Sketchup announced some more updates in SketchUp Pro. The purpose of this current release is to improve modeling consistency from tool to tool, increase workflow efficiency, and improve SketchUp’s learnability.
Changes to SketchUp’s modeling modifiers
The way ten core tools behave in modifier states is changing in SketchUp 2021.1. The Move tool in SketchUp, for example, can also be used as a Copy tool. Push/Pull can also create additional faces when you extrude if you use a modifier. The following are the highlights:
The most noticeable change is that many tool modifiers now function as toggles that can be toggled on and off by pressing a key. This means fewer tool press-and-hold modifier interactions and more consistent modeling results. You can see what modifiers are available for any tool in the Status Bar (at the bottom of the screen), and you can confirm the tool’s current modified state by looking at the pointer or on-screen modeling behavior. We believe it will be easier to swap the tool state before completing a particular task with more modifiers acting as toggles.
Sketchup now persisting modifier tool states across multiple operations. This means being able to make multiple copies of objects with Move or being able to hide edges with Eraser across view changes using Orbit.
Many SketchUp tools allow you to ‘pre-lock’ an inference direction or drawing plane, as you may already be aware. Sketchup is starting to adapt this pattern to other tools in this edition. With the Line, Tape Measure, and Move tools, you may now pre-lock an inference direction before the initial click.
You’ll probably notice some differences with Push/Pull in SketchUp 2021.1. Sketchup formalizing Push/hidden Pull’s modifier, Stretch, in addition to making the Copy modifier a persistent toggle.
Stretch is a modifier state that has been around for a long time in SketchUp but has never been mentioned in the Status Bar or the Push/Pull cursor. Stretching a face is approximately similar to moving a face perpendicular to its drawing plane, and it’s especially beneficial early in the form development process.
Along with the above-mentioned enhancements to Push/Pull, Sketchup also changing the front-face orientation when modeling in SketchUp. When drawing on the ground plane, SketchUp will now always orient freshly generated faces with the front side facing up, and in other circumstances, with the front face ‘facing’ the camera. If a face is put on top of an existing face, for example, the new face will inherit the orientation of the face it is placed on. With these adjustments, the Push/Pull and Follow Me procedures perform more predictably, resulting in correctly oriented faces.
Watch SketchUp’s Skill Builder to see exactly how these tool patterns and modeling behaviors will impact your workflow.
Performance improvement for big mesh extensions
Some SketchUp add-ons are made to work with vast volumes of geometry. Of course, the larger the mesh a SketchUp plugin adds, the longer it takes to generate. We’re excited to share that the SketchUp API now creates big meshes more efficiently. The difference is particularly obvious when meshes have more than 20,000 polygons. Check out Artisan, SubD, Bezier Surface, and Skimp if you’re interested in learning more about the new API.
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