How to use the Scale tool

SketchUp makes in­creas­ing or de­creas­ing the size of el­e­ments in your art­work easy, says Mark Roosien.

ImagineFX - - Workshops - Mark Roosien Coun­try: Nether­lands Mark is a self-taught artist who jumped from tra­di­tional me­dia to SketchUp seven years ago. He spe­cialises in nuts ‘n’ bolts sci-fi art.

As you de­velop your mod­els in SketchUp (you can down­load the free ver­sion of the pro­gram, SketchUp Make, at, you’ll of­ten find your­self rescal­ing in­di­vid­ual fea­tures, or per­haps even an en­tire model. Par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the early stages of a 3D model, things can change rapidly and fre­quently. It’s just a nat­u­ral part of the de­sign process.

For­tu­nately, SketchUp en­ables you to re­size in­di­vid­ual lines, sur­faces, com­po­nents or en­tire mod­els in just a few clicks. This is achieved by us­ing the Scale tool. Here I’ll use a (very rough) model of a ro­botic walker, to demon­strate the scal­ing process in three sim­ple steps.

1 Al­ways con­sider the hu­man scale

Ev­ery time you open a new file in SketchUp, you’re greeted by a 2D hu­man fig­ure. I al­ways use this fig­ure as a ref­er­ence to set up the over­all size of a model. In this case, the walker should be big­ger. Se­lect all walker com­po­nents with the Se­lect icon. Now se­lect the Scale tool. A yel­low box ap­pears around the se­lected model.

2 Re­size the model

Se­lect one of the green cubes on the end-points of the yel­low box to re­size the model. Move your mouse to en­large the model. The walker has a nicer over­all size now, but the main body should be a bit flat­ter. Click one of the main body com­po­nents, choose Edit Com­po­nent, and then se­lect all the lines and sur­faces in it.

3 Ma­nip­u­late in­di­vid­ual fea­tures

Click the Scale tool again. The yel­low box reap­pears, but only around the se­lected fea­tures in the com­po­nent. This time, use the green box on top of the yel­low box and move it down­wards. The com­po­nent (and its du­pli­cate) is flat­tened. If you like, move your mouse in the op­po­site di­rec­tion to stretch the com­po­nent. It’s that easy.

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