Welcome, all SketchyPhysics users! Read the following information carefully to find out what SketchyPhysics is, and what it can do for you.

What is SketchyPhysics?[]

SketchyPhysics is a plugin for Google SketchUp, which runs simulations based on real-world physics. This means that, during the simulation, Newtonian physics laws are applied to grouped objects, with runtime user interactivity added through an on-screen object dragging system, using the mouse to pull objects around. Joysticks, and limited joypad button or keyboard input is supported to control a selection of joints and settings applicable to grouped objects, including self-replicating emitters, thrusters, magnets, and more. Limited Ruby script use is also supported for more advanced actions; for examples of SketchyPhysics in action, please install SketchyPhysics on your PC/Mac, and search for 'Sketchyphysics' on the Google 3D warehouse. The SketchyPhysics plugin uses the Newton Physics Engine from Newton Game Dynamics to drive the simulations.

How can I access SketchyPhysics?[]

To use SketchyPhysics, you first need to install the latest version of Google SketchUp. SketchyPhysics is not a "stand alone" program, it is a plugin for SketchUp, therefore, requiring SketchUp to run. You can download the free or the Pro version of SketchUp. Get the most current version at the SketchUp Homepage. Select the version for your OS, run it, and follow the on screen prompts.

Now that SketchUp is installed, or if you already had it, you can download and install SketchyPhysics. It is generally recommended, with the possible exception of SP3 X, that you install the latest version, which can always be found using a link in a sticky thread at the top of the SketchyPhysics forums.

How to install:

  • Windows: C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp #\Plugins
  • Mac: /Library/Application Support/Google Sketchup #/Sketchup/plugins

(On a Mac, make sure that the contents of the SketchyPhysics folder you got out of the downloaded zip are in the Plugins folder itself, NOT in a SketchyPhysics folder within the Plugins folder.)

See the Issues page for further help.

After you have installed both SketchUp and SketchyPhysics, run SketchUp and go to the "View->Toolbars" menu. You will see some new menu items "Sketchy...". Click any of these items if they are unchecked; this will make SketchyPhysics' on-screen toolbars visible for easy access. Move the toolbars as you see fit. SketchyPhysics will also be listed in the "Plugins" menu, and in the right click context menu of objects.

Try SketchyPhysics Now![]

To run a SketchyPhysics model, use the following link to search the Google 3D warehouse for SketchyPhysics Models.

Once the model is loaded into SketchUp, click on the "Play" button in the main SketchyPhysics toolbar. Some models may require you to use your keyboard/mouse/joystick to manipulate the simulation, for example in a car game. Note that when running a simulation, you can not perform any modifications to the geometry of the model. Anything that you move while the simulation is running will react as in real life. Click the "Play" button again to pause the simulation, or the "Reset" button to stop it all together, resetting all objects to their start positions and deleting any new ones. You will then be able to edit the model and any settings as you would normally.

So what can I do with it?[]

Using SketchyPhysics, you can realistically animate models, seeing how what you're designing will move; you can design complex mechanisms without worrying whether they're going to work or not. Using the more advanced features, you can go beyond this and have more fun; controllable vehicles, even small games are possible with the camera control and scripting. If this sounds daunting, take at look at our tutorials (WIP) to find out step-by-step how to create and control a physics environment.

If you get that far...[]

Make your own model! Explore this Wiki and learn how to do so.