Using Scenes in Google SketchUp 8 - dummies

Using Scenes in Google SketchUp 8

By Aidan Chopra

Google SketchUp scenes are saved views of your model. It’s probably easiest to think of scenes as cameras, except that scenes can save much more than just camera positions. You can even create animated slide shows by setting up scenes with different camera views, times of day, and even visual styles.

Scenes are an important feature in SketchUp for three reasons:

  • Scenes can save you hours of time. It’s not always easy to get back to exactly the right view by using Orbit, Zoom, and Pan. Sometimes a view involves shadows, styles, sections, and even hidden geometry. Setting up everything the way you need it, every time you need it, can be a pain. Making a scene reduces the process of changing dozens of settings to a single click of your mouse.

  • Scenes are by far the most effective way to present your model. Saving a scene for each point that you want to make in a presentation allows you to focus on what you’re trying to say. Instead of fumbling around with the navigation tools, turning on shadows, and making the roof visible, you can click a button to transition to the next scene (which you’ve already set up exactly the way you want it).

  • Scenes are the key to making animations. You make animations by creating a series of scenes and telling SketchUp to figure out the transitions between them.


After you get used to scenes, you’ll find yourself using them all the time. Here are some of the most common uses for scenes:

  • Showing shade conditions for the same area at different times of the day

  • Saving scenes for each floorplan, building section, and other important views of your model

  • Building a walk-through or flyover animation of your design

  • Creating scenes that show several views of the same thing with different options

  • Demonstrating change over time by showing or hiding a succession of components