Quick and Dirty Rose Window in SketchUp
Hey all, so I was recently playing around at creating greek-style columns in SketchUp when I stumbled on a quick and easy way to make highly intricate rose windows like one might find on a temple or cathedral.
I have attached a basic example below and I will show you how to do this in just a few simple steps. Once you get the hang of this technique, you should be able to do this in the time it takes to microwave lunch.
Step 1: Set up your shapes
The first thing to do is to draw a circle with an arc along the edge. For this example, I set my circle's radius at 5'.
When drawing the arc, I zoomed in until I could make out the endpoints of the polygon used to render the circle. (In my SketchUp settings, circles are actually 24-sided polygons. I know it is possible to adjust this setting to increase or decrease the number of sides) I drew the base of the arc between two endpoints on one of the circle's "sides" and pulled the bulge of the arc in towards the center of the circle about 6".
Step 2: Create an arc array
Once you have your basic shapes established, you need to copy the interior arc as a radial array running around the interior of the circle. In these instructions, anything typed in quotes should not include the quotation marks.
First, select the arc. Then change to the 'rotate' tool and click on the center of the circle* to set the pivot point for your rotation.
Once you have the protractor shape over the center of the circle, left-click once to set your pivot point. your cursor should now have a dotted guide line following it around. drag your cursor over to the selected arc (I chose either the midpoint of the arc or one of the endpoints) and left-click again. The arc should now rotate around the center of the circle as you move your mouse.
To start forming the array, hit the [Ctrl] key. This will cause the original arc to remain in place and you will instead be rotating a copy.
To complete the array type "360" and hit [Enter] then type "/24" and hit [Enter] again.
The first part of these commands causes the copy of the arc to rotate 360 degrees around the center of the circle and the second creates 24 copies of the arc evenly spaced along the path of rotation. If your circle settings are set to render as 24-sided polygons, you should have something that looks like the second picture.
*If you centered your original circle on the intersection of the three main SketchUp axes, your cursor should easily re-snap to this point. If the outer circle is not centered on the axes, you may need to run your mouse over the edge of the circle before trying to set your pivot point. If you do this, your cursor should then change color and display the word "center" when you are in the right spot.
Step 3: Offset the Border to make crazy Shapes!
Next, select the 'offset' tool and left-click near the center of the circle. As you move your mouse around, an offset copy of the shape outline should appear creating complex patterns as you drag the mouse around. move the mouse across the circle until you see a pattern you like and then left-click again to complete the shape! BAM! You have the basic shape of a rose window ready to get stuck in the side of a temple dedicated to YOU!
Note: I found that using a single offset sometimes caused shape fidelity issues when I began coloring my windows. I found that as I highlighted different fields created by the offset lines, sometimes the software did not recognize that those lines should be dividing the the circle into multiple faces. Normally when a line is not dividing a face, SketchUp draws the line in bold, but for some reason that did not occur in the case of this technique.
To help correct this issue, I found that using a series of smaller offsets instead of just one big one resulted, not only in greater fidelity when it came to dividing the face of the circle, but also resulted in more complex patterns for the window.