Rendering and top view please

We are using SketchUp for Schools as a Plan C for some students who can’t use 2 other architectural modelling programs. While there are many models to access and include in SketchUp the ability to see these models in anything but a wire frame or outline mode doesn’t appear to exist. I feel like at MINIMUM they should have 4 modes - wireframe, outlines, outlines with material, no outlines with materials.

Also, there should be the ability to view this in top, front or side view without any 3D distortion. Am i missing something??? Orthogonals are like THE MOST BASIC form of presentation methods you can generate out of a 3D modelling software.

Why isn’t this an option on the SketchUp for Schools software? Disappointing and I will not be recommending the use of the software unless these display/presentation modes are added.

There are all sorts of different styles available in the Styles panel. Your students can choose any of them.

They can also choose from a number of different materials or choose no materials.

There is in the views Panel. The students can choose between Perspective and Parallel Projection and choose the desired standard view. they can also create scenes so they can swtch easily between these views.

It’s disappointing that a teacher would leap to conclusions like this instead of actually learning the facts.


It’s disappointing that a teacher would leap to conclusions like this instead of actually learning the facts.

This teacher with over four decades of classroom experience agrees. In the area of architecture, I started teaching with Autocad r7, then Architectural Desktop, and then Revit. There was plenty of SketchUp in there as well. I asked for and received great basic, paid for my district. I then filled in the blanks and all of my students could handle the software.

Now semi-retired, I teach teachers the basics of SketchUp. I would not consider it a fall-back program for students that can’t hack the “real thing”. I don’t know any software package that does not require instruction in the basics, at a minimum.

If this district moves forward, I would recommend,

  • Support your teachers and get them some basic training.

  • Get the free version of SketchUp Pro for educational use. This includes Layout which will properly generate views with annotations and all that good stuff.

  • If you really want to quickly realize what SketchUp can do in the area of architecture, watch this video from Nick Sonder. He even wrote a book that the district can buy for their teachers.


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I get the feeling Nick Sonder doesn’t use the free version?

No. He doesn’t because he uses SketchUp and LayOut commercially. That requires a pro license.

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and there was more I shared (but I have better things to do now the unit is over and this thread is blocking some of my links) and I went through trying to trouble shoot things with them. Didn’t find it a great tool, sorry for those that love it. Just not my preference.

Wow, that should be more than enough to get your students started.
I wonder who is to blame that things didn’t work out as expected, you, the students or ‘SketchUp for Schools’. Think of it for a moment before you abandon SketchUp.

I guess it was a waste of time then trying to help you see that features you claim are missing in fact do exist.

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Not a waste if the add better rendering tools and a way to present a nice dimensioned plan view. Yeah, I’m not holding my breath. They want us to buy it. There are other better options out there. Moving on.

SketchUp for Schools is aimed at a different demographic than you appear to be teaching. SketchUp Pro is available for educational use. You should look into that.

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Some additional thoughts.

  • Not enough teachers use this forum. It is a great place to get almost any question answered correctly by people that know everything about the program, and usually fast.

  • As Dave mentioned, Nick Sonder uses Pro, which is free for schools. Here is a post I wrote for my teachers that will explain how you can get free educational licensing.

  • If your students are restricted to using Chromebooks, then I highly recommend SketchUp. The web version does not do everything the desktop version will do, but that is true for any program. I can’t think of another web-based program that even comes close for modeling homes. They can always generate their sheets when they get back in the lab. The files are interchangable.

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I taught SketchUp to high school students for 6 years, mostly with SketchUp Make, but I did use SketchUp for Schools one year. I made an hour and a quarter of video instructions for that one, and can share them with you if you like. The lessons walk students through making a tiny house on a trailer.

By the end of the lesson, they produce a classic three view, orthographic drawing, which is what I started them with hand drawing at the beginning of the course.

At the time I did this, SU for Schools was brand nw and couldn’t print to scale, which was a big disappointment, but it does now.

I returned to SketchUp Make to teach perspective drawing and Matchphoto, because SU for Schools doesn’t support that.

I have video lessons for the Matchphoto stool as well.

SU for Schools is OK for high school level, but SU Pro is a better choice for college or later. I don’t know that kind of students you’re teaching.