Organic Modeling in SketchUp with Vertex Tools – Plugin of the Week #3

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Short Intro
SketchUp can be a very powerful 3D modeling software. However, one of the places it falls short is in the area of organic modeling. This toolset creates an all new functionality in SketchUp – the ability to edit vertices.
Plugin Name: Vertex Tools
Plugin Developer: ThomThom
How Much does it cost? 30 Day trial, then the plugin costs $20 to purchase.
One of the limits in a regular SketchUp installation is the fact that it’s really a line and face editor, not a vertex editor. What this means is that you really only edit lines and faces. It’s not really set up the edit the vertices (the points where the lines intersect). You can use sandbox tools to do this, but you run into both limited functionality and some instability. This toolset is specifically designed to help you edit vertices, giving you the ability to create organic models in a way that really isn’t possible in a regular SketchUp install.
Where do you get it?
You can get it in the extension warehouse or from the SketchUcation store.
Cost of Plugin?
Plugin costs $20. SketchUcation premium members get a 20% discount.
Tool Functions
What this plugin does is allow you to edit surfaces by moving the intersections between lines. This allows you to create things like terrain or organic models very easily.
To start, the plugin contains several helpful selection tools for selecting vertices. You can select vertices by square, circle, polygon, or freehand. Anyone who has used Sandbox tools before will appreciate these tools.
In addition, when this tool is active, you can only select vertices, not lines and faces, which makes it very easy to work with your faces.
This tool allows both hard selecting and soft selecting. Hard selecting means that all selected vertices move, and all the ones around them don’t. Soft selecting means that moving selected points also affects surrounding points for nice, organic curves.
This tool allows you to move vertices along axes, rotate vertices, and scale vertices all using the built in tool, the gizmo.
In addition to modifying existing vertices, you can use the insert vertices function to easily add new vertices to your faces, or you can merge vertices into a single point by using the merge vertices function.

Usefulness/Functionality – 5/5
This extension is a must have for organic modeling. It gives SketchUp a completely new set of functions that make organic modeling easy and fun.
Value – 5/5
While this plugin isn’t free like many of the plugins we talk about here, $20 is a small price to pay to add organic modeling functions to SketchUp.
Ease of Use/Documentation – 4/5 –
Tools are easy to use. It would be nice to see more tutorials somewhere, maybe walking you through the creation of various items, but if you watch some of Thom Thom’s videos, you can figure it out.
Overall score – 14/15.
One of the places where SketchUp has always been lacking is in the area of organic modeling. This extension gives you a quick, easy to use toolset that gives you this functionality. There’s a free 30 day trial, so make sure to go check it out.
That’s where we’re going to wrap up this plugin overview. If you liked this video, click that like button down below. If you’re new, click that subscribe button for more SketchUp videos every week.
As always, leave a comment below and let me know if you’re using this tool and how.
Thanks very much for watching, and I’ll catch you in the next video.


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