Door animation difficulties

Hello there, I have been trying to follow a tutorial but it uses an old version of the software and so some of the screens/names cannot be found.

Could someone please help me complete this?

I created an array showing a door closed and fully open. I then created a layer for each instance of the door, what do I do next to get it animated please?

Bookcase Demo.skp (227.5 KB)

Create multiple scenes with a sequence of one door visible in each in a progression from closed to open.

I’d suggest Fredo’s animator…pretty quick and easy to setup.

And here is is manually, pretty simple without needing a plugin.


Thanks for your replies. If I was going to be doing this a lot I would go down the plugin route.

I can’t seem to make SketchUp connect a scene with a different layer, I just don’t know what I am doing wrong. I deleted all the layers in the existing file and started again, making sure I was on a new scene each time I pasted the layer.

Do you know where I am going wrong? I thought I followed your video. I must be missing something.

Bookcase Demo.skp (312.2 KB)

Firstly, and most importantly, you haven’t assigned the components to the different layers, so click the first one, go to Entity info and use the drop down to assign it layer 1, click the next and assign it layer 2 repeat for the rest and you’ll need a few more layers.
Delete all scenes.
Click layer 1 hold shift and click layer 11 (or whichever is at the bottom of the list so they are all highlighted) untick one Visibility tick and they will all disappear (if you have put them all on their layers).
Position Camera for the scene view that you want.
Don’t touch Layer 0 and make sure it is always set as the active layer.
Tick Layer 1 Visible, Make a scene.
Untick Layer 1 and Tick layer 2, make a scene.
Untick Layer 2 and Tick Layer 3, make a scene
repeat for the rest of the scenes.
Turn off Scene transition and Scene Delay in Model info Animation.
Play animation.

Thank you for your reply, I have managed to create an animation. This leads me to wonder, how do I export the animation as a gif? It seems strange that of the export animation options available, this is not one!

Also, how can you change the camera angle if you change your mind afterwards about the viewing angle for one/more of the frames and is there a way to introduce panning?

Anyone? Particularly concerning exporting animations as GIFs from SketchUp.

You’d have to use other software to convert the video file to a gif.

As for changing angle D.Bur’s “Scene tools” has the ability to copy a camera angle and paste it to another scene.

So if you decide you want another angle on the whole thing you can copy the new angle and then paste it to all the other scenes. This will not give you a pan but another static angle of the animation.

to create a pan you would have to move your camera on each of the scenes and re-save(update) each scene and you can create a pan. But you have to get all the different in between camera angles figured out to get a smooth move from point A to B. Again, I would use Fredo’s animator which allows you to both animate the door and add in a camera move, not sure why you resist a plugin to save you a lot of time and produce a smoother result. The other benefit is to get fairings, where a move accelerates and decelerates at the beginning and end. The SU way you would need to build that into the copies of your door, so it moves less distance at the beginning and moves a further distance in the middle etc. All of this work is figured out for you in the plugin. What’s more, it is also parametric, so if you need to change speed amount door opens etc this is all editable without rebuilding all the parts in SU.


A gif is just a bunch of frames played in sequence. Sketchup gives you the option to export the frames, you can then compiled them in a gif editor. Or you can record the screen animation with a screen recorder that saves to gif.

Animating a door opening is quite a different thing to moving around through the model, generally the door animation is a static camera setup, whereas panning, orbiting etc relies on the camera moving between scenes.
SU animation is pretty rudimentary which is why there are several plugins designed specifically for animation. @whiterabbitdesigncompany has given you some good examples.
The other vanilla animation option is Dynamic Components, they can be set up with animation, so you can click on a door and it will open and close.

You need to work back from the final result to work out which of the various options would work best for you. As with most things in SU there are many ways to do things and none is the right one in all cases.

1 Like

Set up a frame and Door component:

Watch how the Components’s Axis are set, this will provide the pivoting point!

If you use custom attributes which can be edited by user, one can have more control over the animation:

End result:

The endresult combiines two Click behaviors to animate the door and to goto a specific scene.
There is no way of checking which scene is active in DC, so there are some hickups and flawes if you do not set them up, properly. (Uncheck the animation in Model Info, fi)

AnimationDoor.skp (241.6 KB)


That’s brilliant. Thanks.

Could you please elaborate on your reference to D.Burs Scene Tools? I’m not sure how I would manage to change the camera angle using the plugin and would appreciate you providing a demonstration please?

Bookcase Demos.skp (280.3 KB)

Hello Mike, thanks for your post. That is very helpful for introducing dynamic components if the need ever arises.

@whiterabbitdesigncompany Could you please respond to my previous post when you get a chance?

I do not know what that extension does, but if you need to adjust the cameraposition for multiple scenes, you could position the camera to the desired position and angle, select the scenes in the scene manager and click the update button , deselect all but the camera property and all the scenes get the same.
(Off course, this applies to other properties as well)

See example. The plugin doesn’t change the angle, you would do that with orbiting to a new position. Once you get the position you like “update” the scene to save new position. The with “Scene tools” use the dropdown to “copy” the new camera position ( a dialogue box pops up to confirm) then click on another scene tab (you will go to old position) and then with scene tools dropdown “paste” camera position and then update scene tab. Go through all tabs and do the same.

Thanks. I have wanted to do that but never could figure it out! Nice work

1 Like

Thanks for your replies. I have changed to the camera angle that I want.

Now I want to know if there is a way to copy and paste scenes so that I can duplicate the animation but from another angle. Is this possible?

Bookcase Demos.skp (283.9 KB)

Sounds like a lot of work, then…:smiley:

I would make a copy of the file (save as),
Set the camera in the new file, select all scenes and then update…

1 Like

That makes sense, but surely there is another way so that I don’t have to have two or three files that I then have to export images out of and merge them in another application?