Can't create a face over the windows

I am just trying to create a face over the downstairs windows so I can use the 1001 bit tool to make window frames, the upstairs worked fine but now I cant create faces over the lower story windows. What am I doing wrong?Face problem.skp (409.1 KB)

You need to do a good deal of revision to make your model work in Sketchup, before you even start to draw window frames and windows.

It doesn’t help that (almost) ALL your faces are reversed (show up bluish grey instead of white).


Select all, then R-click, Reverse faces. A few still show blue - reverse them individually.

As a general rule, make a component of everything you draw as soon as you have finished something that would corresponding in real life to a separate piece of the building.

You have done this for the door frames, or at least made them Groups. Change those to components instead, so you can reuse them, and if you need to change one, it will change all the others of the same size and type. When you add them later, doors and windows themselves should each be a component too.

And you have used Layers quite wrongly for Sketchup. ALWAYS draw your ‘raw’ geometry on Layer0, keep it ALWAYS as the default layer (left hand radio button in the Layers window checked beside Layer0 and never any other) and only EVER apply layers to Components or Groups, not as you have done to faces and edges.

Layers in SU do NOT separate geometry. Components (and Groups) are the only way to keep things from sticking together.

Set Layer0 as the default layer, and leave it that way.

Turn on all your current layers, then select all (Ctrl-A, and assign Layer0 to it all your gemetry.

Delete all your current layers, by clicking the circle with a minus sign in the Layers window, then choose Move to Default layer and Delete.

Before you try to create window frames, make all the external walls into at least one component, the inner walls into another component or components, and the floor as another one or more. The stairs already are a group.

Assign a layer to each. Turn it off, and check that you have grouped your geometry correctly into components. If not, copy what’s missing, open your component, and Edit/Paste in place what you’ve missed.

Don’t leave any geometry ‘loose’ in your model, except while you are drawing what will become a new component as soon as you’ve drawn it.

And please read the Help on Components, Groups and Layers. If you don’t get these concepts clear at the beginning, you will have horrible problems later.

Hmm thank you for the advise. I’ve taken two different online courses and
one said to put everything in groups and another said to put everything in
layers and now you’re telling me put them all in components :joy: I wish there
was a physical class I could take.


This is a common point of confusion for most new users. As you’ve probably seen SketchUp automatically makes all it’s geometry stick together and many folks tend to call this initial state ‘raw geometry’, or ‘sticky geometry’. And it’s often just fine until you reach a point where you need things to be more independent, and non-clinging to the other geometry which it’s touching.

Using… Groups, Components, and Layer, are all techniques that can be employed to overcome sticky geometry, to save modeling time, and to control visibility of items. These same tools are also used to organize your model in a variety of ways. Hence the varying opinions, and sometimes religious like beliefs in ones recommendations.

Generally speaking…

Groups act as a wrapper to combine whatever geometry you’ve selected into a common group. such that if you click on any one of the included items within the group they all get selected at the same time… and whatever is in that group is no longer sticky to the other basic raw geometry that sits outside of the group.

Components… are similar to groups in that they also isolate their geometry from the other sticky/raw geometry… BUT, Components have a structural element to them as far as SketchUp goes. Once you make a component… you’re essentially creating a definition which sketchUp uses to control the way ALL other like components act within the model.

It’s kind of a two part system… A main component gets created, and from that point forward SketchUp then use ‘instances’ of the main component.

The benefit of this being that if you happen to need 10 matching chairs in your model (or even just two, or three). You can simply draw one chair and make it into a component.

Once you’ve done that… Make a copy of that chair and place it in other locations within the model. These copies are now instances of the component you originally designed, and defined. BUT what’s so USEFUL here… is now if you want change the design of your chair just a little. You only need to go into the ‘edit component mode’ and make the change you want one time. From there all the other chairs in the model will also be updated to match the new design changes (/component definition)… because they are, after all, just instances of the master component in the first place. Identical copies which alway get changed to match whatever the component definition is.

You’ll appreciate this when you try it out… Just draw a simple shape, turn it into a component, and make a bunch of copies of it… then double click on ANY one of the component instances you’ve copied and change it in some way. What you should see happen is that they will ALL change at the same time, and in the exact same way in which you’ve edited them.

Try the exact same thing but make a Group instead, and you’ll see the main reason why SU has (and needs) both Groups and Components.

Layers, for the most part are best used to control the visibility of whatever you’ve placed on them. Say a layer of doors, or windows, or appliances.

Any item you want to place on them can be turned on/off by clicking on the visible button within the layers panel. Strategies for how this gets used varies.

Thank you that’s very helpful! :blush:

There’s very little advantage in using Groups in my view, but it does depend a little on your preferences.

They are only a special (and limited) variety of Component. Unless you explicitly name each instance after you create it, using the Entity Info window, each Group is just given the same automatic name - Group - which makes it hard to tell what’s what if you examine the structure of your model in the Outliner.

As @JinD explained, if you make a copy of a group, and edit one copy, the other is unaffected. And Groups don’t appear in the Component Browser, well, because they aren’t components!

As far as I know there’s nothing you can do with a Group that you can’t do with a Component instead, except keep it out of the Component Browser - which might be an advantage if you have a very large number of components. Otherwise, I see no advantage in using Groups. You can always make one or more instances of a component different from other existing ones by selecting the one(s) you want to keep different, then using R-click Make unique.

So make everything you draw into a component, as you go. Usually, the easiest way to do that is to triple click to select all the connected geometry you have just drawn, press the keyboard letter g, and give the component a meaningful name when prompted. Remember to see that the Replace selection with component box is checked (in older versions of SU it won’t be, by default, if you haven’t selected all of the connected geometry.)

And yes, DO use layers, but only assign them to Components (or Groups if you continue to prefer to use them). As JimD says, in SU they ONLY control visibility.

And normally, if you have a component made of subcomponents - for example, a stair component made up of separate treads, stringers, balusters and handrails - only assign a layer to the top level component. Otherwise it can get very confusing as subcomponents may disappear unexpectedly if you have assigned a different layer to them. Sometimes that is what you want, but often not.

This would not even be a problem if the component browser did a good job…

  1. Searching through the ‘In Model’ components in a thorough fashion.

  2. Had Decent Filtering capabilities.

  3. Had the ability to make component sets, or groups, or folder hierarchies. (… any one of these being a welcome approach).

Aside from the multiple object aspect of components. I find it generally a bit slow to deal with meaningful name creation on the fly (while modeling), and I think ultimately renaming ‘groups’ is faster, and easier afterwards in Outliner. Granted this is probably a wash because I suppose I could just as easily rename components in Outliner as well.

Unfortunately, my patterns here, and general workflow were ingrained in earlier versions of SU, where Outliner wasn’t around to prop up the deficiencies of the component browser. and I more of less took on old AutoCAD block naming conventions that I used to make up in an attempt to deal with the equally deficient CAD Block Browsers of my older AutoCad days.

It doesn’t amount to much, other than just adding on some prefix tags so that component names would be grouped together within the list… and that was, and still is good enough. The hangups here are mostly my own because I don’t typically like sloppy naming conventions, and finding a right names and descriptions just takes a bit longer than I’d sometimes like. Certainly long enough to interrupt the general flow of an inspired and somewhat mad modeling session.

Anyhow, John, I hope that you didn’t take expectations to my reference about “varying opinions, and sometimes religious like beliefs in ones recommendations”… That was a casual observation to what I felt @sarahemcminn might have experienced in other places outside of this thread. In particular at the idea that one should put everything in [onto] layers.

In hindsight, it could also be seen as being critical of your reply, which is not something that seemed apparent to me at all last night. And of course, stands in complete contradiction to my general enjoyment and aggrement when reading your replies and responses around here.

Certainly wasn’t taken badly by me so no worries there, please, on my account.

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