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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.
Let's talk about modeling and that's creating objects from scratch. We are going to start with the Line tool, and it actually looks like a little pencil. But it's actually the Line tool and that's the official name. You can also find it here under Draw > Line, and the shortcut is the letter L on the keyboard. But before we actually get started, I just want to clear things out, so I am just going to hit New, clear out my scene and then I am going to hit the Spacebar or select this little guy and hit Delete so that way we have completely clean open space to play with.
Let's go ahead and go to the Line tool and see how this works. I am going to select the tool, and it's really very simple. All you have to do is just left-click and you start laying down points. So I am going to left-click here; you notice how I can just draw a line really wherever I want. Left-click again to lay down that line, left-click again, left-click again, left-click again, and If I come all the way around here, you'll notice how it's starting to snap. Actually it snaps wherever, I am going to talk about Snapping in just a little bit here. But let's go ahead and snap it to that very first point with our end point and click. So when you've completed that circuit here, what it does is it actually creates a plain or a face in SketchUp lingo, and this face is really the start of the 3D modeling process.
Now when you start drawing in SketchUp, you are actually kind of drawing in this open 3D environment here, and when you do that, sometimes you really don't know exactly where you are at. So that's where some of the snapping tools come in handy. But before we get into those, let me go ahead and select all of this and hit the Delete key, and I am going to do another drawing, I am going to do this a little bit differently, and I'll show you some of the problems that can come up when you are drawing in this open 3D space.
So let's get start drawing lines here, I just draw, draw, draw, and I look at that and I say, well, that's a pretty good shape; it's kind of like a chevron shape. If I actually zoom out and around, you'll notice that it really isn't. You actually can create that these little optical illusions form in space and so you are not really drawing what you see. So that's where Snapping comes in really handy with this Line tool. So let's take the Line tool and we'll draw again. Now if you lay down a point, you'll notice that as you get close to one of these axes like the green axis, it will snap. This is a lot like the Move tool, how the Move tool snaps through red, green, and the blue axis. So if I go over to the red axis, it will snap red, if I go up to the blue axis, it snaps blue.
So that makes it very easy to create objects that you know are positioned properly. For example, draw this parallel to the green axis, you'll notice that the line is actually parallel. If I continue and I snap to red, you'll see how it's created at right angle. Now I can come back the other way and I can snap to the green axis, but also notice how as I start coming close to this point here, it will also snap. It snaps red and what that's telling is that I am actually directly across from this point on the red axis, and what this is is this called an Inference.
Now what SketchUp does is it infers what your next point is going to be, in other words, it guesses where you are going to go next, and it tries to help you. If I was drawing a rectangle, I would want to lay down my next point here because then if I snap to the red axis, I would have a perfect rectangle. So this inference really helps. Now you can infer to specific points or axes, you can also snap to other points that are parallel to other edges. Let me show you a little bit about that. I am going to go ahead and select and delete it, and let's go ahead and try another line. So we are going to go ahead and snap just to the green axis. But this time, I am going to make one that's not parallel to any axis, but notice here how this also snaps violet or kind of purplish, and that means it's perpendicular to this edge. So in other words, this is a right angle to this edge, which means I can also create things that are parallel to each other and at right angles and I can create other types of shapes. And that's just using the other types of snapping that we have.
Now with the Line tool, you don't just have to draw flat objects, you can actually draw vertical objects as well. So let's go ahead and delete this. I am going to select everything and hit Delete, and we are going to draw one more rectangle. I am just going to draw, snap to green, snap to red, snap to green and infer that point, and there we go. So there is my rectangle. Now if I want to, I can actually start drawing vertically and this is where we actually start doing 3D modeling. Go up here on the blue axis and then I go parallel on the blue access and then I snap. Now I have got two faces that are actually at a right angle to each other and I am starting to get a 3D space. So I can do that again, and just keep going, and actually create a box.
So now I have created a 3D object simply by using the Line tool.
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