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SketchUp Pro may offer "3D for everyone," but that doesn't mean it's light on professional tools. Learn how to create more compelling 3D graphics using the advanced features in SketchUp Pro. Author George Maestri introduces solid modeling with the Boolean operations and Trim and Split, adding and manipulating cameras, and creating terrains from contours and from scratch. Then he dives into the new Dynamic Components, SketchUp's most powerful feature, which can add motion and interactivity to a model. Last, he explores two companion apps (LayOut, for creating documents featuring SketchUp models, and Style Builder, for creating custom styles) and reviews the plugins available through the Extension Warehouse.
Now there may be times when you'll have very complex surfaces that you need to connect together and for this, we can use shells. Here I have two simple surfaces that have intersections within the outer shell of the surface. In fact let me go ahead and go into my view. And I'm going to turn on facestyle x-rays so you can see what's inside of these. Now the first one here is a simple tongue and groove. So, you can see here that I've got that groove there and a little hole.
And this is basically from the first lesson we did. And so this has some detail inside of here. And then I have something that's a little bit more complex. And that's these two square tubes, so I have basically a square block with a square hole cut all the way through, and those two pieces are aligned in kind of a T shape. So if we wanted to connect these as a single surface, we could use Union. So if I selected this and shift selected that, and I did Tools, Solid Tools, Union, you can see that well it works.
It basically erases that tongue and groove and gives me a very nice solid surface. And for simple situations like this where everything lines up, this is great. But for something like this, we're not going to get that same result. So, let me go back into X-ray so you can see what's inside of this. And I'm going to zoom in a little bit here. You'll see that we've got these two square tubes and so we've got a lot of overlap between both the surfaces and the negative space of those.
So if I were to select this and go tools, solid tools, union, well, it would look great from the outside, in fact, let's go ahead and take a look at this, I'm going to turn off X-Ray. It would look fine from the outside, but if you actually go into it, and look at in X-Ray, you'll see that we've got this big square cavity in the middle, and that's just extra geometry that we don't need. And so the Shell tool will actually help with this.
So I'm going to go ahead and undo this. I'm going to go Edit > Undo Union. And so I've got this now back to where it was. And this time, I'm going to Shift + select both of these and instead of a Union, I'm going to do Outer Shell. And what this does is it just figures out what the outside shell is and deletes anything inside. And so what this does, is it basically combines these two surfaces. But, if there's a surface that's not on the outside it deletes it, and so we get rid of that square cavity on the inside.
And if we take a look at this, you'll see that it's a very nice surface. So this will save you a lot of excess geometry that you don't need by creating a shell, rather than a union. Basically you just want to use this on complex surfaces that might create cavities, but it will help to reduce the amount of geometry in the scene.
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