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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.
The first thing we need to learn within SketchUp is how to get around, how to navigate in a 3D viewport while looking at a 2D screen. So if we look in our Camera menu you'll notice we have three major options here; we have Orbit, Pan, and Zoom. And also notice that the keyboard shortcuts are O, H, and Z. These are also duplicated on the Large toolbar as well, so we have Orbit, Pan, and Zoom. So you can get to these in a number of ways, you can get to them here on the toolbar, you can get them here through the menu, or you can get to them through the keyboard shortcuts.
So let's go through these top to bottom so that way you know how to use each of them, and then we'll start using them in combination. So if I select Orbit or hit the O key, you'll notice how my cursor changes to this kind of double-arrow cursor, and that means we're in the Orbit mode. So if you left-click and move the mouse up and down you'll notice that you're orbiting vertically. If you go left and right you orbit left and right pretty intuitive, and if you go in circles you can orbit in circles.
So we can just orbit around, if we want to look at the back of this, of these buildings we can look at them, or we can -- really basically go wherever we want. There's another tool called Pan and that's the letter H, and if we select Pan it goes to this hAnd and what we can do with the hand is we can actually pan left to right or up and down. And it's really just a matter of moving where our focus is in the scene, so it's basically very similar to what you'd see in something like Photoshop or something like that.
It basically just pans where you're looking at on the screen. Next is Zoom, which is the letter Z, and that brings up this little magnifying glass and if we left-click and drag, if we go left and right, if we go up and down, it will zoom in and out. Left and right doesn't really work, this is an up and down kind of zoom thing. So if we want to zoom out we can zoom out, make this really tiny, or we can zoom in if want to go in really, really close. So if we want to use these in combination we could, for example, pan over to something.
Let's say, we wanted to see this bench, we could orbit so we can get a little bit closer in, and then we can zoom so that we can actually see this bench that's in the yard. Selecting each tool individually sometimes could be cumbersome, we have to keep going over here, or we have to use the keyboard shortcuts and the O, H, and Z keys are not really located right next to each other. So sometimes it's not as easy to get to each of these tools. So another way to do it is to go out and get a three button mouse.
If you don't have one I'd highly suggest you get a three-button mouse because it makes navigation that much easier. So when you use a three-button mouse you can still use the Pan tool and left-click and Pan. If you have a middle mouse button, if you middle click and hold notice how it comes up to the Orbit tool, so you can left-click and Pan, middle click and Orbit. Now if your middle mouse button has a scroll wheel which most of them do, you can scroll in and out to zoom.
So with your index finger you can Pan, middle finger Orbit, and then roll that middle mouse button to Zoom. And if you can do this, it makes it much easier to navigate around within SketchUp.
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