Student project for Tags

I have just shown students tags. Does anyone have a good project idea that could make use of tags. We also just learned about the follow me tool, but I would like the tags to be an important part of this project.

How old are your students?

Tags are primarily a visibility control for components and groups so an exercise that explores that would be good. Have you also taught them about using scenes? You could have them work out a simple animation sort of thing that makes it appear that an object is moving as the advances through the scenes. Here’s an example–probably more complex than you’d want your students to do first thing out of the gate.

This is an animation. Click on the picture to watch it.

Here’s a screen grab from the model showing three of the many tags turned on. There are multiple copies of the moving components in the model. Each instance of a component has been given a different tag.

Scene 5, for example, has Tag 4 visible.

Scene 6 has Tag 5 visible, and Scene 7 the next tag.

As for incorporating Follow Me, they might use Follow Me to create the object that they would animate.

Another thought would be to use tags and scenes to show phases of assembly of a wooden car toy. Maybe they start with a couple of axles and add wheels made with Follow Me. Then they add a wooden chassis, the body, fenders, roof, etc. There’s any number of these sorts of things they could do.


Another typical use of Tags while designing in SketchUp is design alternatives. You can explore different design solutions and assign them to different Tags, and then turn them on and off to present them in the context of what’s fixed or unchanged by the design.


Dave, these are wicked cool. I will definitely come back here later in the year and use some of these ideas. Do you use any extensions to make the animation work?

I like this. I think I will have them design their bedroom with furniture and use tags to show different ways they can organize their furniture.

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Thank you. No extensions in the case of these sorts of animations. Just multiple copies of components and scenes. For the copies of the components in something like the steam engine I put the ability to create arrays with the Move and Rotate tools to good use. I only put the animation with the truck together while I was working on my reply to you so it was very quick. I could have made multiple copies of the components to show them moving in toward each other, too.

I realize the steam engine is more involved than your students might be able to model at least in the time available in class but I just wanted to show an example.

Here’s another steam engine animation.

A sewing machine making a lock stitch:

And bouncing balls. This one was done maybe 16 years ago.

There is at least one extension out there that can make animations from SketchUp models but I really don’t mind the “old fashioned” way. Makes me think of the early animations done with cels.

Your idea of the bedroom furniture and organizing it is an excellent idea.

@Dave’s animations with Layers/Tags are an ingenious use of them. I was teaching with SketchUp for Schools when it first came out, and it couldn’t export animations or print to scale. I think the latter has been fixed, but I no longer have access to SUfS to check if animation has been added. If so, you would need a desktop version for that. I had to go back to SketchUp Make for a later class to do Match Photo.

I’m not sure that animation export is available in SUfS at this point however for the animations I showed, images of each scene could be exported and combined in a video editor to make a GIF or MP4. The sewing machine animation uses only 18 scenes which shows one cycle. Those 18 scenes are then copied multiple times to create the sequence.

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