We will walk through the majority of steps necessary to complete our work within SketchUp together - however, much of the work will require creativity and imagination as well as trial and error in order to obtain the required design/shape. In order to help everyone throughout this process - I have posted some scripts and will post videos that will assist you in using SketchUp and it's many tools.
Select and Move Objects
Scale and Rotate Objects
Manipulate Faces and Edges
Advanced Selection Tools
Select and Move Objects
Scale and Rotate objects
Advanced Selection Tools
Select and Move Objects
- Now let's manipulate some objects in SketchUp We're going to start off by selecting objects and moving them. Now the select tool is the default tool in SketchUp. So when you first open SketchUp, you'll get this little arrow cursor and that is the select tool. Now if you're not in the select tool, you can always get to it by going under Tools Select. And if you notice, the hot key for that is the spacebar. So if you're in any other tool, all you have to do is hit the spacebar and that always brings you back to select.
- Now, selecting objects can be as simple as left-clicking on them. So if I left-click on this chair, you can see that it is selected. Or the couch or the table. Now, another way to select objects is to click and drag. So if I left-click and drag, notice how this marquee box comes up and anything within that box gets selected. So all of these objects are selected. Now to deselect objects, all you have to do is left-click outside of that selection and they will deselect.
- Now again, with the marquee, it's anything that falls within the box. So if I draw my box here, only these two objects will select. Now another way to select is to do it an object at a time. So if I select one object, I can select another by holding down the shift key. So if I shift select, I can select this one or this one. Now if you want to remove objects from a selection set, the shift key is also your friend. So, all I have to do is hold down shift and I can toggle any one of these objects on or off.
- Now that we understand selection, let's go ahead and look at the Move tool. Now we can find this in a couple places. Here along the tool bar, we have this move tool here. Or, if we go in to the Tools menu, you can see we have Move. And the hotkey for that is M. Now, the cursor for this does look a little bit different than the select tool. And one of the nice things about the Move tool is that all you have to do is hover over an object and it will highlight. So if I hover over this object here, all I have to do is hover over it, left-click and drag and I can move it.
- Now one of the things you're going to notice is that it's going to start to snap. So here it's snapping to the green axis. Notice how that dotted line turns green? Now it's turning red. And now it's turning blue. And so what SketchUp is trying to do is get you to constrain that motion to one of the axises. Now a way to make this a little bit more efficient is to hold down the shift key. So if I snap say, to the red axis, notice how when I hold down the shift key, that gets a little bit bolder and now I can only move this along that axis.
- If I were to move this again and say, snap it to the green axis. Again, holding down the shift key will constrain it to that axis. Now, notice in the bottom right-hand corner, we also have a distance. So if I want to, I can type in a specific distance to move this along that axis. So if I were to say, type 12, it would only move it 12 inches. Or if I were to type, say, 16, it would move it 16 inches along that axis.
- Now another way to use the move tool is to duplicate objects So if I hold down ctrl instead of shift, it will actually make a copy of that object. So this is a great way to make copies very quickly. So, if I were to say, select both of these by going into the Select tool and going back in to the Move tool. Again, I can hold down the ctrl key and duplicate them. So as you can see, these are two very important tools for SketchUp.
- The Select tool allows you to select one or multiple objects and the Move tool allows you to rearrange those objects as well as copy them.
Scale and Rotate objects
- In addition to selecting and moving objects, we can also rotate and scale them.So let's take a look at how to do that. Now, the rotate and scale tools can be found next to the move tool on the toolbar here. We have rotate and scale and also under tools, we have rotate and scale. So let's go ahead and start with rotate. Now the hot key for this is q. So I'm going to go ahead and select my rotate and notice how it comes up as this kind of protractor like object.
- Now this allows me to select any point on the object so I can select towards the center of a face or towards the end and this will become the center of rotation. So if I left click here, it allows me to drag out this line. And then the second click will allow me to rotate. So when I click again, and then move my mouse, you can see how I can rotate this again. And notice how this also snaps to red and green axis and so this will snap to a specific angle and also notice down in the bottom right hand corner how that angle is actually being displayed in the measurements box.
- So if I wanted to, I could click off of this and it would go to that particular value, in this case, 38. Or if I wanted to, I could type in 45 and make that a 45 degree angle. Now I'm going to go ahead and do this. Now one of the things about this is that where you click does determine the center of rotations so if I were to click here, towards the corner, then it will rotate around that center. Or, I could rotate any number of faces.
- So if I click on this side, I can rotate it around this axis. Now we can also rotate multiple objects. So if we select, say two objects by doing shift, select and again going into the rotate tool, we can select those objects and again, they will rotate around whatever center I select.So if I select a center here, then they will rotate around that center.
- Now another tool that we can use is the scale tool. Again, we can find it up here in the toolbar.It's right here. Or under tools, we can find it here. And the hot key for that is S. So when I click on an object, this little gizmo shows up so each one of these little cubes here tells me where I'm going to scale so we can scale along an axis, along two axes or along three.
- So if I were to select, say this one here, this would scale along the red axis. This one here would scale along the blue axis and this one would scale along green. Now if I scale diagonally this way, I'll be scaling along two axes. And if I go corner to corner diagonally, I'm doing what's called a uniformed scale. So I'm scaling equally along all dimensions. And again, the scale tool can be used for multiple objects as well so if I select these objects and scale them, notice how the box gets bigger and then I can scale all of those if I want.
- So as you can see, the rotate and scale tool are also great ways to rearrange and organize your scenes.
- Manipulate Faces and Edges
- Now let's take a look at how to move faces and edges to manipulate the shape of an object. Now faces and edges are really the parts of the object that define it's shape. So in a SketchUp model, we have two basically sub-objects, and these are called edges, which are basically lines, so if I click on one of these edges you can see they highlight in blue. So the edges are lines, and faces are planes.
- So if I click on this, you'll see that that's a face. This is a face and the side of the roof is a face as well. Now faces are flat, so they are planer in orientation. Now once SketchUp starts making a shape, you'll see that it's planes will break up into multiple faces but regardless we can use this to actually manipulate the shape of an object. So for example, if I were to select the top of this roof and then go into my move tool, I can actually move that up and snap it to the blue axis and maybe hold down the shift key to make the peak of that roof taller or shallower.
- And I can do the same here, I can select this peak of this roof here, and again use my move tool to move it up. Now if you can't get it to move up immediately, you can also use this little handy shortcut. You can use the up arrow to lock to the blue axis and then the left and right arrows lock to red and green. Now I can also move faces. So if I were to select this face here and say move it along the red axis you can see how I make this wall a little bit thicker.
- And then I can also go down say to this little step here and again move the side of that, so if I want this a little bit wider, all I have to do is hold that face a little bit wider. Now we don't have to manipulate individual faces, we can also select and manipulate multiple faces. So if I were to select this face, and then hold down the shift key and select this one as well, I can use my move tool to move those along the green axis to make that stair either shallower or deeper.
- Now we've been using the move tool a lot but we can also use the rotate tools. So if I were to select this here, I could rotate along say the blue axis and start to twist this but you can see that this doesn't really affect the shape in a meaningful way. Or we could select say this face here and again rotate it and again you can see how this model breaks up a little bit. Now some times these tools are not going to work on rectangular models like this.
- But we can also scale this a little bit so if I wanted to scale this wall down I could scale it up or down. Now the rotate, scale tools will work a little bit differently depending upon how your model is constructed but just understand that we can reshape our model using our move, rotate and scale tools on edges and faces.
Advanced Selection Tools
- As we move into modelling, there'll be many times when you need to select faces or edges, or multiple faces or edges. Now can just do this by using the standard selection tool, so I can left-click on an edge and shift-select a face and maybe another edge and another edge, but if you have a large model, you may need to select things a little bit more efficiently. Now one thing that SketchUp has is right-click menus.
- I'm going to go ahead and click off of this, and then I'm going to select this edge here. Now if I right-click over this, notice how a menu comes up and we have a number of different options here for this edge, but the one I'm looking for here is Select so we have a couple of options here. We have Select Connected Faces, All Connected, and All on the Same Layer. Now what this does is select any face that is connected to that edge, so if I were to select this edge here, right-click, go Select/Connected Faces, it selects these two.
- Now if I have multiple edges selected, the tool will still work, so I'm going to go ahead and select this one and this one and, again, right-click, Select/Connected Faces, and there we go.Now the other option for this is Select/All Connected. Now what that does is it selects anything that is actually connected to that edge, even remotely, so when I select this option, it selects everything in the house but the windows and this little door here.
- Now that's because these are actually separate objects in the model, they're not connected to that roof, so what All Connected does is basically just walk through the model, and anything that's connected will be selected. Now we've been working with edges, but we can also take a look at faces. So, if I were to select this face here and right-click over it, you'll see that we have under Select a number of options. In fact, we'll have a few more options. We do have Select/Connected Faces, and if I select that, it will select any face that is connected to that face, so if I have this face selected, go Select/Connected Faces, it'll select these two.
- Now with faces we do have some more options, so if I go Select/Bounding Edges, it will select the edges that bound that face. So if I were to have, say, this face selected, I could right-click over it, go Select/Bounding Edges, it'll select this triangle and this face here will select bounding edges of four sides. Now again, just as with edges, we can do an All Connected and that will, again, select anything remotely connected to that face, but it will not select separate objects such as the windows.
- Now another option that we have with faces is that we can select by material. So I do have some materials on this object, but we're not showing them at the moment, but if we want to, we can go into our View menu and under Face Style I'm going to go ahead and turn on Shaded With Textures, and that will show the materials that I have on this object, and notice how we have different colours for the roof and the walls and some of the other parts of this building.
- So again, I can select part of the roof, and if I right-click over this and do Select/All with the Same Material, notice how it selects anything with a shingled roof, and that's because they all contain that particular material. If I select this blue wall, right-click, All with the Same Material, notice how it selects anything that has that material on it. I could do the same here, I have this concrete here on this patio, and I can Select/All with the Same Material and notice how it selects the staircase as well.
- So as you can see, there's a number of great tools that allow you to select faces or edges by how they're connected or by what material they have, so go ahead and get used to these tools because we'll be using these a lot as we model.