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Google SketchUp: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover

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Chapter 2. Starting Off in Two Dimensions

Every SketchUp model begins with drawing lines and shapes in two dimensions—and that’s the focus of this chapter. After you create 2-D shapes, you use the Push/Pull tool to turn them into 3-D objects, as you’ll see in the next chapter. The better you understand all the nuances of drawing lines and creating surfaces in two dimensions, the more success you’ll have creating 3-D models.

If you’ve used other 2-D graphics programs like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw, you may be tempted to skip this chapter and jump right into the juicy 3-D stuff, but at least give this chapter a quick review. SketchUp breaks some of the rules when it comes to drawing—that’s part of the reason the program can create accurate 3-D objects so quickly. In the first part of this chapter, you’ll learn about the behavior of SketchUp’s edges (lines) and faces. Also important, you’ll learn to take advantage of the unique Measurements toolbar to set precise dimensions quickly.

Drawing Lines with the Line Tool

For any artist, the line is one of the most basic tools, and that’s true for SketchUp masters, too. In SketchUp, lines are called edges because they define the edges of 2-D shapes and 3-D objects. When you use a shape tool like the Rectangle, you create four edges and a single face in one stroke. SketchUp has so many great tools for creating standard shapes such as rectangles, circles, and polygons that you’ll probably use the Line tool mostly to modify other shapes and ...

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