How can I soften the face AND edge profile of an object?

Hi all,

New to SketchUp and completely blown away by what it can do. I’m modeling an underground bunker complex to illustrate a novel. I was able to soften the curved faces that form the roofs of the tunnels, but when I look into the tunnel entrance, I still have the non-smooth/angular edges at the end of the curved face (circled in red in the screenshot). How can I make the line at the edge of the curved face smooth too? Thanks!

I’d also welcome any tips on how to finish the project, i.e. take this from a view of the model to a final illustration for the book. I would like to keep this basic look, of simple monochromatic lines and shades. Do I just export to 2d? Is there any rendering inside SketchUp? I see people finishing things in Photoshop or Illustrator a lot. What does that consist of?

If you are referring to the smoothness of the curve that all comes down to how many segments you use in the intersecting curves.
All curves in sketchup are made with straight segments, the more segments the smoother the curve, but also the larger drain on resources. Too many segments in a complex model will cause your model to lag. So there is a balancing act between what is visibly acceptable and what is appropriate for the specific model.

So what you are seeing around the edge of your tunnel is the segments, using more segments will reduce how those flats show in the curve.
Here I have made some intersections to show the combined effect.
I have used 48 segments and 24 segments, you can see that the smoothest curve is created where both cylinders have 48 segments. You could go to 96 for a very smooth effect if you want, but going more than that would be mostly be overkill. Using multiples of 12 is the best option for various reasons.

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Oh I see. Thanks! The problem is I made these curves very early on in building the model and they’ve been modified and intersected with other curves and built upon for days with section planes and special scenes, etc. Is there a way to easily “retrofit” a smoother cylindrical surface with more segments in place of the one I have now? Or is this something I could fix by editing the final image in another program?

It’s very hard to say from just looking at your image.
As with most things it depends on your skill with the relevant software.

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Would one of the weld extensions help–weld it into a polyline to make it smoother?

Upload your working file here in a response window so we can see what you’re working with. The best answer depends on the details of how your model is constructed. Often time the easiest way to modify things is to re-model them from scratch, but not always.

Okay, here it is and thank you. Apologies for the thousand and one beginner mistakes. This is my first sketchup project and I learned as I went. I started it to show a couple simple things to an illustrator, realized that the model would probably work for the illustration, and then kept building it and learning. Any help much appreciated!
NonSmoothCylinderModel.skp (8.4 MB)

Whoa boy… are you finding this file laggy? It’s got over 25 million edges, an enormous amount for your system to calculate. Looks like perhaps you have been downloading entities from the warehouse?

There is a lot of unnecessary complication in your model, in objects that are mostly unseen, like these springs and the truss-work you are using. It’s necessary to pay attention to the poly count of the objects you are downloading and including in your model. One cannot endlessly add more weight, eventually the file will be unusably slow. There is also some misunderstanding of Tag usage, all raw geometry should remain untagged, only assign tags to groups and components and leave the active layer as untagged at all times.

There is not a simple way to change the tunnel ceilings to have more facets at this point. The fastest way is probably to redraw them. I’m still unpacking what’s here, but thats my first take.

No. Weld joins a series of edges into a polyline, which will cause operations such as followme or push pull to soften the edges of the extrusion, but it does not enable anything that will let you change the number of joint points.

There are a few lags, but it’s fine 99% of the time. I hide the detailed layers until final rendering. Please let me know if any ideas occur to you on smoothing those curves.

Thank you. This is very helpful info.

Click in sequence on the Scenes tabs of this SU file for ideas.

Tunnel entrance.skp (226.2 KB)

Thank you so much, Jean! That is so very helpful!