The Extruded Footprint technique is used to digitally recreate real-life buildings in the Sketchup program. This Geo-modeling method works for buildings that have vertical exterior walls with flat or sloped roofs. The method captures a birds-eye satellite image of your building and set this 2D image as the base in Sketchup. Once the base is set, lines can be drawn along the edges of the building. The building can then be extruded vertically.
The Extruded Footprint technique is often used as a substitute to photo-matching. Photo matching requires clean photographs displaying two sides of a building. When these types of photographs are unobtainable (e.g. when trees are blocking the edges of the building), the Extruded Footprint technique is used.
- Open the Sketchup application and Geo-locate your building under the File > Geo-Location > Add Location tab.
2. Change your view under the Camera > Standard Views > Top tab (or hit Command 1). This view will show your building from a bird’s eye perspective and allow you to set your axis.
3. Under Tools > Axes, set your axis lines, ensuring that they line up with the edges of your building (if you’re building is rectangular).
4. Apply the X-Ray view under View > Face Style > X-Ray. This will make everything transparent, allowing you to accurately trace the borders of your building.
5. Outline the base of your building.
6. Draw out any other necessary lines before extruding your building vertically.
7. Extrude your building’s footprints to the correct building height. Use either the push pull tool or the move tool to adjust the height of your building. For greater precision, enter the exact height of the building into the unit box at the bottom right of the Sketchup.
8. Finally, with the paint bucket tool, apply textures to your building. The exact texture of the building is sometimes available in the “Colors In Model” section.
The two links below also run through the steps of the extruding footprint technique:
For a video showing the extruding footprint technique in action, see below:
This video is part 3 of a series of videos where every aspect of the technique is covered. To see more this user’s Sketchup videos, click here.