Color of groups

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum,

I work a lot in 2d for blue prints and house plans. If I color a surface of a grouped item Red (like a main beam) it will no show on the model. it will appear the same color as the default work space. If i move it off of the model it will appear red.

How can i make it stay red in color so it is easy to identify.

What happens if you assign the grouped item to its own layer and then modify the color?

Sketchup is a 3d environment, not really designed for 2d work.
I’m guessing you have the view set to top and have in parallel projection. When you work like this you need to remember that geometry isn’t layered like it can be in 2d graphic programs, so when you place your flat red group on a flat white background they are both occupying the same location in 3d space, not one on top of the other.
As you see in the gif, moving around shows both faces fighting for dominance, known as Z-Fighting. To stop this while still remaining 2d you need to remove the corresponding section of the white group so the red can fill it’s own space.

Another option I use for “2D modeling”, is to move the red rectangle 12" (25 mm) above the white rectangle on the blue (Z) axis.

So is Layout a better choice for 2-D work than Sketchup?

I tried Layout for my current project, which is a 2-D plan view (from above) of my residential lot, buildings, and driveway. Layout does not seem to be capable of drawing the sinuous curves and shapes of the gravel driveway - so I’m using Sketchup instead of Layout.

But Sketchup’s hiding of layer components behind/below the components of other Layers (Z-fighting) is pretty maddening.

Is the bottom line that Sketchup and Layout are not suitable for a low-tech drafting project like mine? I’d been away from Sketchup/Layout for a while and started this drafting project with a simple/cheap 2-D drafting program. It was buggy (not surprising - cost was $50) and so I came back to Sketchup/Layout - which doesn’t do 2-D!


It depends. I’d be inclined to do most of the drawing in SketchUp but with Scale Drawing in LO2018, there’s a lot of options for doing it there. Use a combination.

It is possible to draw sinuous curves in LayOut but if you’re more comfortable drawing them in SketchUp, go for it.

There seems to be a disconnect in your understanding of the 3D space in SketchUp. The Z-fighting has nothing to do with layers in SketchUp. It happens because you have more than one face occupying the same space. Just as in real life, if you want something to appear behind something else, you need to place it farther from the viewer.

Not at all. The bottom line is that you need some education in the proper use of both of them.

Yes they do. But SketchUp is a 3D modeling application and you have to work in that mindset.

Aloha Dave:

Right you are about Top View and Parallel Projection.

Thanks for helping me with my SketchUp concepts. Years ago, I used AutoCAD for solid modeling. And I read the SketchUp Help article about how SketchUp handles Layers much differently than AutoCAD – and I’m getting my head around the Layer 0 idea.

First quick question: If you’re familiar with AutoCAD, do SketchUp and Layout correspond to AutoCAD’s Model Space and Paper Space, respectively?

I thought I had a bright idea workaround for my SketchUp components on different Layers Z-fighting because they’re on the same Z plane.

I tried the Move function to move a set of components UP (the +Z direction) so that they would not be blocked by the other component.

So I changed the viewpoint to oblique and tried to Move the selected components UP (+Z) some amount – maybe an inch or a foot, whatever. But Move will only let me slide the components in the X-Y plane; I cannot move them in the Z-direction.

I tried typing-in a Move vector, such as 1”,1”,1” (might be old AutoCAD memory), but that just resulted in a “Invalid Length” message.

Second longer question: Is there a good way to arrange each Layer – or each Component - along the Z-axis so that there is no Z-fighting?

Thanks again for the favor of your reply.

Robert Oswald

Well, there’s only model space in SketchUp and there’s only paper space in LayOut.

Did you make the component with gluing propeties? Right click on the component and select Unglue. Then you’ll be able to move it in the BLUE, Z direction.

Yeah. No. That doesn’t work if the component is made with Gluing properties. Once you’ve removed the gluing, you could start moving the component and type [0.0.1] which would move it vertically 1 inch.

Just add space between them. Think about them as pieces of paper. If you want piece A to show as on top of piece B, put piece A closer to the camera. The exact distance between isn’t terribly critical when the camera is in Parallel Projection so be a little generous…

The graphics card which is really responsible for the Z-fighting looks at the ratio of the distance between the objects and the camera and the distance between the faces themselves. If the faces are very, very close together relative to the camera distance, Z-fighting and bleed-through can still occur. This is a common thing when someone details a roof with trusses and the sheathing over the top. If you zoom out far enough the trusses show through the sheathing. There are strategies for dealing with that depending on what you are showing or not.

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