Designing Your House with SketchUp
Sketchup Training 101: Learn how to use it like a professional. In this first tutorial step, we are going to cover the the basics of how to design a house with SketchUp. My method of helping you mastering SketchUp is different and more effective than regular methods. I'll first go over the very basic, and then I'll teach you the more complex things while designing our first house together. This a powerful way of learning as you will be able to remember more things. This method has proven to be a powerful way of learning and it's faster than the regular method. Also, it's not boring and it's fun as you will be doing two things at the same time; designing a house and learning a new 3Ds designing program.
SketchUp makes it easy to design your house. SketchUp made 3D modeling very simple. Therefore, the average user can design their own homes if, of course, they understand the basic rules of designing houses as we explained in other articles.
So starting from the beginning, this is an introduction tutorial to get you familiar with the software before we get to the part where we use this program to design the house you see bellow.
We will use SketchUp to design this house and again we will cover all the rules we explained before as we learn how to design. Remember it's not enough to learn how to use this software. You need to understand the principles and elements of design.
SketchUp is very user-friendly and it's easy, You can start designing immediately after you install the small software. In no time, I'll teach you how to design impressive floor plans and 3D models.
In this tutorials series, we'll discuss everything you need to know about designing your house, and not only how to use this software.
There will be basic to advanced tutorials which are divided to sections. These tutorial help you get started with the SketchUp and present the fundamental concepts Such as:
■ How SketchUp works.
■ An overview of the concepts and terms used in SketchUp .
■ How to perform common tasks in SketchUp.
This lesson provides information on how to get started with the SketchUp tutorials, including of course a detailed instructions of the house design in the tutorials.
NOTE You may find it helpful to print the tutorials to make it easier to reference the instructions as you work in SketchUp.
What is in the Tutorials?
In these tutorials, you learn how to design a house in SketchUp. The house you design was a product of a design competition in Vancouver, Canada. This house will also be used as the model in the more advanced tutorials.
The tutorials are designed to follow the typical architectural house design workflow. You complete the following activities:
■ We will establish a site and also lay it out.
■ We will add basic building elements, such as walls, floors, ceilings, and roofs.
■ We will add more detailed elements, such as stairs, kitchens, rooms, and furniture.
■ Refine the building elements (skylights, solar shades, and interior finishes).
■ Create schedules, views, and sheets to document the project.
■ Finally, we will prepare presentation views such as 3D photo realistic renderings and Walk-Through animations.
The tutorials are grouped and presented in a recommended order for optimal learning.
This first exercise is provided for anyone new to the SketchUp. This is not an exercise as much as an introduction to the locations and names of the various SketchUp tools and functions that are used throughout the house designing process.
Installation: download SketchUp
Before beginning the exercises, download SketchUp . The free version is all you need, the paid one has the ability to export SketchUp projects to AutoCad or other 3ds software, but you don't need this, other than that there is no difference between the free and the paid versions.
Imperial and Metric Convention:
The exercises in this guide contain both imperial and metric values. This means that when you see an imperial value,
a metric value is displayed in square brackets ([ ]) next to it.
For Instance: Draw a 12'' [300 mm] line from the end side of the north wall.
People using the metric measurements please follow the metric values in brackets only; all metric measurements are in millimeters.
Note that the imperial and metric values might not be direct conversions, but rather appropriate values for completing either the imperial or metric project.
When you open SketchUp, you see a welcome screen that looks like the image shown here asking you to choose a template and the preferred measurement system.
Choose Architectural Design - Feet and Inches OR Millimeters ( tutorials use both measurements) , SketchUp open and you see a window that looks like the image shown here.
- Explore SketchUp User Interface:
When the SketchUp window is displayed, you should take a minute to view the different sections.
Located at the top of the window is the standard Microsoft® Windows®-based menu bar. This menu system is like any Microsoft® Windows®–compliant software from which you can access all SketchUp commands. Icons on the Toolbar are buttons for executing common SketchUp commands.
When working through the SketchUp exorcises, you will learn how to perform functions such as:
- Using SketchUp menus.
- Using the design functions such as components and ready to use blocks (trees, furniture,kitchen appliances etc..)to add things to the home design project.
- Using the toolbar tools to modify things with Copy and Move tools.
- Using the Rotate, Scale, Get Current View, and Move tools to change views.
The Toolbar in SketchUp. Getting acquainted with the tools: Getting Started
First of all, go to View > Tool Palettes > Large Tool Set to have access to all the tools we will be discussing.
The toolbar contains all of the tools/menu items necessary to become acquainted with SketchUp. These tools as showen in the imges bellow are: Select Tool, Make Component, Line Tool, Eraser Tool, Tape Measure Tool, Paint Bucket Tool, Rectangle Tool, Circle Tool, Arc Tool, Push/Pull Tool, Move Tool, Rotate Tool, Offset Tool, Orbit Tool, Pan Tool, Zoom Tool, and Zoom Extents Tool.
Not much needed to be explained about the Select tool which is used to specify the entities you will modify when using other tools or commands. However, we will go over this tool again when we talk about advanced techniques because you can do more than just selecting objects with this tool.
Now we will go over the rest in general but we will cover and learn each and every function while we are designing the house. This is the best method to learn a program and to learn to design a house at the same time.