Changing Axis

Hi Guys

This is something that has always confused me.

In the image below I have drawn a structure off of plane AA, and as always I used the ‘Views’ toolbar extensively.

I now need to draw a set of doors off of Plane BB and would like to draw them in the same model.

Plane BB is unfortunately not at 90 degrees to Plane AA.

Is it possible to change the model axis so that the Front View in the ‘Views’ toolbar corresponds with plane BB and will that have any effect on the scenes already created.


Thank you, :+1:

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From version SketchUp 2022 this is possible, i.e toolbar views respect the current drawing axes.
So in your case you need an alternative: scenes. They (can) save current drawing axes. Your previously created scenes will not be affected by new scenes.

Now how to create a “Front” view accoring to plan BB?

  • change drawing axes with Red along B–B and Green vertical along the wall in your model
  • right click on one of the axes in open space and select ‘Align View’ in the right click context menu. This will be your new “Front” view according to B–B.
  • save this view in a new scene, naming it something like front BB to have it available like the A–A front view via the Views toolbar.


That is perfect, thank you very much, and to make things even better the Point Cloud moves in line with the new axis :grinning:

Here is a simple file with scenes for Front, Left, & Top Views for the Red & Green cubes below:

Solution.skp (22.5 KB)

Presumably the scenes wont display correctly in versions prior to 2022?

Thanks again :+1:

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I could use a little more help please.

This doesn’t seem to work with Groups from Sections which I use a lot.

It seems that when I edit a Group created using ‘Create Group from Slice’ based on a Scene using the B-B plane the axis then reverts back to the A-A plane axis?

Screen Grab

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Maybe this is not a good workflow, and it would be better to draw ‘off axis’ assemblies within a separate model?

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Hah! @kevin58 , I see you removed “Solved by …” which puts extra pressure on me to gain it back.

Could you share a file with simple (say) orange and green blocks (like above) with the exact steps in your workflow? To see where things may go wrong?

p.s. not an animation but the actual file?

If you made components instead of groups you could change their axes to align as needed. The group from slice would then be made with its axes aligned to the component’s axes.

@kevin58 , or with groups you can change their local axes from within their editing contexts.
Components have the option to also do that while being in one context higher, the right click context.


Sorry - I didn’t mean to apply any pressure: :grinning: so ‘Solved by’ is hereby reinstated with immediate effect as you did solve my original query :+1:

Here is a slightly edited example of the file I am working on minus the point cloud.

Example.skp (6.3 MB)

All the Scenes apart from Doors Front & Doors Top are based on the Glass Cube Axis (i.e. A-A in the original post) Doors Front & Doors Top are based on B-B

When I Create Group from Slice for the Doors the axis reverts to A-A?

Where is what? I opened your example and tried to get orientation/understanding of what (A-A & B-B) is where (axes).

I turned on Axes in the View tab. The model view axes are not on any structure (which could be okay - but does that make work easier?).

I drew a rectangle from the front base of the Cube. Your front bottom line orientation is on the red axis but the base of the Cube on the green axis is off.

It seems your approach is focused off of the “Front” view (viewing ‘through’ green planes). But your Cube structure is not square (which may be intentional). My guess is that you tried to draw ‘in the point cloud’ and made construction markers on the building to which the Cube would be fitted. Then, because the PC orientation was only slightly off the Model orientation, a line was drawn (or an orientation was taken off the red model axis) that was ‘snapped’ to the PC instead of the Model axes (slightly off of green).

It seems that your front and your left scene tabs on the Cube cannot be giving you ‘right angle’ scenes.

To get the ‘lay of the land’ I looked at angles off the green axis with the protractor. Solid lines are model axes.

Where is square

Sliders, Scene-wise, “Doors Front” (looking ‘through’ red this time) would also be kiddywampus to a “Front” view of the Sliders because only the face/“front” is on a model axis.

One strategy to try before getting into the scenes, could be to try making an Axes 1, the Cube Axes with A-A & B-B for the Cube. Move your Model axes there.

Move Model Axes

Move/Rotate/redraw your Cube to it. Now Views ‘fit’ the Cube.

Move/Rotate the long side of the Sliders to the red axis. I’m guessing that the ‘crookedness’ between the Cube and Sliders is inconsequential (once Cube is squared up). But if it is not, you can make an Axes 2, the Slider Axes. Measure and note the difference between the axes (Cube and Slider). It doesn’t look like you’ll have to do that and it would be simpler not to. Your views will be square.

As a background thought: the squared up Cube makes sense in the ‘real world’ because the actual fitting of the glass likely needs to be square (is there a call for super custom angle cuts to outside corners of the glass?). Modifications to the metal framing flashing/connection to the bricks is where the ‘wiggle room’ probably needs to be.

Hopefully the foregoing makes some sense. It’s not an answer to your question, but a few thoughts on the setup/approach.

Hi James,

Thanks very much for your reply - and sorry for the confusion. Also, thank you for your suggestions which I will study in depth later. I draw these glass structures regularly and they always fit the building perfectly but this is the first (and possibly last :grinning: ) time I have tried to draw 2 independent structures i.e. the glass cube and the 3 way sliders, which have separate axis on the same model.

Only the front elevation of the cube structure, the roof centre line, and the beams are square to plane A-A. The building itself isn’t square, so the other sides of the cube wont be square to plane A-A but they do fit the building. That’s very common when drawing glass structures - and thankfully everything will fit on site thanks to the point cloud.

The problem I am having is drawing the sliding doors using the same model, as they are on plane B-B which is independent of the cube. The only reason I want to draw the doors and the cube on the same model is for the overall visual but its proving a bit more trouble than its worth.

I usually draw the doors by adjusting an existing similarly sized door model. I use Create Group from Slice to work out how much I need to stretch or contract everything and to work out the door centres etc. The problem is I need a Group from Slice that is square to its axis, but I cannot get a section cut that’s square to take it from in the first place.

In the exaggerated example below I want to take a section cut square square to the green box but as you see it always reverts to the red boxes axis, and I cannot find a way around it?

I hope this makes sense?

I have attached the file if that helps.

Green Box.skp (26.6 KB)

Green Box

SketchUp seems to use the systems axes to the group it creates from slice.
Solution is to

  • go ahead and create the group
  • enter the slice group and align the axes as needed along the green box
  • exit the slice group et voilà, done!

Same situation here.

  • create the group from slice
  • inside the group change the axes to suit your needs
  • exit the group

Another thing that may come in handy:
Say some door is not on any two axes plane.

  • dive deep enough to get to a basic face that is in the desired plane (say a window pane).
  • right click on that face and select ‘Align View’. The view will be head-on.
  • save a scene

It looks like you’ve gotten some good advice regarding your questions in the responses above.

These glass cubes are interesting… so bear with me as I look at what you’re doing from an outsider’s perspective and excuse any presumptions on my part.

  1. I don’t understand why the outside corner of the Cube isn’t square. I realize that the buildings’ walls aren’t square but from an installation perspective, I would want to know where the base is for layout purposes. It seems that the base could be square… if A-A were shorter (maybe this isn’t feasible because the glass door/glass panel sizes can’t be adjusted. But grinding the brick such a small amount wouldn’t be too much ‘extra’ work (and may be needed anyway as it’s likely not plumb). Maybe the beam is in the way? But then why isn’t the front corner going back towards the window squared by moving the base of that glass wall out, slightly? It seems that there is room on the face of the brick to make a plumb glass wall there.

Base angle

This is meddling with your metal:

The corners don’t line up.

It seems this should be redrawn as ‘squared’ new construction.

Also, if the outside corner of the glass wall isn’t square, your ‘roof’ overhang will be crooked (unless cut… because if it is square, it can’t line up with the front without making that over-hang crooked).

glass overhang

The circled section might need an adjustment to its’ angle because it is contiguous with the metal framing running on the inside of the existing wall which is probably off kilter. So a square outside corner seems to allow for the least modification to the ‘factory’ edges of your glass roof ‘sheathing’ (meaning all of your glass roof panels are square off of their interior connection edges with no modification to the exposed lower drip edge or outside edge). I’m sure you’re aware of all of that, I’m just stating it ‘out-loud’ to help explain.

If the advantages of the square outside corner aren’t there or it’s not feasible, there may still be a call to move the drawing axes to outside of the glass corner (maybe aligned on red).

  1. Move axes. You’ll know how far out the walls are to each other (on Cube) and you’ll be able to make another set of axes on the Slider and know how far off it is from the Cube axes. Here I moved axes to the Cube outside corner, then the Slider lower right corner, traced them and dropped them to a plane below making a little ‘angle map’ for reference:

If you aligned your model axes to either of those, could you get the section cut you want?

Or, an axes off the map in no particular place:

Nowhereville Axes

It seems others have already sorted this out… I’m just putting something else out there! It may be janky but I do wonder if it would work for you.

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Thank you very much for your help.

I have learned a lot from this thread about changing the model’s axis, and how SketchUp interprets those changes. It was useful to learn the ‘Standard Views’ icons now honour the current scene axis (from Pro 2022) and how to change the ‘Group from Slice’ axis to make editing those groups easier.

Very much appreciated. :+1:

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Hi James

Thanks for taking the time to compose your reply which I found very interesting. I see from your profile that you’re also interested in using SketchUp for site measurement using Point Clouds, Undet & Scan Essentials, so I was very intrigued.

First, I would re-state that planes A-A & B-B are not related to each other, they are independent planes for separate structures within a single project. I just wanted to see if I could draw each structure off its own plane within a single model, which thankfully I now can.

I was interested in your “outsiders’ perspective” of the cube model and particularly your comments regarding the off square corner. As a glass cube designer, I am often presented with off square surfaces, and I often have to ask builders to square things up by “grinding some brick”, but for this project the base upstand consists of a large timber clad RSJ so no amount of pressure from me will get it changed.

Out of interest, there is a Group called xSectionsCube in the Outliner of the example file I shared, which includes sections through the point cloud mesh which shows that corner in plan quite clearly.

As I didn’t have the option to square the corner, and a square base pressing would be sitting off the upstand by around 25mm, I made the base pressing match the upstand corner angle exactly which at least makes the base setting out drawing easy for me as it simply sits off the upstand by a constant dimension.

The finished cube fronts elevation and all the glass roof support beams are then square to A-A, and the return glass wall panel is just over 1 degree off square which will look fine.

By the way – that was a really great spot of yours regarding the nosing detail which I have now corrected. I have been looking for ages for somebody UK based with an interest in glass structures, point clouds and an eye for detail – so are you operating anywhere near Bristol? :grinning:


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Hello Kevin,

Yes, Undet was the first tool I found to get photogrammetry-derived PCs into SketchUp (probably was a tipping point to for me to actually purchase SketchUp). It is a great tool and the people there are exceptionally helpful. I happened to notice when SE became available and then latched onto it. I miss the mesh from terrain tool though.

I hope I did not appear to be harping on about that corner. I just wasn’t sure about what I was seeing. It was this little guy in Glass that led to some of my comments about fancy custom glass cuts:


The nosing corner (I like your adjustment clip) was just part of trying to understand the construction. I just couldn’t figure out why the angle ought to be off when it seemed that the consequences were rippling through the design. It occurred to me that an off-45-miter joint just might not line-up width-wise, so there it was. I suspected that the construction allowed some tolerance for the angles (like the top track still allows the door to slide open). Your image shows the roof 90s and I suppose knowledge and experience tell you the 89.09 is okay for your Cubes.

I’m imagining a humorous recap of the discussion of planes:

Kevin: Planes A-A & B-B are not related to each other.
James: Ah, I see. But could you just line them up?
Kevin: First, I would re-state that planes A-A & B-B are not related to each other.
James: Yes, of course not. But could you just line them up?

I see xSectionCube. It looks like a pretty slick ‘outline’ of the surface to be abutted. These point clouds are just amazing: the ability to ‘hold the jobsite in your hand’ and measure anything and everything. The side, roofline-building connection reminds me of corner copy (which I have used to abut wall block). I wonder if an AR Viewer could be used to ‘scribe’ such lines… It also looks like you intentionally matched the outside edge of the top of your cut.

Thanks for sharing your Glass Cube. We have gone far afield from your question and I appreciate you taking the time to go through more of your process. It was really interesting to get some insight into what you are doing. I do believe that taking a step back and looking at other approaches can be helpful at times (not sure about this time - but thankfully others came through with practical solutions).

I’m in Minnesota, USA. We’ll have to arrange a working vacation… but I’m afraid your hopes will be shattered when you see my glass ‘work’:


Trying to visualize a sunroom/deck/fish tank/hydroponic set-up here.

More seriously, too kind and I have much more free time during the winter months. I’m working to improve my modeling skills, so perhaps some PCs and models could be passed back and forth to see what comes of it.


How do you find SE v Undet James? Like you I subscribe to Studio, but I have recently been drawn back to Undet for its ease of feature extraction plus I am sure they’ve improved their clipping.

Trying to visualize a sunroom/deck/fish tank/hydroponic set-up here.

That looks like a great project, although you may need to beef up those support columns if you’re thinking about building it with structural glass. The amazing thing is how comfortable the space could be, even in full sunlight if you use the latest solar control coatings.

Here are a few visuals of some completed projects drawn with SketchUp.


I think the term you use over there is, “Smart”. Those are looking very nice.

The first one is open & spacious, letting in a lot of light. Can’t tell if the glass is a bit tinted but it seems like the bevel was added just to get those angular shadows… but bringing in the clay pavers/herringbone is just the thing to get a bit of that outdoor texture and feel underfoot as well.

Lots of elements to these projects. The paving in each one looks fantastic. The lighting is well done. Great work!

My eyes may be deceiving me but in one of the Grange images there appears to be a glass beam. Is that an illusion?

You’re right: The support columns are absolutely measly! The existing deck off the back has similarly underwhelming posts.

That would be the first house I modeled and among the first point clouds I used and one of the first meshes I made using Undet. Not good. But a start. So I’m fond of it.

I was having fun so I kept going:

But to answer your question I’d say I like Undet more. Undet was the first PC plugin I used… and I used it a lot. Undet can create terrain from the PCs. With SE I need to process contours when the PC is created (via photogrammetry, Pix4D), then make terrain mesh from that.

I’m probably not making the most of either though. I didn’t really give face extraction a chance because I seemed to get results (if I recall) like coplaner faces (I mean ‘triangles’ in faces) and I wouldn’t know where Undet was ‘deciding’ edges were. I just went right to the ‘box fitting method’, where I make my own best fit ‘box’ using move, rotation and push-pull to fit a face to an approximation of level, plumb, square - usually the side of a house or building (or foundation if I can see it). This way I know that it may not be ‘correct’ but I know it’s not accidentally on edges of siding or some non-flat surface that I’m not aware of.

I also don’t do a lot of clipping. Pix4D has clipping and other features, so I could do it there before bringing the PC into SU. This may seem off, but I use push-pull to ‘clip’/fit.

Here is a segue: Because I was trying to prep models for the HoloLens, it didn’t matter to me what the PC looked like as the HL doesn’t display PCs. But on a related note, the problem of occlusion (model in front of something in space that it should not be in front of) is similar to PC occluding elements in models.

I don’t recall all of the features of Undet at the moment… oh, I don’t tend to move the PC axes at all. Doing so is anathema to me because I lose alignment between PC and terrain mesh. That’s Humpty Dumpty time! So, I don’t use the construction points or guidelines, I use ‘box fitting’ then move my axes to the ‘box’. Then I draw off of the model axes. In a world where nothing is level, plumb and square… I have my box :slight_smile:

Wait - I did use the Undet Clipping Box, mostly to just get cleaner views/take off the rough edges of PCs. I should probably try out SE clipping because I’ve given it short shrift.

I suppose I also used Undet because I could do monthly subscriptions. I’d order Undet and Pix4D for one month and try to pack usage in.

I took a beating from the sun today… best if I stop my tired rambling.

Nice work James. Are you building that property. (Maybe we should communicate by message now as we are clogging up the forum :grinning:

I agree with your Undet comments, but for me its the feature extraction and clipping available within the Undet plugin that makes all the difference. I’ve been toying between SE & Undet for ages. I recently subscribed to Studio just to get SE but I think I’ve finally settled on Undet, in fact earlier today I spent another £540 for a years subscription. I do think both plugins are great, but for what I do I think Undet is the better tool.

there appears to be a glass beam. Is that an illusion?

No - that’s not an illusion. All of the glass structures illustrated are supported with low iron triple laminated glass beams. The low iron makes the beams really clear.