How to save only visible objects in a scene?

A colleague is using ETC EOS software to manage stage lighting at our (amateur) theatre - a charity limited by guarantee.

The software can directly import a SketchUp model in any recent format including SU2023.

But it displays ALL of the model regardless of what scene is selected (and therefore what is visible in that scene) when the model was saved. It doesn’t respect tag setting (visible/invisible).

Is there a way (or a Ruby extension) which will save only what is visible in a scene (but regardless of whether it is in the field of view)? I’ve searched the forum for references to saving visible objects only, and not found anything. I’ve also tried various similar searches on the EW and SketchUcation, with no results.

Objects assigned tags which are turned off in the scene should not be saved, and nor should hidden objects or geometry.

I have limited Ruby programming experience, but to code such an extension would need help at least to understand which features of the API I would need to use.

no idea.

But, spitballing here, instead of trying to save all visible things only, you could also look for the opposite, if there are ways to delete everything non visible.

something like

  • take your file
  • (tool) delete all invisible things
  • save as
  • ctrl-z to go back to your model

Not saying this exists as is, but it might be worth checking.

Thanks. Late tonight now here but will look tomorrow evening.


Sketchup saves all the content of your model; tags and hidden are just properties of those things. So I’m inclined to agree with @ateliernab that the only way would be to delete all the hidden things, save, then restore the hidden things.

Thanks for that advice, Steve (and @ateliernab).

I’ll try that later this week.


Probably the most straightforward way to do it would be to copy and paste each scene into their own separate model file. Then those models can be used as scenes.
This should work in theory because using ctrl+a on a scene should only select the visible elements.

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What Box said - I do it all the time to isolate parts of the model for different purposes (structure, walls, windows, etc).

Navigate to Scene
Select All
New (opens with my template, but you might want a blank file, so choose accordingly).
Paste in place.
Save as…

And Alternative:
Navigate to Scene
Select All
Make Component
Right click the component you just made ‘Save as…’

Probably the fastest ways outside of automating with Ruby.

Oh yeah, I was thinking scene as in “keep the scene parameters” and all but yeah, reading back, you don’t need scene or style, you just need the various geometry from each scene.

the copy / paste in place method would work well.

plus, it keeps your main model intact.

Just a quick suggestion for your SketchUp model issue:

  • First, you can remove invisible tags by utilizing the ‘Delete Entities’ option in the Tags dialog. This will help clean up any hidden elements linked to those tags.
  • Secondly, for a thorough clean-up, I recommend using Curic Deep Select. This tool is great for finding and deleting hidden objects and geometries within your model.

Hope this helps!

go to your scene, cleanup3 - delete hidden, save copy as, undo. repeat in in the new scene.

Brilliant and simple ideas. Thank you all.

I can do that quickly and easily.

Just tried “copy all” in one scene with the right parts of the model showing. Then pasted into a new model.

Works a treat. Even copied locked objects! I’m fairly sure that earlier versions of SU didn’t do that - or at least, I thought they didn’t.

So thanks again everyone who responded. It’s quick enough not to be a burden to do for the lighting designer, once for each scene in a stage set with different objects in view.

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And here’s our first approximation of a result - the imported origin isn’t in the right place, and some of the light positions are a bit approximate, but in general, it has worked!

The Sketchup model, as sent for import:

Another view:

The Text labels are the 3D coordinates of the ends of the bars carrying the lights. Visualiser doesn’t show them or any text.
And the Visualiser output with (only) a few of the lights in place and aimed:

And photos of the dress rehearsal
A sample, and a link to more:

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Glad it worked. I’m not surprised that the text didn’t come through - maybe next time you can try exportkng a PDF or JPG with the notes that can be used as a key / check and then delete it out of the import file.

Once we have the lighting bars set up in Visualiser using these coordinates we shouldn’t need the text any more. But might need jpg or png images for other purposes so thanks for the suggestion, @bmike.

Further experiment has suggested that @Box’s solution in post 5 above could work, but has an unanticipated drawback - each scene would be a separate model in the EOS software, so it couldn’t be used to run the lighting board ‘live’ which can use only one model in each show.

The solution we have come up with for a more usable solution is to select all the objects that appear in only one scene, make a copy of them, and turn the copy into a component given the name of the scene, and a matching tag name.

In SU, you can either use scenes with the appropriate tag(s) turned on or off, or just use the Tags window to show the different scenes in SU.

In the recent show Jeeves and Wooster there were about a dozen scenes, named for the page number at which the scene changes - in this case P09, P11, …P65,P69. (the leading zero is so the scenes will sort properly in alphabetical order). There were two scenes used twice each - pairs P13 and P22, and P29 and P44, so they were given the same names - P13 and P22, and P29 and P44.

The EOS software replicates the model hierarchy of the SU Outliner, and can turn the visibility of any component on or off. All are on by default, but one can select multiple components and turn them all off at once, then turn on only the one or more components for that scene.

I’ve made the objects in each scene top level component in the SU model.

There are also a couple of objects which appear in most rather than all or only one or two scenes. They are separate components, (Gold Curtain, and Art Deco flats) and their tag needs to be turned on or off in a SU scene, or by a tag which is on or off depending on the scene.

Components which appear in only one or a few scenes have a separate copy in each scene in which they appear.

Here’s scene P69, with the P69 component highlighted.

Here’s the model reorganised into separate matching components and tags
Jeeves and Wooster for Augment3D.skp (10.7 MB)

Here’s the Tags window:

… and the relevant section of Outliner

A few pix of the real set dress rehearsal:



I’ll upload pictures of the simulated lighting shortly - my colleague hasn’t had time yet to add it to the model.

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