Getting started

Two steps to quickly get you started with Skatter:

  1. Install it, then start the 15 days trial Once the trial is expired, you can purchase a license here


1. Create a new composition

In Skatter, we call a distribution of objects a composition. A composition has many parameters (density, distribution type, filters...) and controls what is scattered (objects) and where (hosts).

A SketchUp model can contain many compositions. For instance, a landscape architect could create a composition for grass, another one for a tree grove, yet another one for gravel on the ground, and so on.

There are several ways to create a new composition:

  • Use Extensions > Skatter 2 > New composition in SketchUp's menus

A composition is made of three main parts:

  • The What: the objects that you want to scatter. For instance, a tree model that you want to clone many times to create a forest.

  • The Where: the location where you want to distribute these objects. In our forest example, that would be the terrain. These are the hosts.

  • The How: the parameters used to define how the objects are distributed. This can be the density, the objects' orientation, and other parameters used to fine-tune the distribution, such as masks and filters.

2. Pick a host

We call the geometry that will receive scattered objects "hosts". Here, we select the terrain as a surface host.

3. Pick objects to scatter

Now, select which objects will be automatically cloned thousands of times by Skatter. We call each copy of an object that is scattered on the host an instance.

4. Generate the composition

Click the Generate button to create the instances in the SketchUp model

Congratulations, you just made your first Skatter composition!

Alternatively, switch to Render only mode. This time, instances won't be generated in the model, but they will be sent directly to your render engine (V-Ray in this example).

This is very useful when you want to generate thousands of objects without slowing down SketchUp's viewport.

5. Draw a mask

There are many types of masks available to restrict where objects can and cannot be scattered.

6. 3D Bazaar

Browse the 3D Bazaar marketplace to find pre-configured Skatter compositions, like grass, trees, etc.

7. Explore

You can now play with each setting to understand what they do.

All the parameters are described in the manual, but there's nothing better than experimenting by yourself!

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