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SketchUp Extensions

May 18, 2015
Video Length:  59:15
Presented By:  Daniel Tal

Join Land F/X and Daniel Tal for a webinar covering the SketchUp Extension Warehouse. This webinar was originally scheduled a few months ago and had to be postponed until now. The Extensions comprise a wide range of powerful tools designed to streamline and enhance the modeling process by vastly increasing SketchUp's functionality. Downloadable directly from SketchUp, these custom tools are easy to locate and install. From utility plugins that make it quick and easy to place objects, to powerful terrain modeling tools for sculpting landform and grades, the SketchUp Extensions help you perform unique tasks – and save hours of work time.

At the bottom of this page, we provide lists of extensions and extension providers covered by Daniel in this webinar.


Webinar Contents:

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
  • Intro to SketchUp Extension Warehouse
  • sketchUcation Plugin Store
  • SketchUp Extension Examples
    • Weld
    • PathCopy
    • Soap Skin & Bubble
    • Profile Builder
  • Using Several Extensions Together
  • More Examples of SketchUp Extensions
    • Soapbox Bubble Redux
    • Fredoscale Tools
    • Cleanup3
    • Select Outer Edges
    • Selection Toys
    • Repeat Copy
    • Selection Memory
    • Dashed Lines
    • Rock Wall Demo
  • Questions


0:00 – 3:42: Intro/TOC


3:43 – 6:41: Intro to SketchUp Extension Warehouse


6:42 – 9:59: sketchUcation Plugin Store

sketchUcation Plugin Store

Searching Sketchucation by author (7:20)


The “traditional” way to install plugins: Window > Extension Warehouse (8:08)


Searching for and downloading the Land F/X plugin (8:36)’’


Why Daniel Uses Extensions: They’re an essential part of his workflow. In fact, he doesn’t simply use one extension at a time to complete one discrete task; instead, he strings together several extensions at a time to complete a series of tasks. (9:35)


10:00 – 12:33: SketchUp Extension Examples

Weld Tool (10:00)

Using the Weld extension to connect separate objects (example: arcs) (10:00)

Drawing arcs using the Arc tool (10:00)

Accessing the Weld tool and joining the arcs (10:20)

Note: You can create shortcuts to your extensions to access them quickly.


PathCopy (formerly called Copy Along Path) (10:50)

Copying objects along a path/line/arc using PathCopy (10:50)



Soap Skin & Bubble (Daniel’s favorite extension) (11:46)

Using Soapskin Bubble to create meshes and “inflate” or “deflate” the surface to form a convex or concave contour (12:00)


Profile Builder Free / Profile Builder Pro (12:35)

Creating an object along a path (example: line/arc) using Profile Builder (works like the SketchUp tool FollowMe, but is more consistent) (12:50)


12:34 – 18:49: Using Several Extensions Together


Creating a road profile and adding colors using Profile Builder (12:40)


Creating contours beside the road using Soap Skin & Bubble (15:50)


Hiding all edges using Selection Toys (16:55)


Putting in vegetation/tree sections using Path Copy (17:05)


Adjusting the heights of the trees randomly using CLF Scale and Rotate Multiple (17:55)


Creating contours on the landscape using Contours (18:09)


18:50 – end: More Examples of SketchUp Extensions

Soap Skin & Bubble Redux (18:50)

Example of creating contours using Soap Skin & Bubble (18:50)


The issue with the Sandbox tools: the contours they create are extremely angular and often require cleanup. (19:50)


Creating the same contours with Soap Skin & Bubble. Note that the contours are smoother and easier to work with. (19:57)


FredoScale tools (20:57)

Traditional SketchUp Scale tool – distorts building (21:40)


Scaling using Fredoscale – note that Fredoscale offers several extra scaling options, allowing you to scale objects more effectively. (21:55)


Adjusting the width of an object to fit with another object (22:45)


The issue with the SkethUp Scale tool: it’s difficult to grab “pins” or “grips” to scale an object. If you’re having this problem, type K. This will allow you to grab the scaling points more easily. (23:01)


Scaling down a section of road using the Fredoscale Tapering tool (24:05)


Dealing with Models Originating from Revit (24:44)

One issue with Revit: Revit models come with a number of faces, which can be distracting and hard to work with. (24:50)


Cleanup3 (25:15)

Cleaning up all the geometry in a Revit model using the Cleanup3 tool (25:15)


Note: Daniel recommends trying tools created by the following top SketchUp developers (27:08):


Select Outer Edges (Chris Fullmer / CLF) (28:20)

Triple-clicking to select all linework in an object (28:20)


Using Select Outer Edges to highlight only the outer edges of the object (28:26)


Copying the object, selecting Edit>Paste in Place, and making it into a group (28:45)


Draping linework onto an aerial using the Sandbox tools (29:13)


Another highly recommended draping tool: SuperDrape (30:45)


Selection Toys (34:40)

(This tool allows you to select edges, faces, groups, components, etc.)

Hiding the edges on an object using Select Only edges (38:45)


Repeat Copy (Chris Fulmer/ CLF) (39:50)

(This tool is a useful option for selecting, scaling, moving, copying, and placing objects.)


When you select several objects using Repeat Copy, the tool places and rotates them randomly. (41:50)


Selection Memory (ThomThom) (42:57)

(This tool is similar to the SketchUp tool Cycle Previous Selection, in that it allows you to select multiple objects from memory.)


Note: Always read the instructions for each tool. Tools can be available from a variety of places. For example, some are available from menus, some from right-clicking, etc.


Dashed Lines (Smustard) (43:30)

(Creates dashed lines that you can scale as needed.)


Rock Wall (46:05)

(This tool combines several functions to create a rock wall in SketchUp.)


50:50 – end: Questions

Question: What about grading plugins? (50:50)

Answer: Daniel covered several of these in his SketchUp Intro to Site Grading webinar.


Also: Daniel plans to present a Digital Elevation Modeling webinar in the future. Also, check Daniel’s website for more information on grading with SketchUp. (51:30)


Question: How does SketchUp stack up to Civil 3D? (52:25)

Answer: Civil 3D is a superior program for creating grading. However, SketchUp is much better than Civil 3D for conceptual grading.


In short, Daniel recommends learning both programs.


Question: Do you have a workflow for bringing conceptual plans into Civil 3D from SketchUp, or do you need to start from scratch? (54:20)

Answer: Daniel imports directly from SketchUp into Civil 3D.


Question: Is there a way to prevent the loss of textures and colors when importing from Revit to SketchUp? (54:52)

Answer: Daniel recommends using SimLab's SketchUp Exporter for Revit.


Extensions covered by Daniel in this webinar:


Extension providers covered by Daniel in this webinar:

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