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Things You Ought to Know About SketchUp 2014

Operating under the assumption that lots of people may want — and need — to make 3D models, SketchUp’s inventors designed a program that works more intuitively than high-end modeling programs. In SketchUp [more…]

Comparing SketchUp to Other 3D Modeling Programs

Among the widely available 3D modeling applications, SketchUp is the easiest to use. This software has been successful for one reason: Within a few hours of launching SketchUp for the first time, you can [more…]

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

Have you ever been to a hardware store and noticed the multitool gizmos on the racks next to the checkout stands? If you prefer specialists — tools designed for doing one thing [more…]

The Ten-Minute SketchUp Tour

The point of this tour is to show you where everything is — kind of like the way a parent shows a new babysitter around the house before leaving for a couple hours. Just like most programs you already [more…]

SketchUp’s Menu Bar

SketchUp’s menus are a pretty straightforward affair; you won’t find anything surprising like “Launch Rocket” in any of them, unfortunately. All the same, here are the menus: [more…]

SketchUp’s Dialog Boxes

Most graphics programs have a ton of little controller boxes that float around your screen, and SketchUp is no exception. After the dialog boxes are open, you can “dock” them together by moving them close [more…]

SketchUp’s Status Bar

The SketchUp status bar contains contextual information you use while you model. The narrow strip of information below the modeling window is packed with information goodness: [more…]

Your SketchUp Model’s Edges

In SketchUp, everything is made up of one of two kinds of elements: edges or faces. They’re the basic building blocks of every model you’ll ever make. Edges are lines. You can use lots of tools to draw [more…]

The Facts About SketchUp Model Faces

Faces are surfaces. If you think of SketchUp models as being made of toothpicks and paper (which they kind of are), faces are basically the paper. Here’s what you need to know about them: [more…]

The Relationship between SketchUp Model’s Edges and Faces

If you know that models are made from edges and faces, you’re most of the way to understanding how SketchUp works. Here’s some information that should fill in the gaps: [more…]

Drawing in 3D on a 2D Screen with SketchUp’s Drawing Axes

The drawing axes are the key to understanding how SketchUp works. Simply put, you use SketchUp’s drawing axes to figure out where you are and where you want to go in 3D space. When you’re working with [more…]

SketchUp’s Inferences

If you’ve spent any time fiddling with SketchUp, you’ve noticed all the little colored circles, squares, dotted lines, yellow tags, and other doodads that show up as you move your cursor around your modeling [more…]

Using Inferences to Help You Model in SketchUp

A big part of using SketchUp’s inference engine involves locking and encouraging inferences — sometimes even simultaneously. At first, these actions seem a little like that thing where you pat your head [more…]

How to Get the Best View of What You’re Doing in SketchUp

Using SketchUp without learning how to orbit, zoom, and pan is like trying to build a ship in a bottle. In the dark. With your hands tied behind your back. Using chopsticks. Get the picture? [more…]

How to Draw and Erase a SketchUp Model’s Edges

Being able to use the Line tool without having to think too much about it is the secret to being able to model anything you want in SketchUp. You use the Line tool to draw individual edges, and because [more…]

How to Make Your SketchUp Model Accurate

It’s all well and fine to make a model, but most of the time you need to make sure that it’s accurate — that what you’ve modeled is precisely the size you intend it to be. The key to accuracy in SketchUp [more…]

How to Select Parts of Your SketchUp Model

If you want to move (rotate, copy, and so on) something in your SketchUp model, you need to select it first. When you make a selection, you’re telling SketchUp that [more…]

How to Move Things in SketchUp

To move things in SketchUp, use the Move tool. The Move tool is the one that looks like four red arrows. Using this tool involves clicking the entity you want to move, moving it to where you want it to [more…]

Modeling with the SketchUp Move Tool

In SketchUp, the Move tool is very important for modeling; it’s not just for moving whole objects. You can also use this tool to move just about anything, including [more…]

How to Make Copies with the SketchUp Move Tool

Lots of folks spend time hunting around in SketchUp, trying to figure out how to make copies. It’s very simple: You just press a modifier key — a button on your keyboard that tells SketchUp to do something [more…]

How to Use the SketchUp’s Rotate Tool

Using SketchUp’s Rotate tool is a lot like using the Move tool. The Rotate tool has a trick up its sleeve that most new modelers don’t discover until hours after they could’ve used it. First things first [more…]

How to Make and Use Guides for Your SketchUp Models

Sometimes you need to draw temporary lines while you model in SketchUp. These temporary lines, or guides, are useful for lining up things, making things the right size, and generally adding precision and [more…]

How to Paint Faces in SketchUp with Color and Texture

When adding colors and textures — collectively referred to in SketchUp as materials — to your model, there’s really only one place you need to look, and one tool you need to use — the Materials dialog [more…]

How to Set Up SketchUp

Setup is boring. Who wants to flip through all of SketchUp’s menus and options dialog boxes instead of jumping in? Keep this short and sweet. Just make sure you start at the right place. [more…]

How to Make a Quick Doghouse Model in SketchUp

After you have SketchUp set up, you’re ready to make your first quick model. Follow these steps to build a doghouse. On your computer screen you should see a row of tools across the top of your modeling [more…]

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