Today’s project has been to create a variety of scenes for the component parts of my SketchUp design for a printer cupboard for my office. I haven’t done a lot of SU recently so I’m way out of practice and I never really had done much with scenes anyway. I think I see a need for some automation here; some scripts that can take a selection of components and
a) produce a scene with them laid out sensibly in a ‘list’
b) do all the hiding required to hide everything else
c) let you annotate and dimension each component
d) probably a bunch of other bits.
I can’t help thinking that a ‘bigger’ version of scenes is needed, perhaps ‘rooms’, where the components and styles are shared but not the space, so that you can stop worrying about seeing stuff you don’t want to see. It could probably be implemented by use of layers at a guess, althoguh I get the impression that layers are not likley to survive much longer in SU. Just having a tickbox for each scene to mark it as common or private should be adequate for a UI.
Once I had some dimensions and scenes I sent the model to Layout to build a set of plans. Boy, that hurt. Layout really does need some more work to get it up to standard. I’m going to guess that in fact it might do what I want but the functionality is pretty well hidden. For example, so far as I can tell you have to update after making any changes in SU by use of File->Open Recent and then hit the right button in the ensuing dialogue. A simple ‘Update’ would be nice. What I would really like in Layout is for it to be able to handle the dimensioning work instead of having to do it in SU. And for it to have a direct interface to the list of components in the model so a page can easily display (and dimension, don’t forget) one or more components without having to mess around with the SU file. This would allow a nice workflow separation too, one guy does the 3D design, another can do the pulling of parts and plans.
Next week would be fine, Google-guys :-)