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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.
Now that we understand some of the basics of layers let's go ahead and create a scene and add some layers to it. I am just going to start with a brand new empty scene, and let's just go ahead and make a park. I am going to start by drawing a rectangle and that will be our ground plane of our park. I am just going to open the Components window, and then just go down to the Landscape option. Then just scroll down here and we will find some of these plants, let's go ahead and just take some trees, left- click and drag and we'll just drag some trees onto this rectangle here which is our park.
Okay, I don't have to drag all pine trees; I have to drag some aspens whatever. And a park also can have some benches and stuff, so let's go ahead and go up to the top here or drag in some benches, couple of benches, and maybe some picnic tables. And of course you need a trashcan and a water fountain, so let's go ahead and put a water fountain in, and I am just kind of dragging these in. So I am not being all that specific. So now we've got some objects in our park.
Now I want to be able to organize this. Imagine if this was a much larger park, let's say if it was of a real sized park with a ton of trees and a ton of picnic tables and stuff you really would want to organize it. So let me show you the basics of how to do that. First of all we need to go the Layers window. So if I go into Window > Layers, let's go ahead and open that up. Now when I drew everything Layer0 was the active layer. So that's where everything is at, in fact if I highlight Layer1 and turn off Layer0 you will see that everything is in Layer0.
So what I need to do is take things out of Layer0 and put them into some new layers. Of course the first thing I need to do is create those layers and I can do that by hitting this plus sign. So I hit the plus sign and it brings up a new layer and I can just type-in a name. Let's pick one from the Trees. So I am going to type-in the word 'Trees', hit Enter, and now I need to add all the trees. Well first thing I need to do is select the trees, so I am just going to Shift+Select and select all of these trees.
There we go, so I've got all six trees selected; now how do I add them to this layer? Well, here's the trick, now this is kind of counterintuitive, you won't normally know this, but you have to right-click above this, and when you do that it will say Entity Info, and this is actually a special dialog box that gives you info for any one object or any collection of object. So if I click on Entity Info you will see I have a number of options here, one is whether the objects are Hidden, Locked, whether not they Cast Shadows, but the most important one for right now is what layer they are on.
So all I have to do is just click on this and it will tell me all the layers and I want to put that into the Trees layer. So I do that, close the window and now they should be in the Trees layer, so when I turn the Trees layer On and Off there go the trees, very simple. So let's do that for the picnic table. So I am going to Shift+Select the picnic tables and the benches and let's make a layer called 'Furniture'. And so all I have to do now is select them, right- click Entity Info and we are going to add them to the Furniture layer. Close the window and there they are. And then let's just select again. Let's go ahead and make one more layer. Let's make a layer for the trashcans and the water fountain. Let's just call that Facilities, and then Shift+Select both of those objects, Entity Info and those will be part of the facilities, and there we go.
So now I have got layers for each of these objects, which is kind of nice. So now I can select the objects and hide things by layer. So you can see how easy that is to do. It's really a very simple process. Okay, so now that we understand about layers, let's go ahead and move onto some other stuff.
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