Ditch Layout And Integrate Tags (Layers) As Separate Views, ie. Exploded Assemblies To Selectable Tags as Views, Views as a Scene

Trimble,

Please ditch Layout and build the tools and views necessary to lay out contained spaces in sketchup. The dimensioning tool is there, but for print generation of standard, iso, and perspective views, not to mention exploded views, Layout is weak. It fails miserably at implementing the sketchup inference engine on models a user might wish to arrange. And, on those derangements of a model, the usual layout suspects are sadly absent as an automated and assemblable spate of view/scale aware containers. The containers don’t snug up to the view automat i cally, and the bounding box for placement on a grid is effusively inefficient, not to mention the lines of boiunding boxes for lined rectangles obscures the lines a user expects will be rendered with accurate placement, and hence, placement of elements. Elements themselves (containers with model views), because the bounding box to an inserted asset does not ‘snap’ to the asset at selectable scales (perspective does not offer a scale, there is no global scaling element, unless containers are multi-selected, perhaps, so the layering does cede to self-guided container scaling, but dimensioning must be done only after the views are set, otherwise, changes to views mangles dimension attachments, though it could be said, because views are understood to be static in Layout, as opposed to dynamic rendering, or snapshotted scenes in sketchup, Layout does the job only because it is static, not becuase it is better, or even remotely customizable with respect to menuing, as one using sketchup might expect. In all, the product is a legacy that must, to my mind, be reviewed, and a revamp of sketchup using the tools it does best in newly contained ways, with the absent at cursor menus, and measurement inputting sequenced regimes, would go a long way to seeing sketchup become more loved than it already is, and a lot more usable for those who see the corner cases as a waste of client money, until a personal library is built up from scratch, but these, again, are time consuming, and a lot less future friendly where competitive products give their users open workflows and manage expectations with responsive tools and automation. Best of luck in sketchup’s continuance, it is doubtful it will ever fail, but as it was in the beginning, let its refresh be something of the way the new generation feels about their precious time and the belonging of ease of use above such meta programming sleights as some may agree we have seen in the sketchup product line, layout being, of course, the target of this diatribe.

– tim