Keyframe Animation for SketchUp

Fequently Asked Questions

This list has been updated to take into account the features that were added to Keyframe Animation in version 2.0. The User Guide 2.0 has all the details about what's new. Get Keyframe Animation 2.0 on the Download page.

question mark icon Why don't my objects move?
If your objects are not moving, here are some steps to diagnose the cause.
  • The most likely reason is that the object animation is turned off. It is turned off by default when SketchUp opens. Click the Play Button to turn object animation on.
  • The objects aren't suppose to move when you toggle the Play button on. That only enables movement. The objects should then move when you select a scene, or run the slideshow animation.
  • Make sure it is a group or component. Loose Geometry can not be recorded or animated. Use the Entity Info window to check the type (right-click > Entity Info).
  • An object will not move if there is no position data saved on the scene for it. Click the Select Button to see which objects have positon data saved on the current scene.
  • If the object still doesn't move, maybe the position saved is the same as where it's at already. Try moving it somewhere else, and then select the scene tab. It should move back.
How do you record the position data for a subcomponent?
Open the parent component (or group) for editing by double-clicking on it, and then select the subcomponent. If there are several ancestors containing it, you will need to successively open each one until you can select the subcomponent. An easier way to select a deeply nested object is to click on it in Outliner. Then with the object selected, click the Record Button.
Is it possible to animate a subcomponent in a group or does the subcomponent have to be within a component to animate?
You can animate any subgroup or subcomponent. The parent can be either a group or component, it doesn't matter.
What sort of built-in animation does SketchUp have?
SketchUp animates all the properties that can be saved with scenes. Camera Location, Style and Fog, Shadow Settings, and Section Planes are interpolated during scene transition. Hidden Geometry, and Visible Layers are toggled on or off at the start of the scene transition.
What does your plugin accomplish that SketchUp can't?
Keyframe Animation complements SketchUp's built-in animation of scene properties by animating objects as well. It will interpolate objects between scenes (keyframes) by translation, rotation, scaling, reflection, inversion, or a combination. Version 2.0 can export the object animation and scene property animation to a video or image sequence. There are more video formats supported than SketchUp. The export options for frame rate and frame size are basically the same as SketchUp Pro.
I want SketchUp to only animate the objects, not the camera. How do I turn off camera animation?
If you are creating an animation where the camera does not move, leave the Camera Location box on each scene unchecked. Then SketchUp won't save this property with the scene, and won't move the camera during the scene transition.
Do all the objects have to be in all the scenes, or can you hide the ones that you don't want to show?
Version 2.0 plays nice with all the scene properties including Hidden Geometry, and Visible Layers. You can use those scene properties to make anything appear or disappear on a scene.
Can you create an animation and then add new objects to it later?
Yes, you can record the position data for the new objects, and update the position data for old objects, for any scene. When you click the Record Button, it overwrites the old position data.
Can I transfer the SketchUp model, WITH THE ANIMATIONS, to a (different) laptop computer for a presentation?
Yes, the position data is stored in the model. In version 2.0, the position data is stored with the object itself. So, if you copy and paste the object from one model into another, the animation will follow it -- as long as both models have the same scene names.

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