SketchUp animation

by Design Workshop Sydney

Animating your models in SketchUp is fun and easy! Fly throughs and walk through animations are a great way to give your client an impression of what it’s like to actually inhabit the space. Animations are outputted as an AVI or Quick Time movie file which can e emailed or uploaded onto your website.Animation is one of the key topics covered in our SketchUp courses.sketchup-animation
First of all, make sure you’re happy with the materials and lighting you’ve applied. Delete any old scenes and turn Shadows off for the moment – this will give you faster results while you do your test renders. When you’re happy with the general appearance and flow of the animation, you turn back on the lighting and shadows. Next Zoom out and select the Position Camera tool – click in front of the model and move around till you get a good view of the space. To give the impression of a wide angled lens go to Camera, then Field of View and change this to 60° (on the bottom right). Go to: Window > Scenes > New scene, and note that Scene 1 will be your starting and ending point for the animated movie.
Next zoom in and around as if you were flying into the model, and create a new scene. Use any of the navigation tools – you can right-click to choose, or use the Walk or Look Around tool. When you zoom and orbit around make sure you do so in fairly gradual movements. If you make the transition too dramatic, SketchUp will take the shortest route, often by cutting through walls and objects, and the result is clunky and awkward, not so say vertiginous!
Create about 12 scenes in this way, and in the last scene you may want to see the whole model as if from outside and above. So zoom right out and select the ceiling, right-click and Hide. Change the Camera’s Field of View back to 35°. File > Save. To review your work so far, go back to Scene 1, then View, Animation and Play. It’ll take a bit of experimentation till you’re happy with the transitions and speed. Delete or change any scenes you don’t like , but remember to right-click on the scene tab afterwards and Update.
For a smoother transition, got to View > Animation > Settings > Scene Transitions: 3 Seconds > Scene Delay: 0. Then to create a test render: File > Export > Animation > AVI or QuickTime file > Options > 10 fps (frames per second). Note that it took about 10 minutes to render the space in the screenshot above, and was 50 Mb in file size, so they are not small files. If you’re happy with the test render, increase the Scene Transitions to 4 or 5 secs, and the fps to 15, and Export again – this will take longer to render obviously. And if happy with this result, turn on the Shadows and materials and render again. This will take even longer but eventually you will have a production quality animation for uploading to your website, online portfolio or sending to your client.
For many more examples of how SketchUp is used in various industries, have a look at the Trimble SketchUp website.

And see many examples of our SketchUp clients’ work on our Facebook page.

Other related SketchUp Blog Posts: