Select Language
Method 3: Using CAD as Reference Only
Tracing Using Native Tools

4.1_Tracing Using Native Tools

0:01 Similar to what we did in the Method 1, in this course, we’re making the assumption that some of your will need to work with CAD files

0:09 but may not have access to CAD to do the cleanup steps as described in previous lessons.

0:15 Or maybe you’d rather just not go back into CAD, which I totally understand.

0:21 Whichever is the case, depending on your project, it may be more efficient to just use the imported CAD linework as a reference only

0:29 and then trace only the important elements over the top in SketchUp

0:35 Let’s go ahead and walk through what that process looks like together now.

0:41 For this lesson, I’ve provided you a SU file already to help speed up the process

0:46 So navigate to the ‘Method-3_CADReference.skp’ and open it up.

0:53 While the file's already set up for you, it’s a good idea that I take a minute to review the rationale for how and why it’s set up this way.

1:03 I first removed all the layers from the plan since there’s no reason to keep them separated for this method.

1:10 since we’re not actually using the linework itself.

1:14 Once everything was set to ‘Layer 0’, I create a new layer and called ‘Linework’

1:20 …and then assigned the CAD linework group to that layer.

1:27 I know from previous experience that drawing edges and faces over other edges

1:33 may make it a bit hard to see what has been traced so far vs what still needs to be.

1:41 So I actually took the time and applied a color to the edges themselves

1:46 themselves in order to differentiate between what is th base linework and what has been drawn on top of it.

1:53 To see this different edge color, go up to Styles...then Edit...

2:00 ...and for Color, switch to ‘By Material'.

2:05 I've got pink for my CAD reference plan and black or dark grey for my new trace linework ovr the top.

2:13 Just to show you that this actually works...I’ll draw something real quick over the top of the line…and there you go.

2:26 After that, I set face style to ‘XRAY’ mode and created two scenes.

2:32 The first one is for drawing with everything left on…which I’ve named ‘Draft’.

2:38 And the second one is for viewing our model progress with the CAD linework layer turned off…which I’ve named ‘Freeze’.

2:50 For both of these scenes, I’ve made sure that the ‘Camera Location’ is left UNCHECKED’ in the ‘Scenes’ tab.

2:57 This way it doesn’t matter where I happen to be drafting at any particular moment...

3:02 I can toggle back and forth between showing our reference linework or not showing it.

3:09 Next, I locked the CAD linework group in order to make sure we didn't accidentally erase or edit it while we’re tracing over the top.

3:21 We’re now ready to start the fun part, which is redrafting our plan.

3:26 Since a majority of our plan is orthogonal, the rectangle tool is probably the best for us to use for most of our drafting needs.

3:35 Also using the line tool as needed to divide large areas or for irregular shapes.

3:42 With the rectangle tool active, just start drawing from corner to corners around the floorplan.

3:54 Another thing to try is to select a face and see if it highlights within the boundary that you want it to.

4:02 For example, if I draw a several large rectangles around some of these conference rooms and walls…

4:09 then I can a face to see how big it is and whether it needs further subdividing.

4:17 And from here I can draw more rectangles within this larger selected face.

4:23 As I do that, the selected faces either invert or are removed from the larger selection confirming that the faces did in fact separate.

4:36 Lastly, I can toggle my scenes to freeze the CAD plan and see where I need to erase any overlaps or divided edges

4:44 so that I have nice clean boundaries for all my walls and floor areas.

4:52 Let’s continue to draft a bit more before moving on to the next lesson.

4:57 This time, I’ll focus on the area to the right of the plan where the building orientation shifts.

5:03 If I continue along with the rectangle tool I’ll run into the issue of not being able to align and snap my rectangles to this new wall angle.

5:15 We have a couple options to resolve this.

5:18 Firstly, we could unlock and rotate the whole plan so we can continue drawing orthangonal to the model’s axis –

5:26 which I don’t recommend because if you rotate everything then it invites a big possibility for error.

5:33 For example if there were say frozen layers or hidden geometry that didn’t get rotated.

5:38 So the preferred option instead is to rotate just the axis and leave the plan where it is.

5:46 To do this, right-click on the axis and choose ‘Place’.

5:52 Then select and align it to one of the rotated edges.

5:57 Now when we draw rectangles it aligns and snaps properly.

6:04 Let’s take it one step further by adding a new scene, and calling it ‘Draft-Rotated’...

6:14 Now we can cycle through our scenes and quickly switch between drawing aligned to world coordinates or any number of axis alternatives.

6:29 So that’s pretty much it for this method.

6:32 There’s just one optional step we can do once all of our faces are drawn in.

6:37 This is to create the same layer groups similar to the way the optimized CAD floor plan functioned.

6:44 When we drafted our new linework, we did it all on 'Layer 0' so we we don’t have the layers by type that will make extruding later more efficient.

6:56 so to create these groups, switch to the scene with no CAD plan and start applying colors to different surfaces...

7:05 using the same colors for the same types of surfaces.

7:09 . For example, I’ll use a light grey for my exterior walls…

7:17 …and then white for the interior walls.

7:26 I’m not going to color everything right now as this should be enough to illustrate the concept.

7:37 So then I can select one surface…right-click and choose ‘Select by Material’

7:47 Which selects all my walls that were painted that color so then I can then group them separate from my other walls and floors ...

7:56 ...assign it to its own layer...

7:60 And eventually begin to extrude from there using the same methods we did in the previous course.

8:12 In summary, by combining the use of layers...edge color...scenes...and the axis location the way I have here...

8:28 I’ve created a pretty seamless process for quickly tracing over the CAD plan...