Get started with SketchUp - Part 1

Uploaded by SketchUpVideo on 20.10.2011

When you first start SketchUp, youll be presented with a welcome screen. Regardless
if you are using SketchUp free or Pro, you will need to pick a template to start with.
The main difference is the default units of measurement Sketchup will use, such as meters,
or inches. The other difference is the starting view, which can be from the side, or from
the top. Either is fine. Choose a template and start SketchUp.
Based on the template you've chosen for SketchUp, your default view will be from the
top, or from the side. Let's all start from the same view by going to the Camera Menu:
Standard Views: and choose Iso.
Now begin by drawing a rectangle. Pick the rectangle tool, then click once to start a
rectangle, pull away, and click again to finish.
A quick note about drawing in SketchUp. Get in the habit of click-and-releasing your mouse
button to start and finish most actions. This will be true for almost all of the drawing
tools. Unless we specifically ask you to "click-and-drag" your mouse button, always click and release
to start and finish each tool and action.
Now undo any rectangles by going to the edit menu and choosing: Undo
Draw another rectangle but this time keep an eye on the lower-right corner as you do.
Click once to start the rectangle, pull away and watch how the dimensions change as you
adjust the rectangle size. Click again to finish the rectangle.
You can be as precise with SketchUp as you'd like. Although it may not seem you are being
accurate, everything you draw in SketchUp has a real-world scale. We'll learn more
about this later.
For now, let's move on to the next tool, the Push/ pull tool. Select this tool and
click on the rectangle we just drew, pull up and we've created a box. Click to finish.
The push/pull tool will literally push or pull on any flat surface. Try it on our simple
box: Click on this side to pull it out and click
to finish. Click on this side to push it in and click to finish.
Now let's combine more rectangles with the push/ pull tool. Select the rectangle tool
and draw a rectangle on our existing box.
Watch how SketchUp will give you reference points to help as you draw. For example, to
draw from this corner SketchUp snaps to this point and shows you a green endpoint. Click
here to start, pull away, and finish the rectangle. Now use push/ pull to push this new surface
The drawing tools all work based on the surface you are drawing on. For example, use the circle
tool to draw a circle on one of your surfaces. Simply click to start, pull out the radius
and click again to finish. Now draw another circle on a different surface to see how the
orientation aligns to whatever you are drawing on. Use push/pull to create some cylinders.
Select the rectangle tool again and start from this upper edge. SketchUp shows a red
dot indicating you are on the edge. Click to start and draw down to a lower edge, also
showing a red dot. Use push/ pull to push this surface inward.
All reference points are called ‘Inference points' in SketchUp, and they will be very
helpful in making you both accurate and fast.
Here are the basic inference points. Endpoints on-edge points and mid-points for the middle
of any edge. There are others, but these are the most common.
You can see how simple it is to create 3d objects in SketchUp, let's take a moment
to explore navigation in SketchUp.
Start with the orbit tool. Click and drag to orbit your view right to left and up and
down. For practice try orbiting fully around your model.
Next is the pan tool. This moves your view side to side, without orbiting. Click and
drag to pan your view of the model around the screen.
The final navigation tool is zoom. Click and drag to zoom closer to, and away from, your
Now try practicing using orbit, pan and zoom together. Zoom in, orbit, pan, orbit, zoom,
and so forth.
Navigating is essential in SketchUp, but going back and forth to pick the icons seems slow
and cumbersome, which is why we've built all the navigation tools into a 3-button scroll
wheel mouse. Simply roll the mouse wheel forward and back to zoom in and out. Press the wheel
down to orbit. Press the wheel down and hold the SHIFT key on your keyboard to pan. Practice
navigating again using the scroll wheel for a much faster experience.
Another advantage to using the scroll wheel is better control over zooming. Try this:
Hover your cursor over this corner of your model and roll the wheel forward. See how
it zooms toward that corner? Using the scroll wheel will zoom toward and away from any area
where your cursor is, making navigation even easier.
Let's review what we've learned so far by creating a very simple house object. Begin
by zooming back out so we can see our entire model then use the select tool, click and
drag a selection box around the entire model and press "delete" on your keyboard.
Draw a new rectangle and use the push/pull tool to pull this rectangle into a box.
Orbit and pan to get a better view of the top.
Now let's split this top surface with the line tool. Before drawing the line, hover
over the top edge and find the midpoint inference. Click on the midpoint to start drawing, move
across the surface and find the midpoint on the opposite edge and click to finish the
We'll pull this new edge up to create a roof. Choose the select tool and click on
the edge to select it. With the edge highlighted, Use the move tool to create a ridge. Click
on the edge to begin moving it, move it upward and click again to finish.
A quick orbit shows that I wasn't very careful in moving my roof line and the result is uneven.
Let's undo that move and see how SketchUp can help us to be more accurate. Make sure
the edge is selected, then using the move tool click once on the edge to start moving
it. While moving it around notice that the edge snaps to a blue dotted line. This is
an indication that you are moving the edge straight up which will result in an even roof,
click to finish.
In SketchUp, the red, green and blue axis will help you to draw and move correctly in
3D space. Let's try it by creating a chimney on the roof.
Navigate for a better view of the roof surface. Now use the line tool and click once on an
upper part of the roof to start drawing a line. As you move the line around watch how
it will snap to a red direction, a green direction and a blue direction. Try drawing a line in
each direction and orbiting to see the orientation. The blue direction is vertical, straight up
and down, and the red and green are horizontal.
To draw a chimney we could approach it in many ways, but we'll use this method: We'll
draw the side profile shape, then use push/ pull to create the full chimney. Drawing with
the axis directions will help us create the correct profile in 3D space.
Use the eraser tool and click on any edges you drew to erase them.
With the line tool click once on the roof edge, make sure you see the red -on edge inference
point or you could also start from the mid point and draw a line straight up in the blue
direction. Click to finish your line and press the esc key to cancel a continuous line.
Now choose another point on the edge and start drawing a line from that point up in the blue
direction and watch as you draw upward that SketchUp will give you an inference when you
are lined up with the previous line you drew. Draw your second line to this point. Now draw
an edge connecting the two lines to complete a surface.
With the surface drawn, use push pull to extend the chimney across the roof to a point you
are happy with. Use push/pull again to complete the chimney.
By pulling across the roof surface extra edges have been created, but these are easily erased.
Any lines drawn across co-planar surfaces can be erased to form one larger surface.
We call this healing the surface. Use the eraser and erase the two extra edges.
At this point you know some of the basics of SketchUp, so practice what you've learned
by adding to our simple house. Draw a rectangle and split it in half, then use push/pull to
create some steps. Draw a few more rectangles to create a door and windows. Try a few things
on your own.
You can see how easy it is to create simple models in SketchUp with only a few tools.
When you are ready to learn more proceed to our next video where we will create a more
detailed house with real dimensions and introduce you to the offset and follow-me tools.