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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.
The next tool we are going to look at is the Offset tool, and what it does is it takes an edge and it just creates an offset. So you can create borders or insets, that sort of thing. You need existing geometry for it to work, so we have to start with something. So I am going to start with a rectangle here and just draw out a rectangle. So let me show you how this tool works. You can find the Offset tool here under Tools > Offset or the shortcut is F, and here on the toolbar. Once the tool is selected, you will see the cursor changes and then all you have to do is just left-click and drag and it just creates an offset, very simple.
Now if you want, as with other tools, you could actually type in a number. So let's say I wanted a 2-foot offset, I could just type in 2 feet, hit enter and I have got that. Now once we have these offsets we can use them for all sorts of purposes. I like to use the Push-Pull, so you can actually create all sorts of different shapes. Now the Offset tool also works with curved edges, but there are a few little things you need to be aware of. So I am going to select all of this and delete it. I'm going to very quickly sketch out another shape. In fact, I could just do that with the Pencil tool. I am just going to create a shape that has a concave edge, as well as an arc over the top here.
So I am creating something with some concave shapes. So I am going to select the Offset tool and start offsetting. But if you notice, there comes a point where, if I go too far that these offsets start overlapping onto themselves. If I do just a little bit here, I get a nice offset. But if I did it again, it comes a point where your offsetting past the opposite edge and you get this kind of overlapping effects.
When that happens, SketchUp doesn't know where to create the faces. So all you are going to get if you do that is edges. So you have to be careful when you use the Offset tool, not to get that condition where you get the overlapping edges. So let's go ahead and use this in a more practical context. I am going to show you how to do some stuff here in architecture. This is the house we had in the Push-Pull lesson. So the first thing I want to do is take this deck, kind of a railing or a wall around it. So we can use the Offset tool to do that, it's very easy. I am just going to go ahead and zoom in here so we can see where we are working. So I am going to select the Offset tool and just go over this face. I want to go just a little bit. In fact, what I want to do is just do 8 inches. I am going to type in 8, hit Enter, and there I have got an 8 inch outline.
Now if were to push and pull this outline, I am going to get an additional detail here that I don't want. I am going to undo this and I need to delete this inside edge. So I am just going to zoom in just a little bit, select the edge and delete it. Now when I do that, this becomes an open edge and I need to reconnect it back so I have a face here. So I am just going to snap to end point, and do that, snap to end point and again snap to the red axis. Once I have closed this, this line will go light and I can select this face and then just push-pull that.
If I want to I can give it a specific height, which is 4 feet. Now once we have done this, you will see also that I have got an additional little edge here from where I reconnected those lines. So I just can select those edges and delete them. Now another way I would like to use the Offset tool is in making window frames. So let's go over here to the front of the house and let's go ahead and draw the windows on the front of the house. What I can do is I can just take my Line tool here, here I am going to snap from midpoint to midpoint. So that way I know, I am getting parallel lines.
That can go all the way round, but I am just going to do -- actually let's go ahead and do that, let's go all the way round. I am just going to draw a line all the way around here, and then I am going to go ahead and draw a second line. Now these are going to become our windows, but I am not really concerned with where they are at this point. Again, all I want to do is make sure that they are connected. Now I am going to select these edges here, just hit Shift and select these middle edges. Shift, click, click, click and now I am going to hit M for Move and I am going to move these straight down to create where I want my window.
So, let's say, I want the bottom of my window to be here, and we can just keep the top of our window here. If we want to, we could actually just select these edges and move them up if we need to. So let's go ahead and do that. I need a little bit more space on top. So hit M and again snap to blue and just move those up so you get the windows that you want. Now all you have to do is if you want to offset these, just hit F for Offset, and how much of a window frame do I want? Well, let's say I want a 2-inch window frame, and that's all I need, and just go again, Offset, hit 2, Enter.
Now what I am doing is I am just really working my way around, creating these window frames. Now I can go all the way around if I want, but let's just stop here and I will show you how the rest of this works. So all I have to do to create the window frame itself is just to push-pull and I will push that in, let's say, I push that in 2 inches, push that in 2 inches and again I am just typing in the number 2 and hitting Enter. So now I have got all of these window frames selected, all I have to do now is select these inside faces and just hit the Delete key. Now I am creating a nice series of windows and I will just go ahead and do the same thing all the way around for the rest of those additional five windows.
So just play with the Offset tool and get used to it and we are going to move onto some additional tools.
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