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Google sketchup questions and trouble shooting. How can I help?
Old 18th March 2011
  #1
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johndykstra's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Google sketchup questions and trouble shooting. How can I help?

This thread is created for members to have an area to ask questions about stream lining their google sketch up skills... and also share their ideas as well

Google SketchUp


That said, fire away.
Old 18th March 2011
  #2
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johndykstra's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Few starting points off the bat:

The numerical length box in the lower right corner is your friend. Start to draw a line. Before you click the termination of the line, enter in the desired length numerically. Regardless of your template, you can enter in metric or imperial. Just don't forget to denote ('-"-mm-cm-m) accordingly. Hitting the enter key will complete the line to the proper length.

Push/pull tool is a huge time saver. Numerical entry here is crucial too. THe result of a push/pull is a hollow object. If you rotate around to the "back" (surface that you pulled from), you will notice that it is gone. If this is not the desired result, simply redraw one of the dimensions to turn your open box into a cube.

When the "shell" of your room is drawn, select the entire thing and make it into a component. This will prevent you from accidentally erasing a portion. Even after a component is made you can go back and edit it. In doing so, everything besides that component in your drawing is "uneffectable".

I make components of every aspect of my drawings. A bass trap for example, I draw it outside the room, select the whole thing, and make it a component. I can then drag it into place, copy it, rotate it... all with out distorting the room or other objects around it. (bonus- when you edit one component, all duplicate components are effected. Changing color, depth of trap... however, you can "make component unique" if you wish to only alter a single object.)

Placing a component. It is often difficult to get a component to "go" where you want it to. Solution: create a point on the surface of the location, and grab the component by the corresponding point and "snap" it to it.


Use guides as part of your component, and delete it later. Example: WHen I draw a corner bass trap, I draw it flat. Make it into a component. Rotate the component 45 degrees. Click into "edit component". I then draw in the red and green axis lines that would comprise the rooms corner. Now I can grab the component by this "corner guide" and snap it to the room's corner.

Let's say you have a 4' tall straddle trap. Well you've just snapped it to the room's top tri corner. Perhaps you want the trap moved down a specific amount. Click the component, and using the move tool, start to move it down. You will know when you are moving it on the correct axis, because there will be a dotted blue line along with "along blue axis" text. Again, enter the amount of movement numerically.

Oh. Sometimes you will find yourself trying to "color" a surface, and no matter how many times you click the paint can on it, it won't fill. This means that you have two duplicate surfaces... sometimes more. Use the select tool, and click the surface. Delete it. There should still be a surface. Click again, and delete. Keep doing this until the surface disappears. Once it's gone, do an "undo" and you are ready to paint.
Old 18th March 2011
  #3
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SörenHjalmarsson's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Lesson 1

A Google Sketchup master class? Cooooool!

I would certainly love to see a good 'Dykstra tutorial' on how to do a ray tracing in Google sketchup (bit tricky in 3D says i, but useful...)


Sören

That might not be lesson 1 though... Sorry! heh
Old 18th March 2011 | Show parent
  #4
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🎧 15 years
Making "cones", or sloped surfaces. Much like the buttons seen here:

Google sketchup questions and trouble shooting.  How can I help?-cones.jpg

Start by drawing a circle (enter radius numerically) Push pull to desired height.

Draw a second circle centered on top, and push pull it to desired height.

Now use select tool, and select the circle the represents the bottom edge of the top teir:


Google sketchup questions and trouble shooting.  How can I help?-step-1.jpg

In your tools pull down, select the "scale" tool, and slowly increse the size of the bottom circle:


Google sketchup questions and trouble shooting.  How can I help?-step2.jpg

You want to do this in a sort of "lugnut" tightening fashion to prevent distortion of the surface. (you can see some of this distortion in the first picture... I decided being a luminated switch, that the "error" actually provided some positive effect.) Essentially, pull out ward in small amounts all the way around and continue. This takes practice, and a lot of "undos".
Old 18th March 2011 | Show parent
  #5
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avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Another great thread by The Great John!

Greatly admiring,
Andre
Old 18th March 2011 | Show parent
  #6
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johndykstra's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SörenHjalmarsson ➡️
A Google Sketchup master class? Cooooool!

I would certainly love to see a good 'Dykstra tutorial' on how to do a ray tracing in Google sketchup (bit tricky in 3D says i, but useful...)


Sören

That might not be lesson 1 though... Sorry! heh
I'm going to have to brain storm the description on that one Soren. At least on how to describe the order.

Again it involves a lot of components, placing component, edit component (i.e. draw in wall intersection), move component, edit component (i.e. make to separate pieces via copy/paste/delete to have two parts- (direct signal and reflection)) select the reflection portion of the component and "flip" it along the appropriate axis. (In a non 90 degree orientation, after flipping you may still require some additional rotation). Align the direct signal component with the reflected signal component at the surface intersection (this is where you fine tune your rotation). Check for accuracy with the protractor. Replace new "direct+reflection" component into the room.

Easy right?heh
Old 18th March 2011 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 15 years
That reminds me. When I pull an object component out of the room to edit it, (recommended as you can rotate around it fully), I grab it, move it out of the room along a dedicated axis, and numerically type in say.... 50'. This gives me plenty of room to work around it. Close the component, and start to drag it back along the same axis, and again type in 50'. THis allows me to get it right back in the same place.



If you can't tell, most of my suggestions work around utilizing the numerical entry function.
Old 18th March 2011 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by avare ➡️
Another great thread by The Great John!

Greatly admiring,
Andre
learned from the best
Old 18th March 2011 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 20 years
Cool stuff John!

Just the few tips helps tremendously, I need to get a grasp on this stuff.

T
Old 18th March 2011 | Show parent
  #10
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cheers!
Old 18th March 2011 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 10 years
cool thread.
say you have 2D construction plans for a (non rectangular) room, and you want to make them 3D.
is there a way to do that in SketchUp ?
Old 18th March 2011 | Show parent
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neuro ➡️
cool thread.
say you have 2D construction plans for a (non rectangular) room, and you want to make them 3D.
is there a way to do that in SketchUp ?
Redrawing is probably the easiest/most accurate way. Generally there is at least one 90 degree corner. Start there and work out using the standard red and green axis for the known wall lengths. If the non 90 degree corners are not given in degrees, you can generally "connect the dots". However, if you do have the angles, use the protractor tool in the tool pull down.

Outside of that, you can use a jpeg as a "texture". Open your paint bucket tool and go to the select texture option. Locate the jpeg of your drawing, and select it. Now use this "texture" to paint a flat rectangle. You will notice that the image is small and tiled. Now draw lines to isolate one tile, and erase the rest. Make component. Now scale the component to the appropriate size. Trial and error, remeasuring, rescaling... This to me seems not only more tedious, but also less accurate, as you are visually now going to have to redraw the walls using the line tool on top of your jpeg. I have never used this function in a size critical application, but I did use it to map out button and dial placement to make a 3d version of a Cranesong monitor controller:

Google sketchup questions and trouble shooting.  How can I help?-command-center.jpg
Old 18th March 2011 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 10 years
thanks for the detailed reply. i thought maybe there was an automated way of doing this. i won't bother with jpeg.
you have skills with this tool. i wonder how much time it took you to get there.
Old 18th March 2011 | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 15 years
Thanks for the compliment. Yeah, like I said the jpeg functionality is guesstimation at best. No automated functionality that I am aware of... though I operate solely on the free platform. Sketchup pro may be different.


I've been using it for a few years now. Nearly daily. I'm still learning. The "cone" creation post a few up is one that I just recently discovered. I had some residual knowledge from Corel draw and autocad from a previous life when I worked as a screenprinter/designer for a sign shop. Many of the skills/functions were transferable.

I considered myself pretty creative visually in high school (17 years ago now). At some point, I had found myself in a rut, always drawing/painting variations of the same thing... and gave it up. It wasn't until Andre turned me on to sketchup a few years back that I found a renewed excitement for visual arts. It's quite possible that my fascination with acoustics is largely centered around my desire to use sketchup.
Old 19th March 2011 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 10 years
Two very useful sketchup features

- Hide/Unhide: While performing an action on something (moving a component, creating a shape, whatever) inside an already complicated scene, it can be very useful to hide parts of the scene in order to ease the job

- Locking: allows to prevent unwanted editing be mad, but as John pointed out, creating a component also helps in this area.

Beware that when editing a component, all instances/copies of it will ALL be modified.

There is a good and cheap ($13 or so) e-book "The sketchup guide for woodworkers" by Tim Killen, which explains a lot of very useful techniques to create simple as well as complex shapes
Old 19th March 2011 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 10 years
Two very useful sketchup features

- Hide/Unhide: While performing an action on something (moving a component, creating a shape, whatever) inside an already complicated scene, it can be very useful to hide parts of the scene in order to ease the job

- Locking: allows to prevent unwanted editing be mad, but as John pointed out, creating a component also helps in this area.

Beware that when editing a component, all instances/copies of it will ALL be modified.

There is a good and cheap ($13 or so) e-book "The sketchup guide for woodworkers" by Tim Killen, which explains a lot of very useful techniques to create simple as well as complex shapes
Old 19th March 2011 | Show parent
  #17
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by neuro ➡️
cool thread.
say you have 2D construction plans for a (non rectangular) room, and you want to make them 3D.
is there a way to do that in SketchUp ?
I never tried it, but Sketchup allows to use 3D photos as a reference to create a model. This is often used to create buildings. There are video tutorials about that on the Internet.

I don't see why this could not be used to create a 2D model from a 2D image ?
Old 19th March 2011 | Show parent
  #18
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🎧 10 years
Another surprising but quite useful feature to know about

When selecting objects in a model by extending a rectangle (using the selection tool),

1) creating that rectangle left to right will select only all objects INSIDE the created reactangle

2) creating that rectangle right to left, will select all objects touching the rectangle, not only those fully inside it.
Old 19th March 2011 | Show parent
  #19
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Nordenstam's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Cool thread!

Is there a way to force action along certain axes? Say I want rotate XYZ by 0;45;180 degrees. Or effect something by an axis that sketchup doesn't automatically move along in the given viewpoint. Often have to orbit around a lot to make the sketchup automatics move in the desired directions. The snappy (heh) interface is great most of the time, but sometimes I sorely miss the usual raytracing interface where everything can be punched in manually. Tips?
Old 19th March 2011 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by johndykstra ➡️
It's quite possible that my fascination with acoustics is largely centered around my desire to use sketchup.
haha. interesting.. i understand it must be both fun and very useful to do what you do with SketchUp, at that level.
i've tried to use it a bit, but i feel it would take too much time to learn it properly. i'd rather spend that time learning about acoustics, or erm, eventually, making music.

+ cheers mhch.
Old 19th March 2011 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupo ➡️
Cool thread!

Is there a way to force action along certain axes? Say I want rotate XYZ by 0;45;180 degrees. Or effect something by an axis that sketchup doesn't automatically move along in the given viewpoint. Often have to orbit around a lot to make the sketchup automatics move in the desired directions. The snappy (heh) interface is great most of the time, but sometimes I sorely miss the usual raytracing interface where everything can be punched in manually. Tips?
Not sure I understand the question Andreas.

Perhaps the answer, or perhaps semi-related, When I am drawing a non parallelly rectangular object.... (it has a slanted surface, canted slat walls, a mixer,...) I rotate the object so that the slanted surface I am working on does line up in the traditional blue red and green axis. When I am done with that surface, I just rotate the piece back.
Old 19th March 2011 | Show parent
  #22
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+2 cheers mhch.

I like that right to left select. Nice tip, thank you!
Old 19th March 2011 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 15 years
For those of you who are slightly intimidated by Sketchup, I have some templates for various things already drawn. Plus, if you are looking for something particular, just ask. I might already have it modeled as I have THOUSANDS of little tidbits. Here's a few examples.











And of course, there's the 3d Warehouse. You can find tons of studio related models that you can download as well.
Old 20th March 2011 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 10 years
John,

Keep it going! This is an excellent thread. - Maybe you and Rick can collaborate on a book.

Cheers,
John
Old 20th March 2011 | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 10 years
The "Follow Me" tool is an extremely useful feature to create objects. Unfortunately I didn't find an easy to understand documentation about how to use it (May be I didn't search enough for it),

Anyway, here is a quick summary, refering to the attachment

1) create a path to be followed by the tool, here a circle

2) create a profile the tool will carry along the path, using the various drawing features of sketchup.

3) select the profile using right to left rectangle selection to make sure that this profile doesn't contain extraneous curves remaining from its creation. These extraneous curves will be highlighted too. Delete them if any.

4) Select the path to follow

5) click on the "Follow Me" tool

6) click inside the profile to be carried by the follow me tool

7) Watch the result


If what appears isn't what you expect, that means that the profile contains unwanted curves
Attached Thumbnails
Google sketchup questions and trouble shooting.  How can I help?-using-follow-me-tool.jpg  
Old 20th March 2011 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 15 years
There are so many tools that are useful in Sketchup, it's hard for me to pinpoint any one tool that I use more than others. However, here is a few of my own viewpoints.

First, when drawing in Sketchup, for my way of thinking, I ALWAYS draw in FULL SCALE. I see so many models in the Warehouse that are not drawn to any scale. So when you download them, unless there is some kind of relative object that you know what the dimension is, you don't have a clue to what the scale is. For instance, I recently downloaded a set of drums from the warehouse. When I inserted it, it was somewhere about a thousand times too big. Now, unless you have a powerful computer with lots of ram, sometimes, a downloaded file is so large, that it takes a minute or two to even scale them up or down. These drums were no exception. It took a full half hour to scale them down, as each scaling took a few minutes to render. So if you are planing on uploading your models to the warehouse, make sure they are FULL SCALE. In other words, do NOT scale your models as there is no need to. Space in Sketchup is infinite.

However, when modeling things that have very small units, such as 1/32", Sketchup has a problem with this, as the dimensions decrease, the processor has to deal with numbers that are in decimal points, and depending on your accuracy settings, this can be difficult for the program to manipulate or edit things in very small increments. But more on that later. My point here is, if you are drawing in very small units, to insure the accuracy of the model, you need to work in decimals, not fractions. This is why I set up my Sketchup preferences to reflect that way of working.

When I first started working in Autocad, the only way you could tell the computer what the length of a line is supposed to be, you had to use the decimal system. Over a period of a few days, it dawned on me that in order to increase my speed, I had to memorize the decimal equivilents
of the 1/16" increments of 1 inch. For instance, 1/16" equals .0625". For most applications, this is as small of an increment that is needed, especially woodworking. At least as far as detailing goes. Metal work has its own dimensional norms, but as we are dealing with Studio construction here, we will deal with conventional standards of carpentry. So, in that respect, here are the 1/16" increments of 1"

1/32 = .0937
1/16= .0625
1/8= .125
1/4= .25
5/16= .0312
3/8= .375
7/16= .4375
1/2= .5
9/16= .5625
5/8= .625
11/16= .6875
3/4= .75
13/16= .8725
7/8"= .875
15/16= .9375

You would have to add .0325 to any increment in 1/16ths, to get the value in decimals for those between the 1/6" increments. Frankly, I commited the list above to memory LONG AGO, and very rarely have to think in 1/32". However, it is the Precision applied that matters. And this has to do with how you set up your Precision parameters. More on that later too. I'm out of time at the moment so I'll be back later to show you how to set up a "template".

BTW, for the computer model above, I had to work in the sheetmetal gauge, which was rediculously time consuming, so I arbitrarily set the thickness of the metal at .0312...which equals 1/32". Close enough for Sketchup work. However, when it came time to do anything with it, I had to really pay attention to the things I wanted to do, as Sketchup will do things at small scales that are really mind boggleing. Like stretching a PLANE. Here is an example of what can happen. I was punching a hole in the Sheetmetal, and then using the Follow Me tool to edit an edge. Sketchup does really wierd things when using this tool. So I had to isolate this member of the model, edit it, and then reinsert the component in order to get it right. Here is what happens when you do NOT keep your precision
points correct. This is a Hard drive cage, which I was trying to imitate the "stamping" aspects of the sheetmetal. Damn near impossible to make it look correct. And in the process..I learned a lot of things.





What had happened, is I had inadvertantly copied a "second" surface, but because I wasn't paying attention to my precision, it actually copied it to a point above the surface of the sheetmetal. Every time I tried to do anything, I couldn't actually connect anything. Untill I zoomed in big time, and could see this other plane, well...DUH! No wonder things wouldn't work.heh




This is what is supposed to look like. Note there are "stampings" in both directions. That is why it was so difficult to make these come out correctly.


Ok, so much for small stuff. I'll be back to show you how to start your rooms. Remember though, the devil is in the details. heh

fitZ
Old 20th March 2011 | Show parent
  #27
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🎧 15 years
sweet.
Old 20th March 2011 | Show parent
  #28
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🎧 15 years
Hi John. Sorry if I hijacked your thread. Only trying to help with what I do best. Just say the word and I'll
Old 20th March 2011 | Show parent
  #29
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johndykstra's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sh!t no man! I'm learning too! I love it.
Old 20th March 2011 | Show parent
  #30
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avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
FitZ:

Regardng "hidden created layers"; been there, done that, got some really strange studios.

Thanks for the tips.

Andre
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