Learn how to animate better walkthroughs in SketchUp. In this video, George shows you how to create walkthroughs that animate smoothly and consistently, adding a level of professionalism to your presentations. He also shows you how to animate using markers as guides, as well as how to smoothly animate cameras around corners.
- [George] Hi, I'm George Maestri, and today we're going to do some animation. I'm going to show you some tips and tricks for making your walkthroughs a little bit more efficient. So here we have a very simple scene with a mostly empty house. But we're going to do a walkthrough where we walk through the front door and take a turn into the building. So a very simple walkthrough. Now before we get started, remember that this is a walkthrough, it is not a run through, or a crawl through.
So we need to move the camera at a walking pace. Now, for me, I like to use a rate of about six feet per second, or about two meters per second. If you want to, you can go a little bit slower or a little bit faster, but too much off of that and it won't look like a walkthrough. So, with that in mind, let's understand first how long it's going to take us to get from the sidewalk to the front door.
So I'm going to use my tape measure tool, snap that to the front porch there and just drag that out to the sidewalk. And as you can see, it's a little bit more than 60 feet. At six feet per second, we've got 10 seconds to get from here to here. Let's go ahead and start animating and before we do that, I'm going to go into View, Animation, Settings. Now I need to understand the pace of my scene, and so this animation settings here for Scene Transitions is very important.
Every time I change a scene, it's going to take two seconds. Now by default, SketchUp also has a one second delay, so it will animate the camera for two seconds, stop for a second and then animate again. We don't want that. We want this to be zero. This will give us a continuous walkthrough. And typically, I don't use Scene Delay. If I do want to stop the camera, I can do that using other methods. So let's go ahead and just keep that at two seconds with a zero delay.
And now I'm going to start placing my camera. But where do I place my camera? How do I get my camera to move evenly? Well, I find an easy way to do that is just to lay down a trail of cookie crumbs, or markers. So I'm going to create a very simple object and just use that as a marker where I can snap the camera to. I'm just going to draw out a simple circle and then pull that up into a short cylinder. Select that and then I wanted to put this on a separate layer, I don't want these to show up in my final animation.
So I'm going to go ahead and just add a layer here. We'll call that Markers, and then I'm going to select this and under Entity Info, I'm going to make sure that this all is on the Markers layer. And then let's go ahead and just make that into a group. So now that I have this group, I can position that first marker on the sidewalk, somewhere around there. So this is where my camera's going to start and then it's going to go to the front door.
So again, I'm going to select this, but this time I'm going to hold down the control key and drag it up to that front porch, so somewhere around the center of that front door, somewhere around there. Now remember, this is going to take 10 seconds, so I only have two markers here, I need a couple of more. I'm going to actually type /4 and that will multiply those markers by four. So now I have the original plus one, two, three, four more for a total of five and at two seconds per camera, I have 10 seconds to get to the front door.
So now that we have these in place, I can start to snap my camera to the markers and hopefully my camera will move very smoothly towards that front door. Now we're going to start animating and playing with our scenes. The first thing that we need to do is add in a scene and place our camera. I'm going to go into the large tool set here and I'm going to use Position Camera. Now there's also a menu option for that if you want and then, just position it on the center of that little hockey puck or cookie crumb or whatever you want to call it and then, position my camera.
So this is my first shot here and once I get this in place, I can just right click over this and update that scene. Now I have my first camera placed, add a scene and I'm going to go ahead and just use my hand tool to get a view of the second little hockey puck here. Again, snap to it and position it. Now I'm trying to get through this front door, so one of the things I'm looking at, is that I'm looking at the line going down this path through the front door and so I'm trying to get that pretty consistent between cameras.
Now we may have to adjust this a little bit later, but I'm trying to get it consistent as we go. So let's go ahead and do update, so now I'm going from this camera to this camera, going to add in another camera and position that, so this is the third one. Again, position that door so that we're kind of doing a straight shot through it.
And then, once we have this, we can just keep going. So I'm going to go into Scene 4 here, position on that fourth marker. Again, make sure my camera's where I want it, update, and let's do one more. We're going to need to see that marker, so I'm just using my pan tool to get off of it. Now I want to make sure that I'm actually on the ground here, so I'm going to make sure I snap towards the bottom of this one.
And as you can see, we're getting very close to that front door. So there's going to be a little bit more that we're going to do once we go through that front door, but for now I'm just going to update this scene. So now that we have this, we can do a quick play to see what it looks like. So View, Animation, Play. Now what I'm looking at here, is I'm looking at the position of that front door. So I'm going to put my mouse here and as you can see, it's pretty centered, so this is good.
Now that we have this, we can go to the next scene. I'm going to double click on Scene 5. Now we have to go through the door and make a right turn. Now in order to do this, I'm actually going to go ahead and just zoom out here with my camera. I'm actually going to also go into Layers and we're going to hide the roof of the house for right now, so that way we can kind of see inside. What I'm looking at here, is I'm looking at where my next marker is going to be placed, so I'm going to go ahead and move that, and as you can see, I'm just trying to get this somewhere around the inside of that front door, but I also want it to be reasonably equidistant here.
Now, as we start to turn, we will have a little bit of slowing down, so that's not that big of a problem. I'm going to go ahead and move one more of these in. And again, I'm looking at this distance, so I want to make sure that these distances are fairly equal. Now that we have this, let's go into our Position Camera. And I'm going to create a new scene here, Scene 6, and let's go ahead and drop that camera in on the marker.
And we're going to turn right, so I need to make sure that the camera is turning right. And let's do an update scene. This is where it starts to get a little bit tricky. I need to make sure that I go from here, to here, to here, smoothly. Now one of the things I find is that as you go through things like doors, you want the camera to start turning before it actually starts moving.
The scene here, I'm actually going to go ahead and start to move that door a little bit over and update that scene. And this will help to smooth out this transition. If I go from here, to here, to here, you'll notice that it's much, much smoother. So let's add one more scene in and take a look at what we've got. So again, I'm just trying to find that marker on the floor.
Place my camera on the marker, and let's say we're about to go down this hallway, and update the scene. So now, let's go ahead to the start. And in fact, I'm going to go ahead and just save out an animation at this point. So I'm going to go File, Export, Animation, Video. And I'm going to go into my ExerciseFiles folder here. And let's just call this Walkthroughs.mp4. So I'm going to export that and then we're going to take a look at it.
So now I've gone ahead and saved out my animation and here it is as an mp4 file. Going to go ahead and play it. And as you can see, the motion through the front door is very smooth, we make a very nice turn here and then this last little bit maybe needs a little bit of work, but generally, it's pretty good. So hopefully, this gives you some insight into how to properly space and time your walkthrough sequences.
Skill Level Intermediate
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