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Mr. Farmiga
Join Date: May 2004
2009-09-29, 09:33

Very true. One of those Google tutorial vids talks about starting from a known, established origin or plane, if at all possible. If you just build something "out in space", that's fine...but you'll spend a little time dragging it over to meet the other elements. You'll think you're drawing a wall or shape directly beside an existing one...but when you orbit around and look at it from another angle you'll see you're about 10-20 feet away.

It's odd, working in that 3D space for the first time, but once you get the orbit, pan and zoom thing down and are smart about how (and where) you build and group things, a lot of problems go away. Right now, after only a week, I know I could throw together a desk or coffee table in a couple of minutes, with everything nicely aligned and positioned correctly. This time last week, I'd be crossing planes, dragging the wrong side, scaling stuff wrong, accidentally losing elements to other ones (via the Brundle method ), etc.

I'm serious, folks...if you're fuzzy on all this (new to it, just can't quite get a handle on it all, etc.), watch these seven "full" tutorials at that SketchUp for Woodworkers site.

By the time I finished the seventh one, I was so much better with it, and not so "wandering in the dark" about it all. Each tutorial builds on the previous one (he starts by building a simple bookcase), but with each video, he introduces more tools or approaches, embellishing that bookcase (in a sensible way too, via moulding or trim, etc. like you might want to do in real life). So it all builds on each other in a natural, sensible way. And you wind up learning 3-4 new tools (and how to properly use them!) along the way. Plus, great tips on grouping, components, moving on planes, scaling, rotating, etc.

I hope this guy does some more soon!