How can I get sketchup to ignore area from other layers?

I’m using ellipses to create spaces for plant designs, but sometimes it gets in the way of selecting and manipulating other areas. Is there a way to get it to ignore the spaces within the circles, if the layer with the plants is hidden, like show in the picture?

I dont get well what do you mean, Do you have faces and edges on a tag?

If you make a group with your ellipses you won’t have problem with other geometry.

Yes, I mean the faces for geometry that is linked to other tags

Should I go into each tag and group the faces or the edges?

General recommendation is for all simple geometry (lines, arcs and faces) to be untagged. Atoms are the building blocks that make up molecules, and in the same way, raw geometry is just the stuff of which you make “things” like a chair or a wall. Every time you make anything in SU, ask yourself what “thing” am I making right now. You make that thing by making a group or component of the raw geometry. The raw geometry will interact with each other across layers or tags, but not across groups and components, so that’s how you separate and organize a model. The groups or components are generally what you then assign a tag to.

Using SketchUp without understanding the basics can create problems. Especially not understanding tags on raw geometry. It’s a bit like this:


Before you frustrate yourself even more start here and find the relevant tutorials for the version you are using:


Your reply could be more helpful and far less condescending. I asked a specific question, and instead of providing a specific answer, you told me to return to a resource I have used, that did not seemingly answer my question. Maybe you’re a ‘learned one’ but certainly not a ‘helpful one’.

There is probably a better workflow than what I’m doing now. I have multiple tags for plant placement, terrain specifications (berms, swales, etc) and floorplans. If they are all based on the same original face, I can’t group them because they are already embedded into the face. Are you implying I need to create and group objects outside of the face and them move them onto it?

That is really not ideal because much of what I do requires specific placements and I can’t guestimate or create and move hundreds of shapes and geometry.

The issue I have with it is I am creating ellipses on an existing face because the placements are specific, but when I group then and assign them to a tag, it still impacts the original geometry.

My post wasn’t intended to be condescending. Review the ‘SketchUp Essentials Desktop’ - lessons ‘Grouping’ and ‘Tags’. ‘Understanding Components’ might also be useful.

Unless you know exactly what you are doing loose geometry should always be on ‘Untagged’ - otherwise you get spaghetti. Loose geometry is always ‘sticky’ and interconnected. Groups and components isolate geometry, not tags.

Make proper groups and components, apply tags to these.

Post your model so we can see what you are working with. Otherwise we are just guessing - but it appears that you have tagged loose geometry, toggled that tag off, then created more geometry. This gets confusing because the new geometry - I assume the ellipses - are interacting with geometry that is already there, but not visible.

Make this original face a group and use it to guide the rest of your work. But it would be helpful if you posted a model so we could see what you are trying to do.

I would guess that most of what most people do is to accurately place things in SketchUp… I mean, that’s what I do. I don’t just randomly place structural components in my models…

Looks like your project has a surface or floor that is patterned and hatched with a variety of lines. Is that what i am seeing in your original post ? I get it that the “bare spots” are likely where the "plans were positioned.

In reality, if you picked up a plant from the floor there would not be a void under the removed plant, one would see the floor. When you hide the plant it should be the same as in real life, the floor would be
a continuous patterned surface.

Improper or ineffective usage of tags and the outliner I believe is your problem. I tend to tag objects (groups or groups of groups) and components that represent real things in life. In this case plants are objects that individually exist in life. Setup a tag “plants” and tag each plant. The floor is another object. It may be a slab of concrete painted in a pattern as you show, or many pieces of colored wood put together, it is still a floor (one object tagged as “floor”).

Gather together (Group) all the plants and name that group in outliner. Maybe “roomful of plants”.

If you have differing species of plants, I’d make multiple groups by species. name those groups by species. i.e. Palm Trees, daises, and etc.

To view the room without the plants. Go to Outliner and turn off the Eye for “Roomful of Plants” or any individual species… All that is left is the complete floor, no indication of where the plants were located.

Should you need to see where the plants were sitting. Add circles on the floor at the plant locations. Select all the circles and group them as “plant footprints”. No need to tag those as they do not exist in reality. You can group the circles by the species also as needed.

Turn on floor and plants and leave plant foot prints off (or hidden). You have a realistic view of the room.
Turn off plants and you have a realistic view of room with out plants.

Turn on room and plant footprints and you see the floor and where the plants should be positioned. You can include species names in with the location circles if that info is helpful.

Use of Tags an Outliner together can be a productive feature. If not well thought out and applied it can be a total mess.

I always download .skp files posted here and study them to see how users have applied the tools. It is a great resource to develop workflow habits.

Can you share the file so we can check what’s exactly going on and if it’s fixable?

Thank you for providing more comprehensive and helpful replies

I’ve tried what you suggest and grouping each aspect of this project. I’ve recreated a very simple version of it, with a layer for ‘landscape’ (representing berms) and a plants layer. The plants layer was successfully grouped and I can click the eye to make them disappear, however, I cannot do this with the landscape layer despite grouping them outside of the original group, the ‘base’ layer and group. Somehow, it has become part of the base group, and I can’t figure out how to separate them. When I explode the ‘landscape’ group, it merges the landscape faces with the plants, which was what I was trying to avoid in the first place.

What are your thoughts on how to fix that?

I’ll revisit the SU essentials grouping and tags because maybe the answer is buried there. It’s also late, so I might just be forgetting something obvious.

Ministead v6.skp (130.3 KB)

Here is a simpler version - I’ve had better luck grouping the faces from different tags here, but I’m getting an issue where they are merging to the outermost edges, like the group on the ‘landscapes’ tag
Ministead v6.skp (130.3 KB)

Yes you are seeing it correctly, I was using the hatches to mark berms/swales. Thank you for your ideas. I am always trying to improve my workflow and learn from others. Can you explain what you mean by ‘Tags an Outlier’? Are you saying creates circles and grouping them just for the visual footprint, or are you saying there is a feature that outlines tags/faces/groups,etc?

OK, starting off, never take the pencil off Untagged and never turn off Untagged.

Always draw on Untagged.

Take what you draw and make it into components / groups.

Then assign it to a tag.

All raw geometry goes on Untagged.
This is setting you up for trouble:

Here I’ve assigned untagged to the raw geometry:

You assign a tag to a group or component… ONLY.
(unless you have mastered SKP and understand what you are doing, which, sorry to say - you need more skill building).

When I only have on ‘Landscape’ it seems we are missing geometry… that is likely on another tag.

Oh, look, there it is, on base:

We will have to fix that.

And then we get to plants… why not make one circle and then scale it? Or at least copy it around, instead of all this loose geometry. Again - these should be components or groups first, and then assign a tag.


Now where the hell are these missing edges?

They are somehow on the furniture Tag… WTF? Again, keep lines, planes on Untagged.

Now it works better:

Ministeadv6-bmike.skp (136.0 KB)

You said this in a previous reply. I don’t think you have really followed the basics (here, or on YouTube). Again, I suggest you stop what you are doing and practice.

And not knowing what your end goal with this drawing is - it is hard to tell you how best to set it up. Currently you will have lots of faces all trying to live in the same place - when you start coloring / adding materials / etc. you may see flickering / ghosting - what we call ‘Z-Fighting’ - perhaps that is OK because you plan to just export this as a 2d plan into CAD or something… or perhaps not, again, depending on what your end goal is.

Hopefully this helps:
Unspoken Rule of Fight Cub “Always draw on Untagged”
First Rule of Fight Club (as soon as you draw something) “Make it a Component (or Group)”
Second Rule of Fight Club “Only assign Tags to Components or Groups”

My spaghetti analogy was not wrong. Geometry in SKP is sticky - and it is not isolated by Tag. You need to put the different ingredients into take away containers - groups or components - otherwise you will be back here again looking like that photo I posted.

I have attached a cleaned up version - but I’m not 100% I got everything where it needs to be, nor if you have anything else hidden in that file.

I would start over, from scratch, and practice - draw your lines / planes / circles / plants - whatever - and then make it a component or group - then assign a tag to that group. Slowly re-build the file to work properly.


Thank you for the detailed reply. It was immensely helpful. I will now group or make components when creating loose geometry, and your analogy with the spaghetti makes sense. I checked your file it and looks good, more in line with what I was trying to do.

My goal with this SU file is to create a flat floorplan and planting plan, and then create a 3d version and render it in Twin Motion.

I have a question about that, I do recall seeing this in guides but I figured I’d ask while we’re having this discussion - when I want to create a 3d model ontop of a 2d plan, should I duplicate the group and paste in place, and then hide the 2d group while editing the 3d model? (I have had some of the z-fighting before)


I began a new file of what I sent you, but I’m getting an issue. When I zoom in or out, there are certain ‘zoom levels’ (ie, from each incremental increase or decrease on my mouse’s wheel) the model will disappear. I’m not sure why that is, but it seems potentially related to making everything a group. I did the usual reboot (program and computer) to no avail, making me suspect it is SketchUp.

I’m sorry for being uncouth to you, I did not appreciate how you worded your initial reply.