Adjustable aspect ratio when exporting JPEGs & DWGs or other file formats

Hello there, I’m a Design Professional here at Encompass Design. We’re one of few architecture firms still drafting in AutoCAD in Montana. We do like to use SketchUp to export JPEGs & DWGs, we then overlay the two within AutoCAD with our own liveweights and properties. I’m not sure if there are others out there doing the same process, but we really like the outcome of the elevations (we like the SketchUp/ACAD combo). We don’t have a huge team of drafters & we like to have everyone in our team to collaborate on our current projects. A problem arises when we have two different draftsmen working on the same model. We make copies of the project then send it off to the next draftsmen to do a little work on the 3D model. When this happens - there are multiple screen-aspect ratios being used. This means that the image + the DWG is going to export as a different size than the previous person. This is the most inefficient part of the process because when someone new exports the elevations & imports them into ACAD, the images/DWGs need to be setup again & again. To combat this, our firm has set one person to manage the 3D per project. Yes, this works for us and have been able to function in regular fashion. But we really do like to let everyone collaborate on the 3D, and when we do, it takes us much longer to modify our elevations. If we were to maintain this process, I’m going to propose that SketchUp implements some sort of ‘export window’ where the user can type in values for the screen size of the exported images AND DWGS (all formats to be honest). This value should be ‘lockable’ so that each user has to type in our desired aspect ratio ONCE, then that value is stored per each SketchUp project file. In other words, one project file could have one aspect ratio that is stored within the saved .skp file & another project could have a different ratio. Why would this help? This would allow ANYONE to export images & DWGs, the resulting JPG & DWG would then be to-scale and wouldn’t require more adjustments within ACAD. With this in place, we can send the .skp file to any of the draftsmen and they would all export in the exact same aspect ratio. I didn’t explain this part very well but it’s a fussy AutoCAD feature we try to deal with. If the images exported from SketchUp change in size (could be due to monitor size, aspect ratio, and even your toolbar setup. Like if you have two columns of extensions on the sides of your screen and someone else puts their tools at the top of the screen, SketchUp sees this as a different screen size and would then change the aspect ratio of the exported file) … AutoCAD would then release all image adjustments and make us redo this each time we export an image. So, once one person changes the elevations - each time that person exports after that, they no longer need to adjust the image in ACAD. BUT, once someone else modifies a version of the .skp, they have to go into ACAD and set up the image to match their screen size. I’m definitely struggling to try and put this into words, and this is because it’s a very specific issue & and it could be just our firm that functions like this. I’d love to get in contact with a representative and try to better explain myself because this is a very complicated issue that, I imagine, few people struggle with… BUT I have an idea of a simple solution that I’m thinking wouldn’t be too hard to implement (I’m no software engineer and I’m probably making this sound easier than it actually is - which is why I would love to speak to an expert). This issue is very important to us, and we are able to address it at this time. I’d love to hear back from you guys & girls and see what you have to say.

Can you create a common template and export out of LayOut? This would fix your scale and size across projects and users. To me this would be the ideal way to ensure that the images are properly exported.

Alternatively you could explore using safe frame or similar plugins:

Mike! You’re awesome! Thanks for your thoughts and to simply say it… duh. I definitely will have to do some refreshing in layout, but it makes sense that I can export JPGs and DWGs from layout as-well as SketchUp. I like the idea of plugins too, thanks for those starters.

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