SketchUp Basics with Daniel Tal
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SketchUp Basics with Daniel Tal

Oct 17, 2014
Video Length:  59:47
Presented By:  Daniel Tal
Please join us for a one-hour webinar on SketchUp basics. Daniel Tal, ASLA, will provide a basic overview of getting started with SketchUp with a focus on using SketchUp for basic site design. Daniel will review the tools, approach and goals of working with SketchUp for model site work and architecture.

The seminar will demonstrate the quick modeling of a site plan that includes amenities, architecture and other important elements that compose the built environment. This session will be the first in a continuing series on SketchUp tools and workflow.
For more tutorials on SketchUp from Daniel Tal, visit his website,
For more information on the Land F/X SketchUp plugin, including importing and exporting between CAD and SketchUp, visit our SketchUp documentation section.
Webinar Content:

(Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions, You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC/About Daniel Tal

  • Intro to SketchUp – Basic Principles

    • Navigation

    • Selecting

    • Basic Tools

  • Site Design and Architecture Modeling

    • Modeling a Site and Building

    • SketchUp Components

    • Extensions – What Are They?

    • Adding Entourage – Intro to 3D Warehouse

    • More Extension Demonstrations


0:00 – 4:00: Intro/TOC/About the Presenter


4:00 – 14:19: Intro to SketchUp – Basic Principles

Navigation (4:20)

  • Orbiting
  • Zooming
  • Panning


  • Use a three-button mouse.
  • Don’t zoom out too far. Stay zoomed in.
  • Place your cursor over an object – not just blank space.
  • Keep objects centered when navigating to view them.


Selecting (8:30)

  • The Select Tool (part of the Large Tool Set) (8:15)
  • Selecting objects (10:35)
  • Selecting multiple objects and surfaces by holding down the Shift key (10:55)
  • Deselecting objects (11:15)
  • Selecting using the Control key (11:35)
  • Selecting all surfaces and edges making up an object by double-clicking the object (11:55)



Basic Tools (12:30)

Rectangleand Push Pull tools, and entering dimensions (12:35)

“Subdividing” surfaces (13:40)



14:20– end: Site Design and Architecture Modeling

(In this section, Daniel models a site plan and, in doing so, demonstrates several of the SketchUp tools and extensions.)

Modeling a Site and Building (14:20)


SketchUp Components (the SketchUp equivalent of CAD blocks) (17:00)

Searching the 3D Warehouse (a giant repository of free SketchUp components/models) and importing these components into a SketchUp model (17:40)


3 types of tree/shrub components: 3D, 2.5D, 2D (20:00)


Suggestion: Use 2D trees when first starting with SketchUp


Extensions – What Are They? (23:00)

(Extensions are like smartphone apps for SketchUp.)


The SketchUp Extension Warehouse (essentially, SketchUp’s version of an app store) (25:00)


The Land F/X extension for SketchUp (26:10)


Daniel Tal’s top 5 extensions (as of 2014) (26:48):

1. Selection Toys

2. Path Copy

3. Weld

4. Repeat Copy

5. Profile Builder


Adding an extension by going to Window > Extension Warehouse (27:20)

Modeling a roof using the extension Instant Roof New (for purchase) (27:50)

Using the Offset Tool (30:40)


*Remember: When designing with SketchUp, you’re drafting in 2D and then rendering your design into 3D.


The Eraser, Arc, and Move tools (32:50)


Adding colors using the Paint Bucket tool (35:05)

*Note: If you apply color to a surface BEFORE extruding that surface, the color will be applied to all surfaces of the extruded object, saving the added task of having to color each surface if you extrude first and color later).


Demonstration of creating a site plan using SketchUp (37:00)


Adding fencing with one click using the Instant Fence and Railing extension (44:45)


Adding Entourage – Intro to 3D Warehouse (45:20)


The Array Command (47:30)


The Sandbox Tools (48:10)


Creating a grading profile in SketchUp (48:30)


More Extension Demonstrations

“Welding” two arcs together with the Weld tool (50:00)

Arraying a tree along a series of arcs using the Copy Along Path (Path Copy) extension (50:30)

Inflating/deflating surfaces using the Soap Bubble tools (51:30)

Extruding linework and creating a road using theProfile Builder extension (plus adding color to the road) (52:53)


Question: Some 2D tree symbols are surrounded by a black box that plots. How can I turn this off? (56:40)

Possible solutions:

Turn off shadows

Edit the graphic styles

Triple-click on the tree, right-click, then use Selection Toys to just select the edges, then delete them.

Choose another 2D tree that doesn’t have this issue.

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