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In this course, author George Maestri explains how to model and render 3D objects and scenes using Google SketchUp 8. The course covers the fundamentals of the application, from navigating the user interface, manipulating objects, and building basic shapes to importing objects from Google Earth, animating a scene, and modeling organic terrain using the Sandbox tools. The course also explores SketchUp Pro features, which are available as an upgrade. These include tools for creating dynamic components and adding interactivity, as well as sophisticated importing and exporting options for working with outside applications.
When you first start SketchUp, the default interface will appear and that's what we're looking at right now. So let's go ahead and take a quick tour of the interface so you know where everything is at as we start to use SketchUp. The largest window in SketchUp is the 3D Viewport, and that's this window right here. Now this is a 3D interface. So it's where we will actually build everything that we are going to create within SketchUp all of our models and that sort of thing, and so we will be navigating this in 3D.
Now along the bottom, we have a number of things. The first one I want to show you is the Status Line, and this really is a little bit of a help system. So, as you select different tools, it will actually guide you through how to use those tools. So, for example, if I select the Rectangle tool here, it will tell me to select the first corner of that rectangle, and then as I click and drag, it will tell me to select where the opposite corner is. So it's a step-by-step help system. If you ever need to know how to use a specific tool, check here first and you'll probably get a nice hint that will help you.
So I'm going to go ahead and delete this. Right next to this is a more sophisticated help system; it's called the Instructor. So if I click on that little Question Mark, you'll see the Instructor window comes up, and this is a much more robust help system and it'll give you all the options for any tool that you select. So, for example, if I selected the Rectangle tool, it'll tell me exactly how to use the Rectangle tool and this is true for any tool that you have. So if you want, you can keep this up and it will be a very easy way to get to know how to use each of the tools.
I'm going to go ahead and close this right now. Along the bottom-right, we have the Measurements box and this is where we can type in accurate measurements if we want to create things of very specific sizes. Now along the other side, we have three little icons here. This one here is for Geo-location. If you want to, you can actually place your objects very specifically anywhere on the Earth. This is for Credits, so if you bring in models from the 3D Warehouse, they may come with credits to tell you who built the model, and this is where we can log into Google if we so want.
Now along the top, we have our standard menu system. So we have our File menu, and this is where we can open and close scenes as well as import, export objects and we can also print from here. We have an Edit menu and this is where we can cut, copy, and paste. But we can also group objects, we can hide objects, we can also lock and unlock objects. So there're a number of things we can do in this menu as well. The View menu has two functions; one is to turn on and off toolbars in your interface, and the other is to configure how you view the 3D Viewport.
So, for example, we can turn on or off Hidden Geometry, Planes, Cuts, Axes; we can also turn on and off things like Fog and Shadows, and we can also customize our Edge Styles as well as our Face Styles. The Camera menu is where we actually can control how we look at the 3D Viewport. So we can orbit, pan, and zoom to navigate our Viewport. We can also change our Field of View, we can zoom to a window, that sort of thing. We can also change the Perspective, so we can do Parallel Projection, Two-Point Perspective, and we can also select Standard Views such as Top and Bottom or the graphic type views, and so on.
We have Draw tools. Now these are 2D drawing tools, so these are things like Lines, Rectangle, Circles, those sorts of things. We have our tools menu, and this is where we have Move, Rotate, and Scale. And this is also where we can push and pull 2D objects into 3D. And there're a number of other tools here such as Tape Measures and Protractors for more accurate measurements as well as a number of other tools. The Window menu just allows us to turn on and off floating windows that give us more control over the scene.
So, for example, we can turn on things to control the shadows and the fog that sort of thing. If we wanted to select Materials in a scene, we can turn that on and make something stone-colored or brick-colored or whatever. And we'll get to these later on in the course. And of course, there is a Help system. Now we looked at the Status Line and the Instructor, but there's also a full help system that you can access through Google as well. So that's a brief tour of the SketchUp interface.
So hopefully, you'll know where things are at a little bit more clearly now.
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