When modeling a small detailed object, such as a light bulb filament or zipper pull, often you may find it challenging to get the geometry accurate, or you may simply find it difficult to navigate your object within the larger model. Here’s a tip to solve your problem. First model your object at a larger scale, say ten times the real scale. When you’re done, make a group of your object and scale it down ten times to the actual scale! Problem solved.
Sometimes SketchUp models can become unwieldy and even difficult to manipulate on screen, especially if you’re working on a large site plan. There are many methods for dealing with this, such as avoiding complex visual styles, turning off shadows, and hiding groups and components on layers while you work. But if hiding certain objects would make completing your model impossible, what can you do? Here’s a tip to keep objects visible on screen and still navigate your model as spryly as you want.
Suppose your site model requires that you see the precise location of hundreds of trees as you model. If you use even moderately detailed 3d trees, your SketchUp model could soon slow you down to a crawl. Model a simple, low-polygon “popsicle" tree component and use that as a placeholder for your trees. Use this low-poly model as a proxy, placing it wherever a tree is needed. Then, when all your modeling is done and the scenes are set, simply right click on one of the popsicle tree components and select “reload” to browse for the more detailed 3d tree that belongs in your final view. And if the detailed tree has already been placed on the site plan somewhere in your file, go to the Components dialogue and click the home icon to see the list of components present in the current file. With any "popsicle” tree Component selected, find in the list the detailed tree model, right-click over it and click “Replace Selected”. Just remember to make sure the component axis is the same for both proxy and detailed model.
Obviously this tip works for all kinds of circumstances, so have fun keeping your models more efficient!
Stay tuned for ways to improve your workflow with SketchUp. And leave some love if you liked this :)