Simplified SketchUp Modeling
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Simplified SketchUp Modeling

Sep 04, 2020
Video Length:  1:03:34
Presented By:  Jake Lott

The prospect of creating a 3D model of your design can present some unique challenges. Clients will often expect this service for their understanding of the space, but many won’t want to pay for it. Tune in to learn about some essential tools and tricks for maximizing the quality of your 3D rendering while minimizing your time spent on it. Opening with a tutorial on creating your base files within SketchUp, directly from the finished CAD plans, we’ll move on to a few pointers on where to focus your time within the model and how to use other post-processing tools to create a realistic representation as efficiently as possible."

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
  • The Client
    • Overcoming the Hurdles
    • Understanding and Managing Expectations
  • Looking to the Future
  • Essential Tools
  • Creating a Workflow for You

0:00 – 2:50: Intro/TOC

2:50 – 7:52: The Client

Overcoming the Hurdles (2:50)

Client expectations (3:15):

  • See a model for every project (and every revision)
  • Not pay for this service
  • Have it immediately


Communication is key.

Understanding and Managing Expectations (4:45)

  • Be clear about deliverables.
    • What is the model focusing on?
    • How detailed will the model be?
    • How will it be created/presented?
      • Share past project examples.
  • There is a difference between a quick down-and-dirty model to show your concepts/design vs. a model being used to execute the work – think about revisions.

7:53 – 11:31: Looking to the Future

How long will it be before every LA/designer offers a 3D model as part of their services?

  • 3D work is going to become the same as CAD was in the early 2000s.
  • How long can you get by avoiding the 3D creation side of things?
  • Let 3D help with your design function.
  • Think of 3D modeling each job as your personal component library.


Resources (9:18)


Tools to check out (10:21)

  • Artisan Organic toolset (Mind.Sight.Studios)
  • Fredo Tools (Fredo)
  • Joint Push Pull (Fredo)
  • Curviloft (Fredo)
  • Tools on Surface (Fredo)
  • Truebend (Thom Thom)
  • Shape Bender (Chris Fulmer)
  • Stair (SuforYou)

11:32 – 52:59: Essential Tools

Adding a location from Google Earth (Geo-location) (12:45)


Using our 3D Connection tool to send objects between SketchUp and CAD (15:55)


Troubleshooting and closing linework in AutoCAD using the Boundary command (19:30)


Sending a layer from CAD to SketchUp (20:39)


Grouping objects together in SketchUp (22:45)


Using the Show Terrain tool to bring in the site's topography from Google Earth (26:00)


Controlling the axes in SketchUp (26:40)


Editing an object in SketchUp (example: a building footprint) using the Component Edit tool with the Hide Rest of Model option (27:10)


Bringing in the topography linework layer from CAD and building the topography in SketchUp using the From Contours tool (from the Sandbox tools) (29:13)

Remember to make the topography linework a group so you can select it all at once.


Using the Drape tool (from the Sandbox tools) to drape flat linework across the terrain (31:40)


Resetting a group of objects using the Axes tool, allowing you to control the exact direction of the axes (34:15)


Turning linework into a component in SketchUp (37:00)

Turning an object into a component allows you to use that object in future projects without re-creating it.


Making a component unique (43:28)


Saving a component as a local collection (46:00)

Using the Truebend tool to bend an object (47:57)


Searching for graphics in the 3D Warehouse (49:44)

Be cautious when using graphics from the 3D Warehouse – they may not be scaled correctly, for example.

53:00 – end: Creating a Workflow for You

Going back to CAD to draw linework without having to deal with drawing in 3D (54:58)


Bringing the drawn linework into SketchUp and turning it into a group (55:58)


Using the Stamp tool to offset a grouped object and stamp it into another mesh (56:45)


Using the Intersect Faces tool in creating an object (1:00:37)

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