The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Intermediate
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The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Intermediate

Sep 08, 2015
Video Length:  01:21:46
Presented By:  Amanda Berry

Build on the skills you gained after watching the SketchUp Connection Basics webinar. This second segment in our three-part series will 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.

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 & Required Extensions
  • Importing from CAD and Preparing the SketchUp Design
  • Creating Slopes/Grades
  • Bringing In an Image and Projecting It Onto a Curved Surface
  • Bringing Plants from CAD into SketchUp

0:00 – 7:20: Intro & Required Extensions

Required Extensions (2:40):

  • CleanUp3
  • Selection Memory (with hotkey set – e.g., NumKEY)
  • Soap Skin Bubble
  • Edge Tool
  • Joint Push/Pull
  • Extrude Lines
  • Weld

7:21 – 14:49: Importing from CAD and Preparing the SketchUp Design

Overview of the CAD design we’ll be re-creating in SketchUp (7:21)


Initial steps for creating a clean base file (from SketchUp Basics Webinar) (8:07):

  • Cleaning up the CAD drawing by erasing any unnecessary lines outside the site area
  • Running the OVERKILL command
  • Purging and Auditing
  • Verifying that the Units setting is correct
  • Setting a User Coordinate System (UCS)
  • Assigning the correct Land F/X project to the drawing



Bringing the design into SketchUp using the SketchUp Connection (9:15)


Initial steps for preparing the SketchUp design (also from SketchUp Basics Webinar) (10:00):

  • Creating a new SketchUp file and saving it in the SketchUp folder
  • Verifying the units
  • Setting the Land F/X project
  • Cleaning the design using the Tools on Surface
  • Completing all faces and preparing for pushing/pulling



Bringing in (importing) buildings from architect’s SketchUp model (10:53)


Verifying that the buildings are on the Buildings layer (and if not, creating a Buildings layer and moving them there) (12:25)


Unchecking “Visible” on the Buildings layer so the buildings are out of the way (12:55)

15:00 – 1:03:29: Creating Slopes/Grades

Pushing up surfaces (example: steps) using the Push/Pull tool (15:00)


Creating a slope/grade (example: ramps) (18:50)

Note: Because your SketchUp model is just a presentation tool and not a production drawing, you can take a few liberties with your design. For example, you don’t need to be completely accurate with the slopes of grades you create. You can simply make them so they appear as they would when built.


Drawing arcs to create breaks in the ramps (20:00)


Pushing the tops of the ramps up using the Push/Pull tool (21:10)


Creating ramps using the Soap Skin Bubble tool (23:55)

Note: In order to work properly, Soap Skin Bubble requires complete faces.


Selecting the Soap Skin Bubble tool (26:30)


Closing a face so Soap Skin Bubble works properly and re-running Soap Skin Bubble (26:37)


Cleaning up the edges of the ramp (28:35)


Setting up your own SketchUp hot keys from the System Preferences menu (select Preferences from the Window menu, then select Shortcuts from the left pane in the System Preferences) (29:05)


Softening and smoothing the edges (triple-click an object, right-click, and select Soften/Smooth Edges from the menu that opens) (29:30)


How to deal with more complicated arcs (31:35)


Creating a seating wall using the Push/Pull tool (32:50)


Using the Erase tool to soften the wall’s edges (31:40)


Creating faces and contours using theLine tool from Tools on Surface, along with the Generate Faces and Generate Contour as Curves tools (35:28)


Using Joint Push/Pull to create a curved face (railing wall) (37:35)


Cleaning up items around the curved face (38:30)


Using the Move tool to create a contiguous face by moving a line endpoint (42:25)


Smoothing a line using the Soften/Smooth mode of the Erase tool (43:00)


Creating more faces and contours (43:30)


The Erase Original Face and Contour Borders settings of the Joint Push/Pull tool (45:25)


Overview of creating a grid and a raised or lowered curved surface using the Soap Skin Bubble tool (49:44)


Applying a material to a surface (example: river rock) (52:30)


Creating an offset using the Offset on Surface tool from the Tools on Surface, and adding a mulch (52:45)


Using Tools on Surface and Soap Skin Bubble to create a slope up to a wall (53:25)


Creating another slope up to a wall and railing – and correcting a break in the lines (56:55)

1:03:30 – 1:11:50: Bringing in an Image and Projecting It Onto a Curved Surface

Creating a rectangular sign on a curved surface using the Rectangle, Offset, and Joint Push/Pull tools (1:04:20)

Importing an image and placing it onto a curved surface (1:07:00)


Adding a texture to the image and projecting the image onto a curved surface (1:10:30)

1:11:52 – end: Bringing Plants from CAD into SketchUp

Exporting plants from CAD, importing them into SketchUp, and browsing for symbols (1:11:52)


Note: The Land F/X plants will populate from the bottom of the model and pop up. When you import them, you may need to delete some of the existing surfaces so the plants pop up to the correct level. (1:18:15)

Webinar Attachments

Download the files linked below to follow along and complete the steps shown in this webinar. Different versions are provided for different unit measurements, so download the version you'd like to work in. To start, navigate to the WORKING DWG folder and open the file M2.38 Academic Campus.dwg.

With the drawing open, open the Projects dialog box and click the Restore button to load the associated project (.lfx file), which you'll also find in the WORKING DWG folder. Detailed instructions on using the Restore button can be found here. Partially completed Sketchup files are provided for convenience in the SKETCHUP folder. Feel free to start your own SketchUp file from scratch to learn the full workflow featured in the webinar.

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