Select Language

Have some fun and pick up workflow tips from SketchUp Allstars. Register for our free, eight-week webinar series today!

Next Up
Circles and Polygons

SU Fundamentals 5-1 Circles / Polygons

0:02 To this point we've already used several of the drawing tools but let's expand your ability to draw complex shapes by exploring all of the drawing tools.

0:16 The circle and polygon tools are very similar we can cover them together.

0:22 Let's start with the polygon tool. Click once for the center of a six-sided polygon pull away and click again to finish.

0:31 We can actually choose any number of sides for our polygon so let's draw another and make it eight sides.

0:39 Begin drawing the polygon, type 8s and press ENTER to accept eight sides.

0:47 We can change the number of sides while drawing the shape or we can change the number immediately after you've drawn the shape.

0:57 Remember this works best if you click to start and click to finish with your mouse.

1:03 Circles are similar in that they are actually drawn with a number of sides rather than as a true circle.

1:12 The default number for circles is twenty-four sides. Similar to polygons you can change this to any number you'd like while drawing your circle.

1:21 Keep in mind that if you change the number of sides for a circle or polygon that will now be the default number of sides until you close SketchUp, which will reset the default.

1:33 So what is the difference then between polygons and circles?

1:39 Let's look at them side by side we'll draw a polygon and a circle both with 12 sides they look identical at this point,

1:50 but if we pull them both up into cylinders we can see the key difference is the circle cylinder is rendered and selected as one continuous smooth surface...

2:03 ...and the polygon is treated as multiple angled surfaces.

2:07 The other difference is in accuracy. As we covered in the previous course a polygon radius can be inscribed and circumscribed.

2:17 A circle radius will always be inscribed.

2:22 Once drawn, there is another way you can change the size of circles and polygons. Make sure nothing is selected and then choose the move tool.

2:34 Hover over the edges of this circle and as you move around the endpoints the entire circle is highlighted which would normally allow you to move the full circle,

2:45 however if we continue around the endpoints we'll find one that highlights only the endpoint not the circle.

2:52 This allows us to move this point changing the radius of the circle similar points can be found on polygons and as we'll see next on arcs.