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Creating a plan of your SketchUp model in LayOut

We shared a snapshot of how architect Nick Sonder uses SketchUp Pro and LayOut to work up construction documents. In comments on this blog and our YouTube channel, we noticed that folks wanted to learn more about the ins and outs of this process, so we tapped Paul Lee, author of “Construction Documents using SketchUp Pro & LayOut“ to walk through the basic process for porting SketchUp scenes to plan views in LayOut:

Creating a plan in LayOut is a snap. In this tutorial, we will take a pre-formed model, apply a Section Cut and create a Plan Scene for display in LayOut. Below is a view of a house construction model you can download from here. Once you've opened this model (or one of your own), select the Section Plane tool from the Tools menu. Use this tool to align the desired sectioned view of the model. (Remember: Hold down the shift key to maintain alignment while positioning your section cut.)

SketchUp model in LayOut

With your model queued up, you're ready to slice and dice with the Section Plan tool.

Sectioning a SketchUp model

Sectioning a SketchUp model.

Under the Camera Menu, Set the view to Parallel Projection; notice that you've now provided a straight-on view for your plan. Next, under Window, select the Scenes console. (Tip: you can hide the Section Plane itself in your LayOut document by opening the Styles window in SketchUp, and editing the default style of your scene to hide the section plane).

Now click on the “+” button and create a scene called “PLAN”. Open LayOut and access your SketchUp model by selecting File > Insert. From here, simply right-click on the SketchUp window and select Scenes: “PLAN”. Then right-click and go to Scale = 1mm:50mm. Your scaled plan is now finished in LayOut, and you're all set to start dimensioning and annotating the important details.

Setting up plan as a scene in prep for LayOut
Setting up your plan as a scene in prep for LayOut
SketchUp scene imported to LayOut
Voila: a SketchUp scene imported to LayOut

This tutorial is based on techniques found in Paul's new book “Construction Documents using SketchUp Pro & LayOut” available here from SketchUcation and also on the Viewsion Authorized Training Center website.

If you aren’t a current SketchUp subscriber, try out the workflow using our free 30-day trial.


About the Author

Aidan was a beloved member of the SketchUp team for 10 years. He birthed this blog, taught countless SketchUp classes, authored the SketchUp For Dummies book, and is a jolly fellow indeed. If you'd like to learn a little more about Aidan and his new endeavor, check out Bitsbox.

Profile Photo of Aidan Chopra