[BUG] Dimensions on non standard views get a Dangerous Failure

This is dramatic. I often have off axis models and Layout simply fails while dimensioning those. I don’t know how I noticed this but it could have major implications on construction site and my own responsability as an architect and therefore this is not acceptable behaviour. I surely would not expect this from accurate software and it’s the first time Layout has shown such a major setback.

Please do fix it asap.

Check how dimensions are failing on the gif below:

Hi JQL, yes this is not good one. We are aware of it and we hope to have a fix soon.


Hi Trent,

I’m glad you’re working on it, and I really hope you release the fix soon…

I understand you want to allow users to dimension axonometric and perspective drawings.

An easy fix could be having a toggle, for 3D/2D dimensions, I wouldn’t mind that at all.

And this is why I have been making copies of my sketchup model, or parts of the model that are off axis, and rotating the geometry onto the axis in a new file so I can dimension correctly.

I actually got burnt on this just last week. I had some triangular geometry, placed on axis, but was getting some bizarre dimensions from LO. It was driving me mad until I realized the viewport wasn’t showing “left” any more, but, though the actual view was unaltered, it was showing that the scene had been modified. So, even though I was in “left” view, it wasn’t officially in “left” view and so I was getting the same inconsistencies that Joao is showing. I re-linked the viewport to the scene, which was in “left” orientation, and everything became perfect again. If I hadn’t been paying attention this could have been a really expensive mistake on my end.

Really scary how easy it is to pull bad dimensions with no warning that that is occurring.

Maybe if we could align view in SU and somehow designate that scene as a “modified left”, for example, and then LO would treat it as if it was on axis?

Glad you guys are on it, Trent!

@OTBDesignworks, you can align the camera with any face, even if it is off axis, and the create scene with whatever name you choose. Then you only need to select that scene in the SketchUp Model window’s Scenes drop down list.

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Hi Dave, I know that you can do all that, but you will not get correct dimensions in layout unless the geometry is actually aligned with the model main axis. So, you can get the view you want, and it looks correct in layout, but it won’t dimension correctly.

For example, try to dimension a triangle that is not aligned with the model axis. Do the align view, save scene, access scene in LO viewport. So now the hypotenuse appears as it would as if the triangle was aligned with model axis and you chose one of the standard views to see the hypotenuse face head on. A dimension pulled in LO will give the length of the hypotenuse , not the height of the triangle from top vertex to bottom vertex of the hypotenuse as you would get if you dimensioned it in a standard view

In my opinion this is the most dangerous dimensioning result in LO and can really cause major problems if you aren’t aware of what is happening.

Exactly. You cannot dimension properly models which geometry is off axis.

You can apply some wise tricks sometimes, like using LO inferencing system to point away from the model, but that defeats the purpose as it is cumbersome, you never know when or not you have to do that, and the new updateable dimensions cease to attach to model.

Which, let me state, is very sad…

I wonder if changing axis to be parallel to scene changes things. I guess it could ruin every other part of the model, so it might be unwise too.

Maybe the solution is to explode model? Which is also no solution at all…

Maybe you can show me what I’ve done wrong. The rectangular prism is placed off axis. I drew in the red, green and blue lines to stand in for the axes since LO doesn’t display them. Scene 2 is set up with the camera aligned to the long face of the prism.

I must be doing it wrong because I get the correct dimension (smaller text in the lower right view) for the length of the prism.

dim test.layout (53.5 KB)

Check out the two screenshots:

Screenshot two is showing two identical triangle shapes in SU, one aligned on the model axis and one not. I set up two scenes, one that is standard view right, which gives me the face on view of the triangle hypotenuse that is on the major axis (left side of layout screenshot) and one that has had the view aligned to the off-axis hypotenuse (the right side of layout screenshot.

Notice how, in layout, I am getting the expected dimension with the left side (major axis aligned) geometry, but I am getting the hypotenuse dimension in the off-axis aligned one.

Thanks for your time Dave,

This is not a SU issue, but a Layout issue. So try dimensioning that in Layout from a front view and then from an off axis view. Or try dimensioning the actual model in the example Layout file:

Untitled.layout (408.3 KB)

Dave, you are not getting the correct dimension in that example. The dimension you should be getting is not the 36" length but, rather, the length from point to point across the elevation view, which, in this case would be shorter than the 36"

EDIT: I am wrong in this case, I misread Dave’s description of what he was showing in the layout dimension; sorry for the confusion


The purpose of Layout is dimensioning a 2D dimension on this kind of parallel projection drawings, not the true 3D dimension.

This is standard architectural practice and, to be fair, it’s standard technical documentation practice in every other profession that uses 2D object representation that I know of.

I did dimension it in LayOut, as shown in both the screen shot and the LO file.

As far as I can see, I got the correct length of the edge that I was dimensioning.

Here are the SU and LO files that I pulled the screenshots from.Untitled.layout (45.3 KB)
Untitled.skp (62.5 KB)

No, because Daves view is aligned to the face. If he aligned to the front, then it would be shorter.

Since I’m still doing it wrong I’ll give up.

yeah guys, sorry I misinterpreted dave’s dimensioning; I was thinking he was aligned with the red axis not the geometry face.

What you need to do to see the bug is to dimension from two points that are not in plane with the aligned off-axis view.

Because a rectangle has the two points you are dimensioning in the same plane as the aligned view , you get the same/correct dimension. The reason why a hypotenuse that has been aligned does not give the correct dimension is because the points you are measuring are not in plane with the view.

The only time that non-planar with view points give the “correct” dimension is if they are on geometry that is aligned with the model axis.

After loading the aligned scene, you then choose a standard view?

No, I can’t use a standard view, I need a “new” standard view that aligns with the geometry that is off-axis. So, you would think you could align view, and save the scene and all is good, but you can get incorrect dimensions in LO.

Check out the attached SU, LO and screenshot. I made a slightly modified version of Dave’s rectangle, and showed how I receive an incorrect height dimension in LO if I keep the geometry off-axis.Untitled.skp (70.7 KB)
Untitled.layout (117.0 KB)