Continuing on our Sketchup Tutorial we are finally going to start drawing in some lines. We’ll start with the side view in this case as it has the easier outlines with no duplicated parts. In the next section we’ll cover the top view which will involve duplicating parts. If you have missed the first few sections it would be good to go back and review them before moving forward with this tutorial.
Part 1 – Intro to Sketchup
Part 2 – Customizing Sketchup
Part 3 – Importing Reference Drawings
You should already have a reference drawing in place and scaled to the size of the airplane you want to draw. So now is a good time to make sure we start saving our work as we go. I like to rename the drawing as I go in case I want to revert back a few steps. This is entirely personal preference. The important thing is to make sure you save frequently as you go. You never know when something might crash the program or you step away and the program gets closed. It’s never fun to loose a few hours or even a few minutes of work. Use that save feature!
I like to start drawing on the main fuse side first. I also like to draw in the main straight lines first before moving on to the curves. This helps to make sure the endpoints will be where we want for the lines before taking the time to get the curved pieces exactly as we want them. So find a long section and make your first line. On our Edge 540 I started at the back of the canopy and drew a line back to the start of the vertical stab. Close the line as close to the start of the curve as possible. Remember that the lines will not snap to anything on the reference drawing so you’ll have to get it as close as you can by hand. Once you are happy with the end point click to place the line. Then hit ESC to close the line drawing. We’ll skip over the curve for now and move to drawing the leading edge of the vertical stab. Start at the end of the curve and work up to where the vertical stab and the rudder meet. Close that line and then we’ll move back to drawing the curve to join the two lines.
Now we will create the curve between the two lines. I always test the arc tool first to see if it will match the curve on the drawing. Start your arc by snapping to one of the endpoints and then set the second point by clicking on the other endpoint. The arc will then show up as blue and you can adjust the bulge to see if it will match the drawing for you. If so then great!
In our case I was not quite happy with the curve so I switched to the Bezier curve tool. Again start at one end point and then set your second endpoint as well. From here we want to start adjusting the curve with control points. You’ll want to click where you want to adjust the curve starting near the beginning part of the curve and moving towards the end point. Once you are happy with the right click and choose exit to finish the curve.
Now you can continue drawing your lines and curves to finish the outline of the fuselage. Take your time to check each segment to the reference drawing. You can always step back and erase a point if you feel things are not lined up with the drawing. Your last line or curve should connect to the endpoint of your first line. Once you complete this line or curve it will fill in the interior of the outline and create a solid object.
Congratulations you have drawn your first object in Sketchup! However before you jump into drawing that rudder we want to make sure we don’t mess up the fuselage side. This is where components come into play. By making a component out of the object we just created we will be able to draw items that intersect with the fuselage side but that will not attach directly to it. To do this double click on the object to select all the lines and faces. Now either press “G” or right click and select create component. This will bring up a window where you can set a name for the component. Give it a name and click create.
Now you can snap to the endpoints of the fuse with other parts but not have them fuse together. Go ahead and draw out your rudder as well using the same techniques as we did for the fuse and when you are finished create a component for the rudder as well.
If you need further instruction on these steps check out my video where I draw out the entire fuse side and rudder.
In our next step we will draw the top view of the airplane including the wings, horizontal stabilizer and fuselage. If you have any questions or comments feel free to use the comments section below.