3D Modeling Special Interest Group – November 2018


In this session, we constructed a model of a house using a SketchUp technique, focusing especially on snaps, the Push/Pull tool, the Extract Surface tool, and Multiple View Panes.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:07    We started with a discussion of snapping, especially Snap to Object, Snap to Angle, Snap to Intersection, and Smart Points. These are really helpful snaps. If you need to briefly suspend your snaps, you can hold down the backquote key (“`”). We also reviewed the quick keys on the numeric key pad for changing views of the model. Drawing a rectangle in a 3D view gives us the possibility of extruding it up just by clicking on the shape and dragging up, giving us a solid box—the main shape for our model. Even though we were working with shapes, it was still possible to draw to specific dimensions. You can use the Push/Pull tool in Extrude Face Mode as another way to extrude a 2D shape. We experimented with the best way to add a roof to our L-shaped model—we could cut the blocks or add a triangle on top.
  • 06:54   The Automatic Working Plane changes a surface’s color when that surface becomes the working plane—it helps you position yourself correctly in 3D space. We demonstrated using other modes of the Push/Pull tool. Sub-Face Mode lets you punch a hole in a model. Drawing a line across a top corner of the model let us cut off that corner. We compared the Extrude Face and Move Face modes before using the Double-Line Polygon tool to add trim pieces to the model. If I want to edit anything, I use the Selection tool and double click on the object—Vectorworks automatically gives me the proper tool to edit that object. We demonstrated how the Smart Edge snap can help us draw a line that is perpendicular to another edge, or helps extend a line along a certain edge. The Move by Points tool is useful for duplicating objects to other parts of your model.
  • 26:24    Texturing this type of model requires using a different technique. As the model was one piece, adding a texture would apply it to the entire model. The Extract tool in Extract Surface Mode allowed us to add polygons—which we could change into extrusions—on surfaces where we wanted to add a different texture. Our building was still solid, so we used the Shell Solid tool to hollow out the inside, leaving us with walls. Next, we added a 2D shape on a surface, dragged the shape through the surface, and clicked the Alt key to punch a hole through it—pretty cool! The Extract tool is also useful for creating window and door jams. The Add Solids command gave us a timber frame.
  • 37:53    We had given the barge a wood texture. The challenge was that the barge was in a wide V-shape, the texture lines went in the proper direction on one side of the V but not on the other. To fix this, we had to split the V in at its peak. Using the Split tool in Currently Selected Objects Mode ensured that we didn’t split the entire model, just the barge piece. Then, we went to the Object Info palette for each piece and changed the Rotation setting for the texture mapping. Anytime you want a different texture on an area, it needs to be a different piece.
  • 42:15    We finished the session by showing how Multiple View Panes can improve work flow. We were able, for example, to draw a line from an object in one pane to another object in a different pane. This really extended what we were able to accomplish! I have a project right now where I’m working on a lot of details—but I forget which drawing sheet they refer to. I now set up Multiple View Panes so that I have my section in one pane with the detail markers and then I can refer to various drawing sheets in another pane—vastly increasing speed and efficiency!
  • 46:10    There was a question about whether two faces could be extruded at the same time. If you want to extrude two sides using the Push/Pull tool, you have to do them one by one. We experimented with other methods for extending objects, but arrived at the same conclusion. This SketchUp way of modeling appeared useful for quickly creating landscape objects or coming up with concept models. We finished up the session by using the techniques we had learned to make a moon gate for a landscape project.

3D Modeling November 2018

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