Zoom tool, shift modifier key

My modifier key shift, in the zoom tool, doesn’t seem to work in SU2022 pro and SU2021 pro, not in the same way as when activating the same(?) function camera/field of view, at least.
I get the angle reading, but the visual result is yet the same as zooming.

There are different ways to activate the ‘Zoom’ tool.
You are right, it is dependent of how (which way) you select the tool.
Although in both (all three?) ways the ‘Zoom’ tool icon displays exactly the same, one requires you to hold down [Shift] to change the field of view (FOV) while the other way does not. you just press the Lmouse button and slide the icon up or down on screen to change the FOV.
With the first when not holding down [Shift] the tool just zooms in or out.
While with the latter when holding down [Shift] it works as zooming in and out.
It’s a bit confusing indeed.

Also there is a difference in how the camera seems to work.

Needs further investigation

The Field of View command never “zoomed” the same was as the zoom tool works. I’m still on 2020, so I can’t go check quickly if it’s changed.

Here’s how I think SU works with the three “zooming” functions:
Conceptually, reduce taking a picture with a camera to a 2D plan view, and three variables:

  1. Angle of View (measured in degrees)
  2. Distance to Subject (measured in length)
  3. Field of View (measured in length)

I think each of the modes tries to hold one constant while changing the other two.
• The Zoom Tool without a modifier changes 2 while holding 1 constant & 3 changes as a consequence.
• The Zoom Tool with the shift key changes 1 while holding 2 constant & 3 changes as a consequence.
• The Field of View tool tries to hold 3 constant while changing 1 and 2 simultaneously.

It’s hard to tell about Field of View, because SU has to make an assumption about what the subject is to hold that part of the picture frame relatively constant. I’m not sure, but that’s what it seems like it’s doing to me.


Could be that you are right.
The problem / confusing part is that there seem to be different tools (-actions) all with the same icon.
It depends on how or where you select ‘Zoom’: the zoom button or [Z] or selected in a menu.

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Yes, and for years I could never remember which one worked which way. I think I would choose Field of View, and then say, “No that’s not the one I wanted.” Now I think I understand the intention.

Thanks for the reminder about [Z]. The pull down menu reminds you the Command-\ is Zoom (2 keystrokes) but Z is one keystroke and easier.

SketchUp’s field of view is in degrees, and it may be that it’s a mis-labelled angle of view in reality. There is a hidden option to control whether you’re interested in the horizontal angle or the vertical angle.

I don’t think Steve ever worked for SketchUp, and Lisanne is in the process of leaving the company. Laura, Chris, and Stacy, are still around.

Where is this hidden option? My understanding is Angle of View in the VCB is the vertical one, but, as I pointed out in another thread, I think the formula to figure Focal Length is using horizontal angle of view, so it’s all wrong.

I just grabbed figures in a hurry. I thought a group photo would convey the idea of Field of View. I didn’t think much about it until I actually took the time to do some research. Again, check out this site:

The panel that you can see by doing a Sketchup.send_action 10624 only works on Windows. If you do that you will see there is an option Fov = H, that you could uncheck. Which makes me think I got the setting reversed in my mind. The 35 degrees default would be the vertical angle of view.

Very interesting, indeed! Thank you!
I discovered that the “camera/field of view” works better/ more intuitive than the zoom tool.

FOV also have a modifier; shift key, which makes it work as a (triple redundant) zoom tool.

From now on, I will reassign my z-key to FOV and use the scroll wheel as my (still) primary zoom tool.