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How to Create an Animation with Google SketchUp 8

What’s so great about animation export in Google SketchUp is how easy it is to do. The key to exporting animations of your SketchUp models is using scenes. Scenes are saved views of your model that you can arrange in any order you want. When you export an animation, SketchUp strings together the scenes in your model to create a movie file that can be played on just about any computer made in the last several years.

Follow these steps to get your model ready to export as an animation:

  1. Create scenes to build the “skeleton” of your animation.

  2. To adjust the animation settings in the Model Info dialog box, choose Window, Model Info and then select the Animation panel.

  3. Select the Enable Scene Transitions check box to tell SketchUp to move smoothly from one scene to the next.

  4. Enter a transition time to tell SketchUp how long to spend moving between scenes.

    If your Scene Delay is 0 (below), you can multiply your transition time by your number of scenes to figure out how long your exported animation will be.

  5. Enter a scene delay time to pause at each scene before moving on to the next one.

    If you plan to talk about each scene, use the scene delay time to pause before each one. If your animation is supposed to be a smooth walk-through or flyover, set this to 0.

  6. Adjust the proportions of your modeling window to approximate the proportions of your movie.

    Unlike SketchUp’s 2D export formats, the proportions of your exported movie don’t depend on those of your modeling window; that is to say, making your modeling window long and skinny won’t result in a long and skinny movie. You choose how many pixels wide and tall you want your movie to be, so to get an idea of how much you’ll be able to see, make your modeling window match the proportions of your exported file (4:3 is common for video formats).

  7. When your project is ready to go, move on to the next section to export your animation.

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