Distortion when orbiting model

Hello SketchUp users,
I am seeing a distortion when orbiting some parts in my model. Sometimes I see hidden and or jagged lines. Also sometimes lines don’t appear showing where parts meet. the total model size is
Edges 934617
Faces 311401
Component Instances 2418

I don’t know if this started occurring when the model got to a certain size.

The worst instance is the viewing of this nested component of a piece of molding, (example in the screenshots). The first shows the front elevation view and the second when I orbit.

I am using a MacBook pro with OpenGL set to 2x multiplesample anti-aliasing and fast feedback . I have tried changing these settings but no difference.

I also read in another post this may happen if the parts are located some distance from the origin. The main model is located at the origin but for capturing elevations as shown, I often move copies away, about 795" from the origin. The parts are about 4" long.
Anyway, when I moved the parts to the origin they still had the distortion when orbiting so that does not look like the reason for the problem.

Any help would be appreciated.

That looks like a graphics problem when commonly see when the model (or at least some part of it) is located at a great distance from the origin.

Why would you do this? That’s a recipe for this sort of thing to happen?

Did you move all of the model back to the origin?

I moved the copies of the components you see in the screenshot from the 795" location to the origin. So I moved them close to the main furniture model but they still had the distortion when I orbited.
The part in the screenshot is an example of very severe distortion. But I also have observed some milder issue where some lines appear missing when orbiting. I see this even when zooming in on parts of the main model at the origin, but more so with other parts like copies of drawers moved away from the origin for exploded views.

But is there still some of the model at that huge distance?

Why do you move the parts so far from the origin? There should be no need to do that.

Can you share the .skp file?

Forgive me, but is 795 inches (about 66 feet) a huge distance now? I would hope that SketchUp can cope with modeling and viewing small-scale (molding profile) details at a distance of 66 feet from the origin.

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66 feet is a huge disntace when the model is only a few inches in size. It’s a relative thing.

Yes, I’ll agree with that. Nevertheless, it will be a sad day if SketchUp cannot comfortably handle (view and edit) models which have small-scale details that are distributed across a range of 100 feet or so.

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But is there still some of the model at that huge distance?

Ok, I see what you are asking now. The total model space is an even bigger range, extending from the origin to as far as 1797" in the red direction. See screenshot below. The molding end caps in my original post are located in the model space to to the left of the origin.

Why do you move the parts so far from the origin? There should be no need to do that.

In the past when making my elevation views of the main part of the model at the origin, the copies of other pieces would sometimes enter the field of view. So this time I moved pieces far enough away to avoid that. I don’t have a location strategy ahead of time as to where I am going to move these in model space, so often I just end up moving far enough away so I know they won’t appear in camera view of various scenes.

Can you share the .skp file?

I would rather not post the .skp to the forum but is there a way to share directly with you ?

I don’t see your screen shot.

You can send the .skp file to me via a PM by clicking on my name here and then Message.

I don’t think anything has changed in this area. At least not in the more than 17 years since I started using SketchUp.


I just edited my post with the screenshot of complete model space.

I’m sorry if this sounds blunt but that’s an awful way to organize your model. You shouldn’t need to spread your model out across the county like that.

I appreciate the feedback. In your models, how do you avoid getting all the exploded views and copies of parts moved so they don’t appear in other scenes ?
Perhaps shut off the other items with tags ?
Do you have a grid where you move items knowing the copied items will not appear in the field of view ?
I tried sending a PM but the .skp appeared in the forum so I removed it. Will try again.

Use tags to avoid showing things not needed in the current scene.

You deleted your private message to me before I could respond but I did download your file.

I’ve only taken a quick look at it but here’s a good example of how you could do a much better job of organizing your model. You have a scene called ‘skirt top’ which shows the top view of the skirting which I show selected in the distance in your model. You have those same components shown at the origin and in another place in the model space. There’s no reason to pull more copies out to be able to create a scene for them.

You’ve done the same thing all over the model space for other parts.

Here’s an example of a model that I did recently for plans. The assembled version of the model is at the origin. The exploded views is just off to the right and back enough so it doesn’t show in the 2D front and side views of the assembled model. And a little bit above the assembled model are parts arranged for 2-views and 3-views for dimensions. I haven’t spread the components out all over everywhere. Although it looks like a jumble of parts above the assembled model, only certain ones are displayed for certain scenes so the fact there are others in the same model space makes no difference.

Here’s a view of the scene for the case parts. These are the case components shown above the assembled model. The door component tags are turned off for this scene. And then although I have all these parts in a single scene, the same scene is used in multiple viewports spread across a few pages.

Here’s the view of one of those pages. Six viewports created from the scene shown above. Of course several other pages contain additional viewports using that scene.


Dave, thanks so much for the example. I see the advantage of capturing the common parts, like the case parts together as you have above. Much less model real estate used. Then careful use of tags and layout viewports as you (and @slbaumgartner) mentioned.

In my plans, using Layout, I try to show the main piece of furniture first in perspective(s), elevations, and an exploded view which introduces the main assemblies (carcase, drawers, doors, moldings, etc.)
Then for each assembly, I again show perspective(s), elevations, and an exploded view and also the elevations for measured individual parts. So next time I’ll try to organize all of these into a smaller model space, rather than the statewide approach. And doing so will hopefully eliminate the distortion that was my original concern.

I do the same thing in the plans I do but with many fewer copies of components.

Do you have a typical paper size for your plans ?
I prefer a larger format than 8 1/2 x 11, but for the plans I have done for others, they like that size so they can print it themselves.

It depends on the client. I have one client for whom I usually do two sets of plans. One which is sold as a PDF download is done on Letter size paper so the customer can print it on their home printer while the other which is sold in printed form is done on Arch E (36" x 48"). Another client wants Tabloid size and I have other clients who want other sizes.

I apologise but this did make me chuckle :joy:

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