This part of SketchUp tutorial will show you how to draw three basic shapes in SketchUp: Circles, Rotated Rectangles and Polygons.
If you have been following our step-by-step tutorial, you know that SketchUp gives you many tools to draw basic shapes. We’ve learned how to draw with pencil tool and also with rectangle tool. Although rectangle tool is very easy to work with in order to created simple rectangles, SketchUp has another tool which gives you the ability to draw a rectangle tangent to a certain angle.
This tool is called Rotated Rectangle. A rotated rectangle is a rectangle that is tilted with any angle you define. This is useful when you want to a draw a sloped surface between two points. Once you click on the icon in the toolbar, SketchUp will give you a protractor on the screen.
In general, whenever you see the protractor, it’s a sign that SketchUp is asking you to choose an angle. Now with Rotated Rectangle, because you’re going to finally end up creating a rectangle, SketchUp first asks you to specify the properties of the first edge for your rectangle.
To draw a rotated rectangle, follow these steps:
- Click Rotated Rectagle tool to activate it
- Click somewhere to put the first corner point
- Move your mouse until your see SketchUp locks your cursor to the Y (green) axes
- Click again to define the first edge of the rectangle (notice that SketchUp turns the protractor around to align it to your chosen axis)
- Move your mouse to define the slope of the rectangle and
The first click gives you the first corner of the edge and once you click again somewhere else, SketchUp creates the second corner point which defines the first edge of your rectangle. Notice that now SketchUp shows the protractor perpendicular to the axis you chose first. This is a sign that SketchUp needs you to define the final slope of your rectangle.
Notice that SketchUp is showing you a small tooltip beneath your cursor that contains the properties of the rectangle you’re drawing.
Now that you have some experience working with some of the basic drawing tools, you might have asked yourself: “what if I want to draw a rectangle or box with a specified length and width?”
Well I have good news for you. SketchUp has a field called “Measurements” which sits at the lower right corner of SketchUp interface. In case you don’t see it, right click over the empty space on the right side of your status bar and choose “Measurements label” and “Measurements value” from the context menu.
Draw a Circle
Another main geometry you’ll need to draw for building complex 3D structures is Circle. The circle tool is located right below the rectangle tool on the toolbar.
When you activate the circle tool, SketchUp first asks you to enter a value for “Sides” in the Measurements field. In SketchUp, a circle is build of many straight lines that act as the tiny edges for a rounded rectangle.
The higher the value for sides, the smoother your circle is going to be. The default value is 24 sides but if you need a smoother circle, enter a higher value and then press enter.
There’s a catch though. Although your circle looks smoother by entering a higher value, remember that your drawing will get heavier to be processed as your drawing gets more complex.
Tip: The shortcut for activating the circle tool is “C” on your keyboard.
Drawing a Polygon
Now drag your mouse to an extent and enter 100 for “inscribed radius” in Measurements field then press enter. Now you a polygon with 9 sides and a radius of 100.