Getting Started with SketchUp

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Understanding Edges and Faces in Google SketchUp 8

In SketchUp, everything is made up of one of two kinds of things: edges and faces. They’re the basic building blocks of every model you’ll ever make.

Collectively, the edges and faces in your model are [more…]

How to Give Instructions with Drawing Axes on Google SketchUp 8

Drawing axes are the key to understanding how Google 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 [more…]

Understanding Inferences in Google SketchUp 8

Without inferences, SketchUp wouldn’t be very useful. 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 [more…]

Using Inferences to Draw Models in Google SketchUp 8

A big part of using SketchUp’s inference engine involves locking and encouraging inferences — sometimes even simultaneously. When you begin sketching models, these actions seem a little like that thing [more…]

How to View Your Work in Google SketchUp 8

When building a 3D model, it’s important to have a good view of what you’re doing. Using SketchUp without learning how to orbit, zoom, and pan is like trying to build a ship in a bottle. In the dark. With [more…]

How to Draw Edges in Google SketchUp 8

SketchUp models are really just fancy collections of edges, and you use the Line tool to draw individual edges. So anything you make in SketchUp you can make with the Line tool. Being able to use the Line [more…]

How to Use the Select Tool in Google SketchUp 8

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

How to Move Objects in Google SketchUp 8

The Move tool is the one that looks like crossed red arrows. Using this tool involves clicking the entity you want to move, moving it to where you want it to be, and clicking again to drop it. The maneuver [more…]

How to Use the Rotate Tool in Google SketchUp 8

Using SketchUp’s Rotate tool is a lot like moving items. Despite the fact that rotation is pretty straightforward, it has a hitch: The SketchUp Rotate tool has a trick up its sleeve that most new modelers [more…]

How to Paint Faces in Google SketchUp 8

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 Start Using Google SketchUp 8

With Google SketchUp, you can make a simple model step by step, spin it around, paint it, and even apply styles and shadows. So what are you going to build? Perhaps a doghouse. The nice thing about doghouses [more…]

How to Draw a Simple Model in Google SketchUp 8

By putting together the various SketchUp features, you can produce a knockout model in no time.

So what are you going to build? Perhaps a doghouse. The nice thing about doghouses is that they’re a lot like [more…]

How to Paint a Model in Google SketchUp 8

To color your model, you have to understand how to spin it around first. Moving around your model (let’s say it’s a doghouse) is the most important skill to develop when you’re first figuring out SketchUp [more…]

How to Use the Measurements Box in Google SketchUp 8

The key to accuracy in SketchUp is the little text box that lives in the lower-right corner of your SketchUp window. This box is the Measurements box, and here are some things you can do with it: [more…]

How to Use Guides in Google SketchUp 8

Guides are useful for lining up things, making things the right size, and generally adding precision and accuracy to what you’re building. In previous versions of SketchUp, guides were called [more…]

13 Tips and Techniques for Using SketchUp

One of the best things about SketchUp is that you can use it to create 3-D models much more quickly than with other modeling programs. You can really turn up the speed on your creations with the following [more…]

13 Keyboard Shortcuts for Common SketchUp Tools

SketchUp offers keyboard shortcuts for the tools you use most often as you create models. To select the tool you want, simply press the letter that's indicated in the following table. [more…]

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