Sketching the Sketchup Experience

Today in class we were introduced to the 3D modeling program, Sketchup. I’ve only had limited past experience with Sketchup in the past, so this class was certainly a good opportunity to renew my knowledge of Sketchup. We went through the basics such as how to create basic 2D geometric shapes, and in extension to that we later went through the process of creating 3D objects from the aforementioned geometric shapes. This process was fairly intuitive as all one needs to do is add depth to a 2D shape using a drag tool, in order to create a 3D object.

Later the class familiarized ourselves with the tool that allows the manipulation of different 3D shapes and lines. Similar to the depth tool, the manipulation tool was also intuitive in nature and therefore pretty easy to grasp the operation of this tool. However I found that this tool was a little glitchy in that it would sometimes produce unexpected results if done with free hand, the option to use the arrow keys to lock the direction of manipulation in a certain axis did help with the control of this tool.

For homework, we had to create a house, preferably a house from childhood, in SketchUp. What I found most difficult was creating the spherical doorknob. SketchUp does not have an easy tool to create 3D spherical or elliptical objects. So I had to consult Youtube as a way of learning the methods of how one can create 3D spherical objects. Turns out all one needs to do (although a bit convoluted) is to create a circle on the ground using the xy-plane as the ground surface. Then using the same circle tool, draw a circle with smaller radius inside the larger circle but instead of the xy-plane draw it on the xz-plane, so it is orthogonal to the original circle.  Then use the arrow button to select the larger circle then choose the function “Follow Me” and click on the smaller circle then you’ll have a sphere! Overall the rest of the house was pretty straight forward a bunch of simple polygons put together.


Tip: Honestly seems really obvious but USE THE SHIFT AND MIDDLE MOUSE BUTTON to rotate the camera. It helps so much when dealing with different aspects of modeling a building or object. And its really simple and easy to do. It’s a tool you can’t get away from and the easy access of this tool just makes it even better to use.


One Reply to “Sketching the Sketchup Experience”

  1. Yes, creating spheres and non rectilinear geometry in SketchUp can be challenging, but good on you for figuring it out with a little judicious Googling and youtubing!

Leave a Reply