How to Make an Architectural 2D Elevation in Sketchup

Featured image_How to Make am Architectural 2D Elevation in Sketchup

Sketchup is a great program for creating 3D models, site plans, and floor plans. This tutorial explains how to take a floor plan and turn it into a 3D model. However, in this article, we’re going to go over how to make a 2D elevation in Sketchup using a 3D model.


Camera > Parallel Projection. To change the view from a perspective to a 2D view, go to “camera” and select “parallel projection” from the dropdown menu.

Camera > Standard Views > Front. Then, to get a front view, navigate to “camera” > “standard views” and select “front.” You may have to choose “back,” “left,” or “right” depending on what view you want to use.

front view of 2D elevation in Sketchup

Default Tray > Styles > Edit. Go to the “styles” tab in the “default tray” and then select the “edit” tab. Uncheck the “sky” and “ground” boxes so you can export the final file as a PNG.

edit tab of 2D elevation in Sketchup

Edge Settings. While you are in the “edit” tab, select the “edge” settings from the thumbnail images. Uncheck “edges” and “profiles.” This view is good to use when adding shadows because the shadows define the shapes rather than the lines.

edge settings of 2D elevation in Sketchup

Face Settings. Next to the “edge” settings, you can select “face” settings. Here, you can change the style of the faces. We selected shading with textures.

Modeling Settings. The final thumbnail is for the “modeling” settings. Uncheck “model axes.”

When you finish editing the settings, click on the image under the “styles” tab to update the style with changes.

Shadows. Under the “shadows” tab of the “default tray” there is a small icon that you can select to turn the shadows in your view on or off. You can also change the time of year to get a different effect with your shadows. If you want more dramatic shadows, use the “date” slider to select a winter month. If you want shorter, less dramatic shadows, select a summer month instead. You can also use the “time” slider to adjust the time of day. Play around with each setting until you get the look you want.

edit shadows of 2D elevation in Sketchup

View > Fog. If you want to edit the view depth of your 2D elevation in Sketchup, go to “view” and select “fog.”

Window > Default Tray > Fog. You can also go to the “fog” tab in the “default tray” by selecting “window” > “default tray” > “fog.” Here, you can select and deselect the “fog” setting or use the slider to edit where the fog starts and ends. The leftmost slider changes where the fog starts, and the rightmost slider changes how far back it goes.

add fog to 2D elevation in Sketchup

Export a 2D Elevation in Sketchup

Add Scene. To save your view, go to the “scenes” tab in the “default tray” and click on the plus button. You can enter a name for your scene in the “name” box. If you change your view to a “left” elevation for example, you can simply click on the plus button again to save the view as a new scene. If you make any changes to your model in a scene, simply right-click on the image in the “scenes” tab and select “update scene.” Check which elements you want to update and then hit “update.”

add scene of 2D elevation in Sketchup

Window > Model Info. When you have more than one scene you can toggle between them, but the animation between each scene may cause Sketchup to lag. If you want to disable this feature go to “window” > “model info” and select the “animation” tab. Uncheck the box that says “enable scene transitions.”

disable scene transitions between 2D elevation in Sketchup and other scenes

File > Export > 2D Graphic. To export your final elevation, make sure you have the view selected from the “scenes” tab. Go to “file” > “export” and select “2D graphic.”

If you found this article on making a 2D elevation in Sketchup helpful, be sure to check out the rest of our tutorials! What other types of views do you need help creating in Sketchup? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Hacking!


  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

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  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

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  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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