Need help with making a sphere and having my fence along the green axis

Hello all,
I’m brand new to SketchUp so as you can imagine I’ve encountered a few problems. Any help is much appreciated.

  1. I’ve attempted to make a sphere by following a few tutorials but have had no success. The majority of them tell you to make two circles, use the follow me tool and so on. But that’s where I’m stuck already. They tell you to make one of the circles on the blue axis. For some reason I can’t seem to even draw on the blue axis. Only on a flat surface such as the ground. Very beginner problem there but any help is much appreciated.

  2. I tried importing a fence from the 3D Warehouse, everything was going fine until I tried placing it on the green axis. I can not seem to rotate the fence in the direction I desire (green axis). I’ll attach a picture below so you can see what I mean more clearly. In case that picture didn’t work, basically the fence goes along the red axis fine but I can’t get it to go along the green. Along the front of my building. I’ve tried using the rotate tool but because the fence isn’t even a millimeter thick it won’t let me select the face I need in order to rotate it the desired direction.

So as you can see both are more or less axis related as I’m new to SketchUp. Thanks in advance for any help.

That IS the blue axis. When you first activate the CircleTool, it shows as a blue circle. This means that the circle’s normal is pointing upward along the blue (Z) axis. (The normal of a face or polygon, is a vector that is perpendicular to the face, and points away from the front of the face. Ie in the direction that the face is facing.)

So when you draw upon an axis, it must be an axial property of the geometry. And the axis of a circle is the line running through it’s center. Ie, it’s normal.

If you click and draw, the circle will drawn upon the XY plane. (But after drawing on the XY ground plane, SketchUp will reverse faces in preparation for the PushPullTool. This only happens automatically with faces drawn on the ground plane.)

To change the active axis of the CircleTool, use the arrow key inference locks (that are new for SketchUp 2016.)

  • :arrow_right: (X) Red axis

  • :arrow_left: (Y) Green axis

  • :arrow_up: (Z) Blue axis

  • :arrow_down: Planar lock (point to a surface before clicking)

And, when any of these 4 inferences are active and locked, the prospective circle (or polygon perimeter) will be emboldened.

See if this helps:

SketchUp Sage: How do I orient objects?


It’s always best to give us a URL (or model ID) to a particular 3DW model, so we can also try what you try will the same component.

You usually place components, at a point (which is the origin of the component’s local axes,) with respect to some other inference point (or face) in the model. (This is called a translational transform.)

:mortar_board: SketchUp User Guide: Finding and locking an inference
:mortar_board: SketchUp User Guide: Knowing your inference types
:mortar_board: SketchUp User Guide: Locking inferences with a keyboard

Then you orient the object with respect to the model’s axes, or one of the axis. (This is called a rotational transform.) In other words, you rotate objects about an axis. This is the first thing that the RotateTool wants you to indicate,… the point of this rotational axis. The second point will be the starting point for the rotational angle. The last point will be the end of the angle.

:mortar_board: SketchUp User Guide: Flipping and Rotating

So, if you placed a fence component on the ground plane. To rotate it so that it’s longest run is lying along the green axis, you will need to rotate it about the blue (Z) axis.

You can always move it again after rotation, to snug it up against the corner of the house, etc.

:mortar_board: SketchUp User Guide: Moving Entities Around

NOTE: The axes indicator lines you see displayed in the model, are initially positioned at the model origin. But they can be moved at any time, using the AxisTool. This can be handy because SketchUp’s inference engine will use them as snap lines.

:mortar_board: SketchUp User Guide: Adjusting the Drawing Axes

(In you screen shot we cannot see the model axes indicators. You should have moved them so that they were visible, so we can understand what the orientation is. Nor can we see the fence. You can use Text callouts to point to objects and label them.)

Back to placing components. (FYI: The place component feature is a form of the MoveTool.) After placing a component (from the 3DW or your local components library,) just hover over this instance and you’ll see little red rotate crosses appear. If you stop over any of them, the tool switches (automagically) to the RotateTool. These rotate crosses can appear on any of the bounding box sides of the component instance. This makes it easy to immediately rotate components just after inserting them. (But you can do this at any time to component instances, using the MoveTool.)

:mortar_board: SketchUp User Guide: Editing components

Thank you very much, it worked.
I simply pressed the right arrow key and it worked like a charm. I was then able to draw a circle on the blue axis.
Thanks again! :slight_smile:

I’m still having trouble rotating my fence in the desired direction but I’ll keep trying and look at those links you provided. Just in case I’m still stuck, I’m not sure how to copy the link for an object on the 3D Warehouse so I’ll just attach a screenshot and you’ll still be easily able to find the fence I was using.

As I said, I tried using the rotate tool but because the fence isn’t even a mm thick in depth, I’m unable to choose the surface which would be the one that lets me rotate it on the green axis. Maybe its just a simple thing I’m missing but I have a feeling its just because of the objects measurements. If it wasn’t flat then I could rotate it with ease.

That is just a face using the SU texture Fencing Chain Link.
The rotate tool relies on the normal inference engine of SU to know what you want to do.
You need to get the tool orientated to the direction you want. There are many ways to do that.
Moving your view to get the colour axis you want then shift to lock it.
Using the Arrow keys to lock the inference
Or fastest but most confusing to people, Click, drag and release to set the orientation first, then click and release to grab object, rotate, click and release to end rotate.

You don’t choose the surface. You choose the whole component. And you do not even need to choose (select) the component. The RotateTool will do it (for you) if the point on the rotational axis (the 1st point picked within the tool,) is one of the component’s vertices.

So after activating the RotateTool, press the UP arrow key, (to rotate about the blue axis,) and click on one of the top corners of the fence.
Then click (2nd point in tool,) on the other top corner.
Begin rotating in one direction or the other (which ever you prefer,) and type (without quotes) “90” and hit the ENTER key.

You will continue to have problems if you continue to associate the wrong axis will what you really wish to do.
You need to rotate about the blue axis, in order to align it along the green axis.

Try not to get confused by the inference tips. They are referring to an inference point “On Green Axis” not to the actual rotation.

Ok, I’ll give this a go.
I think this should work fine as you guys left very descriptive feedback. That gif will help me a lot.
So thanks everyone, I should now have no problem with rotating things. :slight_smile: