What's your beginners tip?

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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Dadoing » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:27 pm

1. If you use Microsoft Office, check out MS OneNote for collecting and organizing notes about SU.

2. First time you open Sketchup to see what it's all about, consider setting it up to look like the attached image. Check out View/Toolbars.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby JamesPhilip » Mon May 10, 2010 6:17 pm

Hi. I wanted to share a technique that I learned. While working with large projects, the computer becomes slow while using the orbit tool for rotating, or the Pan tool. I usually switch to wire frame mode just before using those tools, and after rotating or panning, switch back to the shaded view. I think this method reduces the load on the computer.
Another method is to assign plants, furniture, vehicles etc., to particular layers, turn off those layers and turn them back on after completing the detailing works. This also reduces the load on the computer.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby JamesPhilip » Mon May 24, 2010 10:08 am

I would like to share another method that helped me to keep every thing in order. Suppose you are modelling a complicated shape, like a designer window inside one of the rooms in a house. First you turn the window into a group. The window should be at the exact location where you want it to be in the finished model of the house.Move this group a particular distance, say about 300 cms or 10 ft(using multiples of 100 will be easy. Also dont forget this distance) along the blue axis in the upward direction. Now the group is away from the model of the house. Now you can select the house without affecting the window and hide it. This will reduce the load on the computer. The parallel projection mode and front, side or rear view can be used with advantage for selecting the house. Now do the detailing works on the window. After that unhide the house and move the window 300 cms down.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gaieus » Mon May 24, 2010 11:39 am

Hi James,

What if you turn the window into a component instead of a group and only move a copy a little out of the way? In this case, you can work on the component while the original copy (being just another instance of the same definition) will instantly inherit any changes you make on this copy component.

You basically spare only one step; moving the window back to its original position but this can even be a bit more tedious and in this case you need not even do those movements so precisely etc.

Another way to work on elements without the disturbing surrounding is to "hide the rest of the model" while working inside a group/component (this can be found under Window > Model info y Components - but you can also add a toggle shortcut key)
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby JamesPhilip » Fri May 28, 2010 8:28 am

I agree with you Gaieus. Components are more powerful than Groups. But I had a feeling that all features of Components are not available in Sketchup free version. I am trying to learn more about them.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby dylan » Fri May 28, 2010 8:34 am

You get the full features of Groups and Components in the free version.
There is very little difference between Pro and Free. The main differences being file export and Layout. There are a few more but all the modelling tools are the same.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby TIG » Fri May 28, 2010 10:01 am

Note that with Free you can use Dynamic Components, but you can't make them - that needs Pro...
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gaieus » Fri May 28, 2010 11:20 am

True but for this job, you do not need Dynamic Components.

In fact, though I have the Pro version, I extremely rarely use any of the Pro functions.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby MAXV65 » Mon May 31, 2010 3:17 pm

Hello group. My name is Craig. I'm fairly new to sketchup, having used a variety of 3d modelers in the past. Really enjoying it. I have one question. I'm looking for a plugin that would provide 'saved' selection sets, or the ability to re-highlight last selection or group. I'm not going to bore everybody with why, and therefore's, but needless to say it would seem a valuable time saver.

thanks for your time, and thanks for a great forum.

craig
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby TIG » Mon May 31, 2010 8:46 pm

See http://www.smustard.com/script/SelectionMemory for free, or the inexpensive v2 there too...
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby MAXV65 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:30 pm

TIG wrote:See http://www.smustard.com/script/SelectionMemory for free, or the inexpensive v2 there too...


thanks a bunch. that will work.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Vicspa » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:58 pm

I did not read all of the other tips, but I'm sure someone has said this already, and it's worth repeating.
"SAVE OFTEN" ...SketchUP has a tendency to "crash often". :D
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby NOLA Saint™ » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:35 am

This may have been said before but please SAVE YOUR MODEL FREQUENTLY, Every few minutes, just take the 10 seconds out to push [CTRL] + [S]. you don't want to be in the position where your model bug splats (crashes) and you lose all your work. I learned this the hard way, but i hope you won't.
Another tip: Learn by watching. Look at other users' models, especially their WIP (Work in progress. AKA an unfinished model) models. You might see how they do it. You might learn a new trick or a new way to use a certain tool. Don't be afraid to ask someone how they made a model either.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby ~GoldenFrog®~ » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:49 am

NOLA Saint™ wrote:Look at other users' models, especially their WIP (Work in progress. AKA an unfinished model) models. You might see how they do it. You might learn a new trick or a new way to use a certain tool. Don't be afraid to ask someone how they made a model either.
Agreed. But about saving, that's why SU has autosave ;) Though it is always good to be on the safe side.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby pilou » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:17 am

Save is cool but when your file becomes some big that is less cool ;)
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gaieus » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:47 am

The problem with autosave is exactly what Pilou says. When your file becomes rather large and it "hits" you the worst time, it can take forever. Imagine you are in an operation with a heavy ruby plugin (which can take a while in itself, too) and then in the meanwhile comes the autosave.

I basically turned it off and got used to saving the model at every possible and "logical" time (mainly after some major steps). However it would be a risky thing to suggest this...
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby ~GoldenFrog®~ » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:11 pm

Ah, well, being a rather lazy person, I never make models so large tht it takes a long time to save 'em, but I get your point.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby liam887 » Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:10 am

Gaieus wrote:The problem with autosave is exactly what Pilou says. When your file becomes rather large and it "hits" you the worst time, it can take forever. Imagine you are in an operation with a heavy ruby plugin (which can take a while in itself, too) and then in the meanwhile comes the autosave.

I basically turned it off and got used to saving the model at every possible and "logical" time (mainly after some major steps). However it would be a risky thing to suggest this...


ditto

although when you forget to manual save..................... :(
happens more than i will admit lol
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby boofredlay » Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:42 am

I did the same. And now I am hard wired to hit save before any plugin operation ;)
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gaieus » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:08 am

Yes indeed, I also forget to save sometimes and once it did happen to me that I splatted and lost some hours of work - exactly the worst timing as it was a tight deadline.

That's why I also wrote it would be risky to advise this...
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Design1 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:09 pm

Model somthing that is accesable to you, your house, letterbox, a piece of furniture etc model and delete/build until you get it right. Emulating the real world will force you to uncover new aspects of SU you may not otherwise stumble upon.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby DreadedOne509 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:07 pm

As a beginner myself (more aptly called a newb) I can say with confidence that the first
thing someone should do is RTFM (read the 'manual'). It's long, boring, etc etc et al ad nauseum but more than worth it.

Just the toolbar and tools sections are worth the time and effort. There are so many context and tool altering keyboard
key combination's for the various tools that it'll really be worth your while.
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Replacing (almost) identical groups/components

Postby jgb » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:52 pm

It's a mistake I made by the bushel when I started using SU.

I made multiple copies of grouped geometry instead of making them components.
My rule now is if ANYTHING is more than 1 occurrence, it is a component.

So when I did convert one of the group copies to an identical component (select, explode, make comp) I was faced with the task of replacing the same groups with that same component, in the exact same position. When I moved the comp into the groups position, it would snap into position and I was not able to select only the group to delete it.

I tried several things with variable success, until I stumbled on this simple solution.

Before you move the comp onto the group, edit the group and add a single line from any point to outside its existing bounding box, then close it.
Move the comp into place. It will still snap in place.

Now simply click on the extended group line and you can easily select and delete only the group. 8-)


------------------
There is also a TT tool that replaces identical groups with an identical comp, but it does the whole drawing, which is not what you may want, and if even the slightest difference is present, or the group is nested, it will not replace the group.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Speaker » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:18 pm

If you want to completely get rid of Sketchups face shading while keeping the colour, then turn on the shadows and set the light slider to 0 and the dark slider to 80. I found this useful for making the RBG value of the faces to match the one in the material editor.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby JosefaHoge » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:08 pm

Hey

thanks for your beginning tips. They are really helpful for me to develop my interest and expertise and most importantly understanding the tool.
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Phil's Bestmate Tips

Postby bestmate » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:33 pm

If i may ,can i give you our future experts ( trust me it won't take long ) tips to help them along

1/ Accurate inferencing, To me is the corner stone to clean non hair pulling out experiences in sketchup ( Zoom zoom to see were your putting that line)

2/ COPLANER If that face will not fill in after 10 minutes ( and i have been there) its not flat ! If there are two lines very close together where there should be one ( you know, those lines that look alittle thicker that the other lines), then the party on its the way to pair shape city Ha ha.

3/ Work cleanly and and erase those lines that should not be there ( the lines that keep flashing puppy eyes at your inference engine) ,and your clinical approach will reward you , in not wanting to get off your computer ,rather than throwing it out the window .
Enjoy Phil
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Last edited by bestmate on Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby jgb » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:11 pm

Regarding non-coplanar problems. If the attempt to face keeps failing, even after you have drawn and redrawn all the lines multiple times, here are a few ways to help find the culprit. Not always successful, but usually eliminates the co-linear line problem.

If your triangular, rectangular or multi-line entity fails to face, you need to revert it to triangles. Draw lines from vertex to vertex, being careful to let SU tell you that you are using endpoints only, before you click. Zooming in helps, but if you encounter the clipping plane getting in close, then turn OFF perspective. (Camera; Perspective) Then you can get in real close.

Another problem with drawing lines is where you are trying to draw a line (from A to B) that is not quite on-axis, and SU will tell you it is "constrained by line at point". Simply ESC and draw the line from B to A. Usually works. This is probably the biggest culprit creating co-linear lines.

Now let's say you do have a suspected co-linear line. You delete both of them, and redraw a single line, but the face still won't form. The culprit here is the tiny line segment formed at the vertex after the 2 co-linear lines were drawn. It can be nearly invisible unless you zoom in real close, and that takes time. So rather than go looking at all 3 corners for it, try this.

Turn ON the Entity Info dialog box. You also need to turn on hidden lines. With the object viewed such that there are no other endpoints behind the suspect vertex, use the left to right select in a very small box just covering the vertex, and not any whole lines. If Entity Info says no selection, the problem is elsewhere. If the Entity Info says there is a very tiny line (or more than 1 line) then there is the problem. Just delete all of them. Do all 3 vertexes. This may deface other adjacent faces, but now you can delete a line and redraw it endpoint to endpoint to reform the faces.

Note that this will NOT find a vertex gap, but deleting and redrawing lines at endpoints cleared of tiny fragments will cure the gaps.

Another culprit is trying to face on a curve or arc line. Since there is no real endpoint within the length of the line, placing other lines to form a face may not be right on, and this can create a tiny fragment or gap to throw off the face. Just explode the curve/arc and that will help finding the true endpoints on the curve.

When you have the whole object faced with triangles, you can start deleting the internal lines making all those triangles to get back to your multi-line face. If a face disappears doing this, then that triangle was not co-planar with the rest of the face, and you have to redraw that section in a co-planar manor. Or, just UNDO the deleted line, and make it soft and smooth (Entity Info box again).

And with all that, I still spent 2 1/2 hours yesterday trying to get a triangle to face, and ending up deleting the whole section around it and starting over.
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Re: Replacing (almost) identical groups/components

Postby Dave R » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:54 pm

jgb wrote:I made multiple copies of grouped geometry instead of making them components.
My rule now is if ANYTHING is more than 1 occurrence, it is a component.

So when I did convert one of the group copies to an identical component (select, explode, make comp) I was faced with the task of replacing the same groups with that same component, in the exact same position. When I moved the comp into the groups position, it would snap into position and I was not able to select only the group to delete it.

I tried several things with variable success, until I stumbled on this simple solution.

Before you move the comp onto the group, edit the group and add a single line from any point to outside its existing bounding box, then close it.
Move the comp into place. It will still snap in place.

Now simply click on the extended group line and you can easily select and delete only the group. 8-)


I only make components, not groups. Then I never need to waste time making the conversion from group to component later. If I want to replace one component with another, it's automatic so I don't have to add any extra geometry to be able to get hold of one later. I've never found a case where a group is preferable to a component. Even when there's only one occurrence of something, I make it a component.
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Re: Replacing (almost) identical groups/components

Postby jgb » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:28 pm

Dave R wrote:I only make components, not groups.


No argument with that. I almost always end up converting a group to a comp when finished with its design.
The main reason I keep groups is to cut down on the extensive list of comps (many of which would be sets of comps) I would create during the design. I use the groupings to segregate sections of geometry to avoid unwanted merging, then explode the group once done, but within a comp. I also usually group several comps into 1 coherent set, where I may have a slight difference in the set makeup in various places in the model. Groups and comps both have their advantages and should be used accordingly.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Dave R » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:53 pm

"Groups and comps both have their advantages and should be used accordingly."

Yup. Just never have found a need for groups even when nesting components. Depends upon ones workflow and style and it is good the SketchUp is so flexible.
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