Monday, August 31, 2009

Dear SketchUp Island: Red-Green-Blue Axes

Dear SketchUp Island: I am all mixed-up about the red-green-blue axes in SketchUp. Is that the same as north-south? Will my model sit correctly in Google Earth? How do I change the axes? --Lost in the Woods

Dear Lost: The first thing to do when creating a geo-located model in SketchUp is to import the location's terrain from Google Earth (Tools>Google Earth>Get Current View). You'll need both your SketchUp document open as well as Google Earth. Google Earth should be showing the location you want to model from directly overhead (use the "R" button get overhead view). Make sure your terrain is "on" (bottom of list on left GE menu). After all this is set up, click "Get Current View" in SketchUp and it will import the piece of terrain showing in Google Earth. Now you can model on top of this terrain. Don't worry, the true geographic axes are "built in" to this terrain, though not visible. The other axes (red/green/blue) are totally independent from the geographic axes and are there as a tool for modeling only. You can change these axes' positions at any time in the (Tools>Axes) drop-down menu. It won't change where north or south is, trust me. Good luck getting out of the woods!