Compound Views for a total of 6 + 12 + 8

Imagine the six primary views in perspective (not parallel projection):
Front - Back
Left - Right
Top - Bottom

Click on the front view button and it gets selected.
Press and hold the control key and then click on the left view button and now you get the front left view.
Press and hold the control key and then click on the right view button and now you get the front right view.
Press and hold the control key and then click on the top view button and now you get the front right top view.
Press and hold the control key and click on the right view button and now you get the front top view.
Press and hold the control key and click on the front view button and now you get the top view.
At any time if you don’t press the control key and click on a view then that single view gets selected.

It’s that simple.

Whenever you select a view button it gets highlighted much like the way style buttons are highlighted in the toolbar.

For each view you can zoom in and out in that axes as usual.

So now we get 6 one point perspective views, 12 two point perspective views, and 8 three point perspective views for a total of 26 perfectly aligned views where the selection of each view is a snap and there is no loss in screen space on the toolbar (with the exception of adding the bottom view button - something that should be there in the first place). Of course for rapid deployment the standard isometric view can still remain.

I honestly cannot see anything wrong with this idea.

What do you folks think?

Of course it is not an entirely original idea. Autodesk 3dsmax has the feature but its done using a cube at the top right corner of the screen where you can click on a surface, edge, or corner to get the according view. My proposed approach befits the feel of sketchup more than changing the views into a cube. I also personally am not too fond of the cube since you have to rotate it 180 degrees if you want to select the back view - which is too slow.

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To be honest I’m not a fan at all of making toolbar buttons depend on modifier keys. It’s a non-standard behavior that probably would be a bit tricky to implement but mostly it’s not at all intuitive. Rhino distinquish left and right clicks in toolbars and even that feels very odd because of how different it is from how toolbar buttons usually function.

If exposed to the plugin API I also fear some plugin developers would create really wonky interfaces with it. I’ve already seen timers being abused to detect double clicks in the toolbar. Detecting modifier keys would probably lead to extensions with just one toolbar button that can do 5 completely different things based on modifier keys.

That said I like the idea of having more standard views, but with a different UI.

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@eneroth3 Perhaps adding another button to activate compound views would do the job in replacing the control key. This way you simply click on the compound button and then select whatever combinations of views you like.

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I like that much more!

A compound view toggle furthest to the right in the view toolbar, separated by a vertical bar, would fit much better to the UI of SketchUp.

@eneroth3 I think its safe to say that the compound view toggle would indeed be simple and sweet. That is how i should have presented it in the first place. I figured the control key would produce faster results in setting the compound views, but as you explained it is not an appropriate way to implement the feature.

The only question that remains is how do we get the developers to see it.

I keep asking this question because we the users sometimes come up with great feature requests. But my insights tell me that the developers just don’t look at our suggestions. It is as though the feature request is just there for the users amusement.

Am i wrong about this conclusion?

Do the developers look at a hot topic feature request and actually consider it?

Yes. You are wrong about this. They do look at the feature requests but they have a limited amount of staff and hours and have to prioritize the hundreds if not thousands of requests that come in.

Surely someone one could write an extension that could do this. There are other plugins/extensions that set camera positions.

what would this provide that Scenes can’t already achieve?



If anyone developed it would certainly download it and even pay for it.

However my insights tell me that such a feature could only be attainable by the SU team. The reason i say this is because there is no way to write a script that would orbit a front view or assign a new axis to exactly 45 degrees if one wanted a front right view for instance. When you orbit or assign a new axis there is no unit of measure. Without that exact measure the feature would be flimsy.

Perhaps a heavy workaround could work but its just tedious when it could be done so naturally and purely by the SU team.

Make yourself a faceted orb, use the Align View to the relevant faces and created scenes to suit.

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It would provide symmetry and thus more attractive static and dynamic presentations.

It would also make it easier to select the exact precise edge or corner view in a rapid fashion.

It would allow you to see a model from the same views all the time for comparisons.

You can also have a smooth and precise three point perspective 360 degree orbit around an object, a feature that cannot be attained with the current viewport functions.

These are just a few reasons why such a feature would be nice. Certainly there would be more. And certainly the folks at Autodesk who developed 3dsmax and Autocad had many reasons for implementing the View Cube i described in my initial post. In fact, i think all there programs have the View Cube.

And that is Autodesk we are talking about - essentially the world leader in CAD software. So if they think its beneficial then it has to be.

That sort of works. But it can only be done with practicality for the entire scene. Like having an octagon cylinder at the center of the scene and using it to get the 45 degree angles.

You cant do it for every object though. That would be madness.

This wouldn’t be very complicated to create as a plugin. I’ll add it to my to-do list and see if I can find the time to create it. :+1:

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That would be cool.

If you ever do develop it please come back to this post and click me a reply to notify me that you have developed it so that i can get it.

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@eneroth3 you could start by creating a bottom view button. I don’t think anyone has done that. That would be a super easy script with your skills. All you have to do is create an image that matches the other view button images and assign it the (Camera - Standard Views - Bottom) selection in the Menu bar.

From there i can open up your custom toolbar and then drag and drop the icon with the other six button view icons.

Do you think you can do that and then send me a reply or message when you do it?

I know its not exactly critical, but i find having the bottom view just helps. I am currently working on a desk and i find the ability use the bottom view just makes it so simple to see all the details (like fasteners and brackets) that go underneath the desk. Quite frankly i don’t know why the SU team couldn’t just keep the package complete by adding that last button. Certainly there reasoning was that it is not used often, but couldn’t they just see that it would be more wholesome if they did add it.

Anyhow, i hope you take my request seriously.

Take care.

Extended Views has been around since v7…


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Nice! Thanks a lot @john_drivenupthewall.

But for anybody using SU 2017 you will need an updated version whose link i have omitted for licensing issues addressed by @john_drivenupthewall in the post below.

Nonetheless, the neat thing about this extension is that its the same exact buttons as the SU standard views but slightly smaller and different colors. So there really isn’t a learning curve.

Also, each view applies a zoom extents operation so that the objects fit perfectly on screen.

This is just what i was looking for.

@Cadie, I changed my link to the Extension Warehouse version, which has a more lenient licence…

the one you modified should not be re-distributed…


One great advantage to having compound views for a total of 26 symmetric and precise views is for comparison of multiple designs of the same object.

In other words, if your working on a table and you have multiple design ideas in mind then you can create each different design in its own layer and then create an array of scenes with each scene only showing one of the layers. By doing this you can cycle the scenes to neatly see and compare each different design to discern which one you want. If you wanted to see other views than the six provided by SU then you would have to manually orbit the camera for each scene. But doing this will result in the objects in each scene not being the same exact orbit and thus making it more difficult to compare them.

With compound views you can for instance take a front top perspective view for each one and they are all perfectly orbited to allow for easy comparison.

As an example i am working on a desk and i have several different layers each with the same object but with different rounding of internal and external corners along with the original file without any rounding. By cycling through them i get a clear vision of how they differ. By having more exact standard views i would have greater leverage in comparing them with precision.

Do you know that you can use the Position Camera Tool to specify an exact spot to look at?
Using this tool from a circle path around your model you can make as many scenes as you like that focus on the same relative position.

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But wouldn’t that be a very cumbersome workaround. That means you have to create a circle or spherical like path for every SU file, or always have to import it, and then if you have several objects in different positions in the scene then you would have to create multiple instances of each circle or sphere path and center and scale it around each object.

Having a simple and clean compound view button that you can toggle to use a two or three compound view in 2 or 3 seconds time is just much simpler and more natural.