I’ve been working as a software instructor and teacher for a number of years now, teaching SketchUp and other drafting and visualization tools to students, interior designers and architects.
I’ve been slowly building a list of general rules to abide to work proficiently and without problems in SketchUp.
I’d like to create a SketchUp reference card style sheet that would allow to gather a neat list of all the things to keep in mind.
I’d really appreciate some input.
I’ll be updating my progress and the uploading the final working file for easy translation to other languages.
Here is the updated list:
First 4 items would be supplemented with a visual representation of the problem
To avoid camera clipping issues, model close to the axis origin. Clipping can also occur when working in parallel projection mode and if some geometry is located very far from the axis origin.
To avoid face flickering or z-fighting, try raising up, deleting or hiding one of the faces that is on the same plane.
If you see cursor trails appearing when working with large models, consider turning off Fast Feedback in the OpenGL preferences or updating your video card drivers.
Very tiny objects should be modeled in an oversized scale to avoid face-creation problems.
Manage your objects
All Primitive geometry should be created and remain assigned to Layer 0. It should then be made a part of a group or component and assigned to a specific layer to manage their visibility.
Name your groups and components
Groups and component must have an appropriate name and IFC for easier work with Outliner, LayOut and BIM
CAD data and 3D Warehouse models should be inserted in a new SketchUp model. These objects should only be inserted in the working file after checking their scale and deleting unnecessary layers and geometry.
Working with complex models
When working with complex models, individual parts of the model can be made in a new SketchUp file and then assembled or referenced in the working file as a component.
Keep it simple
Avoid using excessive arc and circle segment count to keep the model size down and unless needed- don’t model parts that won’t be seen in the final output.
Use scenes to improve workflow
Use scenes to control layer, shadow, fog and stylistic effect visibility and settings for faster performance and workflow while modeling. This also lets you free up viewport space from dialog boxes and toolbars.
Use components above groups when possible to reduce the file size, allow easier editing and more flexible use of objects.
All components, materials and styles used in a model are still a part of the SketchUp file even after they have been deleted and left unused in the scene. This leads to an increased file size and lower performance. Use Purge Unused or the Cleanup plugin to purge, erase stray edges and merge faces regularly.
Working with materials
Materials should be applied to faces. Applying them to groups would paint the groups default colored faces in the selected color and prohibit you to change the texture coordinates. Every material needs a unique and logical name and only the largest necessary texture size.
Model with solids
Creating objects as solids lets you use and modify them easier. Get to know how to use the Solid tools for a faster workflow. Also remember to keep object front faces on the outside for easier use of stylistic effects and avoid problems when rendering.
Presenting your design
Use scenes to navigate between views, show section cut and shadow study animations and control layer visibility. The scenes will also be available for use in SketchUp viewers and embedded 3D Warehouse windows letting you present exactly what you want anywhere and anytime. Learn how to make great slide-presentations in LayOut to compliment the SketchUp presentation. Consider turning off auto-save to avoid performance interruptions when presenting complex models.
Saving your model
Use Save A copy As instead of Save As to keep the original file naming when making regular backups.
When sending SketchUp files to others, get to know what version of SketchUp they are using. Earlier version of SketchUp can’t open newer version files.
Using scenes from 3D Warehouse models
If you want to use the scenes from 3D Warehouse models open them separately instead of inserting them in your working file as a component.
Shortcuts to model faster
- G - Group
- H - Hide
- H + Shift - Unhide last
- Shift + Space - Hide rest of model