If you have ever had to produce some preliminary drawings for a client or convey an idea quickly and with minimal fuss try SketchUp. There is a free version and a pro version ($495.00). The pro version is worth every cent. Sure I could use AutoCAD to produce the same thing but for a fraction of the cost and by far the shortest learning curve of ANY “3D” program out there I can produce a great preliminary presentation. This program is unbelievably intuitive and SIMPLE to use. It took me an hour to view a few tutorials and off I went. Don’t expect photo real rendering, I still use Lightwave for that. For construction drawings use AutoCAD.

This was modeled in SketchUp in a morning

SketchUp Hospital

and exported into Lightwave and rendered for a more refined look.

Hospital Rendering

This presentation was created in SketchUp in a day

.NL Church ElevationsNL Church Perspective

Sketchup will also produce quick animations.Click here to see a Lo Res Animation produce with SketchUp.
I highly recommend this very productive software.