General novice Sketch up queries

Hello everybody,
As I 've said already I am new to Sketch up. I really like it, but often I get awfully stuck, and I still haven’t understood how exactly some things work. Consequently I have to ask some questions that might sound quite dumb, but nevertheless some advice from an expert user might help me out a lot. So, here we go:

  1. I find it difficult to switch from one plane to the other. E.g, often I drew a rectangle on the xy plane, and then it was difficult to go the xz plane to do the same.
  2. I 've often offset edges trying to create a similar edge a bit further from the initial one, in order to pull the space between them and make a volume. (I recently tried this to model a quoin in a window). The second edge that I get is drawn with a thick line, and the push/pull command doesn’t work. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t. What 's that you have to do to make sure that you 'll be able to use the push/pull command?
    If somebody could answer these two questions (for a start) I 'd really appreciate it.
    Many thanks in advance!

Hello! About drawing rectangles on different planes, look at this GIF. You have to orbit around a bit to draw on a different plane. Experiment with drawing rectangles and changing the orbit and you’ll get the hang of it. It’s easy.

About the 2nd question, I didn’t quite understand what you wanted to do. Can you explain further? If you want to draw a flat surface and Push/Pull it, you can use the Rectangle Tool again.

It’s difficult to know exactly what you have done. If I were creating a window quoin as a solid, I would probably start with a rectangle in the XY plane representing the footprint of the wall. I would then use the Push/Pull tool to extrude that footprint upwards.

If you wanted to create the whole window opening, I would do the same, making sure that my section of wall was larger than the opening. I would then draw a rectangle in the XZ plane representing the opening and again use the Push/Pull tool to push the rectangle through the wall to the back face. The rectangle would then disappear, leaving window reveals.

Hello guys, thank you for your prompt response and help. Actually, it is not the quoin itself that troubles me, but the fact that I cannot understand when exactly the offset command works. Often I have offset an edge, intending to get the same edge a bit further away and then connect the two in order to use the push/pull command. Sometimes things work and I get the edge, so I connect it with the initial one and I push/pull the resulting rectangle. Other times the offset only gives me a thick line, and the push/pull command doesn’t work. I get the feeling that the generation of the second edge is a matter of pure luck, and this cannot be the case. Any ideas? Sometimes also the push/pull command itself doesn’t work or it works to a specific length only, beyond which you cannot extrude. I think that if I resolve these issues I 'll be able to model much faster. Thank you very much in advance!

As to orienting shapes you draw relative to the axes, see if this helps: How do I draw a rectangle or circle (or polygon) oriented vertically?

As to the Offset tool producing a dark edge sometimes and Push/Pull not working: the thick edge is called a profile, which is an edge that does not bound a face. It may be sitting on a face but failing to cut all the way across, or it may be sitting off in space by itself. In either case, a thick edge means the edge does not form a part of a closed series of edges bounding a face. If produced by the Offset tool, the profile may not make complete contact with an intersecting edge: there may be a tiny gap. To repair this by closing the gap, zoom way in and either move the endpoint onto the intersecting edge or extend the edge with the Line tool until it intersects, whereupon the edge will become thin.

Once the area to be Push/Pulled is completely bounded by thin edges, you should be able to perform the extrusion.


Gully thank you very much, your reply actually clarifies things a lot! I 'll go on with what you told me in mind, and I hope things will become even clearer! Thanks again!