SketchUp For Dummies
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Combining section views with scenes to create an animation is both a useful and impressive way to show off your SketchUp model. The basic idea is that you can use scenes to create animations where your section planes move inside your model. Here are a few reasons you may want to use this technique:

If you have a building with several levels, you can create an animated presentation that shows a cutaway plan view of each level.

Using an animated section plane to “get inside” your model is a much classier transition than simply hiding certain parts of it.

When you need to show the relationship between the plan and section views for a project, using an animated section plane helps to explain the concept of different architectural views to 3D beginners.

Follow these steps to create a basic section animation:

  1. Add a section plane to your model.
  2. Add a scene to your model.
  3. Add another section plane to your model.

    You can add another section plane in one of two ways:

    • Use the Section Plane tool to create a brand-new one. This is probably the easiest option, which makes it ideal for beginners.
    • Use the Move tool to copy an existing section plane.

      Make sure that your new section plane is active; if it is, it cuts through your model. If it’s not active, context-click the section plane and choose Active Cut from the context menu.

  4. Add another scene to your model.

    This new scene remembers which is the active section plane.

  5. Click through the scenes you added to view your animation.

    You see an animated section cut as SketchUp transitions from one scene to the next. If you don’t, make sure that you have scene transitions enabled: Choose Window→ Model Info and then choose the Animation panel in the Model Info dialog box. Make sure the Scene Transitions check box is selected.

sketchup animation
Making a section animation is a fairly straightforward process.

If you don’t like seeing the section-plane objects (the boxy things with arrows on their corners) in your animation, switch them off by deselecting Section Planes on the View menu. Then you see the section cuts without any ugly rectangles flying around.

The hardest thing to remember about using scenes and section planes to make section animations is this: You need a separate section plane for each scene that you create. That is to say, SketchUp animates the transition from one active section plane to another active section plane. If all you do is move the same section plane to another spot and add a scene, this animation technique won’t work.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Bill Fane was a doorknob designer for many years. Then, in 1996, he began teaching mechanical design, including courses in AutoCAD, Inventor, SolidWorks, and machine design. Having used AutoCAD since version 2.17g debuted in 1986, Bill lectured on a wide range of AutoCAD and Inventor subjects at Autodesk University from 1995 to 2012. He has written extensively for CADalyst magazine. Mark Harrison is a product manager for Trimble, Inc., the parent company for SketchUp, and a regular contributor to the SketchUp blog. Josh Reilly is a sales engineer with SketchUp and a contributor to the SketchUp blog.

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