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SketchUp For Dummies

Aidan Chopra, Rebecca Huehls

ISBN: 978-1-119-33619-8 March 2017 480 Pages


Design almost anything in 3D with SketchUp

Whether you've dabbled in drawing in 3D or are interested in learning the basics of design, SketchUp For Dummies makes it fast and easy to learn the ropes of a powerful, user-friendly tool to bring your design ideas to life. From creating a basic 3D model to showing off your work via 3D print or animation, this all-access guide pulls back the curtain on using SketchUp to do anything from redesigning your house to mocking up the next great invention.

With an emphasis on usability, SketchUp has found very wide success as a tool even non-designers can use to make basic drawings. And now, thanks to the insight and expert tips from former SketchUp product director Aidan Chopra and co-author Rebecca Huehls, this easy-to-follow guide makes it more accessible than ever!

  • Create buildings and components
  • Alter the appearance of your model
  • Tour your designs via SketchUp
  • Get quick tips on troubleshooting

If you're a designer with sketchy computer modeling skills, SketchUp For Dummies is the trusted reference you'll turn to again and again.

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: Getting Started with SketchUp 5

Chapter 1: Meeting SketchUp 7

Things You Ought to Know Right Away 8

Comparing SketchUp to Other 3D Modeling Programs 8

Jumping right in 8

Understanding the difference between paper and clay 9

What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Expect SketchUp to Do 10

Taking the Ten-Minute SketchUp Tour 12

Customizing the toolbar 15

Checking out some special tools 15

Chapter 2: Getting a Running Start 17

Setting Up Your Workspace 17

Making a Quick Model 19

Slapping On Some Paint 25

Giving Your Model Some Style 28

Switching On the Sun 30

Sharing Your Masterpiece 32

Chapter 3: Establishing the Modeling Mindset 33

All about Edges and Faces 34

Living on the edge 34

Facing the facts about faces 35

Understanding the relationship between edges and faces 37

Drawing in 3D on a 2D Screen 39

Giving instructions with the drawing axes 40

Keeping an eye out for inferences 41

Using inferences to help you model 43

Warming Up Your SketchUp Muscles 45

Getting the best view of what you’re doing 45

Drawing and erasing edges with ease 47

Injecting accuracy into your model 48

Selecting what you mean to select 52

Moving and copying like a champ 55

Rotating the right way 60

Making and using guides 62

Painting your faces with color and texture 65

Part 2: Modeling in SketchUp 69

Chapter 4: Building Buildings 71

Drawing Floors and Walls 72

Starting out in 2D 73

Coming up with a simple plan 77

Going from 2D to 3D 84

Adding floors to your building 89

Inserting doors and windows 97

Staring Down Stairs 101

The Subdivided Rectangles method 102

The Copied Profile method 104

Raising the Roof 106

Building flat roofs with parapets 107

Creating eaves for buildings with pitched roofs 109

Constructing gabled roofs 110

Making hip roofs 112

Sticking your roof together with Intersect Faces 114

Chapter 5: Falling in Love with Components 119

Grouping Things Together 120

Working with Components 121

What makes components so great? 122

Exploring the Components panel 126

Creating your own components 131

Editing, exploding, and locking component instances 134

Discovering Dynamic Components 136

Taking Advantage of Components to Build Better Models 142

Modeling symmetrically: Good news for lazy people 143

Modeling with repeated elements 149

Chapter 6: Going Beyond Buildings 153

Extruding with Purpose: Follow Me 154

Using Follow Me 154

Making lathed forms like spheres and bottles 156

Creating extruded shapes like gutters and handrails 157

Subtracting from a model with Follow Me 163

Modeling with the Scale Tool 167

Getting the hang of Scale 167

Scaling profiles to make organic forms 171

Making and Modifying Terrain 177

Creating a new terrain model 177

Editing an existing terrain model 184

Building a Solid Tools Foundation 193

Understanding solids 193

Checking out the Solid Tools 195

Putting the Solid Tools to work 198

Chapter 7: Keeping Your Model Organized 203

Taking Stock of Your Tools 203

Seeing the Big Picture: The Outliner 205

Taking a good look at the Outliner 205

Making good use of the Outliner 206

Discovering the Ins and Outs of Layers 207

What layers are — and what they’re not 207

Navigating the Layers panel 208

Moving entities to a different layer 209

Staying out of trouble 210

Putting It All Together 211

Chapter 8: Modeling with Photos and Other Resources 215

Painting Faces with Photos 216

Adding photos to flat faces 216

Editing your textures 220

Adding photo textures to curved surfaces 226

Modeling Directly from a Photo: Introducing Photo-Matching 230

Choosing a Match Photo-friendly image 231

Modeling by photo-matching 232

Making your matched photo reappear (or disappear) 238

Modeling on Top of Photo Textures 239

Making a texture projected 239

Modeling with projected textures: A basic workflow 240

Adding Geographic Data 241

Geo-locating your model 242

Viewing your model in Google Earth 244

Working with Imported CAD files 245

Importing a CAD file into SketchUp Pro 245

Cleaning up imported CAD data 247

Modeling on top of imported CAD data 251

Chapter 9: 3D Printing with SketchUp Models 259

Building Up a View of 3D Printing 260

Building a Model in Layers 260

Supporting layers from below 260

Designing to avoid support material 261

Bridging 262

Preparing a SketchUp Model for 3D Printing 263

Peeking inside a model 263

Knowing what makes a solid model 264

Using Solid Tools to combine groups 265

CleanUp3 and Solid Inspector2 266

Combining groups with Intersect Faces 267

Checking a model’s normals 269

Checking your model’s size 270

Breaking Your Model into Parts 272

Exporting Your SketchUp File 276

Knowing Your 3D Printers 277

Desktop 3D printers 277

Professional 3D printers 279

3D printing services 279

Using Your 3D Printer 280

Print early, print often 280

Inside your model 281

Going beyond Basic 3D Printing 282

Designing parts that connect 282

Testing your model’s moving parts 286

Designing Things That Move 286

Captive joints 287

Pins 287

Gears 288

Part 3: Viewing Your Model in Different Ways 291

Chapter 10: Working with Styles and Shadows 293

Styling Your Model’s Appearance 294

Choosing how and where to apply styles 294

Applying styles to your models 295

Editing your styles 297

Creating a new style 313

Saving and sharing styles you make 314

Working with Shadows 317

Discovering the shadow settings 317

Adding depth and realism 319

Creating accurate shadow studies 323

Chapter 11: Presenting Your Model inside SketchUp 329

Exploring Your Creation on Foot 330

These tools were made for walking 330

Stopping to look around 332

Setting your field of view 333

Taking the Scenic Route 334

Creating scenes 336

Moving from scene to scene 337

Modifying scenes after you make ’em 341

Mastering the Sectional Approach 347

Cutting plans and sections 348

Animating sections with scenes 356

Part 4: Sharing What You’ve Made 359

Chapter 12: Paper or Cloud? Printing and Uploading Your Work 361

Printing Your Work 362

Printing from a Windows computer 362

Printing from a Mac 367

Printing to a particular scale 371

Working with the 3D Warehouse 374

Why Warehouse? 375

Getting to the 3D Warehouse 376

Uploading a model 376

Managing models online 378

Chapter 13: Exporting Images, Animations, and CAD Files 381

Exporting 2D Images of Your Model 381

Introducing raster versus vector files 382

Exporting a raster image from SketchUp 382

Looking at SketchUp’s raster formats 387

Making sure you export enough pixels 389

Making Movies with Animation Export 394

Getting ready for prime time 394

Exporting a movie 395

Figuring out the Animation Export Options settings 397

Exporting a CAD File 399

Preparing your file 399

Exporting a 2D DWG file 400

Exporting a 3D DWG file 400

Chapter 14: Creating Presentations and Documents with LayOut 403

Building a LayOut Document 404

Customizing a document’s pages and layers 404

Adding and editing text 408

Inserting SketchUp model views 409

Adding photos and other graphics 416

Drawing with LayOut’s vector tools 417

Annotating with labels 419

Displaying dimensions 420

Creating tables 425

Creating Your Own Templates 426

Putting Together Your Own Scrapbooks 427

Getting Your Document Out the Door 428

Printing your work 429

Exporting a PDF or image files 429

Exporting a DWG or DXF file 430

Going full screen 431

Part 5: The Part of Tens 433

Chapter 15: Ten SketchUp Traps and Their Workarounds 435

SketchUp Won’t Create a Face Where You Want It To 435

Your Faces Are Two Different Colors 436

Edges on a Face Won’t Sink In 437

SketchUp Crashed, and You Lost Your Model 437

SketchUp Is Sooooo Slooooooooow 438

You Can’t Get a Good View of the Inside of Your Model 439

A Face Flashes When You Orbit 440

You Can’t Move Your Component the Way You Want 440

Bad Stuff Happens Every Time You Use the Eraser 440

All Your Edges and Faces Are on Different Layers 441

Chapter 16: More Than Ten Ways to Learn About SketchUp 443

Free Online Resources 443

The Ultimate SketchUp Reading List 445

Other Tools from the Makers of SketchUp 446

Index 449