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How to Set Your Field of View in Google SketchUp 8

Field of view is how much of your Google SketchUp model you can see in your modeling window at one time. Imagine your eyesight kind of like a cone, with the pointy end pointing at your eyes and the cone getting bigger as it gets farther away from you. Everything that falls inside the cone is visible to you, and everything outside the cone isn’t.

If you increase the angle of the cone at the pointy end, the cone gets wider, and you see more of what’s in front of you. If you decrease the angle, the cone gets narrower, and you see less.

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Measured in degrees, a wide field of view comes in handy when you’re inside a SketchUp model, because working on a model you can’t see is hard.

It’s a good idea to fiddle with your field of view while walking around inside your model.

  1. Choose Camera, Field of View.

  2. Erase 35, type 60, and press Enter.

    Your field of view increases, and you now have a wider view of your model. The trade-off is that you see more distortion at the edges of your modeling window as more information is displayed in the same amount of space.

A good rule of thumb for setting your field of view is to strike a balance between quantity and quality; a wider view always means more distortion. For example. For views of the outside of something you’ve built, you might like to use a field of view of 35 to 45 degrees. For interior views, you may prefer to use 60 or 70 degrees.

If you know something about photography, you can express field of view in millimeters, just like you’re using a camera lens. Typing 28mm gives you a wide-angle view, just like you’re looking through a 28mm lens. For people who think about field of view in these terms, this can be a lot more intuitive than trying to imagine cones of vision.

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