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Follow Me

SU Fundamentals 11-1 Follow-Me

0:03 The Follow-Me tool is pretty remarkable in that you can take a shape, and actually follow a path, to create incredible details.

0:15 This works to both add geometry... or cut away geometry.

0:25 To use the tool, you need a single surface or shape and you need a path for that shape to follow.

0:33 This simple combination is powerful.

0:38 If you haven’t previously opened the ‘Large Tool Set’, do so now. Then open the exercise file to follow along.. with Follow Me.

0:50 There are several ways to use the tool.

0:54 In our first example, we’ll use the tool manually.

0:58 Choose Follow Me, and click once on the shape surface, then move your mouse cursor along the path.

1:07 Any series of connected edges can function as the path,

1:11 so in this example I can choose to turn a corner this way, or back up and choose a different edge to follow.

1:20 Because I clicked once to start this example, I can easily try different paths.

1:26 When ready I’ll click a 2nd time to complete the form.

1:31 Now undo to practice this again, and watch how you can actually extend the shape back to the starting point.

1:43 Undo and create several versions for practice.

1:48 It’s good to know how to use Follow Me manually,

1:53 but more often you’ll be using the 2nd method, where you pick the path first.

1:59 Go to our 2nd example. Here we have three scenarios for you to try.

2:06 With this method, you’ll select your complete path, then choose the tool and then click on your shape to complete the operation.

2:16 Try it yourself.

2:18 Select this path with a selection window, make sure you have all the segments of just the path.

2:26 Then choose the Follow Me tool.

2:29 Don’t worry that your path is no longer highlighted, just click on the shape to finish.

2:36 This same method works fine when your path is part of other geometry.

2:42 You still select the various edges needed to create a fully connected path, then choose follow me, and click on the shape.

2:53 Sometimes, this leaves the original shape but just erase it as needed.

2:60 Another fast way to select a path, is to select a single surface.

3:07 By selecting a surface, you are effectively selecting all the edges that make up that surface.

3:13 For this example, click once to select this top surface, then choose Follow Me and click on the shape.

3:23 By the way, you can assign a keyboard shortcut to Follow Me to make things even faster.

3:29 I can select the path or surface, press my keyboard shortcut and click on the shape.

3:35 You can assign keyboard shortcuts through SketchUp's preferences.

3:41 Now before you run off creating all sorts of amazing Follow Me models,

3:45 you need to understand the relationship between the path and the shape.

3:51 Let’s look at the 3rd tab and examine the path and shape options we have.

3:57 In this first example, you can see that these shapes are aligned with the first edge of their paths,

4:04 but are separated by some distance from that edge.

4:08 That distance won’t matter, the results will always start from the beginning of the path, regardless if the shape does or does not.

4:26 Our next example also has 3 identical paths, but in this case the shapes are not aligned with the starting edge.

4:35 We have one shape that is starting on the outside edge of its path, one shape positioned on the inside and another that starts even further outside.

4:44 The resulting geometry will reflect where the shape was in relation to that started edge.

5:08 Our final example is to show how it won’t matter if the shape is skewed in relation to the path, as all three of these shapes are.

5:20 When you Follow Me the resulting form will start perpendicular to the path edge.

5:26 However, do observe that 2 of these examples still had lower edges that were parallel with the ground plane...

5:35 ...and that results in a form that has a bottom surface also parallel with the ground plane.

5:41 This top example is rotated both in relation to the starting edge of the path, but also in relation to the ground plane, and the resulting form reflects that.

5:53 It still has a starting surface perpendicular to the path, but the bottom surface is tilted as was the original shape.

6:03 With this introduction to the follow-me tool, our next lesson will focus on using it, as a lathe.