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Architecture, design, and media professionals all over the world are using Google SketchUp to create detailed 3D models efficiently and quickly. In Google SketchUp 6 Essential Training, design expert George Maestri teaches the foundations of SketchUp's drawing, design, and rendering tools. He covers the fundamentals of the application, the interface, and the Sandbox extension, which is used to create realistic organic shapes and terrain. George also discusses how to model and texture objects from existing photographs and export models to Google Earth to visualize how buildings fit in a real landscape. Exercise files accompany the course.
The next tool I want to cover is the Arc tool. Now this is more about line drawing tool rather then a shape drawing tool, where a circle creates a face or a rectangle creates a face with edges. The Arc tool actually just creates the edges. You can find it here under Arc or you can find it here under Draw. Again, the keyboard shortcut is A, so if I select this it brings up the Arc tool. It's a pencil with a little arc underneath it and how this tool works is I lay down the two sides of the arc.
So I left click here, left click here and create a line which is the base of my arc and then the third click is actually what's called the chord of the arc. So basically how much bulge and it will snap at half circle. So if I click there then I have an exact half circle and then from there if I want to I can actually just draw on to that with the Pencil tool. So I can actually create an object like that. One thing about the Arc tool is that it's actually very good in combination with other tools. So one of the things I like to do is use the Arc tool in conjunction with say, the Rectangle tool. Let's create a rectangle and I want to create a rectangle with a curved top, let's say we are drawing a window or something like that.
You can take the Arc tool and then just snap to the endpoints of these two edges and then just bulge it out, however much you want. If you want to do to a half circle or less, you can do whatever you want and now what that does is it actually creates an additional surface. So now all I have to do is hit my Spacebar, select that edge and hit the Delete key. And so now I have got basically a rectangle with a curved edge on it, which is really kind of nice. Then you can also use the Arc tool to kind of round of round off or chamfer edges. So I am going to go ahead and zoom-in a little bit here. Let's select the Arc tool again.
Let's say I want to round off these corners. All I have to do is select somewhere along the edge, where do I want this rounding to start, left click and now what I want to do is just snap here, until it's purple and it's on the edge but it's in equidistant along this side as it is on this side, so this gives me a perfect 45 degree angle, left click again and then snap again until it's purple and it creates something that's tangent to the edge. Now if I want to actually get rid of that all I have to do is select this edge, notice how it is chopped that edge, delete that, delete that, and now I have a rounded corner. Let's do that one more time. Its a few steps for this procedure, but once get the hang of it, it is pretty easy.
Let's go ahead and do this operation again on the other corners, so we can see how this is done. I want to make this exactly the same on this side as it is on this side. So I have to do some inference here. So what I have to find first of all is the end point of that arc and then if you drag straight down, you will see the red line come up and that means I am exactly where I am suppose to be. In fact, I am going to hold down the Shift key to lock in that inference and then I am going to start my arc here, just left click and now I am going to find the point where it snaps purple here and that means I am exactly equidistant on the other side of that edge and then snap again, so that it's tangent. Hit my Spacebar and then just select that edge, delete it and select that edge and delete it and so now I have two nice rounded corners and an arched top.
So that's the basics of the Arc tool. You can see it was very handy in creating a little bit more of an organic shape than just the standard rectangle and line tools.
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