Panning is really rotating

I’m a newb to Sketchup. I have lots of experience with AutoCad 2d and want to break into and learn 3d without paying the big bucks for a subscription.
I’m picking up on the simplicity and ease of Sketchup nicely but one thing is perplexing me. When I use the orbit to produce the camera angle I want and then try to pan to move my sketch left/right or up/down it actually rotates the image along the distant end of one of the Axis’ (the blue/green/red lines). This makes it virtually impossible to see certain angles of my drawing.

I’ve searched this forum and other sources and have found no solutions.
Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

The shortcut “H” will enable panning.

To help achieve your goals, some time spent at the SketchUp Campus and at the SketchUp - YouTube channel will be very worthwhile. Both sites are from the SketchUp team. On the YouTube channel, pay attention to the Square One Series and Level UP series. They cover the basics for each tool.

You also can hold down the Shift key while orbiting to temporarily go into panning.


From what you describe, I think you could switch to camera/parallel projection.

Indeed, a pan when in perspective will show you different sides of your model. as you say, it kinda looks like it’s orbiting around the distant horizon

Here is an example, a cube, seen straight on, then when I pan, I can see the sides, and the only point that actually remained immobile is the vanishing point.
Then the same in parallel projection.’

perspective panning is not panning, it’s taking sidesteps in your model. same as most camera tools, zooming in and out is actually moving your camera closer to the point, you’re physically moving inside the space.
parallel panning is actually panning.

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Thank you all for your input:
I have started the tutorial at Sketchup Campus - thanks for the suggestion, it’s very good and explains a lot.
Changing to Parallel Porjection did the trick - thanks for steering me towards that!

Be careful with parallel projection, it is really meant for output, setting up elevations etc, not for modelling. Some people use it successfully that way but it can lead to issues.
The zoom level can get badly distorted and image clipping happens more with PP.

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May I suggest this Web page:

Vanishing point - Wikipedia.

To stop the slight rotation during pan, use 2 point perspective camera. The drawing will jump a bit, but pan to the view you want.
DO NOT ORBIT: 2pt perspective will disengage.
ALSO NOTE: All vertical lines will be straight on the blue axes which straightens out heavily skewed verticals that can occur with 3d views.
Clients tend to appreciate this appearance.

edit : ok, a bit off-topic, sorry.

I wonder why parallel has got such a bad rep… :slight_smile:
it’s funny because I’ve always worked mainly in parallel, I find it makes it harder to have geometry mistakes from the get go, while in perspective, due to the… perspective, rectangle can stop being rectangles without you noticing.
In parallel, there is a sort of rigidity in your drawing, no funny business.

Even the zoom and pan is better in my opinion in parallel, it’s a proper zoom, not a fly-by inside the model, and no risk of zooming in the distance or zooming out and getting stuck in a wall or part of your model. Granted, Perspective is needed to go inside things and in cramped places, but I achieve a far better result in parallel.
And clipping… yeah, from time to time, clipping. zoom extent fixes it nicely, always has, and again, I’d rather have some clipping from time to time than entering various elements of my model whenever I zoom out.

So yeah, I’m team Parallel Projection. at least up to the point I need to start decorating / adding elements inside the model.
Then again, when working by hand in 2d, I also was in team axonometry. maybe my brain is just better at seeing space in a rational parallel projection than perspecive :wink:

Yes, I was aware that you are one of those oddballs :wink:. Perhaps as a sculptor I think and see better in 3d.


yeah, no wonder my art takes me so easily to isometrics… it’s there in my brain :smiley:

To go back in topic @Brad9126 , use what you feel most confortable with. There are steps and times when modelling where perspective is needed and more confortable, and others where forcing a parallel projection can reduce the risk of mistakes.

I think the actual mistake would be to limit yourself to one or the other.

most advanced users I know have a shortcut for parallel (or perspective, one shortcut does both)
for me, it’s the f5 key. I’m used to reload webpages with it, and now I “reload” the model in different mode.

and as time passes, you’ll be more and more efficient in both modes really.


This is the shortcut key I use to toggle between parallel and perspective. Even my brain and memory can cope with the key symbols, no sweat.

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Thanks all for your replies. Thanks especially for the tip on the Sketchup Campus tutorials - these are a great way to dive in and get productive quickly.
Thanks also ateliernab for the F5 key suggestion. This too fits my logic and is easy to remember.
It is clear that there is no one setting for the view that will work eternally - must be a 3d thing, which as I said I’m just now breaking into after having decades of experience in 2d. The learning curve is hard for me but I will persist, thanks in part to you guys! Thanks again!


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