Advancing In SketchUp

Hey Guys,
I’ve been using SketchUp as a design tool, (started as a hobby and then started to do design work for an architect and numerous other random opportunities) for a few years and recently started learning Podium to make it look more realistic.

I wanted to hear some tips and suggestions within SketchUp or of other programs/plugins that you found useful or a “must” have for your workflow.

Just curious for some insight, thought others may be interested in the discussion. :slight_smile:

Edit: Also has anyone had any experience utilizing Photoshop within their workflow?

It’s a challenge to offer blanket suggestions for best practices or workflow without knowing more about where you are at with using Sketchup, or what kind of work you are looking to do. A few concepts that spring to mind: Understanding the inference engine, really understanding components, locking move directions, mastering layers, using the outliner, solid tools (eneroths solid tools are great too), fredo tools, exploring editing your own textures and styles. If there is anything you don’t know about in that list then that could be a good place to start.

You might want to search the forum for posts by @liamk887 , he produces some fantastic looking work using sketchup with photoshop.


I would endorse all that @endlessfix has said but would add the tip to group things early, creating Groups or Components. All raw geometry should be on Layer 0 but all Groups/Components should be on other layers. If you hid all the Groups/Components, you should probably see nothing at all (ie. everything should be in a Group or Component).


I will be giving a talk in a few weeks on using Photoshop with SketchUp. AFAIK it will be on the SketchUp youtube at some point in the near future.


Learn and use all the keyboard shortcuts
Add useful keyboard shortcuts
Here are the ones I use constantly
X: to see in transparency
V: Paste in Place
Ctrl + H: hide the rest of the model …

Watch new video tutorials every evening before going to bed
And have The D’oh Book for SketchUp on your bedside table

and read all articles on SketchupBlog


Are you able to make it to this year’s 3D Basecamp in Palm Springs? SU/Trimble lined up many talented speakers, including a number of hands on workshops. I personally am presenting on the SketchUp to 2D deliverable process - which relies heavily on exporting to and working with other programs such as Photoshop. If I were to list pointers or process I’d easily have 30 pages of text.

Start with posting some specific questions as myself and others with different skills sets enjoy sharing tips and tricks with others.


Thanks I’ll check him out, I have been playing with styles and been trying to consistently use components and in my workflow.

I’ll definitely look into the other things you mentioned.

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Yes I have been trying to train myself to do that, my models are always one big geometrical mess.
I need to learn more about components and layers any resources or suggestions?

I made a link here of Photoshop/SketchUp hybrids, some of then have mild rendering but the majority wont. There will be a bunch of tutorials in maybe 1 month?

Good luck with your practice. I can send you a PSD if you want.

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Will try that and look into that book.

I have and have had much success with that!

I am a car enthusiast and am intriguied by car design, but how people create them on SketchUp is beyond me!
(I tend to mainly design homes and rooms)

It does take some practice and plugins are essential but it’s not too difficult once you get going.

I work as a designer for Volvo Group in Sweden, for my job so I am using SketchUp to make vehicles a lot.

This video is helpful to get started: How to make lamborghini aventador on SketchUp using blueprint [Full] - YouTube

You just have to keep trying, it takes a few years, I have been using SketchUp for around 14 years or more I think :thinking: for over half that time I never used a plugin or read a tutorial so was kind of stuck at the same level, then once I embraced the extra features it became a lot easier. I guess it just takes practice.

I am very lucky as I get to use it for work full time, so I have defiantly improved in the last six months.

I would love to although not a cheap trip, definitely a goal for Base Camp 2019.

Thats awesome!
Btw the new Volvos are gorgeous :slight_smile:

(Maybe you can share some volvo SketchUp designs :hugs:)

Ahh Volvo Cars is a Chinese owned company, I work for Volvo Group, we make Trucks, Bus, Construction Equipment, Marine Engines and also a bunch of other truck brands we own (Mack, Renault and a bunch of others).

These are my Volvo’s, this was just outside my office today:

and some form google


Still neat!
is that last pic a rendering?

Looks like a photo to me but who knows these days!

Ed: it’s a photo

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You should checkout the regular videos on He does a good job of highlighting new and old plugins that bring another dimension to SketchUp.

I’ve often found plugins he has mentioned, that have greatly improved my workflow.


X: to see in transparency
V: Paste in Place
Ctrl + H: hide the rest of the model …

Are these all Windows shortcuts? They don’t seem to work on macOS. I’d love there to be a Paste in Place shortcut for macOS.