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Blog . Sketch-up for Beginners


Sketch-up for Beginners

03/28/17  |  Posted by LeAnn Troutner  |  Posted in Digital Creativity

This past weekend I learned a lot about Sketch-up and gained a new appreciation for the program. I did struggle learning the techniques, but I had a friend who knew a lot about the program and was more than willing to help me.

Yesterday I was creating a restaurant with curves and organic shapes. This was something I didn’t know how I would accomplish in Sketch-up, I had trouble making the counter. I asked my friend and he showed me a technique that got me the curved counter in less than five minutes. I went back and corrected all my horrible curves using his method and this only took me maybe twenty minutes.

Let’s start at the beginning. You can create from your own mind or you can import a floorplan and work off that. I imported the floorplan I created and worked from there. The biggest problem was making sure to work to scale before adding any shapes. To do this, find a dimension of an area you know. Go to Tools - Dimensions and create a box of the dimensions you know. In the toolbar above there is a square with a red arrow in the corner, this is the scale tool. Click this and grab the far corner of the document. Pull until the dimensions read the number you are looking for. Now your document is the right size to start building off of.

This becomes the easiest part, making squares or rectangles. Use the rectangle shape tool and draw the rectangle as desired, while looking at the floorplan like it is a piece of paper. Rotate the plan a little and use the Push/Pull tool to drag the shape as high as you want. In the lower right hand corner is a written-out measurement that shows the measure of the shape you have selected. In here, you can type the measurement you want. I was told if you make one as desired then double-click another, it will become the same pulled or pushed length as the last.

Creating curves is a little trickier. Use the two-point curve tool and draw one of the curves needed. (If you’re making a circle just use the circle shape tool, if the circle doesn’t close then the curve tool is your best option). Create the inside or the outside, then create the other. Use the line tool to draw the ends and connect the two curves together. Once you block in a shape, the color will change to show you there is something there. Then, push/pull as desired.

There are some items which are so difficult to create that you need to be more than advanced in the program. An easy way around certain objects, chairs and tables and similar, would be looking at the 3d warehouse. There is the Sketch-up logo in a box on the tool bar which is the 3d warehouse or Window. Drop down until you see 3d Warehouse. Searching through the warehouse can take time and be very descriptive about the item you are looking for. They do not have all the items you can find, but you can try to come as close as you can.

When you are done with your layout, go to Windows – Shadows and adjust where the light is coming from. Once happy, move your view to an interesting look and go to Camera - Walk. Change the measurement in the corner to 5’ 6”, this is eye level. Go to Window -Scenes, and a new panel will appear. Hit the plus button and now you have a scene you can export as a 2- dimensional image. If you double-click you can go back to the exact spot.

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