Chapter 2

A SketchUp Refresher

This chapter reviews some of SketchUp’s basic techniques. You’ll also learn about customizing the software environment and adjusting settings to help you with your daily tasks.

Key Topics:

  • Where to get help with SketchUp
  • Program interface and workspace customization
  • Program and model preferences
  • Working with templates
  • Navigating SketchUp’s 3D workspace
  • Aids for accurate modeling
  • Groups and components
  • Applying materials and using other common tools
  • Best practices for working with SketchUp

Let’s Get Started!

Before we look at any of the more advanced SketchUp techniques such as plugins, rendering, or even scripting, it should be helpful for any user to review in a short chapter some of the basic modeling techniques. This chapter therefore presents in a condensed fashion an overview of the interface and the modeling and editing tools, as well as best practices and usability hints.

If you have no prior experience with SketchUp or would like to learn more about any of the basic topics, then my best recommendation is to get a copy of Aidan Chopra’s excellent SketchUp primer Google SketchUp 8 for Dummies (Wiley Publishing). It is a thorough reference not only for modeling with SketchUp but also for creating building models for the free 3D world viewer Google Earth.

Two further sources for help are built right into SketchUp. One is the official help documentation. You can access it through the Help menu item, which simply opens a browser window at the ...

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