What's your beginners tip?

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What's your beginners tip?

Postby Hazza » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:35 am

I thought that there are alot of people on this forum that have alot of great knowledge and are willing to share it. In that spirit I wanted to start a thread on what's your ONE tip would you give a beginner?

Add just one tip, select one technique or method or tool that you think would be the most useful or it could be an unexpected gotcha to be careful of.

My tip would be:
"If you are going to use more than one copy of an item in the model make it a component, it saves file size and any changes are reflected in all copies"
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gaieus » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:50 am

When you are still unfamiliar with the inference engine and keep drawing lines out of alignment and off-axis, the "Colour by axis" setting in the Styles dialogue may be some help. Open it from the Window menu then go to "My model" (the little house icon) > Edit tab > Edge settings. There, at the bottom, there is a pulldown menu:

ColourByAxis_cr.jpg

_______

Hazza, this is a good idea but it should really go to the Newbie forum I think, so I'm moving it there if you don't mind.
I also mad it sticky.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Chris Fullmer » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:37 am

Always use a 3 button mouse with SketchUp. None of those single button Mac mice....stupidest invention ever.

And use shortcut keys.

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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Alan Fraser » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:52 am

Watch the training videos on the Help menu...especially if you are coming to SU from another program, with a ton of preconceptions about how things should be done....more especially if you are new to 3D.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby remus » Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:17 am

Start using groups early, makes stuff a lot easier.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Tobobo » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:28 am

remus wrote:Start using groups early, makes stuff a lot easier.


and components

My tip would be keep a tidy model. Keep up on your purging.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gaieus » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:55 am

James wrote:Display edges and profiles off...

I'd only keep profiles turned off - edge are neded for modeling (to see where you are connecting vertices and such).
Although never tried that way - maybe you can get used to it.
_______

The fastest way of modeling then would be with edges turne off in wireframe modeling :roflmao:
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby MALAISE » Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:42 pm

Begin with elementary forms (box, cylinder )and play with all tool just in order to learn
how they work.

MALAISE :)
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby ehaflett » Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:09 pm

Spend at least 10 minutes a day reading posts here. There's a LOT to be learned here and no shortage of inspiration!
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby modelhead » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:13 pm

As obscure as it may sound, build and place a few models on Google Earth. This is a great way to learn about textures/materials, projection, texture tweaking, photo match....etc, in the context of building simple and efficient models. It will also help you understand how you can create rich rendered models by capturing and creating your own materials.

New modelers sometimes get bogged down rendering...no wonder, it is good fun. A word of caution...it is a waste of time to spend hours trying out free renderers and demo renderers, they are all the same. The render quality that you are seeking is not in the renderer but in the materials applied to the model. As has been demonstrated by others in the past in this forum well created/conditioned/placed textures result in great renders no matter what engine you apply.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby solo » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:20 pm

Have fun with SU, play everyday, get into a workflow that you are comfortable with. Do not get too technical in the beginning as the details will come when the need arises.

As long as you are having fun you are learning, as soon as you get frustrated walk away and try again later.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby pmiller » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:24 pm

Gaieus wrote:
James wrote:Display edges and profiles off...

I'd only keep profiles turned off - edge are neded for modeling (to see where you are connecting vertices and such).
Although never tried that way - maybe you can get used to it.
_______

The fastest way of modeling then would be with edges turne off in wireframe modeling :roflmao:


On the contrary, I would strongly urge beginners to keep profiles on so they can properly tell when they have formed surfaces and avoid co-planar problems. Once they have got it, then they can keep them off.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gaieus » Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:40 am

pmiller wrote:...On the contrary, I would strongly urge beginners to keep profiles on so they can properly tell when they have formed surfaces and avoid co-planar problems. Once they have got it, then they can keep them off.

Yes, there is some truth in this - I also turn them on when finding out that some faces don't form properly so that I can easily see the offending edges. :thumb:
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Ross Macintosh » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:05 am

Tip: Orbit, Pan & Zoom using the middle mouse button / scroll wheel.

    middle mouse button to orbit
    middle mouse button + shift to pan
    and the scroll wheel to zoom

The tool buttons for orbiting, panning and zooming almost never need to be used.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gaieus » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:07 am

Yeah, deinitely. I even change the Orbit shortcut key (O) to Offset (while the original offset (F) is now Follow me. I think it is more logican and the orbit tool (a a button) is totally redundant.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby pilou » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:53 am

Enable "Hidden geometry" can help for curved forms and explain why some surfaces can't be selected ;)
Works also fine with the Joint Push Pull (the plug to add first!
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Edson » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:03 am

the three pillars of modelling well (IMHO, of course):
1. work ALWAYS on layer 0;
2. GROUP whatever geometry you are creating (in case there should be more than one copy of it, make it a COMPONENT);
3. place it on another LAYER whose name makes sense (essential for controlling the model's visualization).
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby HFM » Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:45 pm

Edson wrote:the three pillars of modelling well (IMHO, of course):
1. work ALWAYS on layer 0;
2. GROUP whatever geometry you are creating (in case there should be more than one copy of it, make it a COMPONENT);
3. place it on another LAYER whose name makes sense (essential for controlling the model's visualization).


A big Amen to that, I always work this way :thumb:

My tip:

While selecting different kind of materials for your model to try out looks, don't forget to delete them afterward since SketchUp will remember every single material you've selected, clogging op your model's file size in the process.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Jean Lemire » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:46 pm

Hi Folks.

My first tip: READ THE HELP.

Just ideas.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby boofredlay » Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:34 pm

But that is just one idea Jean :D

Use construction lines (with the tape measure tool) as much as is necessary.
And I also agree with Alan, watch all the training videos... many times over.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Anssi » Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:15 pm

Don't curse the SU inferencing, learn its quirks so it start working for you. One of the keys is to use Shift (locking) creatively with the inferences.

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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby modelhead » Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:07 am

That's so true Anssi....I was a fighter at first but now It's my best friend.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Hazza » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:19 am

Anssi wrote:Don't curse the SU inferencing, learn its quirks so it start working for you. One of the keys is to use Shift (locking) creatively with the inferences.

I never fought it, I just needed practice to get it to do what I wanted. I knew the Shift key locked tools like the protractor but didn't know it locked inferencing too, thanks.

Boofredlay wrote:And I also agree with Alan, watch all the training videos... many times over.

That's one of the things I didn't do, I was too keen to just jump right in, I downloaded all of the SU5 videos, watched one or 2 and got bored. I enjoyed the doing and learning by mistakes more than just sitting passively watching someone else do it.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Alan Fraser » Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:05 am

No, no. You don't sit and watch...getting bored. You watch part way through, then say to yourself "Let's see if I understood that bit right." pause the video and try for yourself. Watch a bit more....pause it again....especially with the much longer V6 videos. Otherwise, by the time you reach the end, you've forgotten the stuff at the beginning.
You know what they say about showing somebody something is better than telling them about it...but doing it for yourself is best of all.

I'll bet a lot of people here learnt much of their expertise by reading questions from people that they didn't know the answer to right away. So they jumped right in...maybe refreshed their own memory by watching a video or reading the Help...and figured out the answer themselves.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Ross Macintosh » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:21 am

Have Fun! Play!
It is human nature to jump right in, be ambitious, and attempt a "real project" when you are just getting your feet wet. That's what most of us did and its great so long as you can avoid frustrating yourself. Frustrations can zap your spirit. SketchUp should be a joy - and it can be.

Mix it up with some playing. Just fooling around and exploring tools and ideas is a fast-track to becoming more comfortable in SketchUp. It can be a remarkably intuitive program but you need to understand the flexibility it offers. You find that understanding through play and just trying different things.

Regards, Ross
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gidon Yuval » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:51 am

Don't try out tools and techniques that are new to you on a model that you are working on. Rather, open a new file and try out the tool or technique there. Once you feel comortable with it then, and only then, should you begin using the tool/technique on your models.
Nothing is more frustrating or agonising than messing up a model you need with unfammiliar tools to the extent that you have to start the whole thing over again.

before using "follow me" on something like this:
Brass Medallion.jpg

try it on some thing like this:
simple follow me.jpg

Before wraping textures on something like this:
Brown set.jpg

try different textures on something like this:
simple texture wrap.jpg

And like everybody said already: Have fun with it.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Hazza » Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:48 am

Another tip:

If you are repeating the same action over and over again, someone has probably already created a Ruby plugin to do it automatically for you.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Alan Fraser » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:31 am

What!...someone's written a Ruby that says "No, you stupid B####rd, move along the OTHER axis." ;)
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Hazza » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:00 pm

Alan Fraser wrote:What!...someone's written a Ruby that says "No, you stupid B####rd, move along the OTHER axis." ;)

I said ACTION, not mistake :)

In a related beginners hint:
If you are having diffuculty getting SU to draw in the axis you want, change the camera angle. (eg, it's impossible to get SU to draw in the blue axis if you are looking from above.)

Related to the above:
It is easier to click, release, move the mouse and click again, than to click, drag and release. This is because you can middle click with ease using the first method but you will struggle holding down both using the second when you want to change the camera angle.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby JuanV.Soler » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:39 pm

Click every now and then the Zoom Extents buttom.
you may get a surprise of something existing on the drawing board that you are not aware of.
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