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Architecture, design, and media professionals all over the world are using SketchUp to create detailed 3D models efficiently and quickly. In 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've learned about modeling and how to create models within SketchUp, let's learn a little bit about organizing our scenes, ways to make our workflow more efficient, how to organize our scenes. We can use things like groups, components and layers. We are going to get into all of these in this particular chapter. First, let's look at the concept of groups. So this model is completely ungrouped and completely untouched. So what I can do is I can just click on any one of these edges and move them or whatever. But when it comes time to copy or move things around, in order to select the entire house I have to select everything. If there are objects right next to it or behind it, it's going to make it hard to discern which edges are part of the house or which edges are part of the fence that's attached to the house or whatever.
We can get around this by grouping all of these faces and edges into what's called a group, and we can get to that either through the Edit menu, we can go to Make Group or, and this is way I would like to do it, is to right-click and go Make Group. So this is a context- sensitive menu, you just right-click, Make Group, and what that does is it takes all those faces and edges and it collects them into a group. Once I have this group, I can move or rotate or scale the entire model as a single object. So, for example, if I wanted to move this, I could just hit the M key and move it. If I wanted to make a copy of it, just Ctrl and move. Okay, and I can Ctrl and move again. So, you can see how very easy it is to copy this. Now if these weren't grouped, I would have to go in and make sure I selected everything without accidentally selecting the object next to it.
Because they are grouped, it makes it much easier to keep things organized. Now if I have a group of objects and I want to say manipulate one of the objects within there, let's say, I want one of these houses to be different, I can open up that group and edit what's inside. Now let's select this first house and right-click over it, and we can find this option that's called Edit Group. Once we do this, notice how the lines around this go into dotted lines, which means that group is open and we can edit anything inside of it.
So, for example, if I wanted to raise the roof, I could just grab that edge and move it up and notice how the group size is if I wanted to make the chimney a little bit taller, I could certainly do that, and so on. So when the group is open, I can edit anything inside of it. As soon as I click off of this and deselect the group, it collapses. So basically what happens is now this is regrouped. So you open the group, you edit, and as soon as you select something outside of that group, it collapses the group and regroups it. So let's try that again.
So if I go Edit Group and I take one of these edges and I move them around, let's take this top edge here, and as soon as I click on this object, this one collapses. So I would have to go Make Group again. If I want to completely open this up, all I have to do is right- click on the model and select Explode. And what that does is it deletes the group, and it brings it back to just individual faces and edges.
Now I am going to regroup this and one thing you can also do is you can group groups. So I have each one of these houses, which is an individual group. If I select all of the houses, I can right- click and group the groups. So now I have a group that's a collection of houses, which are groups in themselves. Now this is handy because what I can do is I can take all the houses on this street and I can, using the Move command, I can Ctrl-drag these to make the houses on the opposite side of the street.
Obviously, I need to make these face the other way, but I can do that using the Scale tool. So let's just go ahead and scale these and I just want to scale this so that it's one-on-one in the opposite direction. So I just scale it completely opposite and then just move it to position it. So now I have got the houses on the opposite side of the street, all because I am using groups. Now doing this with individual components, you could do it, but it's much easier when you do it with groups. Now if I wanted to get into these houses, all I have to do is just explode this group and what I have got now is the individual houses, which are in themselves or groups as well, and then if I wanted I could explode that group and just get down to the individual parts of that house.
So those were some of the basics of grouping.
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