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In Google SketchUp 7 New Features, George Maestri reviews the major enhancements to Google's free and user-friendly 3D modeling software. One of the most exciting changes is the addition of Dynamic Components, and George takes an in-depth tour of their features, including built-in animation and the ability to scale without distortion. He also reviews the new point-and-click Interact tool, which allows users to customize Dynamic Components without the use of a keyboard or menus, and the improved Line tool, which transforms intersecting lines into separate segments. Other improvements include updates to the 3D warehouse and the ability to download models directly from Google Earth. Exercise files accompany this course.
One of the best new features of Google SketchUp 7 is called Dynamic Components. What these are are components that have intelligence and they allow you to create objects that are smarter, more versatile and do a lot more things. Now Dynamic Components is available both in SketchUp and SketchUp Pro. The difference is that SketchUp Pro allows you to create your own Dynamic Components. So, let me show you how to use a Dynamic Component.
Here we have a basic fence. Now this is just a component. So, if I went into my Components window, I could just drag in another one of these fences. But let's go ahead and just work with the first one here. So I'm going to go ahead and delete this and then I'm going to select this fence and let's go ahead and just make it bigger, because that's typically what we wanted to do is we want to scale a fence to the width of the yard, for example. But when I scale this, notice how it just stretches, which is the typical behavior for an object like this.
But because this object is dynamic, what happens is it doesn't stretch. It actually fills in the pickets to the width of the fence, which makes it much more versatile. Now typically, what we used to have to do is create one little fence and then copy it a bunch of times to make a bigger fence. Now what we have to do is just take one component, drop it in and stretch it, and it's there. Now Dynamic Components can also have all sorts of other types of customization. So, for example, with this fence, I could change the size of the pickets or whatever.
Now I do this through the Component Options window. I can get to these two places. If I select the fence and right-click over it, you will see at the very bottom, we have a Dynamic Components window. We have Component Options and Attributes. Now Attributes is only available to SketchUp Pro users. We also have a Component Options window, which is the exact same window, just on our standard menu system under Window. Now when I select the fence, the options for that fence show up in the Component Options window.
Now I have a number of options here. I can, for example, change the height of the fence just by typing in the height that I want and I can really just type in anything. I can also change the picket spacing. So, for example, in this particular application, the spacing is from here to here. So, it's 10 inches from the front of one picket to the front of another. So, for example, if I made that 12 inches, you'd see I have a much broader spacing between the pickets.
We also have PicketWidth, which is a pull-down menu. Now we can actually just choose from any one of three standard size pickets. So, for example, if I chose a 4-inch picket, well, actually nothing happens, because with these pull-down menus, you actually have to hit Apply. So I pulled down 4, hit Apply and you can see the effect. Now this isn't really much of a fence here. So, I really do want to reduce my picket spacing here, and you can see I have a much better fence.
We can also change the PostSpacing, which is the spacing between these posts in the back. So you can see there are a lot of possibilities with this sort of technology. We're going to go ahead and use a lot of different types of applications and show you how to use this in a lot of different ways.
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