Arraying Different Models

So I have many house models, and I want to array all of them in random order over a certain area to make a neighborhood.

Does anyone know a good way to do this or maybe a tutorial? Thanks.

Don’t neighbourhoods still follow some sort of planned pattern or grid system?

You could make a square array of houses (50*50 houses for examples) and then just delete random houses out of the grid. That’s the system I used to create this map of Africa quickly:

You can then go in and just rotate a few random houses in the grid. However this method would not be helpful if you’re neighbourhood does not follow a grid!

here are some plugins that may be helpful,

Not sure if you can substitute trees for houses but this is Component Spray as I did not read the entire PDF but you can see it here:;topic=2840.0;attach=5044 and here

There is also this Drop plugin:

That spray tool looks good. I will try it out.


How many house models are you talking about?

If I was doing it I would:

  1. Create a document with a square grid for one specific house type,
  2. Copy and paste in place the grid to a new sketchup document.
  3. Replace the house type to a second type in the grid from the new document (if you use components you can do this in a few clicks).
  4. Repeat this for the number of houses you want, creating a new document for each specific house gird.
  5. Past in place all of the grids into the first document so you have all of the houses occupying the same space.
  6. Then manually delete the extra options. This will give you a randomised effect. It could take a while depending on how big the grid is and how many house types you have but should not take too long.

Edit: clarity

Edit Edit: I used the same method for this picture. Originally I had 11 types or server towers (similar to having 11 types of houses in your case) however in the final version I only used four and deleted the other layers

I don’t know about extensions for this sort of thing, but I thought of simply using “replace selected”. It might be useful but I’m not too sure…

replace component


Ha… doh that would have saved me a couple of hours a few months ago :scream:

Ok. Thanks. I will try some of these things.

I would combine some of the “random select” plugins (like TIG.s or Eneroth3:s) with this “replace selected” method.

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Yes. Good idea.

It’s something I quickly thought of but still fairly manual if it’s a densely populated model.
I think I saw an extension once that did “random rotation”. I thought there would be others to suit this case.

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