Question submitted by Noel P.

I’m currently learning Google Sketchup. Would that be adequate for the industry? 


Your question “What software should I use?” is one I get asked a lot.  The short answer is “Yes, Sketchup is a good program to know”.

The longer answer would be:

Well it depends on your intent.  If you want to use a 3d program to help you with your designs, perspective, etc, then any program that you are familiar with, will be a powerful addition to your skill set.  Google Sketchup was designed mainly for architects, and therefore has its limits, but if you can get the results you are after from it, then its worth while. Plus the program is ever evolving and improving, so who know what other features will be added down the line.

If your intent was to learn the tools that the professionals use when developing a video game, then you may be better off learning industry standard software like Max, Modo, and Maya to name a few.  That said, I should also point out that there is no actual “industry standard”.  Since the software used varies from shop to shop, the only way to know which studio uses which software is to do some research on a prospective studio (and even then, getting answers can be difficult, and the studio may shift software at any time).  

Honestly, since nothing is really guaranteed, the best you can hope for when using a 3D program is to understand the core concepts of 3d modeling and be able to retain them across multiple programs. Obviously the more programs you know, then the more you can do, so knowing multiple programs is the best solution.

Hope that helps