Getting started with Sketchup - Part 4

Uploaded by SketchUpVideo on 20.10.2011

Please be sure you have watched the previous Getting Started videos, we'll build on the
concepts learned there.
In this video we will create a hallway table. We'll learn about using groups and components
to better separate and organize the various parts of your model.
We'll start by drawing the table top, create a rectangle that is 14 inches wide by 48 inches
long, and push/ pull it up 1 inch.
Now zoom into the corner and draw a line from this midpoint to a point on the lower edge.
Depending on your preference, you can make this angle deeper or more shallow, and SketchUp
will also give you an indication of an equidistant angle by turning purple and snapping to that
angle. Finish your line and orbit underneath the table top.
We are going to use the follow-me tool to create a chamfer. We could manually follow
the surface around the edges, but there is a quicker method we can use. Because we want
to chamfer the entire lower surface, we can pre-select that surface, then pick the follow-me
tool and click on our angle to finish.
Let's move the table top up to draw the legs underneath. With the select tool, triple-click
one of the surfaces to select all connected geometry, and move it up in the blue direction
37 inches. Given our top is 1 inch deep, that will give us a total table height of 38 inches.
Orbit underneath to start drawing the table legs. Draw a rectangle, starting from this
corner that we could pull into a leg. However, before using push/pull, let's say we change
our mind and want the leg to be inset from the edge instead. If we select and move this
surface however, it begins to warp the table top. By drawing it on top of other edges,
those edges merged. This is a key behavior to making SketchUp fast and easy, but it's
not what we want in this example. This is one of the primary uses of groups, which will
isolate our geometry preventing the edges from merging.
To see this in action, undo the rectangle, then triple-click to select the whole table
top, right or context click on the top and from the sub-menu, choose: Make group. A new
bounding box is shown around the whole top, and it now behaves as a single, unique entity.
Draw the leg rectangle again. Make it 2 inches long, 1 inch deep from the corner, but this
time it won't merge with the edges, so if we wanted to move it around, we could easily
do so.
Create some guides using the tape measure tool, pull a guide 1 inch away from these
lower edges, then move our leg rectangle to our guides so it's inset exactly 1 inch.
Remember to move the rectangle from the corner point for accuracy. Now push/pull the leg
down 37 inches.
Using the select tool, triple-click on the leg to select all of it, then right or context-click
on it to open the context menu and this time choose, Make Component. A pop up menu will
appear, you can name the component, and your settings should match these, if they don't,
cancel and try again making sure the full leg is selected, then create the component.
We made the table-top a group, and the leg a component, at first there may not seem to
be a difference, but we'll see there is a very important difference. Let's start
with the similarities though. A group or component binds the geometry together into a single
entity. You can move, rotate, and scale the group as a whole, however a tool like push/
pull doesn't seem to work because you aren't effecting the actual surfaces, but the whole
group together. To use push/pull and other tools, you need to edit the group. Use the
select tool and double click on the table top. The bounding box changes, indicating
we are now editing the group. Still with the select tool, click outside of the dotted surrounding
box to close the group.
Practice this a few times with our group and component. Double click on one to edit it,
click outside to close it and do this several times. While you are editing a group or component,
you can draw and divide surfaces and edges, use push pull and other tools, but once you
close the group, anything you draw is outside of the group, so it's important to know
when you are editing or working outside of a group or component.
With that understanding, if you did modify your group in anyway, undo any changes back
to our original table top and leg, and let's copy the leg to the back side. First create
a guideline 1 inch away from the back edge, then as we learned in the last video, start
moving the leg, then press the CTRL key or Option key on a Mac to move a copy instead.
Move the 2nd leg into position using our guidelines.
For comparison, also make a copy of the table top upward so we can see what the primary
difference is between groups and components. For the legs, let's angle the legs inward
as part of the style of our table. Make sure you are editing the leg component, then select
this lower, outside edge and start moving it with the move tool. The copied leg component
is reflecting the same changes, and this is what makes a component very powerful, any
changes you make to one component are also made to any of the same components in the
model. Move the edge inward 1 inch, and close the component.
For comparison, edit the copy of the table top and make some changes to it. The original
table top stays the same, because this is a group, and every group is unique. So there
is our overview of groups and components, both help us to group geometry together, but
each group is unique, where a component and any copies of it are instanced so any changes
made to one are made to all. As a general rule then, if you don't plan to copy an
object, grouping it is fine, but if you think there is a chance it will be copied, make
it a component, and use groups and components throughout your model to keep objects separate
and unique.
Now let's return focus to our table. Navigate under the table and draw a rectangle between
the legs that is ½ inch thick. Your width may vary based on the angle you created under
the table top, but whatever the width, pull it down 6 inches.
Now triple-click with the select tool and make this a component. Name it and create
the component.
Let's copy this support piece and the legs to the opposite side of the table. Zoom out
to get a full view of our table, then hold the shift key down and use the select tool
to select all three parts. Now began moving them down the length of the table, and press
the CTRL key or Option key on a Mac to make a copy and place them somewhere about the
middle of the table making sure to keep them lined up along inference directions.
To know where to place them we need to create a guideline as we've done before, 1 inch
from the far edge, however the direction the legs are facing is incorrect, we need to flip
or mirror these parts. Make sure all three parts are selected and choose the scale tool.
Scale works by clicking to move the control grips Any of the corner grips will scale everything
uniformly, however choosing a center grip will scale only along that axis. Watch how
this works by trying several of the grips.
Pay special attention to the center grips which scale along the red, green and blue
directions. If you squash the geometry through itself, you can mirror the object in that
direction. To get a perfect mirrored version, watch the measurements toolbar. The scale
tool works as a percentage, 1 equals 100 percent, point 5 is 50 percent, or half the scale,
2 would then be 200 percent, or twice the scale, and if we pull the geometry through
itself it become negative, so negative 1 equals negative 100 percent, or a perfect mirrored
version of our geometry.
Undo any scale effects you have created, select all three parts and scale along this center
grip until you see negative 1, which the tool will also snap to, and click to finish. Now
move the assembly into place using the corner of the table and your guidelines for placement.
Next let's create the front of the table, zoom into a corner to draw a rectangle that
is half an inch wide by 6 inches deep, then pull it across using the opposite leg as the
reference. Select the entire table front with a triple click, and make it a component.
Now orbit underneath and copy this to the back, using inferencing for proper placement.
Let's add a curve to our table. Orbit to a good front view and create a guide 1 inch
up from the table front piece. Now edit the front component to draw an arc inside it.
Drawing an arc is a simple 3-click process, click once at the corner to start the arc,
click on the opposite corner where the other side of the arc will be, then pull up and
use the guideline as a reference for how high to make the arc. Now you can use push/ pull
on the arc. Push until it meets the back surface which will delete it.
Close the component. We won't create all the internal elements or drawers that a real
table would have, but let's finish this example by creating the drawer fronts so our
table looks complete.
Draw a rectangle on the table front that is 3 inches by 15 inches wide, and pull it out
an inch.
Zoom in and create a chamfer as we did with the table top. Draw an angle, then select
the front face as our follow-me surface, then choose follow-me and click on the angle to
complete the follow-me chamfer.
We better group the geometry at this point, triple-click to select it all, and if we were
going to center the drawer and have only one, we could group it, but I'm going to create
two drawers, so I'll make it a component instead.
Now a few guidelines can help with the placement of the drawer front and the copy, place yours
where you think they look best.
Perhaps as a final touch, edit one of the drawers and using inferencing to center our
circle tool, create a small drawer pull, then close the component.
Delete any guides we've created, paint the table if you like, or add your own details.
The very best thing you can do is just to practice and play with SketchUp, using these
projects we've built together or new projects of your own.
As with previous videos, there is much more to learn about using groups and components,
mirroring objects, follow-me and other powerful tools in SketchUp, so please continue to explore
more of our videos and training content.