Orbit around selection


This is by far the most frustrating part of working in Sketchup. We NEED to be able to orbit around a selected object, not whatever the mouse happens to be over. First of all, When editing linework, it is very difficult to always make sure the cursor lands on part of the line before orbiting. If not, boom, you have orbited to the horizon. Second, when spinning around a model, it is very limiting to always have to start with the cursor in the middle of the screen (or wherever your chosen object is.) Ideally you could click and drag your mouse from all the way on the right side of the screen to all the way on the left, for maximum spin distance around an object. I know this has been requested, but the people at Sketchup need to be reminded!


I’d recommend a “spacemouse”, makes navigation a lot easier.


Rhino among other programs requires you to manually handle the pivot point, either by changing selection or use some special command to set it. Personally one of the things I love with SketchUp is that you don’t need to get distracted by such micro management all the time. Also it wouldn’t really be practical as you always change the camera while working, including while making selections. To position yourself so you can add something top the selection you may very well need to pivot around a different point than the center of the current selection.

That said SketchUp could definitely handle orbit a lot better when hovering “holes” in the model, e.g. in linework. Rather than falling back to rotating around some point at the horizon (or rather far side of the model bounding box or something like that), SketchUp could extend the aperture to find nearby geometry to pivot around, or if you are editing a group/component with Rest of Model hidden, pivot around the far side of the local bounds.


I find the “contextual orbit” or orbit radius set around a clicked point to be smooth and fast when navigating around a large complex model. It allows me to choose the radius of my orbit organically and instantly without any setup, I would be sad to see that changed. That said, we have all had frustrating moment of clicking through a model to the horizon and getting a bigger orbit than you expected.

I wonder if the maximum orbit radius could be calculated as a factor of the total model cross section in view, or the minimum could be limited to a factor of the current screen size, just a thought.

I import and have to clean up a lot of .DWG line files of architecture in my work and they can be very hard to orbit around for the reasons you are describing. I generally put a large plane (rectangle) about 1’ below my ground level and lock it there, then even when clicking through the void in your lines you get a reasonable orbit.


Thank you, that seems like a good workaround until they add my feature. :slight_smile:
The problem of course, is that I edit groups of lines often with the rest of the model hidden, which means I would have to add an extra plane to every component or group of DWG lines that I work on.


Do you hide by “hide rest of model” while editing, or via layers, or via outliner?


I set up a shortcut to use CTRL+H to “hide rest of model” while working on a group. The shortcut also shows the rest of the model.


Yeah, that’s a common and useful shortcut, but you’re right hiding rest of model will hide your ground plane unless you place one in each context. If you were to control visibly through layers that would not happen, but I use both too as hide rest of model is very fast. Thankfully pan (shift-orbit) is not effected by the “click through” so can be use-full when zoomed in close.