Chapter 7. Keeping Your Model Organized

In This Chapter

  • Taking stock of your model with the Outliner

  • Avoiding problems by using layers the right way

  • Looking at how everything works together

Starting with this chapter, I might sound like your mom: "Clean up your room! Don't leave your toys in the driveway! Put your dishes in the sink!" As everybody knows, living life can be a messy ordeal, and modeling in SketchUp is no exception. As you crank away at whatever it is you're building, you will reach a time when you stop, orbit around, and wonder how your model got to be such a pigsty. It's inevitable.

Luckily, SketchUp includes a bunch of different ways to keep your geometry (edges and faces) from getting out of control. Because big, unwieldy, disorganized models are a pain to work with — they can slow your computer, or even cause SketchUp to crash — you should definitely get in the habit of "working clean" (as cooking shows like to call it). As I said earlier, I don't mean to nag; I just want you to be familiar with the techniques experienced SketchUp modelers use to keep from going insane.

In this chapter, I present the two main tools that SketchUp provides for organizing your model. In the first section, I outline both and talk about what they're for. Then I dive in to each one in a good amount of detail, describing how to use them and how not to use them (are you listening, layers?). This chapter ends with a detailed example of how both methods can be used together to make your life ...

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