Creating Section Cuts in SketchUp – The SketchUp Essentials #26

This video will teach the basics of creating section cut views in SketchUp.
For the last two weeks, we’ve talked about using scenes in SketchUp, first to save and work with views, then to create flythrough animations.
This week, we’re going to use section planes to create moving cut-through animations in our model.
To start off, we’re going to have to start by learning how to create a section cut.
In order to add a section cut, go up to tools, section plane. When you select this, you can see that you get a box with four arrows on the corners that move along with your mouse. You can see that it will try to inference to different faces as you mouse over them.
You can also lock the plane to an axis using the arrow keys.
Once you have the plane where you’d like it to be, click once to set your plane.
One thing that’s going to be important is that you need to go to view and turn section planes to on so you can see them. You’re also going to want to make sure that “Section planes” are checked in your view section.
When you turn this on, you can see that there is this box with arrows coming off of it. Then, if you don’t want to see the plane, you can go back to section planes and turn planes to off to just see the geometry in your model.
The next thing you’re going to notice is that you can use the move tool to move this plane around. You can use this to adjust the sections in your model.
If you right click on your section plane, there are several different options you can select.
The first is reverse. If you click reverse, SketchUp will flip the section cut in the opposite direction.
The next is active cut. Active cut is important because if you uncheck it, your section cut will be deactivated. This becomes very important when we work with scenes, because SketchUp animates the transition between the cuts.
For example – if I add a second cut to this model, then create two scenes – one with the first cut active, the second with the second cut active – when I transition between scenes, SketchUp will animate the transition, creating a moving animation in my model. More on this in next week’s video.
Next, there’s align view. Align view is great for creating section views with section planes. It will basically move your camera so that you have a straight on view to the geometry you’re sectioning. This works great in conjunction with turning perspective off in the view section.
Finally, a new option that I didn’t know SketchUp had added – create group from slice. Basically what this means is SketchUp will cut your model along your section location, separating the different geometry at the point of your section.
Finally, I’m going to give a concrete example of using section cuts.
Let’s say we have a house model and we want to create a section cut showing us what the inside of the house would look like.
What we’d do is take this house, then go up and add a section plane. We can then move this section plane around until we get the view that we’d like.
Once we get the view we like, you can right click on this view, select “Align View,” and turn perspective off. This gives you a perfect section cut of your house. The next thing you can do is create a second section cut giving you a different view, make it the active cut, and add a new view. You can then rename your views in your scene manager, allowing you to label your view tabs so you can move quickly between them.
Remember that your scene stores whatever the active cut is in your model, so if you ever need to update a view, just make sure you have the right cut selected, then update your view!
Next week we’re going to talk about creating construction animations with sections in SketchUp!
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