Are you organizing your models properly for LayOut?

When I was first introduced to SketchUp Pro, I remember opening LayOut a few times and messing around with a few buttons. Honestly, I didn’t really have the time to figure it out, so I would close it down and go back to drawing in SketchUp. Working for myself as a remodeling contractor, I typically used SketchUp to help me visualize new projects for my clients.

But I wanted my sketches to look more professional, instead of just having a piece of paper with an image on it. I wanted to have a titleblock with my company name and logo. I wanted to have the job and customer information on the drawing too. And I started working on larger projects that required me to create elevations and sections with dimensions and annotations, so I knew I needed to make a serious effort to learn LayOut.

I used to feel frustrated while using LayOut.

Tell me if any of these things have happened to you:

  • When you first opened LayOut, were you like “Ok, seriously, how do I insert a SketchUp model? Is there an insert button or something??”
  • Do your dimensions not always scale correctly, or do they detach from your model unexpectedly?
  • Do you have trouble getting the right “view” of your model?
  • Have you tried selecting an object, but it seems "locked"?
  • Can’t figure out how to use patterns in LayOut?
  • Don’t understand what scrapbooks are for?
  • You want to create a section cut of your model, but don’t want the “insides” exposed?
  • Have you tried Googling for the term "Layout", and not find anything that actually has to do with the program because it's such a generic term?

Yup, that was me, pretty much. It was really frustrating for a while, but I got better at it in time. When I was stuck on something, I’d search for an answer online or spend hours messing around until I could figure out a good solution. It wasn’t easy, because there really wasn’t a good resource out there for learning how to use LayOut, so I had to do my own research and investigation on my own.

This was the same experience I had when trying to learn SketchUp. Information was scattered about the internet, so I had to go looking for it in order to learn anything.

That’s why I started MasterSketchUp.com

I created Mastersketchup.com in 2012, as the ultimate resource for anyone wanting to learn SketchUp. On my site you’ll find a ton of tutorials and videos to help you learn SketchUp. I wanted to save people the time and frustration that I went through by create high quality, easy to follow tutorials.

Over the past two years, MasterSketchUp has grown to become one of the top resources for learning SketchUp.

In a recent survey, I asked my readers "What do you like about my tutorials?", and here’s a sample of what they had to say (Thank you so much for those who left me this feedback, you know who you are! I REALLY appreciate all your kind words)

• They are clearly presented and cover well defined areas of interest. • Very clear and well explained. • They are simple and easy to follow. • Clear visuals. Love the animated gifs! Very clear and 'friendly' text. • Your prose style is warm and with a pleasant degree of informality that makes me feel engaged with the content. • Steps are explained clearly and in a logical order, with reasons for different procedures being made explicit. • I like the way you explain things so well. I think you do a very good job as a teacher. • Intuitive and direct • Practical and advanced tips

• Help to discover the less obvious methods of using tools or drawing objects which is very important. • Very useful, short exposition of one topic in depth... • Simple to understand and follow • They work, and they show me some of the more obscure ways of doing things. They also have an insight into how the finished model needs to behave, as though someone is actually going to make something. Not like a house made from a push/pull solid block! • Great! • They are very easy to adapt to my classroom instruction plans. Clarity Clear intention and performance very interesting,direct to the point • Very easy to follow.

• I like the topics. They are pretty original. • Quick they are well done • Well explained. • Clear and concise.Well thought out.Easy to understand. • Good approach, easy to follow, offer basic information. • The easy teaching style. • simplicity in the complex • Clear, straight forward instruction • The way that you take your time teaching. and having to go back every once in a while. • I am finally learning how to use Sketchup efficiently.

They show you what they want to show in a short period of time, what is very important these days. • They are relevant and easy to follow. • Some of the tutorials are significant to me and what I am doing at the time. • Everything • They are easy to follow and learn from • very useful tips • terms/concepts are explained well. • Very informative clean and crispy • user-friendly and well presented • Easy to follow, good narration, experienced teacher • Easy to understand • They are a good information source

• They are fairly clear and reasonable to follow Information. • They helped me learn the basics. • There has been an answer (so far) for almost every modeling question I've had. • Breaking down complex topics simply (like scaling) plugins and sketchup technique • Easy to understand and follow • They're generally thorough • Well put together • The straight forward professional approach. • Very well done and very understandable. • explains new ways to do things in SU

• Is hands on and treats things I find difficult to find • They are easy to follow. • That I can understand what you are teaching! • Sequence and development easy to understand, simple language and clearly when speaking. • Clear and concise, easily understood by beginners (like me!) • The clarity and simplicity of the explanations. • They are thoughtful and complete. • They don't assume that the student has any prior knowledge about the subject. • They are easy to follow • I think you have a great site and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise with me.

• easily understood • To work accurately and quickly. • The visual aspect. • Very well made and info explained well. • That they are there clear and concise. • You actually help in understanding the tutorials far more than others I have seen online. • Range of subjects • Fun to watch and always learning something from it simplicity • They are easy to understand. • Elements that help me to be effective in making drawings MasterSketchup.com is fantastic, every time you find new and extraordinary read about SketchUp's capabilities. • The communication is very good and well presented. • Your explanations are very thorough and easy to understand.

My tutorials are frequently featured by the official SketchUp Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter pages.

SketchUp even personally invited me to World Maker Faire in New York to help answer questions at their booth.

Here’s a picture of me with John Bacus, the SketchUp Product Manager. (Both wearing awesome limited edition SketchUp T-Shirts.)

I taught the "Introduction to LayOut", class at the 2014 3D Basecamp conference.

SketchUp had asked me if I would teach an introduction to LayOut class. It was a 3 hour, hands-on class for about 60 people, and it turned out to be one of the most popular classes at the conference.

Here I am presenting at the SketchUp 3D Basecamp conference in Colorado.

Two things you should know about me.

I’m not an architect.

I didn’t go to school for design.

I was actually a carpenter by trade who just had a natural passion for design. I love architecture and carpentry! Any time I would go into a new restaurant or building with my wife I’d immediately look all around at how everything was built. I’d visualize in my head all the different steps that were needed to build it. It’s just habit.

So no, I don’t have some fancy design degree, but, I think that allows me to teach in a language that anyone can understand. People tell me I’m very good at taking complex concepts, and simplifying them to make them easy to understand.

So now, with all the great feedback I’ve received about my SketchUp tutorials, I wanted to do something even more amazing to help my fellow woodworkers, carpenters, architects, contractors, builders, and designers learn LayOut.


The SketchUp to LayOut Book

Download the Table of Contents

The SketchUp to LayOut book is the essential guide for woodworkers, carpenters, architects, contractors, builders, and designers who already know the basics on how to use SketchUp, but are looking to create stunning presentations to visualize their ideas with their clients using LayOut.

It's a 288 page instant digital download (PDF 30MB) that you can view right on your computer. You can also view it on your tablet so you can read along while you have SketchUp and LayOut open on your computer. Since it is in PDF format, you can read it on any platform. Each chapter and section are bookmarked for easy navigation, and all hyperlinks in the book are just a click away from the internet.


Learn the workflow for creating models specifically for LayOut

Before you even begin modeling that first rectangle, you'll need to fully understand which type of model you should be building for LayOut. Don't make the mistake of creating twice the amount of work for yourself because you didn't properly organize your model ahead of time.

I'll teach you how to save time and frustration by organizing your model so YOU are in control of how your model viewports look.

The entire first half of the book is dedicated to preparing your model for LayOut. From organizational workflow, to scenes and styles. I share with you my 5 point method I use to visualize and prepare every scene I create for LayOut.

Not only will you understand exactly what those five points are, you'll learn multiple ways to control them. Using these methods, you will gain complete control over the look of your viewports in LayOut. You will master every aspect of a SketchUp scene and style, to enable you to create impressive presentations and drawings in the least amount of time possible.

Testimonial

"There are many people in the world today that have an exceptional grasp at how to use Sketchup and Layout. If you want that knowledge imparted on to yourself, there are very few people that can do that. Teaching effectively is an art that Matt Donley has mastered. His venture into teaching Sketchup is aptly named "Master Sketchup". In his inaugural book he does a fantastic job at delivering his breadth of knowledge to readers of all levels of skill. If you get this book, you will become more productive, and you'll be able to produce amazing results using Sketchup and LayOut."

Eric Schimelpfenig, SketchThis.net

Is this too advanced for me?

This book is designed for construction professionals who don't have any prior experience in LayOut at all. But it's also structured in a way that lets you look up specific tasks or methods without having to read the book cover to cover. I’ll save you all the time and frustration that I went through when I first learned LayOut by quickly orienting you with the workspace, then jumping right in to creating your own titleblock, inserting SketchUp models, and adding dimensions.

You should have some basic knowledge on how to use SketchUp. But if you're just starting out, you'll have complete access to my entire library of tutorials and videos for free on my website to bring you up to speed quickly.

Every important aspect of LayOut is explained in the book, with step by step instructions for you to follow along. Learn exactly what you need to know and skip over all the little details you don’t need to worry about. The book has been updated for 2014 so you'll even learn about the new Auto-Text tag feature, saving you a ton of time on those redundant text edits.

Here’s an example page from the book that gives you step by step instructions on how to insert a linear dimension in LayOut. All of the instructional content in the book is laid out, step by step so you don't miss anything:

You’ll see REAL examples

The sample projects in the book are real projects, not hypothetical meaningless shapes and boxes, so you can see exactly how to apply the concepts you learn in context with the real world. Plus, the SketchUp and LayOut files are included with each book download so you’ll be able to follow along and discover for yourself how to organize a similar project of your own. The sample projects include a woodworking table project, a kitchen project, and a three story house project.

At the same time, each step by step instruction can be read and followed independently from the project. So if you need to go back and reference a certain part of the book to learn how to do something specific, you'll be able to do that too.

Advanced Techniques

I’ve consulted with many of the best SketchUp gurus in the world! I’ve hung out with Nick Sonder at the SketchUp basecamp conference. I’ve interviewed Aidan Chopra, SketchUp evangelist and author of “Google SketchUp for Dummies”, Eric Schimelpfenig from SketchThis.net, and Alexander Schreyer, author of “Architectural Design with SketchUp”. I’ve also consulted with Mike Brightman, author of “The SketchUp Workflow for Architecture”, Daniel Tal, author of “Rendering In SketchUp”, and many other great SketchUp experts.

Testimonial

"LayOut is the most overlooked and underestimated program I have come across, yet it is the second half of an efficient SketchUp Workflow. Matt's style of explaining SketchUp and LayOut is excellent in that he clearly and thoroughly covers the program from front to back and also provides the reasoning needed to make it click. His approach addresses the fact that different industries have varying levels of use and presents demonstration files accordingly. Don't make the all too common mistake of assuming that you can learn on your own. This book will bring you up to speed fast and squash bad habits before they start. SketchUp to LayOut is a must have investment for your design library!"

Michael Brightman, Author of "The SketchUp Workflow for Architecture"


By consulting with the best SketchUp gurus in the world, I’m able to find and extract all of the best methods for using SketchUp and LayOut for a variety of different types of projects. From them, I’ve created easy to follow, step by step workflows for some of the best tricks and secrets in the SketchUp universe. You’ll learn multiple ways to create section cuts, apply hatches to surfaces, manage section cuts, control line weights and more.

Save time with plugins and dynamic components

There are a ton of plugins (aka extensions) available for SketchUp these days. The trouble is, how do you know which ones are worth the time to download and try out? In the book, I’ve hand picked a small number of plugins that I find essential to my workflow and save me a ton of time.

I'll also introduce you to how dynamic components can increase your modeling speed. Although we don't go into any of the how-to, I show you a few examples of how dynamic components can be helpful in your projects.

Testimonial

"There's a huge amount of work in this publication. I like the unprecedented level of detail in relation to LayOut, encompassing the new features and the vast amount of exercises you have made available. This should be hugely valuable to professionals who want to really get to grips with SketchUp Pro."

Paul Lee, Author of "Construction Documents using SketchUp Pro & LayOut"


Professional Package

If you’re serious about transforming your sketches into stunning presentations, you’ll need some tools. In the Professional Package, you’ll get the SketchUp to LayOut PDF along with a complete set of tools, including:

  • 63 CAD style hatch materials for SketchUp
  • 63 seamless patterns for use as LayOut Patterns
  • 7 High quality seamless photo wood materials
  • 44 Custom Styles (overlays)
  • 3 custom titleblock templates
  • Electrical/HVAC Scrapbook collection
  • Mask/Break Scrapbook collection
  • 30% Discount to Sketchucation Membership ($25 value)
  • 30% Discount for BuildEdge plugin ($8 value)
  • 30% Discount to Go-to-School ($100 value)
  • 1 FREE month to SketchThis Kitchen plugin ($49 value)

CAD Styled Hatches

When printing out construction documents on paper, sometimes it's hard to distinguish materials that are textured to look like their "real-world" counterpart. Especially when creating section cuts, it's very important to be able to clearly communicate the type of material each space represents. That's why in most standard CAD programs, you'll find a set of standard hatch patterns for common types of materials.

In SketchUp, there aren't too many of these types of materials built in. That's why I created these custom CAD "styled" hatch patterns. They have a unique "sketchy" style to them, so they will stand out from drawings created from a traditional CAD program.

These are included with the Professional Package in two different formats, so you can use them however you'd like. Use them in LayOut as patterns, or use them in SketchUp as materials. They'll help you communicate more clearly, and you'll save on ink when printing your construction documents because of their simple style.


Wood Grain Materials

If you're a woodworker, using a set of high quality wood materials in your models can set your drawings apart from the rest. With the Professional Package, you'll get 7 high quality wood materials to use in your models.

These materials were created from a high resolution flat-bed scan of real wood veneer panels, so there is no lens distortion in the image at all. They were then professionally edited by a graphic artist to make the materials seamless. They can be tiled along large surfaces with no discernable seams from the image. Veneer types include bamboo, birch, maple, plain cut oak, rift cut oak, and steemed beech.


Custom Style Overlays

Styles can create unique effects when you pair them up with a watermark. You can finally make your edges appear dashed, or you can apply a hatch pattern to your entire model without having to change the materials on any of the faces. In the Professional Package, you'll also get 44 custom styles that you can use in your models to create these effects with one click.

Many of the styles are the same patterns included in the CAD Hatch style material pack, so it gives you an additional option on how to apply them to your model.


Electrical/HVAC Scrapbooks

For any residential or commercial architect, having a set of electrical and HVAC symbols is essential for creating fully annotated drawings. Unfortunately, LayOut does not come with any electrical symbols built-in.

With this package, you'll have a full library of electrical outlets, switches, light fixtures, data, and HVAC symbols for you to drag and drop into your LayOut document.

And more...

When you purchase the Professional Package, you also get the Mask/Break scrapbook collection that will allow you to create break lines over your viewports that automatically create a mask over the object as well. You'll get exclusive discounts to Buildedge and SketchThis plugins, as well as a discount to the Go-2-School premium video tutorial membership site, and Sketchucation's premium membership site. The Professional Package is a complete offer that includes the SketchUp to LayOut book. It's the best choice for those looking to add a powerful set of tools to their SketchUp and LayOut arsenal.

 

Video Package

For the ultimate training package, which includes the SketchUp to LayOut book, Professional Package, as well as over 3 hours of video tutorials, choose the Video Package. Each video is broken down into short, focused topics so you can find exactly what you want to learn very easily.

Watch videos from any device using the Udemy app for your Apple or Android devices. You can choose to either stream the videos, or download them to your computer. If you ever have any questions about a specific video, post your question in the discussion forum and I will answer it for you!

30-Day Money Back Guarantee


Testimonial

" I find your SketchUp tips and tutorials extremely valuable, well prepared and just the right speed for an old woodworker to understand. The ‘Guides’ and ‘Scaling’ tips are two that really helped."

Dale Smith, Illinois

"As a five year SketchUp user and a 3D modeling and printing teacher, I have found Matt's MasterSketchUp tutorials and training vital for me and my students. He has an easy to learn format which can help any level of SketchUp user. Most recently I have been utilizing his tips for 3D printing within my classroom as we complete a scale model of our town's historic district. I look forward to diving into his SketchUp Layout and am happy to have access for myself and my students. Matt's easy to follow writings and videos really works to help anyone improve their 3D modeling skills".

Michael Hathorn, history and technology, Hartford High School, White River Jct. VT

"I have found your tips and tutorials
incredibly helpful, and they inspired me to give Sketchup a second chance! I am still grappling with the basics, but motivated to get beyond this - it will be so useful for my work to be 'fluent' in Sketchup!"

Lara Stancich Interior Design

"This guy (Matt Donley) knows what it's all about. His videos demonstrate a thorough understanding - not just of woodworking, but of using Sketchup to produce detailed, dimensioned, scaleable, working drawings and not just in 2D either! Matt explains in his detailed tutorials how to produce a variety of 3D models. By following his instructions you can accelerate an already easy learning process and actually BUILD your project as a COMPLETE, DETAILED, 3 DIMENSIONAL model, and iron out all the wrinkles - before you even pick up your tools."

Tony Johnson, Spain

"I've been using SketchUp for about two years. It's an amazingly easy program to use. I once had a problem when I needed to print to scale and that's when I found MasterSketchUp on YouTube. I'm always looking for more of his tutorials. I'm really looking forward to his book. Thanks Matt!"

Afid Faddillah, Bogor, Indonesia