• Drawing 3D models in SketchUp requires a lot of back and forth between your keyboard and mouse. As you become a more experienced SketchUp modeler, you develop a sense of what commands and tools you use most often and what you do and don’t like about the default keyboard and mouse settings.

  • If your model is geolocated with the Add Location feature and you want to display it in Google Earth, you may need to take a few extra steps. Here’s a quick overview of the tips and tricks that help your model looks its best in Google Earth:

  • To create a 3D model in SketchUp, you’re constantly switching among the drawing tools, views, components, and organizational tools. In this article, you find several examples that illustrate ways you can use these tools together to model a specific shape or object. The examples illustrate a few of the different applications for creating 3D models in SketchUp: woodworking, modeling parts or abstract objects, and creating buildings. The examples are loosely ordered from the simple to the complex.

  • As you draw 3D models in SketchUp, the ability to divide edges and faces enables you to create and manipulate your geometry in complex ways. You can also explode entities, such as circles and polygons, into the individual segments.

  • Drawing a model in 3D is different from drawing an image in 2D. This introduction to drawing basics and concepts explains a few ways you can create edges and faces (the basic entities of any SketchUp model). You also discover how the SketchUp inference engine helps you place those lines and faces on your desired axis.

  • When you first run SketchUp, the Welcome to SketchUp dialog box appears, as shown here. This dialog box is your starting point for creating a model and appears every time you start SketchUp (unless you deselect the Always show on startup check box).

  • In LayOut, you can bend lines and shapes — no telekinetic powers required! All you need is LayOut’s path editor. Okay, that might be a tiny fib. You need the path editor and a little knowledge about editing vector graphics and Bézier curves. After you know the tricks, however, bending lines and shapes is easy, and this article explains all the basics to help you get started.

  • To draw the most basic lines in your LayOut document, you can use the orderly Line tool to draw straight lines or its freewheeling cousin, the Freehand tool, to draw loopy swerving lines any which way you like. You see an example of both in the following figure. Each tool has a few tricks and secrets, as explained in the following sections.

  • If you’re new to creating documents and presentations in LayOut, a quick tour of the interface and few mousing tips can help orient you to LayOut’s basic tools and features. Parts of the LayOut interface, like the Measurements box and some of the mousing tricks, look and feel like SketchUp. Other parts, like some menus and dialog boxes, are unique to LayOut. Ready to tour the interface? Let the following sections be your guide.