How to make a animation showing the steps used to build a house?

So, I’m new to Sketchup animations and stuff, but my professor wants an animation showing a step by step construction of the house I’m making in Sketchup. What I mean by step by step, is that he wants us to have a scene that has the floor plan, then a scene with the walls being built, then so on adding more detail in every scene. What is the easiest way to do this?

Explore layers. Once the various elements of you model are built as components/groups then assign them each to different layers. You can turn visibility of layers on and off in the layers window and these settings will be recorded in the scene info. So hide every layer but the foundation then make a scene, reveal the walls and make another scene and so on. Anamations are the progressive movement between scenes so you can move the camera position between scenes as well. When you are done you can export anamation as a video.

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I’ve got to ask: What is the subject of the course? If it’s anything other than a course in animation or advanced Sketchup, then I submit that the professor’s insistence on animated, step by step documentation is likely far off topic and should be challenged.

At the most basic level simply take screenshots and then use any animation or presentation to create a Gif/video or manual slideshow (there are lots of free and paid software alternatives packages for this). This is too fast and I should go back and edit it but this animation is just sequential screenshots: Yes, it’s not a house but the process is the same.

A little more advanced is using a combination of layer visibility, section cuts and scenes in SketchUp to create a walk-around. You can then export as an image sequence or video file.

The most advanced setting would be to create an actual animation in some secondary software. A rendered time lapse/turntable is quite common in visualisation, However this would not be recommenced for beginners or if you are on a tight schedule.

Years ago, I was a professor of architecture at a well known university and taught a number of subjects in that field, including “Construction Technologies”. My time as an academic began prior to the advent of computers, so everything was done by hand. One of the more challenging assignments for my students was to construct a balsa wood scale model of a 2 story single family structure, where all floor, wall, and roof framings were clearly indicated. Students were required to build out door and window openings with appropriately constructed sills and heads. This exercise was highly integral in transforming a significant pool of novices ultimately into skilled technicians.

I think your assertion is not very well founded. The architectural discipline covers a wide range of areas, not only structures, but also involves understanding physical science, math, art, psychology, sociology, and a technical appreciation for how things are assembled as well as many other factors. (In fact one would be hard pressed to observe any culture, whether ancient or current, without an examination of its relationship to planning & design…its architecture).

I can imagine the intent of that assignment was to increase students’ awareness of a preliminary construction sequencing, which would contribute to the development of competent technicians in some manner. Also, many professional firms (and by extension…many design schools) are commonly using animations in their everyday workflow and as part of their general presentation process.

So why do you think so little of that academic decision?

Here you have a video tutorial.

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Cabin 21.skp (433.2 KB)

Here is an old file I used to do what you described. I used scenes then converted it to mp4 to let my brother see it without using SU

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A few reasons:

  1. As a person whose professional training and work experience does not involve visual design or technical drawing, I was (until your post) unaware that animation might rightly be involved in an assignment involving a house.
  2. As an avid SketchUp user, I shudder at the pre-planning necessary to document how I created a complex model. As such, unless the stated purpose of the assignment is to work on animation skill, I imagined it taking far longer to do the animation well than it would take for the actual modeling.
  3. It’s not that I definitely “think so little of that academic decision” - that’s why I used the word “likely” - leaving room in my thinking for corrections such as yours.

Sounds like a good way to teach the relationships between SU layers, scenes and workflow.

He isn’t asking for an animation on the construction of the model, he wants an animation using the model to show how the house would be constructed.
Which is pretty straightforward components, layers and scenes work, done after finishing the model.


That might be true. And looking back at the original post, I can see how that is a legitimate interpretation - in which case I agree that it’s a good exercise in using layers and scenes. However, interpreting the original post as the professor wanting animated documentation of how he modeled the house is also a legitimate interpretation.

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