Most everything you will create in SketchUp can be created by inference using the Line Tool. You can move on to learning how to draw quickly after you master using the inference engine. It is recommended that you use the Line Tool and inference engine to create your initial models. Tip - Learn to draw accurately before you learn to draw quickly and you will master SketchUp in a shorter amount of time. SketchUp implements several concepts which you will use to help you draw quickly.
These are dividing and healing, pushing and pulling, sticky geometry, autofold, and intersections. Dividing and Healing Geometry Some tools speed up design dramatically by allowing you to perform modifications on existing geometry. For example, the Line Tool allows you to split faces and edges to create additional independent faces and edges. Simply divide the face or edge with another edge. This concept is similar to cutting a piece of paper in half and having two separate remaining pieces.
The following image shows how two faces are created when dividing the face with a line. Notice the image on the left has one solid top face, while the image on the right has two independent faces when split with a line. Note that the dividing line does not cut through the model from top to bottom, but just cuts the top face in half.
The following image shows how the edges at each end of the face have been split to create additional edges. Note four edges bounding the face in the left image, while four edges bounding each of two faces in the image on the right the middle edge being common to both top faces. It is common in SketchUp to perform these dividing and healing operations to your model.
Pushing is the process of reshaping a portion of your model by shrinking the portion away from its starting point and along a single axis. The following image shows the right-most face of the split face shown earlier pushed down toward the ground plane. In the previous image, there are eight faces that can be pushed, can you find them some are hidden out of view? Pulling is the process of expanding a portion of your model away from the starting point along a single axis. The following image shows the same face having been pulled up toward the sky. Any face in SketchUp can be pushed and pulled with some minor limitations.
Manipulating Connected Faces Geometry in SketchUp is sticky meaning that it can be manipulated skewed, distorted, or folded by selecting an edge or face and moving the edge or face with the Move Tool causing all entities attached or "stuck" to the edge or face to move too. Following are three examples of sticky geometry in SketchUp: 1. The following image shows a line dividing the top face of a box being moved up with a Move Tool. The faces that were connected to the middle line followed the line as it was moved to create a roof-like effect.
The following image shows the left-most top face being moved down in the blue direction. This action causes the right-most top face to angle to create a slant on one side. Finally, the following image shows the left-most top-edge being moved to the left. The model is skewed into a trapazoid-like shape. Be sure to use the Move Tool to grab and move edges and faces while you begin to experiment with modeling in SketchUp.
Tip - Experimentation and play is highly important in learning how to draw in SketchUp! Learn how to draw accurately first, then learn how to draw quickly using the concepts in this portion of the user's guide. Autofold Faces must remain planar at all times in SketchUp. Therefore, SketchUp will Autofold, or score, faces as necessary to accommodate any operation that will result in warped faces. Because of SketchUp's sticky nature, the sides of the shape, which share common edges with the top face, twisted and folded with the rotate operation right-most image.
The following image shows the 3 dimensional shape with the hidden geometry shown dotted lines. Notice that each twisted faces are actually comprised of two triangular faces. Intersections Boolean Operations SketchUp allows you to easily create complex geometry by intersecting two geometrical forms, such as a box and a tube, creating new edges where the elements intersect, merging the geometry, and subtracting parts of the combined geometry. In the left-most image above, a cylinder shape was moved into a cube shape.
Notice, that no lines appear where the two shapes intersect, indicating that the shapes have not truly merged. A special tool, called the Intersect with Model Tool, is used to create intersection lines the middle image , merging the two shapes together to form one new shape.
Finally, the cylinder shape is deleted using the eraser tool on the cylinder's edges and because the intersection lines were created, the resulting curved face is left within the cube creating a new complex geometrical shape right image. Thankfully, you do not have to use only the Line Tool to sketch your models. Instead, SketchUp provides many other tools to help you draw quickly. Some of these tools are for creating common entities such as a circle, arc, polygon, or freehand line. Other tools allow you to quickly draw complex models by modifying your models splitting, skewing, and even merging geometry together.
Tools in SketchUp are divided into five categories: principal tools tools that are used a lot to select and modify geometry , drawing tools tools used to create geometry , modification tools tools used to modify existing geometry , construction tools tools used to create guide lines or points, and document your model , camera tools tools used to view geometry; discussed later , and walkthrough tools tools to explore your model. Each of these tools is discussed further in this guide. Note - Most drawing tools can perform modifications as well, such as the Line Tool being used to draw a line to divide a face.
Simply, you the user are treated as though you were a camera looking at your model as you work. This concept is particularly important when your model is something that you want to tour, such as a house, as though you were walking through it in the real world. In this case, SketchUp allows you to change your point of view to a specific height and angle to the model and walk through the model as though it were real. Manipulating the Camera You can manipulate the camera your view in a number of ways to aid you in your designing.
The first, called an orbit, Camera Tools There are other ways to manipulate the camera your point of view in SketchUp, including zooming in and out and panning. The following image shows a axonometric or paraline projection, notice how the roof, and wall lines appear parallel.
The following image shows a perspective projection. SketchUp defaults to a perspective view, but can be toggled into a paraline view for those who prefer a point of view that is similar to what you would see when drawing 3D objects in a 2D space such as when drawing a cube on flat paper. Note - The iso camera view in SketchUp is not the same as an isometric projection in which anything along the x, y or z axis are in proportion. Layers SketchUp layers are used to control the visibility of geometry within large models.
For example, all Component entities that are chairs can be assigned to the "Chairs" layer. This layer can be then be hidden temporarily to hide everything on the layer from view. Note - Geometry on one layer is not separated from geometry on another layer. For example, faces sharing a common edge will both be affected by a modification to that edge regardless of what layer the faces are on.
All entities are automatically placed on this layer unless you create another layer, designate the new layer as the active layer, and create entities on the new layer. SketchUp contains several features allowing you to quickly create detailed or life-like models. These features include components, materials, shadows, and styles. Materials SketchUp allows you to paint materials on faces to add detail and realism to your models.
Materials are essentially paints that have a color and optional texture defined within a image file. For example, a siding material with the color of grey and an appearance or texture simulating real overlapped composite siding. Following is a building painted with grey composite siding and grey shingle roofing materials. A grass material is also used on the ground. As with components, SketchUp comes with a library of materials. You can paint these materials on your models using the Paint Bucket Tool.
Additionally, you can create your own materials within SketchUp using the color wheel , or by importing texture-like images such as the image of a wood flooring. In fact, you can import an entire image of a real-world object such as a picture of a car , and manipulate it over your 3D model to give your model a truly realistic appearance. Default Material Geometry in SketchUp is assigned a default material as it is created. The default material can be changed by painting the geometry with a material.
Paint these materials on faces to create windows. SketchUp materials are normally applied to a single side of a face at a time. Painting a default colored side with transparent material will result in both sides of that face being treated as transparent allowing the surface to be transparent when viewed from both sides. If the back side of a face has already been painted with some non- transparent material, applying a transparent material to the front side will not cause the back side to also display as transparent.
Likewise, if you paint the back side of a face with a different transparent material, it will not effect the front side. Thus, by specifically applying a material to both sides, it is possible to have transparent faces that can have different colors and levels of transparency on each side. Groups and Components Groups and components are entities that can hold other entities. Groups are commonly used to combine several entities into a single entity for the purposes of performing a quick operation on the group such as a copy or move. For example, you might draw a model, group the entities that compose model and move the entire model.
When you select a Group, all elements within that group are selected as well. Entities within groups are protected from the rest of the model. Groups can be nested within other groups resulting in hierarchical collection of subgroups. The group as a whole can be assigned a material of its own, which is separate from the materials painted on individual entities within the group. See the Materials section within this topic for further information.
Groups maintain their own internal drawing axes. Groups have a special behavior that allows them to properly align themselves and stick to faces on which they are placed as well as cut holes in those faces. Components are just a group with special behaviors, namely behaviors allowing them to be inserted in other models. For example, you might create a model of a car that you want to bring into other SketchUp models, such as the model of a house.
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Any models you create can be a component. Each copy of a component that you insert into a model is considered an instance of a component definition. The component definition is the blueprint that defines the appearance and behavior of all component instances created when you insert the component in the model. Editing a component instance edits the definition and all instances accordingly. However, some actions, such as scaling an instance, only affects the instance itself.
Components allow SketchUp to more efficiently use your computer's resources because the information necessary to describe a component is only stored once, in the component definition, and then referenced for every component instance. Components display their own internal drawing axes when you are editing the component. You can define alignment and hole cutting behavior when creating components it is automatically defined for groups.
Note - You can define the characteristics of the component during component creation. Group and Component Context Entities within a group or component are said to exist within the group or component's scope or context. You can modify a group or component as a whole affecting all of the entities within the group or component or edit the group or component's individual entities within the group or component's context. Additionally, you can nest components within other components, groups within components, components within groups and so on.
The following image shows a shelf component has been selected as indicated by the yellow selection color using the Select Tool. This shelf is composed of several subcomponents, such as slats. Notice that it has a dashed bounding box to indicate you are in the component's context. In this case, a subcomponent, one of the slats in the shelf, has been selected.
That slat is within the context of the shelf. Also notice that the component's axes are displayed in the lower left-hand corner. Finally, the following image shows the slate component being edited. Notice now that there is a dashed bounding box around the component, and around the slat being edited. The entities, such as the lines and face, that compose that individual slat are said to be in the context of the slat. Component Libraries Component libraries have been created and included with SketchUp to allow you to easily add detail to your models.
These components range from standard architectural components doors, windows, and so on to people, cars, trees, and geometric shapes. You can also create your own libraries of components from pre-existing components or components you create yourself. Component Axes Components have their own axes which, by default, are aligned to the global axes in the drawing area.source url
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These axes can be moved affecting component placement in the model. Cutting and Gluing Behavior Components, such as doors and windows, can be designed such that they can be placed on specifically-oriented surfaces such as vertical wall surfaces. This behavior is referred to as the gluing behavior of a component. Additionally, components can be designed to automatically cut holes in surfaces, such as in the case of a window component being able to cut a hole in a wall.
This behavior is referred to as the cutting behavior of a component. Layers, Groups and Components Layers are a mechanism for controlling the visibility of entities within a model. Entities can be assigned to different layers in a model and those layers, and their contents, can be displayed independently. Groups and Components are used to isolate geometry as sub- models within an overall model, such as a component of a chair within a model of a room. Note - Entities within a group or component can be on several different layers. Styles A style is a predefined set of display settings that can be applied to a model, and the drawing area, to give it a specific look-and- feel.
A style can consist of a specific edge type, face type, sky and background color, watermark, and other drawing area effects such as the color used to represent selected geometry. SketchUp has multiple styles, some best used while drawing a model because they don't use any intensive rendering effects , others are best suited for printing or presenting a model because they use rendering effects to give a model a hand-drawn For example, a pre-defined style might have an edge type of jitter edges, a face type of hidden line mode, a background color of white, a sky color of blue, a ground color of brown, and so on.
Sketchy Edges SketchUp allows you to apply various edge types, including hand-drawn sketchy edges, to your model. Sketchy edges are edges that can be unique from any other edge style in SketchUp because, unlike other pre-defined edge types, you can create your own sketchy edge using a drawing program like PhotoShop. Sketchy edges are simply a collection of different hand-drawn strokes that, when combined and applied to model, give the a model a unique hand-drawn appearance.
Shadows SketchUp allows you to cast shadows on your model as though the model were in a real- world environment. These shadows can be cast based on time of day and virtual location of the model in the real-world. For example, you can set shadows to see exactly what a model of a house would look like at am, December 10, in Boulder, Colorado, which is the default location. Finally, SketchUp's shadows are designed to provide dynamic feedback as you change geometry and your camera viewpoint. The shadow casting feature in SketchUp is a great way to give your models a better sense of depth and realism.
Fortunately, SketchUp can export models to other many other applications that excel at photo- realistic renderings. Ground Shadows Ground shadows use the faces in your model to create a flattened set of faces on the ground plane. These faces are colored and positioned based on the background color and the angle of the sun. Although faster than face shadows, the illusion that ground shadows provide only works on the ground plane. The following figure shows a model whose geometry all lies on or above the ground plane.
Note - Ground shadows create unexpected geometry, called artifacts, when your model contains geometry beneath the ground plane. Ground shadows works well for models with solid color backgrounds and in which all geometry is above the ground plane. Face Shadows Face shadows use the sun angle to project shadows based on the location of faces relative to other faces. For example, a shadow is cast on the stairs in the following figure, based on the face of the vertical 3d rectangle. The calculation used to create face shadows is processor-intensive, however, and will slow down performance with large models.
Note - Faces with less than 70 percent opacity are considered transparent, and do not cast shadows. Faces with 70 percent opacity or greater cast shadows. Transparent faces cannot receive shadows. The following image shows a model of a building with a section cut affect active allowing the designer to work inside the model or present interior detail to a client. The following model shows the section cut effect resulting from slicing through the model of a cup.
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Section planes are generated using the Section Plane Tool. The previous image shows a section plane entity intersecting the cup and creating a section slice through the cup. Section Slices The term section slice refers to the edges that are highlighted after intersecting geometry with a section plane. The following image shows a section slice in red.
You can create a group from these edges, such as when slicing horizontally through a house, to create a wire frame of the model such the outline of a floor plan. Then, export this section slice for use in a CAD program to add additional detail such as wall construction detail. Animations SketchUp allows you to create different scenes, similar to slides in traditional presentation software, each containing different settings for your model point of view, section cut effects, and so on. These scenes can be combined and executed sequentially as an animation.
The animation engine can be set to gradually transition between effects on different scenes for a truly dynamic presentation. A sandbox in SketchUp and in other 3D modeling tools is commonly referred to as a triangulated irregular network or TIN in terrain modeling terminology. Note - This documentation uses the term TIN, sandbox, and terrain interchangeably. A TIN is like a sandbox because it has a boundary and contains a sculpted surface sand. There is nothing special about a TIN, it is simply several connected triangular faces that, when smoothed, appear like one continuos smooth surface.
Note that you are not limited to creating terrain with the sandbox tools, you can create other organic shapes shapes that appear to be crafted by hand using these tools. For example, you might create a person's face, a bowl, or a swimming pool using the sandbox tools. Another type of TIN-like surface, which the sandbox tools can work with, is called a polygon mesh. A polygon mesh is similar to a TIN, but contains faces with more than three vertices.
The orientation of triangles is referred to as triangulation. Notice in the previous image that some triangles are oriented vertically while others are oriented horizontally. This concept is important because some sandbox tools allow you to change the direction of the triangles as a way to further smooth TINs. ArcGIS is an industry standard application suite or Geographic Information System for working with geographical information such as the location of buildings within a world-wide global coordinate system. The following table lists all of the sandbox tools in SketchUp.
Smoove Large Modificati ons Allows you sculpt or make large modifications to a TIN by moving groupings of vertices to create hills, berms, or other features. Drape Large Modificati ons Allows you to drape the outlines of roads, paths and buildings, drawn on a flat plane, onto a TIN. Flip Edge Small, Detailed, Allows you to sculpt or make small, detailed, modifications to the Note - The sandbox tools can also be used to create organic geometry or geometry that appears to be hand-crafted. Functional Terrain The term functional terrain is used to describe terrain that has no portion bending back upon itself creating overhangs, underhangs, or caves.
If you draw a vertical line through your terrain at any point and the line only touches the terrain at one point, your terrain is functional. This concept is important because certain tools, such as the Smoove Tool, can create unexpected results when working on nonfunctional terrain the neighboring points included in the sculpting operation by the Smoove Tool are often undesirable. The main parts of the SketchUp user interface are the title bar, menus, toolbars, drawing area, status bar, and the value control box.
The Google SketchUp free application looks the same. Title Bar The title bar at the top of SketchUp contains the standard Microsoft Windows controls close, minimize, and maximize on the right, and the name of the currently opened file. A blank drawing area appears when you start SketchUp and the name of the currently opened file is "Untitled" in the title bar, indicating that you have not yet saved your work.
Menus Menus appear below the title bar. The majority of SketchUp tools, commands, and settings are available within these menus. Drawing Area The drawing area is where you create your model. The 3D space of the drawing area is identified visually by the drawing axes. Status Bar The status bar is the long gray rectangular area at the bottom of the drawing area. The left side of the status bar displays tips for the currently used drawing tools, including special functions accessible using keyboard shortcuts.
Watch the status bar to discover advanced capabilities of each of the SketchUp tools. Note - Use the resize handle to make the drawing area larger so you can see the entire message in the status bar. The VCB displays dimensional information while you draw.
You can also enter values into the VCB to manipulate currently selected entities, such as creating elements of a specific dimension. Detailed information on the VCB values accepted for each tool appears in the Drawing Tools and Modification Tools sections of this user's guide. The VCB is always awaiting input from your keyboard. SketchUp will convert the value to the default system.
For example, you can type in 3' 6" even if you are using metric system as your default. Units are set within the Units panel of the Model Info dialog box. Scene Tabs Click on a scene tab to switch between the scenes in your file. Scene Tabs are created for each scene as each scene is created using the Scene Manager. Context-click on a scene tab to access its context menu. Add The Add menu item is used to add a new scene to the current file.
Update The Update menu item is used to update a scene if you have made changes to the scene. Delete The Delete menu item is used to delete the currently selected scene. Play Animation The Play Animation menu item starts an animation. See the Scenes and Animations topic for further information.
New The New menu item is used to close the current document and create a blank drawing area to begin a new SketchUp model. You will be prompted to save your changes if you have not saved changes to the current model before selecting the New menu item. Open Use the Open menu item to launch the Open dialog box, allowing you to open a previously saved SketchUp file. You will be prompted to save your changes if an unsaved model is already open because only one file can be open at a time. You likely will not notice anything different in your model, except that it will perform better, after these problems are fixed.
SketchUp checks all files for problems when they are opened and saved if the Automatically check models for problems check box is checked in the General Panel of the Application Preferences. SketchUp displays a dialog box allowing you to fix problems if they are found. This dialog box has three options: Always fix my models, Fix it now, and Fix it later. Google recommends you click on the Always fix my models button in this dialog box to fix the problem. This button also checks the Automatically fix problems when they are found checkbox in the General Panel of the Application Preferences.
This preferences option causes SketchUp to automatically fix problems without user intervention. Refer to the Automatically fix problems when they are found option for further information. SketchUp will check your model for unrecoverable errors during the open, preventing the overwriting of a good auto-save file. Sketchup will display a dialog box in the rare case that unrecoverable errors are found in your model. This dialog box contain the option to quit SketchUp and send a report. Google recommends you click on the quit SketchUp and send report button to terminate SketchUp and preserve your previously valid auto-save file.
This report contains valuable information regarding the unrecoverable errors. Save Use the Save menu item to save the currently active SketchUp model to your file system. When you close an unsaved document, or attempt to quit SketchUp with unsaved open documents, SketchUp will prompt you to save your work before continuing. The Create Backup option can help preserve your data in the event of an accidental removal of a. Tip - It is good to save often. You can have SketchUp automatically save for you at a specific time increment by enabling the Auto-save option within the General panel of the Preferences dialog box.
Problem Detection Minor problems can occur with your model given the infinite flexibility that SketchUp provides when designing in 3D. SketchUp will check your model for unrecoverable errors during the save, preventing the overwriting of a good auto-save file. You can use this dialog box to save the current drawing as a new document.
This file can be assigned a new name, a new location, and a previous version of SketchUp. The new file will becomes the current file in the drawing window. SketchUp will check your model for unrecoverable errors during the save as, preventing the overwriting of a good auto-save file. Sketchup will display a dialog box in the rare case that This menu item does not overwrite or close the current file and is useful for saving incremental copies or tentative schemes of your work.
SketchUp will check your model for unrecoverable errors during the save a copy as, preventing the overwriting of a good auto-save file. Revert Use the Revert menu item to revert your current document to its last saved state. Export Use the Export submenu to access SketchUp's export functionality, which is useful for sharing your work with other people or exporting your drawings for use in other applications.
Further file formats are available for export using Google SketchUp Pro. Discover the lesser known tips and tricks in LayOut that make it possible to create and manage even the most complex drawing sets. Find out how to set-up sunlight and artificial lights, and how to balance them with your camera's exposure. Learn how to quickly set-up common material types, and how to edit basic properties to get the right look. Find out the recipe for setting-up a daytime, exterior rendering set within a realistic landscape.
Learn how to convert your rendering from day to night, and how to relight with artificial lights. Learn how to light your model and add realistic reflections and finishes in Shaderlight. Practice using Shaderlight to render a simple interior vignette, plus learn tips and tricks to turn a partial model into a beautiful rendering. Learn how to light your model and add realistic reflections and finishes in Podium. Practice using Podium to render a simple interior vignette, plus learn tips and tricks to turn a partial model into a beautiful rendering. When you break it down, even the most complex shapes are just a series of smaller, more simple modeling steps.
Start by learning the core SketchUp functions to employ in more complicated modeling situations. Artisan is an extension that provides subdivision, sculpting, and soft selection tools for Organic Modeling in SketchUp. Learn the fundamental tools plus strategies for working efficiently with Artisan. Learn how to create tensile surfaces by skinning edges with the Soap Skin Bubble extension.
Generate complex and organic surfaces from contours with the Curviloft extension. Shape Bender is an extension that allows you to bend a group or component to match an existing curve. Learn strategies for using Shape Bender to wrap complex shapes along custom paths. Flowify is an extension that bends groups or components along a quad surface. Learn how to use it to map 3D objects to complex and organic faces to quickly solve intricate, organic modeling problems.
Shaderlight is a powerful yet intuitive photorealistic rendering program for SketchUp. This series walks you through the ins and outs of creating stunning, professional renderings using Shaderlight. This series takes you inside a real-world kitchen remodel project to provide step-by-step instructions for measuring a room and translating the dimensions to SketchUp. LayOut is a powerful tool for turning your SketchUp models into professional drawings and presentations.
Over time, we have answered a lot of LayOut questions by webinar. This is a collection of question and answer webinar recordings that have touched on LayOut. Note: Some videos contain information unrelated to LayOut and may also appear in other series.
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Interested in learning more about your SketchUp rendering options? Note: This is a collection of question and answer webinar recordings. Have you ever seen something and wondered, "how would you model that in SketchUp? We all have! Over time, we have answered quite a few of those types of questions in our webinars.
One of the most powerful features of SketchUp is the ability to add extra functionality through the installation of Extensions also known as: Plugins, Ruby Scripts, or Add-ons. Over time, we have reviewed some of the most popular extensions as a part of this series of question and answer webinar recordings. Note: Some videos contain information unrelated to extensions and may also appear in other series.
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