I’m teaching Sketchup in the first semester of the Architecture programme at LTH, Lund university, Sweden. During my teaching I’ve encountered a couple of tools, features and techniques that might be improved, to have a more coherent logic in relation to the rest of the software.
- Sections. Having section tied to Styles is a nuisance, and the interaction of Styles and Scenes for sections is messy. I would love to have the section tool behave more like a “special object”, that could be shown or hidden in a scene, without the need to create a new style. I would also love to have it show up in the outliner as a “special object”, being able to show and hide it there. Sections already behave a bit like an object, with move, rotate, and show/hide. Since each context can have its own section, it makes even more sense to make sections a part of the outline logic.
The interaction of Outliner and Scenes is otherwise a really strong environment, which helps students understand, navigate and organise their work.
I actually think it works well right now. Sections are tied to both styles and scenes. Then again styles are also tied with scenes so it’s nice relationship the 3 allow. Actually 4 if you count with layers that are also needed to hide different sections in different scenes.
Sections are either active or inactive on scenes it’s simple and I like to have a static relationship between scene and section.
You also have a section toolbar where you can modify the fact that you view or hide a section and then manipulate it.
This is actually affecting styles but not their saved state. The idea that the visuals of a section can be manipulated on the fly is a very good one. The idea that you can save what you are seeing in a style is also very nice. Finally the idea that you can apply a style to a scene, knowing that you’ll have a scene with a static look is also very nice.
So I see no problem at all with the setup in terms of features. On the opposite, I’d find it terribly inconvenient to have Outliner as a base for section management.
However It would be very convenient to have active section visible in somewhere even if it’s layer is hidden so we could manipulate it easilly without affecting current viewed elements.
Maybe the right place would be outliner, but I would be in favour of having a more complex Section Manager as you have a component, layer, scene and style manager.
This section manage would actually manage everything related to sections but the visual styles sketchup displays from sections. That should be managed at Styles.
It would be nice that we wouldn’t need layers anymore to manage sections and it would be nice if we could compose several sections into one big complex section with multiple plans.