How Do You Make an Animation in SketchUp?

Creating animations in SketchUp can bring your models to life and add an extra level of visual interest. Whether you want to showcase the design process, demonstrate how a building evolves over time, or simply bring movement to your static models, SketchUp provides various tools and features to help you create captivating animations.

Getting Started with Animations in SketchUp

Before diving into the animation process, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the basic functionalities of SketchUp. Familiarize yourself with the navigation tools, drawing tools, and component management techniques. This will ensure a smoother animation workflow.

Setting up Scenes

To create an animation in SketchUp, scenes play a crucial role. Scenes act as snapshots or keyframes that capture different states of your model at specific moments. Start by setting up scenes at significant points throughout your animation timeline.

To create a scene, go to the “Window” menu and select “Scenes.” In the Scenes dialog box, click on the “+” icon to add a new scene. Give each scene a descriptive name that represents its purpose within your animation.

Animating Camera Movements

An essential aspect of creating animations in SketchUp is animating camera movements. This allows you to control how your audience views and experiences your model. To animate camera movements:

  1. Select the desired scene from the Scenes dialog box.
  2. Adjust your view using the Orbit, Pan, and Zoom tools.
  3. Once satisfied with the view, update the scene by clicking on the “Update” button in the Scenes dialog box.
  4. Repeat this process for each scene you want to include in your animation.

The transitions between scenes can be smooth or abrupt depending on how you want your animation to flow. Experiment with different camera movements and transitions to create the desired effect.

Animating Components and Groups

In addition to camera movements, you can also animate components and groups within your model. This is particularly useful when you want to showcase specific design elements or demonstrate how different parts of your model interact.

To animate components and groups:

  1. Select the desired scene from the Scenes dialog box.
  2. Activate the “Component Options” or “Group Options” from the right-click context menu.
  3. In the options dialog box, make changes to the component or group (e.g., move, rotate, scale).
  4. Once done, update the scene by clicking on the “Update” button in the Scenes dialog box.
  5. Repeat this process for each scene where you want to animate components or groups.

Exporting Your Animation

Once you’ve created your animation in SketchUp, it’s time to export it in a format that can be easily shared with others. SketchUp allows you to export animations as videos or image sequences.

To export your animation:

  1. Go to the “File” menu and select “Export” > “Animation.”
  2. In the Export Animation dialog box, choose your desired settings such as video format, resolution, and frame rate.
  3. Select a location on your computer where you want to save the exported animation.
  4. Click on “Export” and wait for SketchUp to process and save your animation file.

You can now share your animated model with others by uploading it to video-sharing platforms or embedding it into websites.


Animating in SketchUp opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for showcasing your designs. By setting up scenes, animating camera movements, and animating components or groups, you can create engaging and dynamic presentations that captivate your audience.

Experiment with different techniques, and don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine. Happy animating!