SketchUp Pro is like a pencil with superpowers. Start by drawing lines and shapes. Push and pull surfaces to turn them into 3D forms. Stretch, copy, rotate and paint to make anything you like. More advanced? Start modeling from CAD and terrain data, photographs or even hand sketches. Build models with custom behaviors and attributes. SketchUp Pro is as simple and as powerful as you want it to be.
SketchUp Pro - Key Features
Create 3D Models - Key Features
Using SketchUp Pro, you can create 3D models, either by starting from scratch or by using existing data. Import drawings, CAD plans, photos, aerial imagery and other information, then use the modeling tools in SketchUp Pro to develop your ideas into 3D.
SketchUp is great for working fast and loose, but it's more than just a fancy electronic pencil. Because you're working on a computer, everything you create in SketchUp has a precise dimension. When you're ready, you can build models that are as accurate as you need them to be. To model with precision, simply type in dimensions as you draw. You can also use the tape measure tool to set accurate modeling guides.
Copying & Arrays
SketchUp’s Move tool is a double agent; it’s also the tool you use for copying entities. While you’re moving something, just tap a modifier key on your keyboard to let SketchUp know that you want to make a copy. Need an array of multiple copies? There’s a simple way to do that. And because we’re wired for simplicity, copying and arrays works the same way with the Rotate tool.
Edges and Faces
Every SketchUp model is made up of just two things: edges and faces. Edges are straight lines, and faces are the 2D shapes that are created when several edges form a flat loop. For example, a rectangular face is bound by four edges that are connected together at right angles. To build models in SketchUp, you draw edges and faces using a few simple tools that you can learn in a small amount of time. It's as simple as that.
SketchUp's innovative, do-everything Follow Me tool creates 3D forms by extruding 2D surfaces along predetermined paths. Model a bent pipe by extruding a circle along an L-shaped line. Create a bottle by drawing half of its outline, then using Follow Me to sweep it around a circle. You can even use Follow Me to round off (fillet) edges on things like handrails, furniture and electronic gadgets.
SketchUp makes it easy to draw in 3D space by calling out helpful points in your modeling space, highlighting them with different colors and easy-to-understand tool tips. We call this handy behavior “inferencing”: it’s named after SketchUp’s quasi-magical ability to infer useful points and locations based on the geometry in your model. Examples are the midpoint of a line, tangency on an arc, perpendicularity of all kinds... You get the point—and so does SketchUp.
Extrude any flat surface into a three-dimensional form with SketchUp's patented Push/Pull tool. Just click to start extruding, move your mouse, and click again to stop. You can Push/Pull a rectangle into a box. Or draw the outline of a staircase and Push/Pull it into 3D. Want to make a window? Push/Pull a hole through your wall. SketchUp is known for being easy to use, and Push/Pull is the reason why.
In SketchUp, a “solid” is any group or component that’s completely enclosed; if it were a physical object filled with water, none would leak out if you shook it. The Solid Tools in SketchUp Pro give you the ability to perform special additive and subtractive (Boolean) operations on solids in your model. Use the Trim tool to cut the mortise for a tenon in a woodworking project. Use Intersect to model the overlap between projected top and side views of an object. Union “glues” multiple solids into a single one. Split breaks intersecting solids into pieces wherever they overlap, without deleting anything. Subtract uses one solid to cut away from another.
At some point in every project, you need to produce a set of drawings that shows your model: plans, sections, elevations, perspectives. LayOut in SketchUp Pro lets you add model views to pages, choose drawing scales, adjust line weights and add dimensions, callouts and graphics. Changes to your model are reflected automatically in LayOut. When it’s time, export PDFs, images and CAD files.
Features: 2D Drawing & Documentation
Add Dimensions and Callouts
In SketchUp Pro, LayOut allows you to get even smarter with your documentation. Use linear and angular dimensioning tools that snap to the edges of SketchUp models and quickly set the format, scale, and precision of displayed measurements. LayOut’s callout tools are also highly customizable: line weight, arrow and stroke style, curved leader lines, font formatting, line spacing... You get the picture.
Choose raster, vector or hybrid rendering modes
Which rendering mode you choose depends on what kind of information is in your model viewport. For physically large or linework-intensive views (like the ones you’d find in a set of construction documents), vector mode provides crisp edges and faster rendering times. If your viewport contains materials and complex styles, and it isn’t very large, raster mode is the one to choose. For the best of both worlds—smooth lines and rich textures and shadows—hybrid mode is the best option.
Draw with intuitive vector line tools
We designed LayOut’s drawing tools to be just like SketchUp’s: simple, smart, and fun. The LayOut line tool has inferencing superpowers that will bend your mind (not to mention shapes). And shapes you draw in LayOut have editable paths, so your curves are infinitely customizable. And because everything you draw is vector smart, scaling and rotating can be done with utmost precision, just like in SketchUp.
Embed SketchUp model viewports
With LayOut, you insert SketchUp model views wherever you want them on the pages of your document. These “viewports” are living, breathing views of your model. When your model changes, all of your viewports update, too. Say goodbye to exporting a million images out of SketchUp.
Export PDFs, images and CAD files
Like the rest of SketchUp Pro, LayOut is designed to play nice with other software. So if you need to send your work to someone who needs a CAD file, you can use LayOut to export pages as DWG and DXF files. LayOut also exports multi-page PDFs, as well as raster images in TIFF, JPEG and PNG formats.
Give full-screen presentations
In LayOut, documents and presentation slides are one and the same; you’ll never need to build a completely separate slide deck again. LayOut can jump into Presentation mode at any time, letting you show off your work on screens of any size. And because much of your work was done in 3D, your presentation can be, too. Double-click on embedded models to orbit, pan, zoom, and walk through as you’re presenting. While you’re at it, why not show off a 3D animation during your full-screen presentation? LayOut does that, too.
Print to scale
Every LayOut document you create has a physical paper size that you specify at the very beginning of your project. Because of this, all you need to do to print a plan view of your model at an exact scale is insert and set up a model viewport, and choose File > Print. It’s literally a two minute process.
Select any view of your model
You can set up viewports in LayOut to show as much or as little of your model as you like. Choose to display a saved Scene from the model, or orbit, pan and zoom to specify the angle you need. Turn off perspective, select a standard orthographic projection (top, side, front) and even assign a precise drawing scale for creating traditional plans, sections and elevations.
No software is an island
We built SketchUp Pro to slide right into your existing workflow. Ready for some alphabet soup? With importers for DXF, DWG, 3DS, DAE, KMZ, TIF, JPG, PNG and a few more, you can bring in drawings, models and images to your heart’s content. SketchUp Pro also exports all of those formats, plus PDF, OBJ, FBX, XSI, VRML, MP4, WEBM and AVI. OMG.
Export 2D raster images
SketchUp exports TIFF, JPEG and PNG raster images up to 10,000 pixels square, so generating an image which you can send in an email, publish in a document, or project on a wall is as easy as choosing a few options and clicking Export.
Export 2D vector images
With SketchUp Pro, you can export views of your models in PDF and EPS format, allowing you to continue to work on them in vector editing programs like Adobe Illustrator. For 2D images that need to be resolution-independent, nothing beats exporting to these formats.
Export 3D models
If you're using SketchUp Pro, you can export your models to a number of useful 3D formats, including 3DS, IFC, FBX, OBJ, XSI, and VRML. Pros use a number of different tools, and these exporters allow SketchUp Pro to join most professional workflows by offering interoperability with just about every popular 3D modeling application in existence. All versions of SketchUp can export DAE and KMZ files.
Import & export CAD Files
SketchUp Pro allows you to import and export DXFs and DWGs in 2D or 3D, giving you an easy way to move plans, sections, elevations or even your whole model into (and out of) your favorite CAD program. Imported and exported geometry remains at 1:1 scale, and layers are preserved.
Import 2D raster images
You can import TIFF, JPEG and PNG images to use as standalone objects, textures, or photos which can be used as the basis for SketchUp’s powerful Match Photo toolset.
Import 3D models
SketchUp imports 3D models in DAE (COLLADA), 3DS, KMZ and DEM formats.
Slides are boring. Present from SketchUp Pro.
Scenes let you save views of your model to pull up anytime. Styles provide endless visual effects to make your work look precise, sketchy or anything in between. Section Planes slice through models for creating sectional views. Go fullscreen, walk around, add labels and export flyover animations. Present from SketchUp Pro and get your point across every single time.
Dimensions and Callouts
SketchUp includes basic tools for creating linear dimensions and basic callout-style annotations right in your models. For truly customizable dimensions (both linear and angular) and labels with curved leader lines, you’ll need to upgrade to SketchUp Pro. Set line weights, colors, underruns, arrowheads, hashmarks, measurement unit display styles, and lots of other properties exactly the way you want them. When you move things around in your LayOut viewport, your dimensions and callouts automatically stick to the entities they’re supposed to.
SketchUp Pro includes LayOut, a full-featured application for turning your models into annotated, multi-page documents and presentations. In LayOut, pages and slides are one and the same; you’ll never need to build a completely separate slide deck again. LayOut can jump into Presentation mode at any time, letting you show off your work on screens of any size. And because much of your work was done in 3D, your presentation can be, too. Double-click on embedded models to orbit, pan, zoom, and walk through as you’re presenting. While you’re at it, why not show off a 3D animation during your full-screen presentation? LayOut does that, too.
Look Around & Walk
SketchUp lets you get inside your model with a set of simple navigation tools designed to give you a first-person view. Click with Position Camera to "be standing" anywhere in your model. Then, use Look Around to turn your virtual head. Finally, switch to Walk to explore your creation on foot; you can even climb and descend stairs and ramps, just like you're playing a video game.
We created Scenes to help you to easily save precise views of your model so you can come back to them later. Need to create a video? Just create a few Scenes and click a button.You can even save your scenes with section cuts visible to make plans and other “cut” views possible. Scenes can save any combination of the following viewing properties: camera location, hidden geometry, visible layers, active section planes, style and fog, shadow settings, and axes location.
SketchUp’s Section Plane Tool lets you place section cut objects anywhere in your model. Use them to create plans, sections and other “cut” views. You can move, rotate and otherwise manipulate section planes like any other object in your model. Embed section planes in separate groups or components to activate more than one section plane at a time—great for creating corner cutaways and animated special effects.
Styles in SketchUp can incorporate “sketchy” edges; instead of using hard vector lines to draw the linework in your model, you can choose to use hand-drawn, natural media strokes. In these so-called sketchy-edge styles, SketchUp automatically performs level-of-detail calculations to hide extraneous geometry. The result? Computer drawings that look just like hand sketches, complete with gestural strokes and abstracted information that can help you convey meaning or set the tone for an idea.
Your SketchUp models can look any way you want them to. Choose edge colors, profile thicknesses, line extensions, endpoints, background colors, face rendering styles, transparency, watermarks, vignette frames, and a zillion other display options that can make your work look sketchy, final, or anything in between. SketchUp comes with dozens of pre-made Styles which you can use as-is, combine, or use as inspiration for your own.
Models and plugins aplenty
Need a particular chair for the room you’re designing? A lamp for your carriage house? A rhino for your zoo? You’ll find almost anything you need in SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse, the world’s biggest repository of free 3D models. And as for extensions that provide extra features and tools, our all-new Extension Warehouse is your ticket to add-on nirvana.
Build your own tools with the SketchUp Ruby API
If you love SketchUp but have ever thought “I just wish it did ______,” there’s a good chance that the SketchUp Ruby API (Application Programming Interface) can make your wish come true. Our API lets you write scripts to create custom drawing tools, automate common modeling tasks, and generate customized reports. You’ll need to get your hands dirty with the Ruby programming language, but it’s fun to learn and you’ll be amazed by what you can do.
Find and collect models on 3D Warehouse
SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse is a huge online repository of 3D models. Why build something from scratch when you can download it for free? Browse and download models in a web browser, or simply search the 3D Warehouse while you’re working in SketchUp to import models directly into your project. You can even curate collections for easy access while you’re working.
BIM ready, from the first click
Where does building information modeling begin? In SketchUp Pro, start by tagging groups and components with industry standard classification types. Then, geo-locate your model for shadow studies and site context. Continue on, further enriching components with data attributes or programming functions. Build smart spreadsheet reports, or wrap up your entire project in a tidy IFC file, ready for further modeling and analysis with the next instrument in your BIM tool box..
Advanced Camera Tools
SketchUp Pro’s Advanced Camera Tools let you work with real-world cameras in your 3D models. SketchUp Pro comes with a collection of real camera configurations that you can use right away. Cameras you create with the ACTs provide precise controls for settings like Focal Length and Image Width, which allows you to accurately preview real camera shots right inside SketchUp. Position and aim your ACT cameras using familiar moves like Pan, Tilt, Roll, Dolly, Truck and Pedestal. Look through your ACT cameras to preview Aspect Ratio and Safe Zones for the shots you’re planning. Toggle on and off all of your ACT cameras’ frustums to clearly see what is—and isn’t— visible in your shots. Need a custom camera configuration? Making your own is simple and straightforward.
Area & Volume Calculations
Right-click any face in your SketchUp model to find out its area. You can also choose to see the area of all faces that share its material, or all faces that reside on the same layer. If you have a group or a component that’s solid (meaning it’s completely enclosed by faces), you can see its volume in the Entity Info dialog box.
Improve compatibility with other BIM tools in by easily assigning schema tags to the groups or components in your model. Classify geometry as walls, slabs, roofs or hundreds of other industry-standard object types, and find that your model is instantly embedded with important metadata. Work with existing classification schemata or create your own.
Dynamic Components are SketchUp objects that have been programmed to know what they are. Using these “smart” components, you can scale objects (like stairs and fences) without distorting them. You can style components without messing with modeling tools. You can build smarter reports, and you can even interact with components to make them do stuff: doors that swing open and solar panels that automatically face the sun are nifty examples. Dynamic Components work in any version of SketchUp, but only SketchUp Pro can edit them or create them from scratch.
SketchUp Pro uses the metadata embedded in your model to create tabular reports. You can export detailed lists of every named entity in your model along with their corresponding attributes. And when you use SketchUp Pro’s Dynamic Components, you’re the one who decides what data matters. With an HTML or CSV file in hand, head off to your favorite spreadsheet application to analyze your data, create price quotes, purchase orders and more.
SketchUp’s Match Photo tool set lets you trace photographs of buildings and objects to turn them into dimensionally accurate, eminently usable 3D models. It works equally well on interiors and exteriors, and you can piece together several “matched photos” to model more than you can capture in a single shot. If you’re the type of person who took four calculus classes and uses the word “theorem” in everyday conversation, Match Photo is a mathematical tour de force. If you’re just trying to save hours of time, it’s pure magic.
SketchUp's Sandbox tools let you create, optimize and alter 3D terrain. Use imported contour lines to generate a smooth terrain surface made up of triangulated faces. Sculpt existing terrain with SketchUp’s Smoove (smooth+move) tool. Stamp in building pads with ease. Drape roads, pathways and other shapes onto flowing, organic surfaces. Pretend you’re a bulldozer and make machinery noises while you work. We won’t tell anyone if you don’t.
SketchUp's powerful, real-time Shadow Engine lets you perform accurate shade studies on your models. All you need to know to calculate the position of cast shadows is the date, the time of day, and the location of the model on the globe. SketchUp makes it easy to geo-locate your model to give it a physical location. The Shadow Settings panel does the rest. Just slide the Time and Date sliders to see cast shadows changing in real time. Use Scenes to create convincing shadow animations that you can export to videos.
A world of context—literally
In about two minutes, you can choose a section of the world to bring into your SketchUp Pro model—up to a square kilometer at a time. For free, you’ll get aerial imagery, a 3D terrain model and lat-long data to produce accurate shadow studies. From there, you can import pre-modeled buildings for site context and use Google Maps Street View imagery to model anything else you need.
Google Maps is built right into SketchUp. Grab site context for any place on earth. When you import an area with the Add Location tool, you get full-color aerial imagery, a 3D terrain model, and the geo-location information you need to perform accurate shadow studies. If you need more context, you can always bring in adjacent areas—they tile together smoothly.
Existing Model Import
SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse is chock full of buildings and other structures that have already been modeled. If you’re working in an urban area, there’s a good chance that some of the context you need already exists. After using the Add Location tool, you can tell SketchUp to search the 3D Warehouse for pre-existing models that are located close to your site. After it finds them, you can import the ones you need.
Models of real world buildings come together in a hurry with SketchUp’s photo texture toolset. Tap into Google Maps’ Street View database to use ground-view imagery, or import your own photos. With a photo texture in place, it’s a matter of clicks to accurately scale and position it on the face of your model.
Preview Model in Google Earth
Sending your model to Google Earth is a one-click operation. When you choose Preview Model in Google Earth, SketchUp exports a KMZ file to your hard drive, then opens it in Google Earth. You’ll be able to see it in the context of everything else in the world. To send it to someone else, just email them the KMZ file.
The context information you import with the Add Location tool includes two models: a flat version, which is easy to model on top of, and a 3D version, which comes directly from Google’s 3D terrain server. Toggle between them while you’re working. To make sure you’re getting as much terrain resolution as you can, zoom in farther when you’re using Add Location; the closer you get, the more detail you’ll import. If you like, you can always edit imported terrain by unlocking its group.
A place for everything and everything in its place
Your mother always told you that the key to 3D modeling success was tidiness and organization. Make your models easy to work on and easy to present. Use groups and components to divvy up your geometry into logical chunks. Layers come in handy for separating big pieces of your model, and the Outliner is a way to see everything at once.
Components are a lot like groups, but with a handy twist: copies of Components (these are called instances) are related together, so changes you make to one are automatically reflected in all the others. Doors, trees, chairs and millions of other things benefit from this behavior. Component instances can also be set to automatically cut temporary openings in faces to which they’re applied—handy for things like windows. You can tell a component to always face the camera, to “glue” to its plane, or even to become unique from other instances in your model.
Making and using groups are basic skills in SketchUp; you should learn to do both within your first few hours of starting out. Geometry (edges and faces) in SketchUp is “sticky” by default. When you place any two ungrouped entities next to each other, they’ll stick together. This makes SketchUp easier to learn, but it also makes it more difficult keep separate things, separate. By creating groups, you can create sub-objects that are easier to move, copy and hide. Once you start grouping, you won’t stop.
When you're building a big, complicated model, things can get messy very quickly. Layers control the visibility of different elements in your model, making it easier to manage complex topography or toggle heavy landscape elements on and off. Different people use layers in different ways, but very few people decide not to use them at all.
At any time, right-click a group or component in your model to replace it with any other SketchUp model on your system. This is handy for breaking up heavy models into bite-sized chunks and working on each separately, either by yourself or with a team. Low-poly proxies can be used as stand-ins for more complex ones, or design options can be “dropped” into place to see them in context.
As projects become more complex, SketchUp’s Outliner is the handy bird’s-eye view of every group and component in your model, arranged in a tree-structure view. Open the Outliner to see a hierarchical—and collapsible—list of the entities in the visible layers of your project. You can hide, show, and rename objects right inside the Outliner, which is much easier than diving into nested groups and components every time you need to make changes. The Outliner is even text searchable, providing even more incentive to give your entities meaningful names.