Everything you need to know about SketchUp 2015

Matt Donley News, Uncategorized 14 Comments

SketchUp 2015 has been released, with it comes some great performance improvements as well as some additional tools. Here’s everything you need to know about SketchUp 2015.

NOTE: If you’re upgrading from a previous version of SketchUp PRO, go here to find out how to upgrade 

New Features in SketchUp 2015

  • 64-bit versions of SketchUp & LayOut – SketchUp and LayOut are now available in 64-bit, which means they will now take advantage of your multi-core processor.
  • New drawing tools in SketchUp – The 3 Point Arc tool and the Rotated Rectangle tool have been added to the default toolset in SketchUp.
  • IFC Importer – SketchUp Pro now has the ability to import IFC files directly, further enhancing its BIM capabilities, and helping it communicate with other software within your BIM workflow. The classifier tools has been upgraded as well.
  • Two-segmented labels – The label tool can create two-segmented leader labels, giving you more freedom over the look of your labels.
  • Label Auto-Text – Label autotext took a huge leap forward, unlocking a whole treasure of data from your model, making your labels even smarter. You can access IFC data and dynamic component attributes from within LayOut!
  • Fast Styles badge – Styles have a big effect on how SketchUp performs under pressure. Some styles perform better than others. You’ll now see a special badge next to high performance styles when browsing through the Styles window.
  • New Licensing System – Enterprise and network licenses will now be a lot easier to manage, and you’ll now get a 30 day trial to SketchUp Pro, instead of the previous 8 hour trial.

SketchUp Rotated Rectangle Tutorial (New tool in SketchUp 2015)

Matt Donley News, Sketchup Tutorials, Tools 2 Comments

New in SketchUp 2015, the Rotated Rectangle tool gives you more control over the way you can draw rectangles in SketchUp. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to get oriented with it.

One of the challenges you’ve probably experienced with the basic Rectangle tool, is that the orientation of the rectangle is highly dependent upon the orientation of the camera. It’s sort of hard to get the rectangle to draw vertically, for example, unless you’re view is aligned almost perfectly with the plane you’re drawing on.

It’s also impossible to draw a rectangle off-axis. You’re only able to draw rectangles that have edges aligned to the blue, red, or green axis. The Rotated Rectangle tool solves all of these issues.

Color by layer for alternative material assignments

Matt Donley News, Sketchup Tutorials 7 Comments

Did you know that there’s a way to assign an alternate material to the SAME object in SketchUp? In this article, I’ll show you how to use Color By Layer to display materials according to the layer an object is assigned to.

When applying textures to your model, most people take the approach of assigning realistic textures that represent the look of the object in real life. But there are other ways you can approach material selection to provide visual information about the objects in your model. With Color By Layer, you can have the best of both worlds by assigning a second set of materials to your model, according to the layer objects are assigned to.

8 tips for creating dimensions in LayOut

Matt Donley Layout Tutorials, News 7 Comments

LayOut’s Dimension tool allows you to easily add dimensions to your model. Here are eight tips to help you become even more efficient at adding dimensions to your LayOut documents.

LayOut Dimension Tool Basics

In its simplest form, the Dimension tool is used to measure the distance between two points on a page by doing the following:

  1. Activate the Linear Dimension tool.
  2. Click on the first point you’d like to measure.
  3. Click on the second point you’d like to measure.
  4. Drag your mouse out to where you want to place the dimension line, and click to set position.

That is the basic way to insert a dimension in LayOut, but there are some other things you should be aware of. Style, leaders, and alignment are all important if you want to create accurate and clear dimensions. LayOut also has some built in shortcuts to increase your speed while inserting dimensions.

Quick Document Creation in LayOut

Matt Donley Layout Tutorials, News 1 Comment

While I’m a big advocate for taking the time to set up scenes in SketchUp ahead of time for the viewports you’d like to create in LayOut, there are actually many tools built right into LayOut that let you insert and orient viewports on the fly. In this article, we’ll go over how to create a basic LayOut document without any preparation in SketchUp.

If you’ve got a lot of section cuts in your model that you’d like to create viewports of in LayOut, then you really need to take the time to save scenes in SketchUp ahead of time to assign to viewports in LayOut.

But what if you’re looking to create a few simple perspectives of your model in LayOut to get it out the door quickly? There are many tools built into LayOut that allow you to insert any SketchUp model and control the perspective and style without any preparations ahead of time.

Inserting a model into LayOut

In this tutorial, I’m going to use a model I found on Formfonts. Formfonts is a premium model library full of high quality models that are professionally made to reduce file size while maintaining a high visual standard. If you’re in need of professional models to add detail to your own models, I highly recommend you check out their membership. Click here.

You could go straight to LayOut with your model, but it’s worth noting a few things to save you from frustration down the road:

  • If you have a lot of guides (from the Tape Measure tool) you’ll probably want to delete them so they don’t end up in your viewports. Go to Edit -> Delete Guides to delete all guides in your model. (If you’re editing a group/component while you do this, it will only delete the guides in that group/component.)
  • If you DO have section cuts in your model that you don’t want showing up in your viewports, you need to make sure you have a custom style created that hides section cuts or section planes.
  • If there are certain objects in your model that you don’t want displayed in any viewports, you must hide them. Either assign them to a hidden layer (Go to Window -> Entity Info -> Select the layer you want to assign it to. Then go to Window -> Layers, and uncheck that layer visibility.) Or, hide the objects by right clicking them and selecting Hide. (You can unhide them from the Outliner Window)

Soften/Smooth Selection

Matt Donley News, Sketchup Tutorials 3 Comments

In SketchUp, you can soften/smooth edges in order to create the illusion of a curved surface. In this article, I’ll show you how to soften/smooth selectively over a large selection of entities. To understand what soften/smooth does to your model, you have to understand one important fact about EVERYTHING in SketchUp. There is no such thing as a curved surface …

7 tips for SketchUp Materials

Matt Donley News, Sketchup Tutorials, Tips & Tricks 4 Comments

Materials are what allow you to apply an image to the surfaces in your model. Here are some tricks for working with materials in SketchUp. SketchUp Materials & Textures If you’ve ever used the Paint Bucket tool (B) in SketchUp, you know that it can change the look of your model by applying a color or texture image to faces in your …

SketchUp External References

Matt Donley News, Sketchup Tutorials 9 Comments

Did you know that you can split up a SketchUp file into multiple smaller files? They can be referenced and updated in a master SketchUp file, which is useful when working on a project with multiple team members. It’s also helpful for managing a large number of scenes in a project.

XREF in SketchUp?

If you’re familiar with AutoCAD, you might know that you can link multiple drawings together using an XREF. It’s useful when you need to take drawings produced from multiple different sources and integrate them into a master drawing set. SketchUp has a similar capability, and is even more powerful in some respects.

Importing into SketchUp

Importing files into SketchUp works differently than an XREF in AutoCAD. In SketchUp, you’re actually placing a copy of the imported file into your SketchUp model. In AutoCAD, the XREF isn’t copied into your drawing, it’s just linked to it. (You can Bind or insert an XREF into a drawing if you want, however.)

Although you’re placing a copy of the imported file into SketchUp, you have the ability to update it. Let’s say you have a model of a barn and a silo, and you’re having someone else model the silo while you work on the barn. You can import the silo into the main model, and if there are any changes made to the garage at a later point, you just right click the silo and select “Reload”.