What's your beginners tip?

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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Mike Lucey » Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:52 pm

Hi Newbies,

While learning SketchUp back in the good old days of @Last it was all new to me to. One of the problems I had was things 'sticking' together that I did not want to 'stick together'. Of course all I had to do was remember to 'Group' the items that I wanted to remain 'non sticky' by 'right click' then hit 'make group'!

I likened this to a teflon coated frying pan! So I got into the habit of saying to myself as I worked along .... 'Teflon coat it!' .... I still do :D

Mike
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gaieus » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:55 am

Well, this reminds me that I am hungry. Will be back in a minute...
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby cheneymax » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:30 pm

Come up with a project to work on. It doesn't have to be complicated. Maybe a simple 1-story house with a flat roof and 4 rooms. This way, you get a feel for what you can and can't do. It's best if you choose a project that you DON'T think you have the ability to do. This way, you have to learn Sketchup in order to finish the project. Don't forget to ask questions here on the forum. We are all here to help each other.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby mics_54 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:59 am

MY TIP is...when scroll wheel zooming you must be sure the curser is on an element within the drawing rather than on sky or other distant "plane". If the curser is not on a drawing element the zoom seems to hang up or only move minutely. I struggled with the scroll wheel zoom for years until today! I didn't see mention of this anywhere...surely this isn't unknown. :ecstatic:
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Dave R » Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:01 pm

That's a good tip, mics_54. It is mentioned somewhere but I don't remember exactly where.

I wish I'd known a long time ago that was giving you trouble. I wouldn't have let you suffer so long.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby mics_54 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:40 pm

Hi Dave, the reason for the "zoom with scroll wheel" thing seems so obvious now that I figured it out, I don't know why I didn't get it before.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Roger » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:33 pm

Spend a couple hundred hours constructing perspective with T square and triangles and then rendering the results outside of a rendering program. Also take your camera and photograph buildings. As a result you will learn that if you don't know what your are doing and are relying on computer and camera to make up for lack of knowledge that you will continue to be disappointed.

I often see renders where the composition is bad or the lighting is bad of shadows from a building to in one direction and the shadow from entourage go the other direction. Computers increase speed which means you can get a good product faster or you can get a bad product faster.

Learn to see first and then learning to render will be much easier and the quality will be higher.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby mitcorb » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:23 pm

Tip. Elegant appearance does not guarantee elegant function.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Roger » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:35 pm

mitcorb wrote:Tip. Elegant appearance does not guarantee elegant function.


And elegant function does not guarantee elegant appearance. Its best to get them both right and then the thing is truly elegant.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby modelhead » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:49 am

Great story jgb. Thanks for that....and Mike, the Teflon memory trick is pretty cute I have a few of those..I can't imagine how badly we would screw up someones SU vocabulary. :D
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Dave R » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:10 am

I use the analogy of a sandwich when talking about groups. Something like this.

You make a sandwich of a bunch of entities; bread, cheese lettuce, tomato, meat, etc. Then you try to pick it up by a corner and it falls apart or distorts. You lay one of those great big dill pickles on top of it and the juice soaks into the bread changing the sandwich. that's loose, ungrouped geometry, Picking the sandwich up is like grabbing it by the corner with the Move tool. Putting the pickle on it is the sticky nature of entities.

Now wrap the sandwich in transparent cling wrap. You can still see the sandwich and you can pick the sandwich up by the corner and it doesn't fall apart. If you lay the pickle on top, it's juice can't soak into the bread so it doesn't change the sandwich.

Suppose you want to put a slice of onion on the sandwich. You can lay it on top but it isn't part of the sandwich. If you really want the onion to be part of the sandwich, open the cling wrap and edit the sandwich. The same goes for applying materials or other geometry to a group or component.

Of course the analogy falls apart a little when talking about components. In reality you can't just open one sandwich wrapper to put on the onion and have it appear on all the other sandwiches. It's goofy but it seems to work with my students.

I like the teflon idea, too.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gaieus » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:26 am

Dave R wrote:open the cling wrap and edit the sandwich

:roflmao:

Next time I need something in my food, I will tell my wife to edit it. "Would you please, edit that bowl of stew and add some pepper, please?"
:lol:
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby jgb » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:14 pm

Dave R wrote:That's a good tip, mics_54. It is mentioned somewhere but I don't remember exactly where.

I wish I'd known a long time ago that was giving you trouble. I wouldn't have let you suffer so long.


Dave
That's commonly referred to as "Hyper-Pan" or "Hyper-Zoom" and has been a bone of contention since I started using SU years ago. Others have bitched about it too, and even John from Google-SU said he would look into it and get back to me. That was last year and no word yet.

There is a way to fix it inside SU. Simply maintain the original rate of pan/zoom when the cursor slips off the object, and only until the cursor is back on an object or any button/key or tool is activated.

At least that way you won't go off in space somewhere.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Dave R » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:19 pm

Yes. I'm well aware of that.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby david_h » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:43 pm

Gaieus wrote:
Dave R wrote:open the cling wrap and edit the sandwich

:roflmao:

Next time I need something in my food, I will tell my wife to edit it. "Would you please, edit that bowl of stew and add some pepper, please?"
:lol:


I tell my wife all the time to Hide Unused Basil . And she tells me to go Delete Myself. :mrgreen:
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby jgb » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:15 pm

All I get from my wife for any request for anything is
Access Denied :cry:

And so begins another downward spiral of a once good and interesting thread...... :roll:
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby rbecker » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:00 pm

I'll add this one because it took me way too long to figure out.

If you have a component you've used throughout your model, and you realize you have several instances you need to alter in the same fashion, but you don't want that to apply to all the instances;

Select one of the instances, choose "make unique". Now, select the other components you want to alter. Go to the component browser, make sure you are viewing components "In Model". Find the new unique instance you created, right-click, and choose "replace selected". You now have a new group of components, edit one and they all get the same new treatment!
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gaieus » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:09 pm

Ross, if you want to make a bunch of instances unique, just select them all then right click on any of them and make unique. This operation will make all selected instances of this new definition - so you spared the replace step now (which can indeed be useful though for other actions).
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby rbecker » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:23 pm

Gaieus,
DOH! I thought I tried that and it made every selected component individually unique. I just tested it again and it does exactly what you say, which is what I was trying in the first place. Thanks!
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Gaieus » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:54 pm

Never mind (we have a doh thread somewhere if you want to join - many of us have posted in there about our "doh's" too). ;)

The "Replace selected" function is indeed a good one and a useful hint for newbies in this beginners' tips topic to look at. :thumb:
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby opal » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:08 pm

my noob two cents.. lots of places I've seen it suggested that we start with something simple, like a box or a chair (not one of the lovely overstuffed varieties either) I disagree.. my first model was a wedding cake.. tiers, pillars and decorations (unfathomable poly count) but making a box or a square chair isn't going to teach the tools.
My tip is learn the tools. sure, make that box but do everything you possibly can to that box with each and every tool in the arsenal.. if it looks cool - do it again!
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Julia198x » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:21 pm

These are all really great beginner tips. Thank you everyone!!! :thumb:
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby EWWinterbach » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:11 pm

As a newby - Myself - best is to play and pracice and keep playing playing playing - its such an easy program and once youve played a bit - ask question from the guys here that know it thru and thru

by the way - do u know how to make fabric - like as in fold of fabric in random
I dunno and its doing my head in
can u help
i see it has been done in Library

if so please email me : info@in2interiors.co.za

regards from : Cape Town South Africa
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Trogluddite » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:28 pm

Learn to think more negatively!

In my first few attempts at making my own objects, I found that I was trying to make lots of little 'construction kit' parts, and then ending up with nasty overlaps and internal faces when I tried to 'build' my object.

But, it is often better to think more like like a sculptor - don't 'build' an object, rather 'carve' it from a solid block to remove the bits you don't want. The push/pull tool is your biggest friend for this.
Using 'intersect faces' (or Solid Tools if you have SU Pro) makes light work of 'carving' even the most complex 'negative shapes'.

For example, I needed to make some realistic screws with nice rounded 'mushroom' heads. But constructing the slots for a Phillps screwdriver into a curved surface isn't easy (and concave areas are always a bit awkward, even with X-ray view or wireframe).
Far easier to construct a nice easy convex 'screwdriver' component, and then use that to carve out the slots using subtraction.

This is as much about how you see the objects around you, as it is about SU technique (just as in painting or sculpture) - so it's worth training your eye to see the shapes of the 'nothingness' in objects as much as the solid matter.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby mics_54 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:47 am

my attempt at fabric
fabric.skp
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby EWWinterbach » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:26 am

mics_54 wrote:my attempt at fabric
fabric.skp

thank you so much for this example
\
it open up my world to the fabric thing that was holding my back
your example has helped heaps
now i am creating some awesome stuff
See it just needs one person to lead the way and the rest of us learn so much

bravo !!!!!
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby Daniel » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:42 pm

Whatever your modeling, pay attention to how things are made, and model accordingly. And, pay attention to how you position your textures.
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby xphatjunkie » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:07 am

My beginner tip (in landscape practice) : always save many scenes for every match perspectives, plan, detail, and section

:berserk:
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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby DanYHKim » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:27 pm

I always set up custom keyboard shortcuts, then save them to a file. I keep this file in a USB Flash drive that I carry with me, so it's handy. I also use the "Large Tool Set" instead of the "Getting Started" set, and set buttons small.

My department has computers in the lab with SketchUp installed, but students do not have Admin rights. They cannot install plugins or components into the usual places. It turns out that you can copy the program folder for SketchUp to a Flash drive, and run it from there, if the host computer also has SketchUp installed. It may require that the same or higher version be installed, but haven't tested that yet.

So, I have told students that they can install SketchUp on their home computers, install plugins and component bonus packs, and then copy the program folder to a USB drive. If they run the program from there, it will give them access to the plugin and components folders, which is very handy. Not exactly "portable" SketchUp, but close.

I have a video of this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VQmkz-MraA
The relevant portion of this video begins at 5:25


In truth, there's probably no real reason why SketchUp can't be reconfigured to run as a portable app. Only a few minor changes would do it I'm sure.
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Last edited by DanYHKim on Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What's your beginners tip?

Postby DanYHKim » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:20 pm

Two-sided Faces

I don't usually deal with materials and faces, but this is a useful characteristic. Faces have two different sides, and are usually colored differently. It is possible to make one face transparent, while the other side is opaque. I use this when modeling a house, so I can see the interior of the house when looking through the top, but a solid ceiling shows when I have POV inside the house.

Here's a video of this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivv4qcdX6lM



Related video done by someone else:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBcI7Rzo6yU
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