In this video you’re gonna learn why design professionals in architecture, interior design, and related fields need SketchUp Pro to do their jobs. In fact, I’ll show you how these professionals have been able to create better presentations, streamline their workflow, and do their jobs faster using SketchUp Pro. I’m Alex Oliver, founder of SketchUp School. The place where professionals go when they’re serious about learning SketchUp. And in this video we’ll cover the ten features of SketchUp Pro that matter most to people using SketchUp professionally. Also stick around to the end of this video and I’ll link you to a page where we can help you decide if SketchUp Pro is right for you. Keep watching! Do you need SketchUp Pro? To help you answer that question, I’ve gone through our entire video course library and I made a list of the SketchUp Pro only features that we teach. In total I came up with a list of ten key features that professionals depend on to get the job done. If you need any of the features on this list, then you need SketchUp Pro. There’s one thing that will be helpful to know before we dive into this list. There’s a paid version of SketchUp and there’s a free version of SketchUp. The paid version is called SketchUp Pro and for a long time, the free version was called SketchUp Make but in November SketchUp released a brand new web-based version called SketchUp Free. Now because SketchUp Free will be the free version going forward, in this video we’ll focus on the differences between the web-based, SketchUp Free, and the desktop application, SketchUp Pro. Last thing before we move on, all versions of SketchUp share the same core toolset for creating 3D models. So most of the SketchUp Pro features we’re covering are things that go above and beyond creating basic 3D models. If you’re about to give SketchUp a try for the first time, I recommend you watch another one of our videos called “Watch This Before You Get Started with SketchUp”. You can find a link to the video right here. Okay, let’s dive into the ten key features that professionals depend on to get the job done. We’ll start by taking a look at three features that help with design presentations. Then we’ll jump into two features that help you integrate SketchUp into your workflow and we’ll finish by looking at five features that I like to call the SketchUp power tools. Let’s jump into the first group of features. Number one, renderings and walkthrough animations. When you’re trying to sell your design idea, it helps to have a pretty picture and you can save a low-res image out of SketchUp Free but if you step up to SketchUp Pro, you can export high-res images. And in Pro you can add a rendering extension that helps you create more photorealistic or styled presentation images. Plus you can go beyond static pictures and use Pro to export high res walkthrough animations that tour clients through your design. And again, you can use a rendering extension to create animations with realistic lighting and reflections. For rendering in SketchUp Pro, we created a whole video about it. So be sure to check that out if realistic images are something that you need. You can find a link to the video right here, Now, sometimes you need more than just a single image or animation, which leads us to our next feature. Number two, design presentations. To really sell your idea, you may need to create a more complete design presentation. Now, if you’re like most designers I run into, that means you’re trying to take a graphics and drawing tool like illustrator and a drafting and documentation tool like AutoCAD and a page design and layout tool like InDesign and then use them all together with the 3D model you get out of SketchUp to come up with a design presentation. It can get pretty complicated. Now don’t get me wrong, I use all of those tools from time to time but it’s important to use the right tool for the right job. And when the job is to present your SketchUp model, LayOut really is just the better option. LayOut comes with SketchUp Pro and you can use the two together to create beautiful design presentations for your clients. These can be things like early schematic design presentations, comparisons of different product and material options, or detailed illustrations that help explain how your design will work. Really you’re only limited by your imagination. Just keep in mind these things when you’re setting up a presentation in LayOut. Make sure to set up scenes in SketchUp first. Then in LayOut, set each viewport to a specific SketchUp scene and don’t forget to lock it. You’ll avoid some really huge headaches later, trust me. Finally, import other files and use LayOut’s tools to add text, vector drawings, and any other graphics and styling you need. While we’re talking about LayOut, let’s go ahead and talk about our next feature. Number three, detailed construction documents. Yes, you can use SketchUp Pro and LayOut together to create detailed construction documents. I’m talking about properly scaled plans, elevations, sections, alongside construction details, product schedules, bills of materials, and all documented using custom line weights, symbols, dimensions, labels, text, and all of it pulled together on the right size paper with custom title blocks so you’re ready to print or save as a PDF. You don’t need to hassle with another program like AutoCAD. It’s so much easier to document your SketchUp model in LayOut. Here’s how it works. You start by setting up views of your plans, elevations, and sections as scenes in SketchUp. Then you send your project to LayOut. In LayOut you have a viewport, which is like a live look into your SketchUp model. You can make as many copies of the viewport as you’d like and place them on as many pages as you’d like but here’s the key, you must right click on each viewport and set your desired scene and scale. And make sure to lock the viewport. Then you’re in full control as you document the design with LayOut’s powerful tools. Okay, we’ve covered the three presentation focus features, now we’ll move on to the next group of features. Workflow integration. We’ll start with number four, start from as-built drawings. You don’t always design things from scratch. Sometimes you need to start from an as-built drawing or a design sketch. With SketchUp Pro, you can import those drawings as a starting point and even better, you can make sure they come in at the right scale so your SketchUp model is dead accurate. Here’s how. In your top menu, you can choose to import an image of a sketch or other drawing, a PDF of a floor plan or technical drawing, or a DWG DXF if you’re starting from a CAD file. After importing an image or a PDF. you’ll need to scale it. With CAD files they come in at the right scale but you do need to be sure to turn them into a group if they aren’t already. Then you can use your imported file as a reference as you model right on top of it. So that’s the importing feature in SketchUp Pro. Next up, number five, export to other software. I’m a big fan of using the right tool for the right job and SketchUp’s really great for most tasks but there are situations where you’ll need to get your SketchUp model into another design software. The good news is SketchUp Pro plays nice with most of the other tools you’ll need to use. You can export 2D and 3D DWG or DXF files as well as a number of different 3D files that can be helpful for things like building information modeling in applications like Revit, fabrication using CNC machining, or post production in other 3D applications like 3DS Max. Just know that when it comes to exporting, each situation will call for a different recipe of SketchUp settings and target application settings. So be prepared to experiment a bit or ask somebody who already knows a lot about your specific situation. Alright, we’ve made it more than halfway through the list and now we’re up to some really cool features that you can find inside SketchUp Pro. Collectively, I call them the power tools. These are extra features inside SketchUp Pro that help design professionals with problems that they regularly face on the job. Let’s take a look at these power tools. We’ll start with number 6, the sandbox tools. If you need to model terrain or other organic shapes, you need the sandbox tools. With the sandbox tools, you can model terrain from scratch or create the terrain from an imported site survey and then incorporate 3D models into the terrain. Beyond terrain, you can use the sandbox tools to create other undulating or organic surfaces too, If you want to give these tools a try, just know that by default the sandbox tools’ toolbar is disabled. So in order to see it, go to your top menu and select view. On a PC go to toolbars. On a Mac go to tool palettes. Look for sandbox. On a PC check the box to turn on the toolbar and on a Mac just click on the word. You should see the toolbar up here and you’re ready to give these tools a try. Okay, next up, number seven, the solid tools. Often, the key to creating more complex shapes in SketchUp is to figure out how to either add or subtract geometry from a more simple shape. That’s where the solid tools come into play. So let’s use a custom piece of furniture as an example. To easily model the joinery, you can overlap one shape over another and use the solid tools to trim away what you don’t need in just one click. In general, you can use the solid tools to add shapes together into a more complex shape, use one shape to cut out geometry from another shape, or overlap two shapes and keep only the intersected part. Just like the sandbox tools I mentioned earlier, you’ll need to activate the solid tools toolbar from the view menu and then keep in mind, that the solid tools only work on solids. So that’s any component or group that has a closed volume. Alright, next up we have number eight, the dynamic component tools. Let’s say you need to work with something that comes in more than one flavor. So take a cabinet for example. Creating one in SketchUp is pretty straightforward but creating a kitchen full of cabinets takes a lot longer. This is the kind of situation where dynamic components are really useful. So rather than creating them all from scratch, you can search the 3D Warehouse for cabinets that were made as dynamic components and download one into your model. Then activate the dynamic component toolbar from the view menu. After that, open up the component options to see what a dynamic component really is. It’s a component that has been programmed with options for different sizes and configurations of the cabinet. Make different selections and click apply and the component will reconfigure on-the-fly. It’s a huge time saver and if you have a special situation in mind, you can create your own dynamic components. Alright, just two more features left. Next, let’s talk about number 9, the advanced camera tools. If you work in film or TV and you need to know what your model will look like through a particular camera, then you need the advanced camera tools. Here’s how they work. Start by enabling the toolbar from your view menu. Then use SketchUp’s navigation tools to frame your shot. Next, add and name an advanced camera. Right-click and pick the type of camera you’ll be using and you’ll see dark gray bars that let you know what’s out of frame but here’s an important tip. Before you navigate, be sure to lock your camera. That way it’ll stay, put rather than following you around. Alright, I’ve saved the best feature for last. Number 10, extensions. With SketchUp Pro you can go to a website like the Extension Warehouse and find free or paid extensions that help you model almost anything you can imagine in SketchUp. For example, you can find extensions that do simple useful things like round or bevel corners or you can find ones that do harder things like create complex organic shapes. There are two ways to add extensions. One, you can go to the Extension Warehouse. You’ll need an account. Then browse or search for the type of tool you need and then click on the red button and follow the steps to install. The second way, you can find extensions on other websites that can be downloaded. If you do that, to install them in SketchUp, start by opening up your extension manager. Then click the red install button and pick the downloaded .RB or .RBZ extension file. Once you’ve installed a new extension, you’ll have a new toolbar, new menu items, or both. If you don’t see the extension, you may need to enable via the extension manager or even try restarting SketchUp. There you have it. The ten features of SketchUp Pro that design professionals rely on most. If you liked this video, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel right now. That way you won’t miss out on other SketchUp training videos like this one. Just click on the subscribe button right here. If you’re ready to invest in SketchUp Pro, then you’ll want to invest in knowing how to use it well. Our video course library is filled with $8,700 worth of SketchUp training exclusively for professionals. Head over to our SketchUp school web site and try it for free. If you still need help deciding if SketchUp Pro is right for you, click this link right here. Now, I want to turn it over to you. Which feature from this video are you most excited to try first? Are you planning to try LayOut? Or are you excited to add new extensions? Do me a quick favor and let me know in the comments below right now. Until next time, happy sketching.