How Do I Use Scenes in SketchUp?

In this tutorial, we will explore how to use scenes in SketchUp to enhance your workflow and create dynamic visualizations. Scenes are a powerful feature that allow you to save different views and settings within your SketchUp model, making it easy to navigate between specific scenes or create animated presentations.

Creating Scenes

To create a new scene, go to the “Views” menu and click on “Animation”. This will open the Animation dialog box, where you can manage all your scenes. Click on the “+” button to add a new scene.

Note: You can also use the “Add Scene” button in the Scenes toolbar for quick access.

Once you have created a scene, you can customize its properties by selecting it from the list. In the Animation dialog box, you will find options to rename the scene, set camera positions and orientations, adjust shadow settings, and even control visibility of objects or layers.

Camera Positions and Orientations

SketchUp allows you to save specific camera positions and orientations for each scene. This is useful when you want to show different perspectives of your model or focus on specific details.

  • To set a camera position: Navigate to the desired view using the Orbit, Pan, Zoom tools or by using the standard view options (Top View, Front View, etc.). Once you have positioned your camera as desired, select the scene in the Animation dialog box and click on “Update” to save the changes.
  • To set a camera orientation: Use SketchUp’s standard orbit controls (click + drag) or adjust the field of view (FOV) from the Camera menu. Remember to update your scene after making any changes.

Shadow Settings

Scenes also allow you to control the appearance of shadows in your model. This can be particularly useful when showcasing different lighting scenarios or creating realistic renderings.

  • To enable/disable shadows: Select the scene in the Animation dialog box and check/uncheck the “Shadows” option in the “Properties” tab.
  • To adjust shadow settings: Click on the “Edit” button next to the “Shadows” option. This will open a separate dialog box where you can fine-tune parameters such as time of day, sun position, and shadow softness.

Object and Layer Visibility

If you have complex models with many objects or layers, controlling their visibility can greatly enhance your scenes. This allows you to show/hide specific elements or create step-by-step presentations.

  • To control object visibility: Select the desired scene in the Animation dialog box and go to the “Properties” tab. Here, you can toggle the visibility of individual objects by checking/unchecking their respective boxes.
  • To control layer visibility: Similarly, select a scene and go to the “Layers” tab in the Animation dialog box. From here, you can toggle layers on/off using checkboxes.

Navigating Between Scenes

Once you have created multiple scenes, it’s easy to navigate between them using SketchUp’s intuitive interface. You can switch between scenes by clicking on their respective thumbnails in the Animation dialog box or by using keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl + [1-9]).

Note: To create a smooth transition between scenes during an animation or presentation, make sure to set appropriate transition times in the Animation dialog box.


Scenes in SketchUp are a valuable tool for organizing and presenting your 3D models. By saving different views, camera positions, shadow settings, and visibility options, you can create visually stunning presentations or simply streamline your workflow. Experiment with scenes and unlock the full potential of SketchUp!