SketchUp Basics
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SketchUp Basics

Jan 19, 2018
Video Length:  1:03:26
Presented By:  Jake Lott

3D modeling is becoming increasingly common in the landscape industry. Join us to find out how easy it can be to take your plans to the next step. 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.





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
  • What is SketchUp?
  • SketchUp Resources
  • Basic Concepts
    • What SketchUp is Used For
    • Navigation
    • Surfaces
    • Basic Tool Sets and Most Important Tools

0:00– 2:43: Intro/TOC

2:44 – 4:24: What is SketchUp?

“2D interface for 3D modeling.” – Daniel Tal


Concept modeling is one of SketchUp’s biggest strengths.

4:25 – 7:49: SketchUp Resources

Land F/X resources:


Other resources:


Why you should be using SketchUp Pro (6:15):


SketchUp Free:

  • Build 3D models
  • Geo-locate models


SketchUp Pro:

  • Build 3D models
  • Geo-locate models
  • Import CAD files
  • Export CAD and PDF files
  • Create multi-page presentation sets
  • Produce construction drawings
  • Export animation videos of any size
  • Generate lists and reports
  • Make hand-drawn rendering styles
  • Licensed for commercial use
  • More plugins available, like the Land F/X 3D connections tool
  • … and more

7:50 – end: Basic Concepts

This webinar uses the Mac version of SketchUp. Note that the Windows version is mostly the same – a few things will vary, such as specific keyboard commands.


Download our SketchUp Basics cheat sheet


Starting a SketchUp model and setting your preferences (9:20)


Setting up a template for your SketchUp models (9:40)


View options for your model (9:45)


Setting your shortcuts (10:40)


What SketchUp is Used For (12:10)

Modifying SketchUp components (12:10)


Creating a section cut (12:50)


Example of SketchUp being used for landscape design, including geolocation to show shadows (14:28)


Navigation (20:44)

It’s extremely important to have a three-button mouse when working in SketchUp. The three buttons allow for easier navigation.


Pointing and scrolling to zoom in and out (22:30)


Orbiting around a model using the Orbit tool (23:20)


Panning and orbiting simultaneously (24:00)


Panning by holding the Shift key while scrolling (24:45)


The blue, red, and green axes, and negative space (dashed axis lines) vs. positive space (solid axis lines) (25:20)


The green axis represents north. Keep the green axis pointing upward in your model. (26:20)


Viewing options (isometric, side, top, Perspective, Parallel Projection) (26:55)


Unlike Perspective view, Parallel Projection view provides a perfectly straight view of your model, where you’ll only see the top or front of your linework. Each view has its own applications.


Pushing and pulling with the mouse to navigate around the model (29:20)


Surfaces (30:30)

Drawing lines, rectangles, circles, arcs (30:50)


Reference points: Endpoints, On Edge, and Midpoint (32:00)


Using reference points as guides for drawing in SketchUp (32:50)


When drafting, make sure to move around the model and use the axes as a guide to ensure you’re drafting in the proper way and keeping everything planar.


Drawing on a face (35:00)


Basic Tool Sets and Most Important Tools (36:50)

Polylines (36:50)

Remember: Excessive linework will bog down your model and slow performance. That’s why we’ve made an effort to keep the polyline count down in our trees and other SketchUp components.


When you draw a surface, it will have a white side and a dark side. The white side is the outside (front), and the dark side is the inside (back).


Note that SketchUp has a command line similar to the AutoCAD Command line. (40:00)


Drawing a rectangle with specific dimensions by entering values in the command line (40:00)


Changing a dimension of an object you’ve just drawn – a great way to correct a mistake (41:40)


Using the Push Pull tool to turn a face into a 3D object and making cuts to start a new face (42:40)


Double-clicking to repeat the most recent command (44:00)


The Copy and Move tools (44:50)


Making a copy of an object and replicating it a set number of times (46:00)


Selecting linework and making it a group (48:00)

Moving grouped linework around (49:25)


Creating a component and applying changes to multiple components simultaneously (50:00)


Creating steps (demonstration of several of these tools) (52:40)


Applying colors and materials to surfaces (53:50)


Searching for and downloading tree symbol components from the SketchUp Extension Warehouse (54:15)


Using commands and values in the command line to refine linework (example: creating a circle and setting the number of separate lines it will include) (56:18)


Making different shapes (57:30)


The Follow Me tool (58:00)


Cutting out and creating shapes using Follow Me (58:55)


We recommend playing around with these tools and seeing what they can do.


Our recommendations for drawing below-grade objects (like a pool) (1:01:00)

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