Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Navigating in SketchUp, part of SketchUp 6 Essential Training.
Let's talk about navigation and cameras in Google SketchUp. This is probably one of the most fundamental skills you will need to know when using SketchUp, because it's basically how to get around in SketchUp, how to look at different things, how to move your view from one place to another and so on. So let's go through some of the basic navigation tools in SketchUp. Now in order to navigate we need to use some of the Camera tools. The main tools we want to use are Orbit, Pan and Zoom. Now notice these have keypad shortcuts of O, H and Z. Let's just go through some of these top to bottom. Go through Orbit. Now when I click on this, notice how my cursor changes to this double arrow. That means I am Orbit mode. All I have to do is left click and drag the mouse and I am orbiting. So if you left click and drag, left to right, you orbit left to right. If you left click and drag up and down, you orbit up and down, and any combination of the two allows you to orbit wherever you want.
So that's pretty natural. Now the next tool is the Pan tool. So let's go to that. We can go to the Pan tool here. But also notice that these tools are on the toolbar. Here is Orbit, Pan and Zoom as well. So let's go ahead and select Pan and notice how our cursor changes to the hand, and all we have to do is just left click and drag and we can pan the scene around. Now of course, the last tool is Zoom. We can get it from the toolbar here or we can click to it here. We hit keyboard shortcut Z. We get a little magnifying glass, which allows us to zoom. To zoom in, drag the cursor up and dragging down, zooms out. So if you want to look at anything in the scene, we move our cursor, highlight something, go through using Orbit, Pan and Zoom. So for example if I wanted to, I could orbit here. I could pan and I could zoom in and if I wanted to say, loot at that streetlight or I could around if I wanted to look down the street and see how it looks this way and so on. So you can see how you can pretty much move through your scene very quickly using those tools.
Now the one thing I noticed is that on the keyboard, O, H and Z are about as far apart as you can get. There is another way to navigate in SketchUp and that's using a three-button mouse. Now, if you don't have a three-button mouse, I would highly advise to go on and get one of it. It really doesn't cost much to go and get a three-button mouse so you can use some of these additional navigation shortcuts, and this really does speed things up in SketchUp. So if you do have a three-button mouse, follow along with me. I click on the middle mouse button and it changes to Orbit. So all I have to do is middle click and I can orbit.
Now if your three-button mouse has a middle scroll wheel, which most of them do these days, you can scroll in and out to zoom. So I am just scrolling my middle wheel and I am zooming. Middle-click and hold and you orbit, and if you can leave it on the pan, you can just left click and pan. So I am left click Pan, middle click Orbit, roll the middle button to Zoom. So with basically two fingers you can pretty much get anywhere in the scene.
So those were the basic navigation tools. In the next movie I am going to show you some additional Camera tools and some additional ways to move around the scene.
- Using SketchUp's unique 3D drawing and modeling tools to create realistic objects and scenes
- Creating textures and materials to add additional realism and depth to scenes
- Creating libraries of components to make changes on multiple models within a scene
- Creating walk-through animations for presentation and final output
- Outputting 2D bitmaps to create realistic or stylized renderings for clients