some problems with that. In my
case I do mostly bridal so I am often sketching 3-4 wedding bands
for the same existing engagement ring. I can sketch and color four
different to scale options by hand for the client to choose from in
about 30-40 minutes. If I want to render a design using CAD software
I have to build the whole model first, each model can take 30-60
minutes (or more). So although the CAD renderings are cool they are
somewhat impractical when I want to give the customer more than just
one design to choose from. That’s why I am looking for some sort of
drawing software that I can use with a tablet. Ideally I’d like to
draw the designs basically the same way I do now, except use a
stylus/tablet and/or mouse rather than colored pencils. I’m not sure
that photoshop is exactly what I’m dreaming of… but maybe I’m
mistaken.

Mark


#12

Hi Lois,

My first impression is that it is a rigid, geometrical program and
that it is difficult to do an organic, fluid design? 

Your 1st impression is correct. Sketchup is much more suited to
architecture…

If you’re looking for a simple to use but powerful CAD program for
jewelry design, you can’t go wrong by trying out Moment of
Inspiration (MoI).

The developer, Michael Gibson created it for artists and designers
rather than CAD engineers. Recently, he’s started working on a
ArrayGem tool that’s going to be a big help to jewelers using the
program. Here’s a link to the forum where it’s explained:

http://moi3d.com/forum/messages.php?webtag=MOI&msg=3034.57

A very basic tutorial to make an eternity ring in MoI appears in the
December 2009 online edition of Canadian Jewellers Magazine.
http://www.canadianjeweller.com/

I’d urge anyone interested in CAD to give MoI a try, it’s much
better for jewelry than Sketchup.

Regards,
Jesse Kaufman
www.jdkjewelry.com
http://jdkjewelry3d.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#13
That's why I am looking for some sort of drawing software that I
can use with a tablet. Ideally I'd like to draw the designs
basically the same way I do now, except use a stylus/tablet and/or
mouse rather than colored pencils. I'm not sure that photoshop is
exactly what I'm dreaming of... but maybe I'm mistaken. 

I find a combination of using both Photoshop and Illustrator allows
for this kind of thing. I use a stylus and tablet to do my "hand"
rendering. Illustrator is used to draw the basic forms then
photoshop to color and shade. There some programs that do both vector
(Illustrator) and bitmap (Photoshop) graphics but I have yet to find
anything that has the very mature feature set and user interface of
the Adobe programs.

Your mileage may differ

Jim

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#14

Jim, how about teaching a workshop in this area of Photoshop I have
the Photoshop suite and I think I probably use about 5-10% of it’s
capacities. And I think there are more of us; at least enough to
fill a workshop.

kpk


#15

There are also open-source programs (ZERO financial cost) which can
do the same thing. I can use Inkscape (www.inkscape.org) for vector
drawing and The Gimp (www.gimp.org) for bitmap manipulation.

Some artists have found success in using the tablet with The Gimp

http://emptyeasel.com/2008/09/26/painting-with-a-wacom-tablet-in-gimp/

with tablet support for Inkscape evidently still a work in progress

http://inkscape-forum.andreas-s.net/topic/132513

but these could work for you with some time an patience.

For programmers out there, both of these packages I believe are
extensible with an open interface.

Good luck,
Andrew Jonathan Fine

Complete installation packages are available for both programs on
Windows systems as well as Linux.


#16

Hi Mark,

That's why I am looking for some sort of drawing software that I
can use with a tablet. Ideally I'd like to draw the designs
basically the same way I do now, except use a stylus/tablet and/or
mouse rather than colored pencils. 

Artrage will do exactly what you’re looking to do.

http://www.artrage.com

Regards,
Jesse Kaufman
http://www.jdkjewelry.com
http://jdkjewelry3d.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#17
There are also open-source programs (ZERO financial cost) which
can do the same thing. I can use Inkscape (www.inkscape.org) for
vector drawing and The Gimp (www.gimp.org) for bitmap manipulation. 

Yes but the user interface on both is something only a Open Source
programmer could love :slight_smile: I have both. GIMP is a much more mature and
stable program but it is not Photoshop. Inkscape is buggy I have
problems with it every time I have tried to use it. Both programs
show the both the promise and peril of open source programs. They are
great because they are free and they almost implement the feature set
of earlier versions of Photoshop and Illustrator. But the UI sucks
and there are rough places all over. Yes you can use them but I hate
fighting my tools. If you are a computer geek or don’t have the money
to buy the Adobe programs they will fill the need but they are not
free equivalents to Photoshop or Illustrator they are most definitely
a long way from those programs.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#18

James,

Have you come across Gimpshop yet (gimpshop.com) - this gives the
Gimp a front end which will be very familiar to Photoshop users. The
Gimp has most of the functionality of Photoshop but for free and, of
course, as it is open source, you can always ask for any additional
functions you think would be useful to be added - not something you
can easily do with Photoshop…

Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#19

GIMP is certainly no Photoshop, but it does work very well for free.
I agree that it lacks tools Photoshop has, but Photoshop is so
incredibly powerful that many people will not use it to anywhere
near its potential.

Aside from the lack of proper CMYK support, the biggest complaint
with GIMP that I’ve heard is with the UI. My feeling isn’t that the
UI is bad, it’s just significantly different from Photoshop, and
having learned to use Photoshop prior to GIMP, I had similar feeling.
Now after some having used GIMP for some time, I feel quite
comfortable with it. Apparently the UI design is specifically
designed not to look like photoshop, however there is a program that
I’ve never used called GIMPshop that is GIMP made to look and feel
like Photoshop.

If you have Photoshop, use it. If you don’t have access or are just
learning/experimenting with computer editing, GIMP is an excellent
tool to try out for free (free as in beer and free as in speech),
and many of the tools are common to image manipulation software and
the skills learned translate to other programs such as Photoshop.

Jason


#20
Have you come across Gimpshop yet (gimpshop.com) - this gives the
Gimp a front end which will be very familiar to Photoshop users.
The Gimp has most of the functionality of Photoshop but for free
and, of course, as it is open source, 

Ill look into it as Gimp is basically able to do much of the bit
twiddling I do on Photoshop. However I am full invested in the Adobe
products and unlikely to switch to Gimp for day to day work as I
have many plugins for Photoshop that will not run in Gimp. I use Gimp
on my laptop while traveling so I will investigate Gimpshop

you can always ask for any additional functions you think would be
useful to be added - not something you can easily do with
Photoshop... 

Oh you can ask Adobe as well. And unless you are willing to program
said improvement in Gimp you will have just about as much chance of
seeing it realized :slight_smile:

Jim

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts