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SketchUp Documentation

Welcome to our SketchUp documentation section. SketchUp is a powerful 3D program that can turn your site design into a vivid 3D rendering. Your license of our software give you access to both the Land F/X SketchUp Connection (available from our F/X Planting ribbon in CAD) and the Land F/X SketchUp plugin (available as a free download from the Extension Warehouse within SketchUp).

 

SketchUp is a separate piece of software from AutoCAD or our plugins. Need SketchUp? Download it here.

Note that we no longer support SketchUp 8. We only support versions 2015 and newer.

Installing SketchUp 2017 or 2018 on a Mac with Parallels? The Windows version of SketchUp is incompatible with Parallels. Instead, we recommend installing SketchUp for Mac on the Mac portion of your computer.

Resources for SketchUp

Power Tips

Make your SketchUp models as realistic as possible by assigning your own highly realistic tree components to the plants you specify. This Power Tip will show you how.

Ready for more two- to three-minute videos about SketchUp? See our collection of brief SketchUp Power Tip videos. Here are a few of the most recent ones:

Webinars

Want to go more in depth? We provide free hourlong training sessions on almost every topic related to our software. Browse our SketchUp webinars.

 

  • 3D Connection Basics for SketchUp: Learn how to use the Land F/X 3D connection tool to integrate your CAD design into a working 3D model. (1 hr 2 min)
  • SketchUp Basics: This webinar will introduce you to 3D modeling in SketchUp, giving you a basic understanding of some of the most important tools and concepts you need to use SketchUp for your designs. (1 hr 3 min)
  • SketchUp for Intermediate Users: We'll show you some helpful tools from the SketchUp Extension Warehouse and give you some tips on creating and using SketchUp components. (1 hr 1 min)
  • SketchUp Basics: Part 2: Learn the proper use of components and when to use groups. We'll also show you some right-click options when dealing with objects in your drawing, line and segment techniques, rotate and copy tools, and how to use the paint and texture options. (1 hr 2 min)
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Basics: In this basic workflow, we go over exporting a site and planting plan from AutoCAD to SketchUp. We also show you some basic SketchUp tools, as well as additional features included in our Land F/X SketchUp plugin. (1 hr 17 min)
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Intermediate: We'll show you how to create a more complex 3D model using the Connection. We’ll include some simple grading, custom plant components, and a primer on using photos in SketchUp. (1 hr 21 min)
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Advanced: We’ll go through the workflow for a detailed 3D model based on a full grading plan with contextual grading. You’ll then learn how to take the plan to a point at which you can continue with your favorite renderer for a photorealistic image. (1 hr 4 min)
  • Using Photoshop in Post-Production Renderings Part 3: The third part of our Photoshop webinar series includes a demonstration of how to set up a scene in SketchUp and then use it as a base for creating an effective perspective rendering with Photoshop. (1 hr 11 min)
  • AutoCAD Basics: Create a Base Plan for Your Site: We'll show you how to use SketchUp and AutoCAD to create a base plan for your landscape, irrigation, or hardscape design. (58 min)
  • Creating Section Elevations With SketchUp: Do you create your own section elevations strictly in AutoCAD? We'll show you how to use SketchUp to generate elevations during this process while also using Land F/X to confirm the final outcome of your design. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Guest webinars: We often produce guest webinars presented by SketchUp experts in the Land F/X community. Here are just a few:
    • SketchUp and Lumion Rendering Techniques with Mike Brightman: Mike Brightman demonstrates how to create amazing 3D renders with Lumion. He also covers the connection between Land F/X, SketchUp, and Lumion. (1 hr)
    • Terrain Modeling In SketchUp: Daniel Tal returns to teach us about terrain modeling in SketchUp. Daniel models a terrain site plan live, carefully reviewing the tools and steps required to achieve a digital elevation model. (1 hr 2 min)
    • SketchUp Extensions: Join Land F/X and Daniel Tal for a webinar covering the SketchUp Extension Warehouse. The Extensions comprise a wide range of powerful tools designed to streamline and enhance the modeling process by vastly increasing SketchUp's functionality. (1 hr 2 min)
    • SketchUp Introduction to Site Grading: This webinar will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating organic surfaces that represent grades and terrain. Presenter Daniel Tal builds on each step and demonstrates different grading typologies and approaches. (1 hr 2 min)
    • Browse our guest webinars.

Getting Started with SketchUp

Before you can bring your designs between CAD and SketchUp, you'll need to complete a few setup steps, as well as get to know the Land F/X SketchUp Connection. Here's how to get started.

 

 

Create A New Project

 

Export Design Between CAD and SketchUp

 

Articles
  • Download and install the Land F/X SketchUp plugin, available from the SketchUp Extension Warehouse. Our SketchUp plugin installs some essential tools within SketchUp and allows you to connect with CAD. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Set up your SketchUp Library folder, where you'll store all your SketchUp-related content. Note: This step is also covered in the SketchUp plugin installation instructions. We've also included specific instructions for the library folder in case you need to change the folder location.
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection is included in your installation of one of our AutoCAD plugins. It allows you to send blocks and layers between CAD and SketchUp. Learn how it works and how to use it to turn your CAD drawings into 3D models. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Set the units in SketchUp and CAD: It's imperative that your units be set correctly and consistently in both CAD and SketchUp. Learn how to do it right.
  • Set a User Coordinate System in your drawing before bringing it into SketchUp.
  • Additional SketchUp resources: Learn all about some helpful third-party rendering tools and tutorials. 
    This article includes a video.

 

Webinars
  • 3D Connection Basics for SketchUp: Learn how to use the Land F/X 3D connection tool to integrate your CAD design into a working 3D model. (1 hr 2 min)
  • SketchUp Basics: This webinar will introduce you to 3D modeling in SketchUp, giving you a basic understanding of some of the most important tools and concepts you need to use SketchUp for your designs. (1 hr 3 min)
  • SketchUp for Intermediate Users: We'll show you some helpful tools from the SketchUp Extension Warehouse and give you some tips on creating and using SketchUp components. (1 hr 1 min)
  • SketchUp Basics: Part 2: Learn about the proper use of components and when to use groups. We'll also show you some right-click options when dealing with objects in your drawing, line and segment techniques, rotate and copy tools, and how to use the paint and texture options. (1 hr 2 min)
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Basics: In this basic workflow, we go over exporting a site and planting plan from AutoCAD to SketchUp. We also show you some basic SketchUp tools, as well as additional features included in our Land F/X SketchUp plugin. (1 hr 17 min)
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Intermediate: We'll show you how to create a more complex 3D model using the Connection. We’ll include some simple grading, custom plant components, and a primer on using photos in SketchUp. (1 hr 21 min)
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Advanced: We’ll go through the workflow for a detailed 3D model based on a full grading plan with contextual grading. You’ll then learn how to take the plan to a point at which you can continue with your favorite renderer for a photorealistic image. (1 hr 4 min)
  • AutoCAD Basics: Create a Base Plan for Your Site: We'll show you how to use SketchUp and AutoCAD to create a base plan for your landscape, irrigation, or hardscape design. (58 min)
  • Browse our SketchUp webinars.

 

Land F/X SketchUp Tools

Just as your installation of our software adds a whole set of tools to your AutoCAD interface, the Land F/X SketchUp Connection adds a familiar set of tools to SketchUp.  Learn all about each of our tools within SketchUp.

 

 

Articles
  • Projects: The SketchUp version of the Land F/X Projects tool, this feature gives you access to all the plants and site amenities you've added to each of your Land F/X projects. As with any of our AutoCAD plugins, remember to create a new project for each of your designs. You can even create new projects and build your plant palette and your inventory of site amenities from within SketchUp. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Import Layer From CAD: Use this tool to bring individual layers from a CAD drawing into SketchUp. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Land F/X Import: Grab the plants and site amenities you've placed in a CAD drawing, and send them to SketchUp. 
    This article includes a video.
  • The following Place tools work just like our Plant Manager. Add trees or shrubs to your project, and place them in your SketchUp model. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Place Site Amenity: This tool is our SketchUp version of our Amenity Reference Notes tool in CAD. Add site amenities to your project, and place them in your SketchUp model. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Concept Lines: As with our Concept Lines tool in CAD, use this tool to represent linear usages in your site design such as vehicle, bicycle, or pedestrian travel. They can also serve as boundaries or screens for specific areas. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Plant Info: Use this tool to view information about a plant you've placed in SketchUp, including its plant name, graphic symbol, and symbol width. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Plant Legend: Place a Plant Legend (Plant Schedule) in SketchUp that catalogs and tallies all plants you've placed in your design – just like a Plant Schedule in CAD. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Export to CAD: Ready to bring your design back into CAD? Export it first. You can then use the SketchUp Connection tool to import it into CAD. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Settings: Update the Land F/X SketchUp plugin to the latest version, manage the location of your SketchUp Library folder, and validate your Support ID. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Land F/X SketchUp plugin: Remember: These tools are only available in SketchUp once you've downloaded our plugin from the SketchUp Extension Warehouse. 
    This article includes a video.
  • SketchUp Connection: Though you access it from CAD, this feature is the most essential of our SketchUp tools. 
    This article includes a video.

 

Webinars
  • 3D Connection Basics for SketchUp: Learn how to use the Land F/X 3D connection tool to integrate your CAD design into a working 3D model. (1 hr 2 min)
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Basics: In this basic workflow, we go over exporting a site and planting plan from AutoCAD to SketchUp. We also show you some basic SketchUp tools, as well as additional features included in our Land F/X SketchUp plugin. (1 hr 17 min)
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Intermediate: We'll show you how to create a more complex 3D model using the Connection. We’ll include some simple grading, custom plant components, and a primer on using photos in SketchUp. (1 hr 21 min)
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Advanced: We’ll go through the workflow for a detailed 3D model based on a full grading plan with contextual grading. You’ll then learn how to take the plan to a point at which you can continue with your favorite renderer for a photorealistic image. (1 hr 4 min)
  • Browse our SketchUp webinars.

 

Design Techniques

Get the most out of your SketchUp installation.

 

 

Articles
  • SketchUp Resources: Mastering SketchUp takes some work. Start your education here. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Concept Lines: This tool is incredibly helpful in both CAD and SketchUp for marking off specific areas and usages in your site designs. Get to know it, and use it to your advantage. 
    This article includes a video.

 

Webinars
  • SketchUp Basics: This webinar will introduce you to 3D modeling in SketchUp, giving you a basic understanding of some of the most important tools and concepts you need to use SketchUp for your designs. (1 hr 3 min)
  • SketchUp Basics: Part 2: Learn about the proper use of components and when to use groups. We'll also show you some right-click options when dealing with objects in your drawing, line and segment techniques, rotate and copy tools, and how to use the paint and texture options. (1 hr 2 min)
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Basics: In this basic workflow, we go over exporting a site and planting plan from AutoCAD to SketchUp. We also show you some basic SketchUp tools, as well as additional features included in our Land F/X SketchUp plugin. (1 hr 17 min)
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Intermediate: We'll show you how to create a more complex 3D model using the Connection. We’ll include some simple grading, custom plant components, and a primer on using photos in SketchUp. (1 hr 21 min)
  • The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Advanced: We’ll go through the workflow for a detailed 3D model based on a full grading plan with contextual grading. You’ll then learn how to take the plan to a point at which you can continue with your favorite renderer for a photorealistic image. (1 hr 4 min)
  • Using Photoshop in Post-Production Renderings Part 3: The third part of our Photoshop webinar series includes a demonstration of how to set up a scene in SketchUp and then use it as a base for creating an effective perspective rendering with Photoshop. (1 hr 11 min)
  • Creating Section Elevations With SketchUp: Do you create your own section elevations strictly in AutoCAD? We'll show you how to use SketchUp to generate elevations during this process while also using Land F/X to confirm the final outcome of your design. (1 hr 2 min)
  • SketchUp and Lumion Rendering Techniques with Mike Brightman: Mike Brightman demonstrates how to create amazing 3D renders with Lumion. He also covers the connection between Land F/X, SketchUp, and Lumion. (1 hr)
  • Terrain Modeling In SketchUp: Daniel Tal returns to teach us about terrain modeling in SketchUp. Daniel models a terrain site plan live, carefully reviewing the tools and steps required to achieve a digital elevation model. (1 hr 2 min)
  • SketchUp Introduction to Site Grading: This webinar will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating organic surfaces that represent grades and terrain. Presenter Daniel Tal builds on each step and demonstrates different grading typologies and approaches. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Browse our SketchUp webinars.

 

Customize SketchUp

Did you know that you can use your own custom symbols in SketchUp? Find out how.

 

 

Articles

 

Webinars