Exporting pdf from sketchup with limiting details (not layout)

hi guys
im curious if theres a way (even a plugin) to export a model to pdf from sketchup but limiting details that are far off in the background.

Lets say I have a forest which im viewing from a bit high up. Currently when I export the pdf, the tree furthest to me will have same amount of details to the one closest to me (confirmed this by opening the pdf in illustrator and viewing the paths)

Is there a way to make details fall off the further you are?
Section plane is not really an option since it will kind of cut off in a straight line. I do not want to completely eliminate the tree, just make it less detailed, hence less paths.

Thanks in advance

In short, no. You can use a Sketchy Edges style or then Fog to limit the display of detail but neither approach will do anything to vector exports.

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oh pity :confused:
as for fogs and everything yes you said they wont show up on pdfs so…
thanks for the reply tho

Is there a reason you don’t want to use LO? That could make it quite easy to do what you want.

no particular reason, its just that ive never used it so i dont know what it is and what it does. (when I quick googled it after searching in here before posting, there were kind of only 2d floor plans so I thought it can not export 3d models)

Layout can display any scene that you have in SketchUp. It is not a 3d model but a 2d view–but it can be a perspective view just as you see in SketchUp. For your approach with LayOut you have ability to have a scene with fog in it and to overlay scenes with different edge styles. I just did this for a pavilion that I wanted to stand out from the house beyond, in Layout. I almost forgot that this could apply…and I did this just hours ago. It is a little like using layers in Photoshop except you can make it so it is linked to your model scenes and can be updated without re-exporting or going to another application.

It certainly would be cool to have lines somehow diminished in thickness the further objects are away. Some programs with Wysiwyg line weights handle this when you zoom out, lines become smaller.

Exporting a PDF from SketchUp won’t give you a 3D model either.

thanks will look into it then and see some tutorials online maybe. Does it remain vector though? I mean I think it does since otherwise you could just export as png i presume

@DaveR yes of course, what i meant is it retains the perspective/isometric view.
I thought layout works only with top/front/sides views.

Only the geometry is vector in SketchUp so that remains vector in LayOut. The LayOut output and display can be vector, hybrid, or raster. If you use only vector then you get vector fills as well in the pdf output (no textures).

thanks a lot
will give it a try and let you know if i succeed!

No. LayOut displays whatever views you set up in your scenes in SketchUp. If you have perspective views in SU, the viewports in LayOut will show those perspective views.

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A couple of easy options depending on how much atmospheric perspective you want. In the interest of time, I just took a set of 2D trees from the 3D Warehouse done by Danial Tal and copied them. a few times for this. Page 1 is done strictly with stacked viewports and different styles. Page 2 adds more atmosphere by interleaving some translucent rectangles between the viewports. If you know what effect you’re after this is simple to do and you can have a whole lot of control. You could also make this even better with just a minute or two more attention.
Trees.pdf (623.6 KB)


that looks awesome! its what i was looking for! thanks for the headsup

I use mostly the default single pixel lineart style since I need the clean outline of the model. I’m noticing that your model’s lineart does start to “fade” (or more like disappear) on the trees at the back.
I’ve tried a couple of random shots but i’m still not familiar with the application so im seeing where the options are.
So far I’ve managed to export to vector through the view option, as mentioned by @pbacot (thanks about that!)

Dave is achieving this very cool “disappearing” trick by layering semi-transparent rectangles over the top of the farther away trees. So you are seeing the viewport with the further trees through a misty white fog color…

Ah here is the man himself…

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In my examples I rendered the viewports as Vector but I set the edge multiplier to a thinner line (Set in the SketchUp Model panel in LayOut) for the middle distance and a no edge style for the far distance. I did change the color of the edges to a dark green to make them look a little less harsh. That’s done by editing the styles in the SketchUp model.

The second page of the PDF and second image above was done as @endlessfix described. The first one is nothing but stacked SketchUp model viewports.

It would take more work but you could edit the materials on the distant trees to get the same sort of appearance that I made with the simple translucent rectangles in LO.

FWIW, I’ve added a little more atmosphere by splitting up the nearest trees into two separate viewports and putting in an additional semi-transparent rectangle.


thanks again for your feedback (Sorry for the late reply, I dont get online frequently)

I’m still working my way in learning both sketchup and layout now, but looks like layout opened up some further options to add to my workflow.

thanks for suggesting it!

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