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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.
Now let's start manipulating objects. Let's select and move some objects around the scene. So let's go ahead and get an object that we can play with. Probably the easiest way to get some object here is to just to go to this window called the Components window. So we go Window > Components and then we have all sorts of objects that we can drag into Google SketchUp, it just kind of like a standard library of stuff. I am going to scroll down to the bottom here and go Transportation and select this police motorcycle and just drag that in. And now once it's in the scene, I can go ahead and just zoom-in and use my navigation tools to center that on the screen. We know in SketchUp how to move the camera and look at different things but we also need to move objects around to create our scenes.
Let's start by looking at this motorcycle and moving it around. The two tools that we want to use are the Select and the Move tool. In fact, you can find them here under the Tools menu under Move, we also have Select, Move, Rotate and Scale. The tools we are going to be playing with are Select and Move. We can also find them here on the toolbar, we have Select and we also have Move but we also notice here the label says Move and Copy and we will get to that later, you can use the Move tool to copy object as well.
So you start by selecting the object. Now if you notice here the hot key for Select is the Spacebar and this is actually very handy because if you hit the Spacebar, you always go into Select mode and I find myself in SketchUp hitting the Spacebar constantly because I will be in the tool and I want to select the different objects, so I just tap the Spacebar and I am instantly in Select mode. Now once you select an object, you can move it. You can either hit this tool here, Move. You can select it from the menu or you can hit M for Move and once you hit the Move tool, notice how your cursor changes to those four arrows which means we are in the Move tool and as you place the arrow over different parts of the object, you notice how those highlight and that's just really what we are grabbing on to. So if you left click and drag, you can move the object wherever you want. So just grab the object, left click and you are moving.
Now the problem with the Move tool is that we are working in 3D space here. So I don't really know that when I am moving it over here, if I am moving it above or below the origin or exactly where I am moving it. We really do need to be a little bit more precise then just dragging it somewhere in the scene, because we don't really know exactly where we are moving it. So in order to do that we can actually use Inference tools in SketchUp. So let's go ahead and hit the Spacebar, select the object, hit M for Move and as I start moving the object, you will notice how it will start to snap and notice how we were snapping to red, green, and blue and these actually match the axis of our scene.
We do have three axes, it's the 3D program, each dimension is represented by red, green, and blue. In a standard 3D application these would be X, Y, and Z or they would be North-South, East-West, up and down. But the main thing here is that we want to be able to move the object in a specific direction. So if you can snap to one of these axes, you will notice how that sets on the red axis and I can just slide that motorcycle along that axis. So I am now moving directly back and forth here.
Now if want to lock it in, all I have to do is snap to the axis and hold down the Shift key and watch what happens. When I hold down Shift key, that line gets double bold and now I can only move on that axis. So I am essentially locking myself in by just holding down that Shift key. So if I want to constrain to another line, here let's say I want to constrain to the green axis, I snapped to the green axis, hold down the Shift key and there I go. So again, I am just moving along that green axis. So I am going parallel to that axis. Same thing for the blue axis. So when you snap to that axis, you can move it that way. So it's really handy to be able to use these tools and these Inference tool show up as well in drawing and in other functions within SketchUp.
Like I said before the Move tool can also be use as a Copy tool. All you have to do to copy something is hold down the Ctrl key; on a Mac you will use the Option key. So I am going to go ahead and select my motorcycle, hit M to go into Move and hold down the Ctrl key. When I do that, notice how that little Plus sign comes up, so control is on. It means I am copying and so what I can do is then I can just copy that. I can also snap as I copy, so I can snap that motorcycle to be directly in front of the other one and now I have two motorcycles.
I can do that again, hit the Spacebar, Select, M for Move and Ctrl, which brings up that plus sign and then I can copy. Let's say I want to copy that on my green axis here and I can do the same thing here, Move and so on. So essentially I have a fleet of motorcycles. And now that I have multiple objects in the scene, we can also do some more tricks with the Select tool. Now if you want to select a bunch of objects, all you have to do is hit the Spacebar. Going to Select tool, left click and drag, select all of them. If I click outside of them, it deselects them.
If I want to select multiple objects, all I have to do is hold down the Shift key. If I want to select this motorcycle and this one just Shift select and I can select multiple ones. If I click on it again, it deselects it. So I can select all of them and then just deselect one by clicking it on or off and that's the same, pretty much with most packages. Now if want to, I can select multiple motorcycles, go into Move mode, hold down the Ctrl key, left click and drag and now I am copying multiple motorcycles. So it will be very easy for me to create a whole yard full of motorcycles, just by continually copying and moving and hitting the Ctrl key and so on.
So those were some of the basics of the Select and Move tools, let's go ahead and move on to Rotate and Scale in the next lesson.
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