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Sketchup Tutorials #4: Basic Settings

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Blog entry by Bob Babcock posted 08-17-2007 05:03 AM 5503 reads 9 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Natural slab revisited Part 4 of Sketchup Tutorials series Part 5: Fall Challenge Tutorial »

I thought it would make sense to share how I have Sketchup setup for woodworking. The basic settings make a difference in how Sketchup works for different purposes.

One caveat…I use Sketchup Pro…the free version may not have all these settings. I think it does but I’m not positive. I’ll be installing the free version on my other computer shortly so I can check these things.

There are two areas where you will likely want to make changes. The Preferences window and The Model Info window.

First Preferences.
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You’ll want to set the Template that Sketchup uses for its default drawing setup
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You’ll also want to make sure your General settings are something like this. These are personal preferences that work well for me. I don’t remember if I edited this or if these are the default.
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You can also set the Shortcut keys in the preferences. I have all the basic editing commands shortcut, for example to make a component I simply press the c key, g for group, s for scale, etc… Click on the command on the left, then enter the shortcut key in the Add Shortcut box, click the + sign to asign it.
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Other settings are edited in Model Info
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I set my units to make sense for the precision I need…adjust as necessary.
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I set my Location to the closest place listed. You can also give exact lat/lon in the custom location. These settings are used when you turn shadows on. Useful for siting landscaping features for shade studies and such.
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These are the basic settings that you will want to set 1st. You’ll notice that there are a number of other settings that can be adjusted. We can get into those later. I can answer any specific questions you may have about them if you need to know now.

One other thing that many of you that are just starting with Sketchup will find helpful is the Instructor. It gives context sensitive help in the form of mini animations based on the tool you have selected. Wish they had it when I was just starting.
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Let me know if you have any questions.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org



11 comments so far

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 3557 days


#1 posted 08-17-2007 05:45 AM

Cool piece of information on the geo location. Shadows based on your relative position in the galaxy… nifty.

For the angle snapping, is the 15deg setting for snapping to an existing piece of geometry that is withing 15deg of whatever you are doing. Or is it for rotations?

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 3549 days


#2 posted 08-17-2007 06:44 AM

The shadow tool is fun to play with. I have my lanscaping plan exactly placed lat/long and elevation. If I add a tree or structure I can see exactly how it’s shadow will be cast for a given date/time. Not usually critical for me but I’ve used it for shadow and light studies on proposed buildings where it was important. One project I placed skylights in a facility based on equipment layouts internally and was able to maximize natural lighting at workstations during working hours.

The angle snapping is used for the rotation tool. It will snap to the increment set when it gets close. You can always type in the exact degrees as well.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 3557 days


#3 posted 08-17-2007 07:19 AM

Cool. I can see how the exact shadow visualization would be great for all sorts of things. Thanks on the snap clarification too.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3624 days


#4 posted 08-17-2007 12:56 PM

excellent addition to your tutorial series

hmmm landscaping…

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 3500 days


#5 posted 08-17-2007 04:54 PM

Oh now that’s a winner, Bob. That has been one of the things that trips me up about Sketchup. I can do a fair amount with it, but I never really had a good handle on setting it up to make my life easier. Thanks, bro!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Dano's profile

Dano

222 posts in 3495 days


#6 posted 08-18-2007 01:20 AM

Bob,

What is the square supposed to do for us in the last picture? I have it on each new drawing and always delete it.

-- Dan in Central Oklahoma, Able to turn good wood into saw dust in the blink of an eye!

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 3549 days


#7 posted 08-18-2007 03:36 AM

NP Jeff…any other ideas or issues?

Hehe Deb….yes landscaping….one of the 1st things I did was to put my yard into Sketchup. How’s the pond coming?

LOL…I had to look twice before I realized it was you Tom. Darth and Spid on vacation?

Dan….The square is just an indication that you are in the woodworking template. I always delete it too.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3624 days


#8 posted 08-22-2007 01:41 AM

pond is … well… still an idea. It looks like we are going to have to find a fish tank for our little fish for the winter and dig the hole in the spring.

We’re having a big shindig in a month (my Mom’s 80th b-day) and I’d like to make some paths in my backyard similar to what you have. I figure that if I make one path per year that it will get done before I’m .. well.. older! :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View scotty47's profile

scotty47

17 posts in 2719 days


#9 posted 08-15-2009 07:06 PM

Thanks for your tutorials, I am interested in drawing base and upper cabinets, do you have a tutorial for that.
I am starting by changing the setting for woodworking and am lost already ” I cannot find the change setting to Inches (woodworking)- 3D” in windows> preferences.
A really good start, Thanks for all the help …........drummond

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scotty47

17 posts in 2719 days


#10 posted 08-16-2009 04:12 PM

Thanks for all your help Dave….....................scotty

View scotty47's profile

scotty47

17 posts in 2719 days


#11 posted 08-18-2009 02:48 AM

I just want to say That dave totally went 110% to help me learn how to build the cabinets that I work with at my place of employment, this is one fantastic man, you are blessed to have him as a member here. Thanks Dave, its now up to me to keep working to perfect what you taught me….....scotty

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