How to use section plane with multi-level ground floor when converting 3d model to 2d floor plan

Hi, I am quite new to this. I have a 3d model of a house which I am going to use to create a 2d floor plan in layout. The tutorial I was following uses a section plane to capture the windows and doors, however my house model has multiple heights on the ground floor so I can’t capture all windows and doors. Some end up getting cut off. Is there a different, or better way to do this.

I’m afraid you might need multiple section plans.

Section plans in SU don’t have Baïonnettes (no idea how it’s called in english), a way of cutting that allow you to cut let’s say at one meter on one part of the plan, and one meter fifty on the other part.

Someone might come by with a better idea, or an extension even, but here’s how I would do it :

make several section plans. and make them scenes. a scene that properly cuts the part A of the house, then another for part B, part C…


here you can see my first section, it’s fine, I see the roof windows, except I’m missing one, higher, on the far right wall. instead it cuts into the top of the lower roof.


here I’m cutting a bit higher, and I see the window. but I’m not cutting in some stuff on the left.

in layout, you import all scenes, give them the same parameters, then start reshaping them.

then, On top of the bottom one, I’ll draw a rectangle framing the area that I need to add to the other plan. If it’s a big or complex area, I can use the line tool.

colour and fill don’t matter. it’s orange so you can see it here.


select both, right click on it, and choose the last choice. to make a clipping mask (masque de découpage in my case)


place the small plan part on top of the big one at the desired location. Vector mode helps to be precise.

I used to do that in archicad back in the day (2008-13), works the same here. basically to “print” two sets of plans, cut one and paste the patch on the other.

since they are both scenes of the same model, if you add details to your model, the scenes will update.
If you need to make the patch bigger, by right clicking it, you can either edit it or delete it (still bottom choices of the menu)


oh yeah, also, in your style options in layout, you can ask to have the views on a transparent background.
THe patch needs his background. otherwise you’ll see this.

instead of that

Online translators say “bayonets”, although maybe that isn’t the correct interpretation.

You can use multiple section planes by placing them within groups.
A simple example three different section cuts all active.

yeah, Baïonnettes are Bayonets indeed, but that’s literal :slight_smile:

it’s also called “broken section” (coupe brisée) and looks like that on plan (it has a bayonet shape)

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In Spanish is “sección quebrada”

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I made this example to show the broken section thing done in SketchUp. Frankly for plan views, I would probably just used stacked viewports in LayOut to create the same appearance. Easier toset up and easier to edit later when needed.

“Stepped” maybe? (Escalier, escalonado?)

Yeah, I have no clue… :smiley:

yeah, the more complex you model is, the simpler I think the layout stack ends up being.

no need to cut elements in two or more to put parts in various groups just so they get sectioned separately. no extra complexity on a model by adding one (or more) layers of groups. at some point, a group containing groups containing groups containing groups containing groups don’t need to be grouped again.

On a simpler model like Box’s or even yours Dave, why not. You already have a roof group and a wall group, might as well cut them separately.

but as you say, if the goal is to make 2d plans and sections, I would probably still stack in layout.
it took me 3 min to adjust / create my second scene. 3 more in layout to apply parameters and place correctly. And the structure of my SU file didn’t have to be altered, groups cut in two or regrouped or anything. Plus, it retains the benefits of being directly linked to the SU file, unlike a full-on 2D drawing in layout.

I agree with nab’s assessment of the 2 methods: If your model is easy to divide into groups – e.g. one or more for lower split level, and one or more for upper split level – create those ‘section groups’ (or use existing groups), and then place a section plane in each group. But for some models, this might create more work or unwanted complexity than the method of combining multiple LayOut viewports.

Personally, I prefer to do things in SketchUp rather than LayOut when I can, as it can make your configuration more repeatable (e.g. use same section groups/scenes for a different Layout file), and also because LayOut can be wonky.

@ateliernab At first I thought the baionnette was a magic wand :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’ve usually said “jogged”, but “broken” I think I’ve heard too. In English, if you’re driving somewhere and your path steps sideways before going forward, we say there’s a “jog” in the road.

For an orthographic plan or section, I’ve used what @DaveR described with stacked viewports and two different scenes. Perspective views take more work.

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I’ve requested the feature of jogged sections before, for now the only solution is using different sections and scenes and on layout use different viewports to get the jogged section view.

Some option might be to use Zorro. It can cut objects by drawing “polylines”

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I had tried grouping section planes but it didn’t work in my scenario as the section plane would have had to be a very specific angle. As far as I could tell you can only cut a plane on a surface. In my example that is just vertical or horizontal…

Using scenes looks like a possible option, albeit a little bit complicated/time consuming. Do you know if I will be able to perfectly join them so that it will maintain the right measurements and scales etc?

The Zoo feature looks interesting. I may have to research into that a little, whether it will have any implications for my plan in layout… Thanks

I’m surprised Sketchup doesn’t have more functionality in this area…

A section plane is like any other geometry, once placed it can be moved or rotated with the appropriate tools.

I made a simple example of a basic split level building arrangement in LayOut using section planes, scenes and adjacent LayOut viewports.


simple splitlevel arrangement.layout (107.2 KB)

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