Have a question?
Message sent Close
3.95 out of 5
25 reviews on Udemy

All It Takes To Master SketchUp

Learn 3D modeling in no time with SketchUp. For everyone at any level of computer & english language knowledge.
Arman Mottaghi
245 students enrolled
English [Auto]
Make 3-dimensional objects and use them for presentation
Prepare works for 3D printers
Export what they've made and Use it in video games, animations, rendering engines etc.

People love SketchUp! Google approves*

Update 5-Nov-14: SketchUp 2015 content are on the way!
Update 30-Mar-15: Narrations are now available in text.

SketchUp is a 3D modeling software. You can make anything you can imagine with this program. You can use what you have made in various ways. It's free for personal use, though its commercial version has a reasonable price, Architects use SketchUp to prepare their designs and present them. Designers use SketchUp in 3D printing Artists use the out-standing styles of SketchUp. Game developers use SketchUp to prepare models for their games; and so on. There are so many uses for SketchUp; we cannot count them all, but all of them have the same purpose: Realizing your imagination.

We have worked hard on delivering the most valuable content in this course. You can notice this in every second of each lecture. With our online course you can make this must-learn tool your assessment in no time! So what are you waiting for?

The course:

  • Straightforward material, astonishing results.
  • We don't want to waste your time. That's why we "engineered" the materials of this course and reduced the total time of our lectures to less than 4 hours. Beginners don't get overwhelmed with the material and more advanced students don't feel underestimated. Still all you need is here. We guarantee it!
  • We have cherry-picked the content you may not find anywhere else. Instead of showing you what each button does inside a program, we have focused on the way tasks are actually done in SketchUp. Together, we monitor your progress in quizzes and "Build" exercises.
  • Udemy is trusted by more than 3 million students. You will have lifetime access to the main course material, supplementary and additional materials, discussion board, course updates and the mobile app of the course.
  • We show you the common mistakes students make and the problems you might face. After that, if you still needed help, our community of students and the instructor himself are here to help.
  • No particular computer knowledge required.
  • Problem in hearing the content? Narrations are also available in written format.
  • Not so good in English? Simple vocabulary is used in this course.

After the course:

  • Certificate of compilation
  • Membership of 3D masters community
  • Life-time access to course material and future updates (if any)

*Based on the data from Google Trends, SketchUp is the most popular 3D modeling program among its contestants.

Keywords: SketchUp, 3D program, 3-dimensional modeling, sketch, Master3D, computer graphics

Getting started

The Talk!

Instructor's note: Don't forget to check the resources of each lecture.


First of all I want to congratulate you for starting 3D modeling and secondly I want to thank you for choosing this course. In this course we are going to learn how to shape objects inside a software. This process is called modeling. SketchUp, the program we are going to use to model objects, gives you an open world in which you can build anything. This world is called “the model”.

You can do countless things with a modeled object. You can present it inside SketchUp with various styles and effects. You can make movies and photos from it. You can send it to a 3D printer. You can prepare it in a rendering engine to make realistic outputs. You can use it in external animations or video games. And so on, There are even some companies that sell the 3D modeled objects.

SketchUp is a simple but very powerful program. It has been a game changer in 3D modeling. But each program has its own limitations. SketchUp might have less capabilities than some other 3D programs but for the things it is able to do, it is very sufficient. Let me show you an example, when you open 3D max you face with an interface that looks really complicated but when you open SketchUp you feel it could not be simpler than this. The important thing is that for modeling something like a home furniture or a building with any of those two programs you may need the same amount of time; depending on the model, by using SketchUp you may do it even much faster; but for making a slow-motion realistic animation about a bullet breaking a glass you can't rely just on SketchUp.

So here comes the actual question that what is your need in 3D modeling? Even if SketchUp couldn't do what you want completely, it might be able to help you out in a part of it. SketchUp models can be recognized with .skp format although you can import and export many other common 3D file formats in SketchUp. In addition, learning SketchUp is quite easy. You can master this program faster than any other 3D programs. After that, even if you want to expand your skills and learn new things; SketchUp has countless extensions; besides, for learning other programs, the fundamental knowledge about 3D modeling you will gain in this course, combined with using the advantages of SketchUp would give you a head start.

So if you are now convinced that both 3D modeling and SketchUp are the right choices for you, we can move on.

The next lectures would cover downloading and starting the program for the first time. Then we will talk about some basics in 3D modeling and working with SketchUp. After that, we will model some objects together. And during the last lectures we will improve our models with SketchUp tools and techniques.
Get The Program

The process of downloading and installing SketchUp Make 2014 from the web site. Never skip even one second of the video material but if you can download and install SketchUp yourself, as an exception, you are allowed to skip this lecture.

The First Start

The first thing you see after executing SketchUp is the welcome window.This window displays useful tips for users and also contains information about your license. The more important part of this page is Templates panel. If you press the “Start Using SketchUp” button at the lower right corner, to enter the program without selecting a template you will get an error. So, what are the templates? A template is the specifications of your work space including the background and measurement units. Some of templates contain base geometry like a figure of a standing person which shows the human scale.

Select a template and press start using SketchUp button to enter the program. Here I selected Construction Documentation – Metes Template however we will use various templates during this course. The next lectures would cover downloading and starting the program for the first time. Then we will talk about some basics in 3D modeling and working with SketchUp. After that, we will model some objects together. And during the last lectures we will improve our models with SketchUp tools and techniques.

Inside the program

Camera: Part One

Instructor's Note: When you are creating a model, you should be able to examine it from different points of view. We divided everything related to this topic in three lectures. The first lecture is about basic camera moves.

Practice these moves inside the program you have downloaded, before proceeding to the next lecture.


For now, what we call “camera” is in fact our point of view. It is highly important to learn how to work with the camera. The desired types of Mouse for using SketchUp are the ones with wheels between right and left click buttons. The shortcut keys to camera moves may seem unusual at first, but after you get used to the controls they will be extremely helpful.

Basically, there are 3 camera moves you can combine to get your desired point of view. The first one is zoom. Simply move the mouse wheel forward or backward to zoom in/out. the magnification is to your mouse position so keep an eye on the position of your mouse icon as you zoom in.

Orbit: Its name shows exactly what this tool does. Imagine the Moon orbiting around the earth. Keeping that way of movement in mind, Replace the moon with the camera and the earth with the mouse. To orbit, press and hold down the mouse wheel and move your mouse in the mean time.

And finally: Pan: It is a linear move of Camera. While holding the mouse wheel (which was the shortcut key for orbiting) press the left mouse button or shift on your keyboard and move the mouse.

Practice these moves and you will get used to them in no time. You may mix these moves to control the camera. As you may have noticed there are three buttons on the screen for these three moves but I do not suggest you to use them frequently because they will significantly slow down your work.

If you need additional information regarding mouse types, do not hesitate to check the supplementary material of this lecture. In addition, I would suggest you to watch this video again.

Objects 0

Instructor's note: What are the objects in SketchUp made of? Here, we talk about Entities: Faces and Edges.


Points, lines and Planes. As you may know, in geometry these are the basics for two dimensional drawings. In SketchUp lines are called Edges and planes are called faces. Drawing in SketchUp is done via Edges or lines. If some edges (lines) create a closed and flat surface, a face will be created automatically.

SketchUp uses Points as guides. By showing Mid points or end points of lines, centers of circles and etc. the program helps you to draw faster and more accurate.

But what about 3D objects? Well, in fact they're the same. Every object is made of many smaller edges and faces. Take a look at this cube as an instance, if we extract it, we will see it is made of 6 faces while its inside is empty. A more complex object like this diamond is also the same, made by faces and edges. You can see the lines and surfaces of this diamond. However, this look is just for the drawing part, the outcome of our work can be very realistic. You will learn about this in future lessons.

So as a result, we see good 3 dimensional modeling relies on precise 2D drawing. That is why we are going to do an extensive work on 2D drawings. But first, let's talk about axes.


Instructor's Note: Red Axis + Green Axis + Blue Axis = Axes

In math these are called X, Y and Z but we use colors in SketchUp instead. You will see why it is better. Where the axes meet is called the Origin.


After the welcome window, Axes are the first things you see when opening SketchUp. They show the 3 dimensions so we have 3 axes, red axis, green axis and blue axis.

axes can be extremely useful in drawing. When you open the program, the axes are placed in their original place, however you can simply change the position of axes by right clicking on one axis and choosing Place. Drag your mouse icon to the desired location for axes center (it is also called the origin) and click there, then move your mouse in the direction you want your red axis to be and click again and finally do the same for green axis.

Now you have defined a new position for axes but you should know that the program keeps the original position of axes two. By pressing right click on your axis and choosing reset, your axes go back to their original position.

Axes create three hypothetical plains as you can see here. Keep in mind that the original blue axis shows the vertical direction therefore the green-red plain is the ground.

Objects 1: Drawing Lines and Polygons

Instructor's Note: You now are familiar with the fundamentals. Are you ready to start drawing?

Shortcut keys: Line, Polygon

Backstage: We had some comments on this lecture that I was talking fast, do you find it fine now or boring? share your opinion with us in the related discussion.


Now you are prepared to start drawing. The first drawing tool is line. Select the line tool, or press the L key on your keyboard to activate line tool. Click on the first point you want to start the line from and drag your mouse to where you want to finish it then click. You can continue your line from there but if you don't want to do that just press Escape key on your keyboard or switch to another tool. While drawing, you can see the length of line at lower right corner of screen, but sometimes we want to have an specific length for a line. How do we tell the program we want our line to be 4 meters?

Simply after you clicked for the starting point of line, drag your mouse to the direction you like and type in the length you want ; what you have written is shown in measurements panel then press enter. This technique is useful in every other tool you will learn from now on. Here we have used a template with meters as measurement unit so we type in 4. As you see the length of line has changed to 4 and now by pressing enter the line is drawn. Also, when you are drawing your line, you may see it has turned red, green or blue. This means in that your line is parallel to the axis with the same color. If you press an arrow key while drawing your line, it gets parallel to an axis as you can see here. When the line turns purple it means it is perpendicular to the a connected line.

To draw a rectangle select the rectangle tool and click where you want the corner of rectangle to be. Your next click fixes the rectangle's opposite corner. Meanwhile, you can see in the measurements panel in bottom right corner, dimensions of the rectangle is written. To give an exact dimension to rectangle, before your second click type in the desired dimensions of the rectangle, separated by a comma and then press enter. SketchUp shows you if your rectangle's dimensions are making the golden section or if you are drawing a square.

Polygon: Right after you select the polygon tool, the measurements panel shows the sides of your polygon. If you want to change this number, type in the desired polygon sides and press enter. To draw a polygon, move your mouse to the desired position for polygon's center and click, then drag your mouse and click again to fix the polygon. Similar to line tool and rectangle tool, you can give an specific position to the space between the center and edge of your polygon.

Objects 2: Drawing Circles and Arcs

To draw an arc, you can either use arc tool or 2-point arc tool. Arc tool draws the arc from center while 2 point arc tool does it by the start and end point of arc. To build your arc with arc tool click on your desired center and then click on desired start point and end point of your arc. To draw a 2 point arc, click on start point of arc, then click on end point of arc. Now, move the mouse to set the radius of arc and click again to fix it.

When you select either of these, you can see it is written “sides” in the measurements panel. To explain this, first I have to inform you that as I said in SketchUp we only have straight lines. There are no curved lines for drawing arcs therefore, arcs inside SketchUp are consisted of little straight lines. Sides here shows the number of these lines. If you are drawing a big arc, you have to set a higher value for sides. To do so, right after selecting any of the arc tools, type in the number of sides and press enter. Do not set very high amounts because it can slow down the program. To show you I am going to select another tool and select arc tool again. Because as I said the sides can only be changed right after selecting the tool. There is something I want to add here, the lines that are making an arc make a multi-line. It means they are all attached together and adopt the changes in model. Here I cut this arc with a line, and you can see how the both arcs change, now I right-click on one arc and choose explode curve, this will make the little lines separated. Now you see this arc is not dynamic anymore.

Circles also have sides. Click on circle's center to start drawing and finish it by clicking on your preferred position for circle's edge. Before clicking for circle's center, you may notice the color of circle around the mouse icon is like one of the axes. In such cases, your circle is perpendicular to that axis. We will discuss it later.
Select and Erase

Instructor's Note: What if you wanted to erase a drawn entity? In some drawings you may have millions of faces and edges! Then erasing them one by one is definitely off the table! You can use select tool to change multiple objects or make changes based on an specific entity.

Shortcut keys: select (Space), Erase


And finally, let's have a look at Select tool. Select tool is activated by pressing Space key. When you click on an item it will turn blue. This means it is selected. You can also hold your left mouse button and move your mouse to create and area, every item in this area will be selected. If you open this area from left to right, only the items that are completely within this area will be selected. If you open it from right to left (in this case the border of selection area is dashed). Even if a part of an item is in your selection, it will be selected. If you hold down control key (or command in mac computers) every new item you select will be added to your previous selection. When you hold down shift key if an item is previously selected it will be deselected by clicking and the opposite (if it is not selected it becomes selected). By holding down control and shift keys together, you can only remove items from selection. If you double-click on a face all of its surrounding edges would be selected. A triple click will select the object and every object attached to it. To deselect everything, click on an empty area of the model. To remove a line or face you can select it and then press delete key or alternatively you can use eraser tool to remove edges.


These are not exams asking you what you have already learned but they might ask about things that can be inferred from the lectures as well as some special scenarios.

You may try stuff in SketchUp to answer the questions.

Camera: Part Two

Instructor's Note: The second Camera lecture. What we talk about here, looks obvious though many may not consider it.


As you remember, when lines make a close flat plain, a face is created. But here, when we draw the last line a face does not show up. So, what is the problem? If you rotate the camera, you see that the lines do not make a flat surface so this was the problem. On the other side, Look at this shape, if I rotate the camera, you see this is not a cube while in that position it looked liked a cube. These illusions happen because we are modeling in a 3D environment while our monitors deliver 2D images to us.

Many 3D programs split the screen to 4 different views. This enables you to draw precisely but it takes a lot of your work space. In SketchUp we only have one screen. That is why you'd better to move your camera constantly to avoid such illusions.

SketchUp also helps you. We talked about axes and colors of them. Take the circle tool as an instance, after you select the tool, depending on the position of your drawing, SketchUp chooses the direction of circle. As you see, the circle shape is blue on red-green plain, this means it is perpendicular to blue axis. If we move the mouse to somewhere on blue-red plain it turns green and if we move it to blue green plain it turns red.

Here we cannot distinguish the directions by circle's shape but circle's color shows us the direction of circle. Now that we are talking about it, let's assume we want to make a circle perpendicular to red axis where the program makes our circle perpendicular to green axis. The only thing you need to do after selecting the circle tool is that you take the mouse icon to where the circle turns red and then hold the shift key, this will lock the circle's direction. Then take it to where you want your circle to be and draw the circle. After the first click, you can release the shift key.

Let's get back to our talk, the other way the programs helps you to draw is via labels that tell you where your line is. As you see here, it is written on the face near our mouse icon. This shows the end of line is exactly on the face and not somewhere above it.

Toolbars and Windows

Instructor's Note: The buttons you see on the screen are just a part of SketchUp default tools. To harvest the power of SketchUp we are going to make some changes. We only have one toolbar at the moment. In future, you might want to work with some SketchUp extensions; then, your toolbars and windows would become much more so pay attention!

There is an even easier way to manage your toolbars. Wanna learn it? If you check the resources of this lecture (the pdf file) you will!


Now that we have learned this much about SketchUp, it is time to decorate our workspace. I am talking about your set of tools. Currently our program looks fine but I believe we cannot get the most out of it.

This is a toolbar, in fact, this is the default toolbar of sketchup. If you look closely you can find the handle of toolbar. Press and hold your left mouse button and move your mouse icon to the center of the screen. This toolbar is now floating. You can use the blue are to move and stack it on every side of the screen.

So this is the default toolbar of SketchUp but this is not the only toolbar of sketchup. This toolbar is pretty good but it misses some of the good tools sketchup has. So I want to close this toolbar an add a better one. To do so, I am going to View > Toolbars… This is where you can see all of the toolbars. The toolbar we just closed was called “Getting started” now I want to activate the Large toolset. To do so, I click on the box of large tool set and it shows up on the screen. To remove a toolbar you can also uncheck it here.

Some SketchUp tools are not suitable for toolbars. They may require more space. In such cases, they are prepared as windows. We can open some windows to see what they look like, open window, and you can see all of them. Let's choose entity info, we can see a window is opened which shows information about selected object. I also want to open instructor window. You may have seen this at the first run of the program. Each tool you select, it shows instructions about it. So make good use of it. I will add a few more windows so that you can see how you can work with them. Windows are good but they take a lot of space. You can close them when you finished your work with them, or you can do a single click on their top side to hide their contents.

Objects 3: Move and Rotate

Instructor's Note: You will use these two a lot. To work proficiently with Move tool and Rotate Tool you need to learn some basics. A Pre-selected object is the object which has been selected (with the select tool) before picking a tool like move or rotate.

Shortcut Keys: Move, Rotate(Q)


In many cases we need tools to modify what we have previously drawn. One of these tools is move with the shortcut key of M. Be aware, if you have some objects selected before choosing the move tool, the move will be applied to those objects only. But if you have nothing pre-selected, after selecting the move tool. when you drag your mouse icon on any object, it turns blue if you click, and move your mouse. The object will move with the mouse icon. During move, you can press arrow keys to make the move direction parallel to one of the axes just like when we were drawing lines. Click for the second time when you want to fix the object at its new position. To move the object in an specific distance, do exactly as we did in line tool: Click once, drag the mouse to desired direction, type in the distance and press enter

So let's move this rectangle. Note that we do not have anything pre selected. Just to make sure, we can press escape key to remove any pre selected items. By moving the mouse on the rectangle's face it turns blue, if I click on this and move it you see the whole rectangle is moving. Now I click again to fix it. If I take my mouse on one of the edges and do the move from there, only the edge moves but the connected lines and faces will change too. If I move the object from one of its corners, it also changes the shape. Now I am going to pre select the rectangle and move it, as you see, I do not have any need to do it from somewhere on the rectangle so this is useful in its own way.

Now here is something very useful about the move tool, if you press control key (or command key for mac computers) just once a plus would be added at the corner of move icon. In this case, objects will not be moved, they will be copied so when you will have the original object at its position and you duplicate it. Move tool still has so many other abilities. But this is enough for now, we will get back to them in future lectures.

Rotate is another tool. Don't get it confused with orbit tool. That was for camera and this one is for objects. Here I select the rotate tool. As you see the interface of this tool is very similar to circle tool. Now that the tool is blue, it shows it is perpendicular to blue axis. In this tool also if an object is pre selected, the changes only happen to that object. Here also you can press control once to copy an object instead of moving it. In addition, you can type in angles. Let's rotate our rectangle, just like move tool if you rotate from somewhere on the face the whole rectangle will move. But I want to select the rectangle and then rotate it from somewhere out if it. When I am happy with the rotation center, I click once. This fixes my center, now I choose a start rotation point by clicking again, and finish my rotation by the third click. Something was left here which is the rotation axis. It is a hypothetical line which is perpendicular to the rotate tool's shape. As you see, here the rotate tool shape was blue so the rotation was done this way. How about changing it? It is easy, just when you want to set the rotation center, instead of clicking just once, hold your left click and drag it to where you want your rotation axis to be. And release the left click button, the rest of it is all the same.

Objects 4: Scale and offset

Instructor's Note: What happens when we enter a negative number for scaling factor? Check the next lecture's resources.

Shortcut keys: Scale, oFfset


Scale tool changes the size of shapes. If your shape has 2 dimensions, 8 handles and if it has 3 Dimensions, 27 handles show up. The handles are called grips. You must pre select your 3D object for scaling. Shortcut key of scale tool is S. When you move your mouse over each of the grips, it turns red; some of the grips are hidden behind the object but still you can select them. Just move your mouse to the position you assume the hidden grip is and it will appear. Click once and move your mouse to change the scale. click the second time to fix scaling, or you can type in a scale instead and press enter. If you hold down control key during the scaling, the object will be scaled from its center, otherwise it will be scaled from the opposite side. Our objects have a ratio in their dimensions. Look at this cube. I open a selection area around it and then choose the scale tool. I scale it this way, it has gotten bigger, but it is still a cube. Now let's do this, as you see our cube has change in only one direction and the others are the same. Consequently, this is not a cube anymore. The ratio of dimensions has changed here. The grips placed on corners keep the ratio, the rest don't. To change this hold down the shift key, now each grip does the opposite regarding the ratio. Offset tool makes edges parallel to your selected edges although it does more than that. If I choose offset and select this face, offset tool shrinks or expands all of its surrounding edges. You can also offset every single one of them separately.

Build 1: Cube

Instructor's Note: Now it's your turn to start modeling with our awesome Build exercises!


This is our first build exercise. During each of lectures labeled as build, we are going to make something from the scratch. I will ask you to pause the video and go make the object yourself. After that, we will build the object here step by step so that you can see how to do stuff in fastest way. For now, let's keep it simple, open SketchUp and by using every tool we have learned already, build a cube. Naturally making a cube in SketchUp is not hard at all. We just have not learned everything yet. So there is a more optimized way to make cubes but for now this is a very good training for you. When you see this screen in any of Build exercises, pause your video, go to SketchUp and don't come back until you have done your best.

*Spoilers below*

Well, Now let's see how it is done with these tools. First of all I am going to draw a square. Let's make it 10 by 10 inches because now I am using the template that shows my dimensions in inches. You see the dashed line between corners and it has written square here but I am going to directly typing in the dimensions to get exact results. You remember that the rotate tool can copy a drawing. So I use it to copy and rotate my square. I change the rotation axis because otherwise rotation would be useless then press control key only once to see the plus near my mouse icon. The new square is already selected, I will let it stay this way. Why? Because then I can start moving from anywhere I want. You see, if I don't pre select the square I have to move from somewhere on the face, and in this way I can not be sure where is the right place to fix my new square, but if I pre select I can start from here. Remember when I said SketchUp uses points for drawing? In fact it attaches your mouse to points when it is near them. It is called snapping. When I pre select and then start from here, I can snap the copied square to my base square's corner. That where you start to get a good snap is only achieved over time by training and modeling. Here I forgot to press control so now it is moving the square instead of copying it. As soon as I press control key, it switches to copy mode and I click to fix it. Now you see we have two sides, I do the exact thing to make another side and it's opposite and also the top side. Every edge of this cube is 10 inches. You probably have done this exercise with other sizes. So let's all change our dimensions to 6. To do so we use scale tool. I grab this grip but what do I enter as scale? Now it's 10 I want to make it 6 so the scale for me is 0.6 .

Components and groups

Instructor's Note: Long but very very very important lecture; so, pay attention. Plus, for your future reference, check the resources.

SketchUp is being used to model everything, from tiny to huge; Urban Planners and Designers use SketchUp in a vast scale. Such huge models that might have hundreds of thousands of faces, need to be organized. Organizing is an uninteresting word; but not here! Components and groups do more than keeping the model neat. They help you manage your objects and make it simple to make changes. An example: a modeled street has lamps, pedestrians, cars, vegetation, benches, buildings, shops etc. moving a car from one part of the street to the other, may cause the whole model to change. By classifying every object as a group or component, they get separated.

Shortcut keys: Make component (G)


Edges cut each other. I had two complete lines but the new drawing has turned them into four lines. If I move one of them, all of them would change. Now, imagine you have a huge complicated model, in this way every changes in the model will be a nightmare. Unless there is a way to organize your drawing.

Here it is. I introduce you to groups and components. They both make your objects isolated from the rest of the model. I am going to draw those three lines again but now I make the first two lines a group. Take the select tool, select them both and right click on one of the selected items and choose make group. It cannot be done on a single item. Now when the third line is drawn, the group is isolated so it stays the way it was. When you click on any item that is inside a group, all of the group would be selected and also a box surrounding them appears. We call it the group's box. To enter a group double click on a part of it. As you see the rest of the model becomes faded. Here you can make your changes. Click on an empty area to get out of the group. Now let's make this diamond a group. After we did it, by selecting the move tool we see some red spots have appeared on the group box. If you move your mouse to them, they enable you to rotate your object. So you have move and rotate tools at the same time.

Components give you more options. If you select some items and choose make component, a dialog appears, you can set a name and a description for the component. It also has some other options. You remember axes and how to set them and the rest. Inside each component the axes are different from the main one. It is better if you check each component's axes at this stage. As you can see here the component's axes are parallel to the original ones but the box is rotated. If I let this stay this way, the component box will be like this, which makes it hard to work with. By changing the axes we will have a better definition. The “always face the camera” option is enabled when glue is set on none. It does not have much to do with 3D objects really. Have you seen the figure that is shown in some templates? If you have not, set your template on simple template the next time you see SketchUp welcome window. This figure is in 2D but it always faces the camera. If you want to make something similar, this is the way to do it. Check this option and remember your 2D object must be on the red axis, the blue axis in the middle and the origin must be under the component; otherwise results may not be very good. Third option is about shadows. We will get to shadows later. But you can see the difference here.

Type is a feature to classify objects. The feature is brand new in SketchUp and it is only for SketchUp pro users.

Make sure replace selection with component is checked. Someone might not want to turn an object into a component but want to store the object. This option is for that matter. There is a components window where all of the components are stored. You already know where windows are, so you can get it opened. This is the navigator button. Home contains every component you have or had in this model. This button contains a lot of other useful components but we will talk about this later. When you select each component, its name and description shows up. Also in edit section you can change the options you set upon component's creation. And there are some statistics too. If you move your mouse out of this window, you can place the component you have selected in your model. We call all items of one component that are in the model, the sample of that component.

That's not all of it. One very useful thing about components is that the samples of each component are all connected together. I make this diamond a component. Now use the move tool to multiply it. If I change one of these the others would change too. So be careful!

Components might be a little bit confusing specially the connection between samples of the same component. So keep in mind: If you enter a component and make a change, every sample would change but if you are doing things like moving, rotating or scaling from outside. It would be only applied to that sample. If you want to break the connection of one or multiple samples of a component with the rest, after selecting, right click and choose “make unique”. This will turn the selected sample in a new component.

We might see components or groups inside other components or groups. Here we see a few shrubs. As I told you, it is possible to change each sample's size with scale tool. But now let's go inside one of them. You see each of the parts is another component. now I open one of these, there again every leaf is a component too. And finally if I open a leaf and make one little change, all of the shrubs change. This is great for corrections in model.

Component's samples
Objects 5: Push/Pull and Follow me

Instructor's Note: This is a good one! We made the cube in the Build exercise in about 4 minutes. How about doing the same thing in 4 seconds?

SketchUp team has patented the Push/Pull feature. Using Follow me needs some preparation. What we show here about follow me is just the tip of the iceberg.

Shortcut keys: Push


Remember our endless endeavors to make a cube by using rotate and move tools? Remember I told you there is a better way? Here it is! The push/pull tool. We will call it the push tool. Draw a rectangle, make sure nothing is pre-selected and select the tool. Now click on the rectangle and drag your mouse upwards, click again. Your box is ready. Now I use the offset tool to offset the top side of the box and I push it down. Note that if we push it all the way down to the bottom side of the box, it will cut trough that surface.

So you saw the very same tool made a box and emptied inside of it. This double-sided feature of push tool may seem a little bit confusing sometimes. So I want to talk about this. Take a look at these two attached rectangles. I try push tool on one of them, everything looks fine until we look at the bottom side, it has disappeared. SketchUp has decided that the bottom part must be removed. What the program does is most of the time what you want, but if the program removed a face and you wanted it to stay, just press the control key once and it will stay. As you see a plus has appeared near the mouse icon.

If I push the other rectangle; we see the face which is getting removed is the one that has been made from the edge both rectangles share, again this can be avoided by pressing control. If I don't press control and I want to push this box more than the first box I get an error, this is because the face that was being removed is finished and now the program does not know what to do. I it is normal if you have not get it completely, as I said this behavior is because of the double-sided nature of this tool. So just remember, in push tool whenever you got something you did not want, just press control once. Also you can type in a number for a precise push.

Here I have a few rectangles. I want to push all of them for 8 meters. By the way, the current template uses inches and feet as units but that is not a problem. I type in 8m that m stands for meters. So SketchUp pushes the face for 8 meters although the measurements are still in feet and inches. I know you have guessed it already, this is functional in other tools too. Instead of entering the amount again for each face, a double click on another face with push tool would repeat the last typed in number for pushing.

The next step in 3D modeling is follow me. In push tool we had a face, which we could push to make an object. In follow me, beside a face, we also have a path. You can say a face gets pushed along one or some edges. I will show you here. Imagine we want to make a piping system. We make a rounded face (because pipes are rounded most of the time) and our path with lines and arcs. The start of this path is perpendicular to the face. Now we make sure nothing is pre-selected and then select the follow me tool, click on the face and then drag our mouse on the guides. The pipe is being created.

Alternatively, you can pre-select the guides and then activate the tool. Here I press control plus Z to undo my work. Then I select all the guides, and select the follow me tool. Just a single click on the face and it magically turns into pipes! The Path here was a combination of lines and arcs, all connected together. Do it yourself and take a close look at where the pipes have turned, SketchUp knows what to do provided that you keep your path neat and understandable for the program. We will do more with follow me tool soon.

Camera: Part Three (Walk and look around)

Instructor's Note: I hope you have practiced the previous camera moves. After learning these few final moves you will officially become a CAMERA NINJA!


You probably have practiced more with the camera and mastered the previous moves. Now get ready to learn new moves. If you press and hold mouse wheel and this time press the right-click some new options show up. We talked about Orbit, pan and zoom. Look around is a redial move of camera just like orbit, but this time the camera is in the center. Just like when you look around your room. Hold your left-click button and move your mouse to look around

Zoom extents is also very useful. Sometimes you get in lost in your model or you want to have a thorough look at your model. In such cases, by selecting zoom extents, SketchUp takes your camera too the nearest place where every object is in your view. Zoom window allows you to open an area; just like when we were opening a selection area with the select tool. The camera will zoom to that area.

Walk tool allows you to look at your model like a user. When you select it, the measurements panel turns into eye height. You can type in a desired number. Keep in mind that eye height is the vertical distance between viewer's eyes and the ground not the height of a person itself. To walk, hold the left click button and drag your mouse to one of the directions. You can also go up the stairs or ramps. By pressing control, the movement will be faster. Pressing shift makes the camera move in vertical direction. Only in this tool, if you hold down the mouse wheel, it will activate turn around tool instead of orbit tool. Two other tools are not in this panel, but you can find them in large tool set toolbar. One of them is position camera. This tool has a default number for eye height, but you can change it. When you click, the position camera tool takes your camera to the view of a person with that eye height, standing in the position you just selected. Then it activates the look around tool.

And the last camera tool is the previous view. By clicking it, your camera will go to its previous position. It keeps your last 8 camera views and cycles between them. It is useful for when you have done a bad camera move or when you want to see something from different views repeatedly. Like when you are modeling some details and then you want to see them from a general look.

Object Modeling

Temporary Guides

Instructor's Note: While drawing you might see SketchUp draws some dashed lines from points for you. Those can tell you where you are drawing; plus, you can learn how to use them to draw without additional edges and guides.


In this lecture, we are going to use a technique to save our time in drawings. Take a look at the rectangles, we want to make a triangle on the blue rectangle, like this. If you try to draw this right now, you will probably draw a line from the red rectangle's top side, and another line from blue rectangle's top midpoint, then use the junction to draw the lines of the triangle. So you may use two additional lines here then erase them. In the technique we are going to use, we will make temporary guides instead. These guides can only be parallel to the axes and they come from points.

I start my line from one side, and I go to where I want to have my first guide. SketchUp locks on this point and snaps my mouse on directions parallel to the axes from this point. Then I take my mouse to the other point to have the second temporary guide. Then I move my mouse to where I believe these two guides would meet. The mouse icon snaps to the exact position. I click to finish the first line. Then continue my drawing to the other end. without any extra items. You can use the temporary guides in many cases. I am drawing the path we had when we were working with follow me tool again, by using this technique.

Build 2: Pawn

Instructor's Note: In this Build we use a different aspect of follow me tool. Still, we need paths and planes but the way to draw them is the matter.


I want to start this build exercise with making an sphere. First, give it a try yourself.

*Spoilers below*

If you have made it. Congratulations! Although it is a simple shape, it is normal if you did not have any idea how to make it. To make a sphere, we will need two perpendicular circles. One with and the other without a face. You can use circle tool twice or rotate a copy of one circle to make it. Then, by pre-selecting the path one click on the face with follow me tool does the work.

Secondly, let's make a pawn. Pawn is a piece in the game of chess. It looks like this. So begin modeling.

*Spoilers below*

For making a pawn, our path is a circle again, but the face needs to change. So this is the pawn. In chess, pawns of each side are lined up at the front. If we want to do that here, one way is to use move tool a couple of times which is hard as well as time consuming. To avoid that, SketchUp has a way to repeat the last action. I want to make 5 more pawns. It is not necessary, but for a better model, let's make the pawn a component. We can use the shortcut key of G for that matter. I copy the pawn via move tool in the distance of 15 centimeters; after placing it, I simply type in 5x and then press enter. You see the object is multiplied 5 times with that distance. This called an external array We entered 15 centimeters as the distance, but it looks too far here. No problem! We can type in the desired distance and SketchUp would do the procedure with that distance again. I just type in 0.07 (our units is in meters) Now that it is changed to 7 cm it looks better. But we have 5 pawns, and in chess there are 8 pawns in every side. We can enter the array number again. We want to have 7 pawns except the one we had, so it will be 7x. The external array which had the value of 5 now changes to 7. They do not add up. We also have internal array. I copy the pawn in a distance and then type in 3 backslash. SketchUp fills the distance between the original and copied object with two more pawns so we have three new spawns in total. I change it to 4/ and also type in 40cm to change the distance of the first and the last pawn to 40 centimeters. If I type in 3x what happens is that the internal array, changes into external array. Unlike other situations where we used the measurements panel in the middle of using a tool, arrays are done subsequently.

You can also make arrays with the rotate tool. This drawing may seem complicated but it only takes a few steps to make it. The first thing to do is to make an oval. Just make a circle, and scale it. I hold down the control key to scale from the centre. Then I use the center point to rotate it for 15 degrees then I type in 6x. It is not complete so I type in 10x. Again we need more. 11x will make it complete. Amounts more than 11 would make faces that correspond to the existing faces so they are useless. Now I type in 10. 15 degrees turns into 10. The ovals get closer so more of them will make this complete.

To sum it up. First of all This is only applicable to the last action you did provided that the tool is move tool or rotate tool and they have been used to copy an object. You can type in two kinds of values. One is the distance and the other is for the array. The new entry for each of these two will replace the previous entry.

Soften/ Smooth

Instructor's Note: Hide, Soften and Smooth may improve the results. Even if you are not interested in using them you must learn about them because sometimes these are done automatically and some other times, you might need to deal with other people's creations. We'll get there...


In some cases you may not like to see some edges but as you know we cannot erase them because that will cause faces to disappear too. Though we cannot erase them, we can hide them. All you need to do is to right click on the edge and select hide or select the erase tool and hold down shift key and left click then drag your mouse on edges. You can unhide the hidden items from edit.

In previous lecture we made a sphere, a pawn and a pipe. Look at them once again. We had a rule, every object is made of edges and faces but here it looks like the rule does not apply. The answer is that these are still made of faces and edges but the way SketchUp views these objects have changed. If we do a triple click on any of these objects, edges show up in dashed form so they are still there, but they are concealed by using soften and smooth features. There are two ways to access the soften edges window. Since it is a window, obviously the first way is to go to window and select it.

The other way is to right-click on the object and choose soften/smooth. Now it's the right time to talk about normal vector. The normal vector of a face is a hypothetical vector, perpendicular to the face. A normal vector is important because its direction is unique in each page and it shows the page's direction. We had this before, like in the lecture about circle tool, when the circle is blue, it means the normal line of circle is parallel to blue axis or in rotate tool, we change the normal vector but when we were covering these material to keep everything simple, I didn't mention the name of normal vector.

In soften edge window, there is an angle. In pre-selected object connected faces that have lower angles than the angle you set in this window will get soften. In fact we are talking about the angles of their normals. When I move the handle to 20, some edges get soften and the higher we go the more edge get softened. There is no visual difference between soften edges and hidden edges. The difference is that hidden edges are simply not shown but when the edge gets softened, SketchUp takes their connected faces as one face; so, it looks like you have a folded face. They become some how unchangeable because many tools that work on individual faces, like push tool do not work with them. In addition, you can smooth softened faces. This is our pipe with softened edges, if we make them smooth by checking smooth normals, that will improve the results but that is not useful for every object. If we apply smoothing to our gemstone, the results are not good at all. Coplanar faces are the connected faces that are the same plane. Even if you erase the line between them, they would not disappear because the edges still make a face. This option softens these faces with the rest. If you want to see the softened, smoothed and hidden edges, go to view and select hidden geometry.

The important thing that you have to remember here is that the soften, smooth and hide actions do not make any change in actual object's shape. They are like tags that tell the program how to show an object. Therefore, they can be undone. This is our actual sphere, which is smoothed so the program shows it like this.

If you select the softened or smoothed object and go to soften edges window, nothing happens. This is the mistake a lot of students make. You first have to do a triple click on the object to see the dashed lines and then make changes in soften edges window.


Instructor's Note: Temporary guides might not be useful everywhere. Tape measurement tool and protractor are the tools for drawing guides for your drawings.

Shortcut Keys: Tape measurement tool


There comes the time that you feel having some sort of guidance in your model can show you the way. This is a Lecture that shows you how to make a guide. Guides can be infinite lines. They also can be limited to two points. Your mouse snaps to every part of those guides. So let's learn how to make them. We are going to cover two tools: Tape measurement tool and the protractor.

When tape measurement tool is selected, a click on every line, dragging the mouse and clicking again makes an infinite line parallel to the first line. If the same is done from a point to an empty area of the screen a guide between the first point and where you clicked would be created; and finally, if the first click is on a point, and the second click is on another point of another edge, an infinite line, containing both points will be created.

The protractor has another useful feature too. Remember when we scaled a cube? Sometimes scaling is not that simple. For example, think of a 3 by 3 square that we want to make it 2 by 2. The number for scale has infinite digits after decimal point. We may enter an scale that makes the square really close to 2 by 2 but in some drawings close is not enough. There is another way to do that, but it scales the whole model or if you are inside the group or component, every object inside that group or component. The way to do it is that we select the tape measurement tool and we select the endpoint of one edge. Then we take our measurement tool to the other end of the same edge and click again. Now the measurements panel shows the length of our line, by typing in a new number, a dialog shows up. We don't see much dialog windows in SketchUp, this one is there to give you some sort of a warning, reminding you that the change will be applied to the whole model or group or component.

There is one exception here, if you have components which have been added to your model from external sources, they won't be scaled. A component that you have copied from another file and pasted into your file can be an example. In the next lectures, we use other methods to get the components we want from external resources. Here I have copied the diamonds from another file. The diamonds do not change in size. What changes is their position because the scale is being applied to the whole model so everything shrinks.

Protractor makes guides by rotation. Do not get this confused with rotate tool and orbit tool. It works Just like when we made new lines with using rotate tool in the copy mode.

To hide or unhide all your guides, go to view. To delete all guides permanently there is an option in edit.

Paint Bucket tool

Shortcut keys: paint Bucket


Now we want to color our objects or assign materials to them. You can choose paint bucket tool from large toolset or press B. When you do so, the material window shows up. Even if you close this, it will be opened the next time you choose paint bucket again. In SketchUp, faces are double-sided, that means you can give separate materials to sides of a face.

When you draw an item, it has the default material. By selecting the material and pressing left click on each face you can change the material of that side of the face. In mac computers the materials window is different. You can click on the brick icon to choose materials.

If there are a lot of faces, you can select the faces and then click with paint bucket tool on one of them. Alternatively, you can use control and shift keys while clicking. Pressing control will change the material of every directly connected face with the same material. Shift key will change every face with the same material in model. Combination of control and shift keys will change faces with the same material that have a geometrical connection with the face.

Component and groups are different. You can enter a group or component and color different parts. If it is a component, as you know other samples would get the color two. When you are out of a component or group, and you click on it with paint bucket tool only faces with default material, will get the new material and since you are out of the component, the change is applied only to that component.

You can choose the default material to assign it to faces by clicking on this bottom. Note that it looks like white or grey color materials, but the default material means the face does not have a material.

You can also change the colors of materials. On mac there are more options to pick colors. The transparency of a material can be changed too. Color pick tool can help you get the material of a face and assign it to other faces. You can hold down alt key to change paint bucket tool to color pick tool. Although you can access every color in your model via home button.
Build 3: Stairs

This is pretty straight forward. Just build these stairs. There are 9 of them. The third and sixth one are red and the last one is longer.

*Spoilers below*

We push a rectangle. From this point I want to make my box a component. The important part of this exercise was the way you copy this stair to get the external array. I copy it via move tool like this and then type in 8x to get 8 copied stairs. For the colors, you might have colored the first stair first then used make unique for the third and sixth stairs. But I have not assigned any materials here, so I color them from outside. For the last one, I use scale tool though make unique also works too. All of them are the samples of the same component but with different features.

This exercise was easy because our boxes were parallel to the axes. If the stairs were rotated, a change in component axes was necessary or else, the component box would not allow us to scale the last stair in the right way. A change in original axes before drawing stairs was even a better way to solve the problem. Instead of setting the axes by axes tool. Just right click on a face and choose align axes. This will do the work. After that, if you need to you can just reset the axes poison again.

Now the handrails. There are many ways to make them. For example, since here each stair is the sample of same component, we can enter one of them and make a handrail only for that component and the rest would change too. Suppose our handrail is one meter above the stairs, I make a one meter line here this is also applied to other ones too. Then for the handrail itself, I draw a line. The area is surrounded by edges, but since the edges are in different component, a face is not created. So we draw the edges in this component to get the face. The mouse icon, snaps to the points out of this component too. By using move and push tool I make the handrail. Then assign materials. We may need to make the scaled stair unique.

It can be done from out side of components too. I use guides here. Always turn your objects into components to keep your model organized. I want to mirror this for the other side of the stairs. One way to do that is using a grip of scale tool and change the scale to -1. When you type in a minus number in any tool, it is applied in the exact opposite direction. The other way is to use flip. Flip only can be done parallel to the axes. Say, we want to flip along green axis. In our professional terms, the green axis is the normal vector of our hypothetical mirror, so instead of doing scale, in the direction of green axis, we flip along green axis. Now let's get back to our stairs. Which flip will do the work? If your answer is red axis. You got it.

Build 4: Diamond

You have seen gemstones in our previous lectures. The red gemstone has an iconic meaning in SketchUp. It is the icon of a programming language, named Ruby which is the programming language of SketchUp. Model this gemstone.

*Spoilers below*

The simplest way is follow me tool. But some of our gemstones were more complicated than that. You can draw every edge with line tool. But the simple way to do it, is via a feature in move tool. It is called auto fold which can be enabled by pressing the alt key once. Take a look at this rectangle, if I want to move one point of it, I cannot do it in vertical direction. No matter how many times I change my camera view. This is because SketchUp must keep the face between these edges, but a vertical move of the point will change the edge's directions. Now I press alt key and the auto fold is activated. With having it enabled, SketchUp creates new edges automatically, so now I can have a vertical move and there are faces between edges at the same time.

So I use this to make a diamond. First I draw a octagon, then I offset it to have a tiny octagon in center. You can guess what happens if I lift the big octagon. So I pre-select the edge, pick up move tool, and press arrow key up. This will make move direction parallel to blue axis and since there is no way to do that without auto-fold, SketchUp turns auto-fold on automatically. I use line tool to redraw one of the edges of this octagon. When some edges make a face, but the face is not there, this action makes the face. Now I push this and then use offset tool again and then rotate the new face a little to make the top side. The rotation make the program draw two lines instead of one for each corner.


In this lecture, we want to make this silo. First let's start with the body. Now that the structure is prepared, it is time to place the windows and other objects. For the rest of the model I want to use some options that we haven't used before. When we were creating components, we left two options. First one is glue. Glue means the way that component attaches to other surfaces. By knowing this, SketchUp can help you placing your objects. We may have components like a sofa or a table.

Ever seen a sofa hanging on the wall? Such components are always on the ground so they can stick to horizontal surfaces. In other words, they glue horizontally. Objects like windows or cabinets glue vertically. Some objects can be on surfaces between horizontal and vertical directions. Some other objects can be on any surface and for the rest you may not want the program to help you in placing them. So these are the uses of None, Any, Sloped, Horizontal and vertical options. If I choose any of these you see the blue axis of component disappears and a surface shows up on the red-green plane of component's axes. This is the surface of gluing. To change it, change the component's axes. Only when you bring new samples from components window. They get glued to surfaces. The chair component is glued horizontally so it does not get attached to walls. Everything looks fine except for the windows, when we place them, they just stay on the wall. I mean they don't penetrate it For such components we use cut opening option. Then the gluing surface not only attaches a component to a face, but also cuts the face for extents of that component. I repeat, this only works for fresh samples that you bring to model from components window. Not for the ones that are already in model. Both glue and cut opening options can be changed at any time in edit section of components window. Now we can place the rest faster.

You also have the option to replace a component's sample with another. We have the component dust here and we want to replace the samples with the component gold. You can select the components you want to be replaced but I am going to just go to components window, right-click on dust component and choose select instances because I want all of them. There are no gold components in the model but it is still in component's window. With all the dust selected, I right-click on Gold in components window and choose replace selected. So that's how you turn dust into gold!

Now suppose you want to clean up the components window from the components that do not have any samples inside the model. To do that, click on details button and choose purge unused. You can do the same for materials too. Also, right-clicking on a component in components window and choosing delete, removes the component and all its samples.

3D warehouse

Instructor's Note: didn't I tell you we'll get there?


One of the features that distinguishes SketchUp from similar programs, is its huge online component library or the 3D warehouse. Suppose you want to add a dinosaur to your model. It is very time consuming to make one. So you can just go to component's window, and use the search bar there. SketchUp connects you to the 3D warehouse. Only for the dinosaur there are more than 700 results. Some might be irrelevant nonetheless you can understand how huge 3D warehouse is. You see the name, description and thumbnail of the components. By clicking on the component's name or the name of its creator you will be directed to 3D warehouse where you can see even more detailed information and pictures of the component. But if you click on the thumbnail, it will be added directly to your model. Make sure you read the 3D warehouse terms of service before using the components in your project. It can be accessed from details button. Also, when you add the component to your model, obviously you will have it among the rest of your components when you press the home button. But SketchUp does not show you the components inside the component that you have added. If you want to access them too, select expand here. The components you see and use in 3D warehouse is the work of other SketchUp users like you. So contribute to this library by uploading your models and components. All you need is a google account. By opening Warehouse toolbar, you can upload your whole model or only the selected component for public or private use.

Build 5: Lemonade

Instructor's Note: You look tired. How about some lemonade?


Model this glass. There are two ways to do that. The first one is via push tool. Since the top side is bigger than the bottom, I use scale tool to make it right. For better results we also can use follow me tool. You can make more curved faces this way. Now I want to show this glass is filled with lemonade. Since now the top side is scaled, push tool may not work well here. To make the surface of lemonade, I need to collide a face with our glass.

You may have noticed that when two faces collide, as long as their edges are separated, they do not change each other. But there is some way to do that. First I make my glass a group because the smoothed edges can cause some problems if I don't do that. Then I draw a rectangle, and move it to where I want to have the surface. Now I right click on the rectangle or on the glass, and choose intersect faces with model. This action, creates edges on the junctions of faces so now, our rectangle is divided to three parts.

If we want to see them better, Align view is a good option. When you right click on a face and choose align view. The camera goes exactly above that face, in the direction of face's normal. We see the inner side and outer sides of the glass has made two sets of edges. So the rectangle now has an inner part which is what we want. A middle part inside the volume of the glass and an outer part. To erase those two parts, I double click on the outer part. This will select all its surrounding edges. Since the outer and middle parts share the same edges, when I press delete, the middle face would be deleted too although it was not selected. But my face is out of the group. I can either copy the face, go into the group and paste it or I can explode the group. Now since the edges of our face are exactly on the inner side of the glass, they cut the inner part of the glass and turned it into two faces. I create a material because I have not found what I wanted in default materials. I name it and choose a yellow color with transparency to look like lemonade. Now you see the surface has a good color, it is like we only have a surface and not the liquid itself. So I will hide the surface and color the inner part of the glass with the same color; then, unhide it. This looks more like it. A slice of lemon can make our work more realistic. So I go to 3D warehouse and search for it.

Texture positioning and projection

Each texture is a picture that gets repeated on the surface. That means, when you want to cover the floor with tile, all you need is the picture of one tile. Look closely at the default textures of SketchUp inside the materials window. For some textures, it might be necessary to position them manually.

Back stage: At 06:00 I do a right-click on the face and then another on the sphere, without doing anything. That was supposed to show you SketchUp does not show you texture options in right-click menu of smoothed surfaces.


Lets get back to our silo. We forgot to assign materials to it. Let's start with roofing material. Each material is a little picture that gets repeated on the face. So no mater how big our face is, we can fill it with the texture. For the body I choose a material with horizontal lines but I want to make it vertical. To do so, I right-click on the face, go to texture and choose position. The program shows you how the tiles of texture is repeated and positioned. 4 pins show up on the corners of one tile of the texture. Each of them have a function. You can hold your left click on each of them to make changes. If you click on each of them once, the pin gets attached to the mouse icon until you click again. Right-click gives us even more options. You can flip and rotate. Also you can uncheck the fixed pin option.

When the pins are not fixed, all of them have the same function. The size of material tiles can be changed in material windows too. The object we worked with was very simple. For smoothed objects with many faces, texturing requires more effort. When you give a texture to such faces, SketchUp paints each page separately. When your shape is simple or texture has small scale or it is just a color it works fine. But as soon as things get more complicated you see the problems with that.

To show you, I have prepared a picture file. To add this picture as a texture to SketchUp we go to file > import. Choose our format and choose texture. Now we scale it on a surface then it is added. Now I want to color the sphere with my new texture. The text gets shredded on the surface of sphere. So the default texturing system does not work here. A work around here is to use projection. You have seen projectors in cinemas or classrooms. They produce a picture and project it on a screen. In SketchUp also textures can be projected but projection in this case is not to change the size of a picture but to keep it on as is on different surfaces. I take my rectangle to somewhere that I can have a good projection on the sphere. Then I right click on the face, choose texture, projected. Now use sample paint tool to select the texture again. It is necessary or the projection would not be applied. (Now I click the sphere.) The results are much better.

Advanced talks

Perspective and Parallel Projection

This a really important talk for the output of your work. As a 3D program, SketchUp converts binaries to visual data. In order to do that it tries to simulate the way we see the world with our eyes. I am talking about perspective that means when something goes farther from camera, it looks smaller.

SketchUp uses perspective as a default. You can see an illustration of it here. The red lines are parallel, so are the green lines and the blue lines. In perspective mode the extension of each series of these lines join in infinite distance where it is called the vanishing point. The position of three perspective points for this cube change when we move the camera. You can modify perspective by changing the field of view. To change it, this time instead of using the mouse wheel, select the zoom tool. When you do so, you can see the degree of field of view in measurements panel. This number can be anything between 1 and 120 degrees. The default amount is 35. To change it, you can type in a new number or you can hold the shift key and left mouse button then move your mouse in vertical direction. More amounts for field of view gives you stronger perspective but objects may look misshaped. When the field of view is 100, this cube does not look like a cube. Lower amounts make points of perspective more distant so the lines look more parallel.

You cannot set the field of view to 0 here but you can go to view and choose parallel projection. When parallel projection is activated, objects are shown as is. It means if two line are parallel, they will stay parallel in every angle. Besides, an item's distance from camera, has nothing to do with its size. Although the view is not natural at all, it is great for presentation of technical drawings. Because it shows the exact specifications of the modeled object.

There is also a 2-point perspective option in which The vertical lines are parallel, but we still have perspective points for vertical lines. When you choose the two point perspective, SketchUp makes the perspective based on your camera position. You can pan and zoom to get the view you want but as soon as you use orbit tool your type of viewing goes back to perspective.

Text and label

Use texts in your model to show its specifications. Click on where you want to have the arrow, and move to where you want to have the text. Click again. Now you can change the text inside the textbox. The default text inside the textbox is area for faces, length for lines and xyz distance from the origin for points. Whether you have changed the text or you haven't, changing the tool or clicking on another part would fix this text. This type of text is called leader text. If you click on an empty area of your model with text tool, the text box gets fixed on you window, it means unlike the leader text that have a fixed position, this text is always on your screen that is the reason it is called screen text.

Texts entered in 3D text tool become actual objects inside the model. They can be modified just like every other object. Dimension tool can show length of edges, click on both sides of an edge and move your mouse to set the dimension's position and click again. You can do that directly too. Just hover your mouse over an edge or arc; when it turned blue, click to get the dimension. The second click fixes dimension's position.

If you are not satisfied with how dimensions or texts look, you can use model info for changes. When you change the options you must first select the dimensions or texts that you want to change and then press update button. So you can have dimensions or texts with different colors or sizes. You just need to update them separately. If you want to change all of them there is a select all button in both sections. In the same window, there is a units option where you can change measurement units without any need to change the template


Instructor's Note: Antarctica, here we come!


If you are modeling a building or a site, what can be better than placing it on its actual position on the earth? You can give your model a geographic position, in the easiest way. I have modeled two structures, and I want to place them on Antarctica. This pin icon takes us directly to geo-locate section of Model Info window. By pressing add location, a world map shows up. We can search for it but I don't know any particular places on Antarctica so I just zoom in. If we don't zoom in enough, we get an error. With the white square disappeared from the center we can choose Select region. Then select what we want with these pins and choose grab. SketchUp sets the location of our model, downloads the imagery we have chosen and adds it to our model. Now the geo-locate section shows the position of the model. We can add more imagery to our model. When selected, the imagery we have added have red lines instead of the normal blue lines. It means it is locked. So we cannot open it or modify it as long as it is unlocked. To lock or unlock a group or component there is an option when you right click on it.

If you don't have access to the internet, you can manually geo-locate your model by entering the latitude and longitude. To see the physical features of land at the geo-located position go to file geo-location and choose show Terrain. Now that we have geo-located our object, we can see it in Google earth by going to file and choosing Preview in google earth.

Shadows and Fog

To add shadows to our model we can use shadows window or shadows toolbar. I use the window. To turn the shadows on, click on this button. Displaying shadows may slow down the program; So, use it, when the modeling is finished. Here we can set the time zone, time and date. The shadows are applied regarding the position of your geo-location. If you haven't geo-located your model it is considered to be in the default position which is in the United States. So if I change the time zone to UTC +5 I would not get any lights because during the day in that time zone, it is night in the US. So in order to get accurate shadows in your work, you have to set geo-location AND the time zone.

Show details button reveals more options. We change the brightness of faces that are exposed to light and the ones in the shadows. Even when shadows are disabled, you can see faces get lighter and darker when you move around the model. This is the result of shading. Viewers can understand shaded faces better. By activating “use sun for shading” the shading gets more natural but this may slow down the program too. You remember the ground means the red-green plane. The last section is about receiving shadows of faces and the ground plus casting shadows from edges. but for more personalized options we can go to entity info window. We can set casting and receiving shadows options for selected entities there.

Fog conceals the distant regions from the camera, so in addition to showing a mood, it's useful to cover where you have not modeled. In fog window there is a bar with two handles. 0 means no distance from camera and infinite means infinitely far from camera. The handle on left sets where the fog starts to show and the other handle sets the distance where the fog gets so dense that nothing is visible beyond that distance.


Instructor's Note: If we want to be more precise, each Template has it own style. Styles make the actual changes in the models appearance. With using styles of SketchUp you can make it easier for yourself to see the model during the modeling or you can prepare your work for presentation. Thanks to the great options of the styles window, a proficiently styled model cannot be distinguished from a hand-drawn sketch. You will be able to that 11 minutes and 23 seconds from now!


We saw different templates during previous lectures but for the others I used something different that can't be found in the template and that is the style. Style window is pretty similar to materials and components window with a name and a description at the top as well as Home and detail buttons. That is the reason they are all in the same section.

styles transform the outlook of the model completely but just like smoothing edges these do not make any changes in the actual models. They are just being applied to the objects. SketchUp has some default styles that work very well but if you want to get your hands dirty for a unique output, you can go to edit section. There are a lot of options here.

First the edges: We can show or hide all of them. The edges that are behind the objects can be shown in dashed form. These is also the shortcut key K for this too. Profiles are the lines around an object to make it more recognizable. When the depth cue is enabled, lines closer to the camera get thicker. Extension makes lines look a bit longer. It feels more hand-drawn that way. Endpoints can get bolder too. Jitter makes the lines untidy. You can change the line colors here two.

For faces we can set the colors of front and back sides of the default material. For the face style, the first button on the left hides faces compeletly. The next one shows faces without shading. The other three have the shading enabled. The first one does not show the materials. It only shows their colors. The second shows everything and is the default option. The last one uses shading without any colors. When X-ray is enabled we can see through faces. We can disable transparency and change its quality too.

We have seen different colors for background, ground and sky in templates. Despite changing their colors we can set a transparency level for the ground. In the levels other than the maximum, ground can bee seen on the red-green plain but we can hide the ground when it is viewed from below.

Watermark reminds of adding logos and copyright notices but in here it may be used differently. Most of SketchUp styles use this feature to add a paper texture to the model. You can add pictures behind and in front of the model. Just click on the plus icon and add your pictures. Model space is where your objects are. By using the move up and move down buttons you can sort the watermarks. They are like layers, The first picture is in front of the model and all other pictures and the last one is behind all of them. Clicking on each picture activates the gear icon for that picture. It opens a window where more settings can be changed. Blend sets the impact of the picture on the output. The options below that, are to position the watermark. When stretched is chosen, the watermark fills the screen. If we make the program to keep the aspect ratio, the watermark only fits the screen. Each watermark can also be scaled and tiled. Just like when we were working with textures. When the watermark is positioned it is not tiled and it can be scaled on the screen from one of the points shown.

We can make each watermark a mask. A mask does not show anything itself, it effects the layers beneath it. When you turn a picture into a mask, the white parts of the picture don't make any changes to the layers behind the mask, but fully black parts hide them completely. Shades between black and white, depending on their darkness, fade those layers. I want to use this picture as a mask. First I add it here. SketchUp shows every option when we're adding the new picture. The last part is about the interface of the program like the color of selection. We know it is blue in default and we can change it here. We will get to section cuts and matched photos soon. The faces are fine but I only want to replace the edge style of the current style with another. Mix section is for that purpose. It opens a window of styles. You can click on any style to get it as a sample and then apply it to any part of the current style by clicking again. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the style. Face style and edge style can be also changed in view.


To see the model from specific views it is not necessary to use the camera moves constantly. We can save some of the camera positions and use them for modeling, presentations and making animation. In SketchUp we can save the positions in scenes. To make the first scene. Go to view> animation> add scene. A toolbar appears at the top. This is our first scene that contains our current camera position. If I move my camera and click on the scene, the camera goes back to where I was when I made this scene. Now I want to save this point of view as another scene. I can go to view again or I can right click on the first scene and choose add scene. This gets added as a scene too. I want to change the first scene position to this view. A Right click on scene 1 and choosing update, would change it. Now the scene 1 shows this view. I can delete the scenes too. When I choose play animation, a window shows up and SketchUp starts to switch between the scenes I've made from left to right. The scenes can be rearranged by right clicking and choosing move left or right.

What scenes store is not limited to camera positions. If I right click on a scene and choose Scene manager, the Scenes window comes into view. This window shows scenes in a more detailed way. The show details button shows the scene name, description and what the scene includes. Here you can set what you want and what you don't want the selected scene and the new scenes you make from now to store. Although if you update the scenes in this window, the program double-checks for what you want to update about the scene.

I don't want to change the camera position for this scene, but I want to change its style. One way is that I can click on the scene to be taken to where the camera is, change the style and choose update. Since the camera is in the same position, the update does not have an impact on it or I can just change the style, uncheck the camera position here and update my scene. We can do many things with these settings. Like some geometry can be hidden in one scene, and they appear for another scene. One situation that it is very useful is when you have some leader texts in your model but they are not suitable for every camera position.

Now I have some scenes when I play the animation, SketchUp waits on a scene, and goes to another scenes with a transition. To change this timing we go to animation section of Model Info window. Transition is the time of movement from a scene to another which can also be deactivated. Scene Delay is the time that the program pauses on each scene.

To export the animation, you can go to file> export > animation. You can get the animation as a movie or you can get it as an image set. When the second option is chosen, the program exports each frame of animation as an image file, so you can edit them in another program and make a movie.

To make a section cut pick up the tool and click where you want to have it. The section cut that we made right now is activated automatically. We can deactivate it with a double-click. Section cuts can be moved and rotated but try not to rotate them with the rotation axis parallel to their normal since nothing will happen. That's because section cuts are infinite faces extended in the whole model. Right click option of section cuts enables us to reverse the direction and also make a group from the slice. Just like when we were intersecting two faces. I add another section cut to the model. Only one section cut can be activated at any time unless we have section cuts in groups or components. They work separately. Section cuts work very well in animation. I add a scene in which section cut is activated you see the animation even if I hide the section cut, it still does its work. Alternatively we can hide all the section cuts from view> section planes. Unchecking the section cuts in the same path would deactivate all the section cuts.

Matched Photo and photo texture

What match photo does is turning 2D photos into 3D but don't expect much from it. The tool has a clever way to understand the photos but the concept of making 3D objects from 2D photos has its own limitations. This tool is mostly used for buildings but you can use it for other things too.

Some tips about the photo: Do not crop or change the photo in any way except rotating and color or details improvements. Avoid blurry photos. Don't use the panorama feature of your camera or mobile phone when shooting the photo. And obviously you must have a clear shot from the sides of the object you want to add to your model.

The first step here is to import the picture file as a matched photo. Next, a dialog and some lines appear on the screen. We talked about perspective and vanishing points. With these handles and options we can recreate the perspective parameters of the photo inside our model. It may seem hard but it is not. We just have to match the green and red lines to the lines in the picture that can define perspective. hold the left mouse button on the handles or the lines to move them. Avoid using lines on the ground level because of the slope. Zoom in and set the lines precisely to have better results. SketchUp finds the extensions of green and red lines and sets the vanishing points. The yellow line is the horizon. By holding down the mouse wheel, we can pan here. Where you set the origin is very important. Set it on a corner point Other options are about the grids. They can be used for scale. For example, I set the grids spacing to the height of one floor. Suppose in this picture it is 3.5 meters. By setting the spacing to 3.5, and matching the grids to where the floors are, when we model the building it is in its actual size. We can set the scale by holding the left mouse button on one axis and moving the mouse. Though I prefer to stay out of the trouble and scale it with tape measurement tool after the modeling.

After we click on done, it is time to draw. You can edit the parameters of the matched photo again by clicking on the gears icon. The matched photo is added as a scene in the model. When we move the camera from that scene it disappears but we can see it by going to the scene again. When you draw on a matched photo, since there is only one camera direction, you may draw in the wrong direction and not notice it. My advice to you is to rely on axes. Don't draw somewhere empty because it will be definitely in the wrong place. Start your drawing and then go to the scene. And finally, use the guides as much as possible.

We can add more pictures to the model for the sides in the back or to improve quality. When the modeling is finished, we can select project textures from photo to get the materials. If you don't want to project the photo on all the faces, select the faces you want to be projected and choose project photo.

Sand Box

Sandbox tools have a standard, limited usage but depending on your creativity, you can use them in different situations. We can open the sandbox toolbar to have easy acess to them.

The first tool creates sandbox from contours. Contours are lines connecting points which have the same value together. In this map, contours show elevation. Here I have made some contours with freehand tool. When I select the contours and choose the tool. It makes a surface based on the lines. This surface is grouped and smoothed automatically. This tool is not limited to contours. We can fill the area between any numbers of lines. We just need to have our lines pre-selected.

The next tool, draws a grid based on the spacing we enter in the measurements panel. This grouped grid is made by triangles but their lines is softened by default. Smoove tool is usable on any surface, but on such surfaces, we get the best results. Suppose we want to make a hill but not with contour lines. The first tool that comes to mind is probably follow me tool which might not be a good choice. Instead, we can go inside this group (because smoove tool does not work from outside of groups and components). We can set a radius here. When we click on a junction of edges, smoove tool shows all the junctions. By moving the point, we see smoove tool applies our movements to other points in a way that as points get smaller they get less affected. So we can sculpt the surface with this tool.

Now let's have a look at drape tool. Drawing on smoothed surfaces with normal drawing tools is almost impossible; for that matter we should use drape tool. This tool projects the edges in the direction of the original blue axis on surfaces.

I have prepared a house and I want to place it on these hills. To place it I need a straight surface. So I drag the house on where I want to have it, then select its base plane and choose stamp. After setting the offset, I click on the surface. The tool drapes the offset edges on the surface and draws faces between that and the projection of the base point. So we can place the house.

Add detail tool increases the number of edges so that we have more junctions. When we click a somewhere on this tringle, it draws lines to endpoints from that point and then moves the new point in vertical direction. So it's the same as drawing lines to end points and using the move tool. The only difference is, it works directly on smoothed faces. If you just want to add the lines hold down control when you choose the point.

This shape looks like the one we made with move tool when we were discussing auto-fold. Here, these two corners are connected. Flip edge tool removes this edge and connects the other corners. When we use add details tool on these two triangles, it makes two pointy surfaces. Flip edges tool gives us better results. If it doesn't work, just draw a line between two points and erase the other edge. Flip edge tool can also be used on smoothed surfaces.

We don't want to say goodbye

Thank you for your participation
You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
4 out of 5
25 Ratings

Detailed Rating

Stars 5
Stars 4
Stars 3
Stars 2
Stars 1


3 hours on-demand video
1 article
Certificate of Completion


AulaGEO is a Ge-engineering specialized academy.

Social Network

Udemy Black Friday Sale! Top Courses From $9.99