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Dynamic components

From: Google SketchUp 7 New Features

Video: Dynamic components

One of the most important features in SketchUp and SketchUp Pro 7 is Dynamic Components. Now these are components that have additional intelligence and the ability to interact. So, let me show you how to do that. We are going to go to our Components menu here and let's just go into Component Sampler. Now, this has a number of components that just ship with Google SketchUp. If you notice, some of these have a little green icon in the bottom corner.

Dynamic components

One of the most important features in SketchUp and SketchUp Pro 7 is Dynamic Components. Now these are components that have additional intelligence and the ability to interact. So, let me show you how to do that. We are going to go to our Components menu here and let's just go into Component Sampler. Now, this has a number of components that just ship with Google SketchUp. If you notice, some of these have a little green icon in the bottom corner.

That icon means they are interactive components. So let's, for example, pick one of these. Let's go ahead and pick the Floating Stairs. Go ahead and select that and drag it into your scene. Now, this is just basically a staircase. Now normally, this staircase would have had to have been used as is. So, if you needed six steps with this particular rise, you could use this component. But typically, a staircase has to fit the building or the object that you are creating.

So what Dynamic Components does is it allows you to basically resize and intelligently scale something like this staircase. So, for example, if I select this and scale it, notice how when I scale it, it actually gets bigger, because I have a longer staircase. It doesn't just make the object bigger. It actually adds enough steps in to make this staircase work. Now another thing you can do is you can actually affect this through a menu system.

If we go here to Window, notice we have a new menu here called Component Options. If we click on that, you'll notice that this stair has some options that we can change, so for example, the rise of the steps and the run of the steps. If I made the rise of the steps say 6 inches, instead, we would have a different staircase. If I made the run of the steps a little bit longer, let's say I had 14-inch steps, and if I hit Apply, you'll see how the staircase changes.

So now, it's the same length, but with a lower rise and a longer run, the staircase itself is shorter. Now there is another tool that allows us to work with dynamic components, and that's called the Interact tool. So, I am going to go ahead and delete this staircase and let's just go ahead and focus on the guy that comes with Google SketchUp. His name is Seng. If we go ahead to Tools, we can go and select a brand-new tool called the Interact tool. So just go ahead and click on that, and notice how when I bring it over his shirt, the fingertip lights up and it tells me that I can change his shirt color.

So, if I click on that, you can actually change the color of his shirt, which is one form of interaction. But you can actually get a lot more complex than that. Let's go to the Components window and let's scroll down and find this car. We can drag that in, close the window here. So, this actually has a lot of interactivity built into it. So, if we go into the Interact menu here, we can actually click and open and close the doors. If we actually click above this, you will see that we have a number of different colors that we can actually add to this car.

So you can see this Interact tool actually gives you a lot of options. So, for example, if you're picking kitchen cabinets, you could see what color cabinets you want and whether or not the doors are going to open up and bang into the refrigerator. Now all of these dynamic components can be created by the user, if they own Google SketchUp Pro. I'm going to go a little bit more deeply into Dynamic Components as well as how to create them a little bit later on.

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Google SketchUp 7 New Features

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George Maestri
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