Interior modelling tips

I’m currently modelling a house. Is there any way to easily model the interior (other than X-ray or hiding walls)?
Thanks :slight_smile:

General short answer: Assign walls, floors and ceilings to various tags (layers) to toggle their visibility on and off as needed. Also use sections to cut open the model and get/look inside. One thing I find myself doing is use a section to navigate into the space where I want to be, and then once there, toggle to a style with sections turned off.

There is also an approach to model a room as an inside out object. You can see into it from all sides, but reaching in and working on it still has the same issues.

Okay thanks @RTCool :slight_smile:

@RTCool has the right approach - use Layers to control what is visible, both when you are creating your model, and when you are deciding how to view it to show to others.

First, get familiar with how the basic tools work in Sketchup, and view the Sketchup Essentials tutorials at if you haven’t already. That will avoid much frustration later. And learn the extra features of each tool, usually accessed via a modifier key such as Shift, Ctrl (usually Option on Mac), or Alt (usually Cmnd on Mac).

Learn about Components, Groups, Layers, Scenes, and Section planes - you’ll need them all. Set component axes at the most useful place on the component. Most rectangular-ish shapes put it by default at the near left hand corner, with the red axis to the right, green going ‘into’ the screen, and blue going up. But it’s often more useful for circular or arc-based objects to put the origin at the centre of some circle or arc on the component. Sometimes it’s more useful to use a midpoint or rear corner - for example, if you are trying to align or centre a chair near a table, or put a piece of furniture against a wall or skirting board.

Set the default layer in the Layers panel to Layer0 and LEAVE IT THERE. (It’s the radio button in the left column in versions of SU before 2020.)

[From SU 2020 onwards, layers were renamed Tags, and the default tag should be left at Untagged, using the pencil icon in the rightmost column of the Tags window]

Layers don’t separate geometry in SU, they just control visibility.

Don’t assign layers other than Layer0 to edges or faces - any geometry that you draw should (a) be assigned Layer0 by default, and (b) made into a component as soon as you have finished drawing it (or slightly less usefully, a group). Don’t leave any loose geometry in your model for any longer than it takes you to draw it, then make it into a component (or group, sometimes) when done. Open it for editing if you need to go back and and change it - you don’t need to explode it first, and that is generally a BAD idea.

Assign layers only to components, groups, or non-geometric objects like dimensions, text, or section cuts.

Don’t use too many segments in circles or arcs. The default 24 works pretty well for most larger things on a ‘housebuilding’ scale, but for small circular or part round objects, may be too many. For example, a round scaffold pole (a little less than 2" diameter) is well represented by using only an 8 segment circle.

Especially if you are using the FollowMe tool to create a moulded profile or ceiling cove, consider what size you will be viewing it. 24 segment circles or the default 12 segment arcs will create very large numbers of edges and faces when they turn a corner in a profile.

Leave your floor plan layer turned ON most of the time, but turn off upper floor(s), walls and roof layers while you are working on the ground floor rooms.

Draw the outer walls as one or several components (or groups - this is one possible use for groups). Assign an Outer Walls layer, or one for each floor level of outer walls.

Turn off that layer as you work on internal walls, and make them components or groups as you complete them. Again, assign a layer to them.

Learn how to use Scenes, which can show different views of your house. You can control and save a different combination of layers which are visible in each scene, and optionally save and return to a number of other parameters for each scene, including camera position and view angle.

When you create a new Scene you will (or should be) prompted whether to Save as a new style. Select the default (Save as a new style) and Create Scene. If you don’t see the prompt, it is either because the style is the same as the scene you created this from, or you have turned off the warning prompt in Preferences. If the latter, go to Window/Preferences/General (Sketchup/Preferences/General on Mac) and turn it on.

Chose a simple style while modelling - turn off Profiles and Endpoints in your chosen Style, and save it, and use View/Face Style/Monochrome if your model shows any signs of slowing down when you are modelling.

Use that (Monochrome view style) from time to time anyway, check for Reversed faces (blue/gray side out) and fix as you go. Leave adding colours and textures until late in the modelling process - they slow down your modelling, and can mask reversed faces or poorly inferenced geometry where corners and faces that should match, don’t quite.

Go to Window/Model info/Units, and UNcheck the Enable length snapping checkbox. Open and edit any blank templates that you use, do the same, and use Save as Template to remember it, and any other settings that you will regularly want to use.

There are probably other things I’ve forgotten, but if you do all of these, you’ll avoid most beginners’ common mistakes that get them into trouble later.

And ask again here on the forum for specific help when/if you need it in future.

Thank you very much @john_mcclenahan for that response :blush:

Ah okay, thanks :slight_smile: I thought they seperated geometry.

Thank you for the detailed response :slight_smile:

@kaidenh you should probably replace your avatar image with something else. As nice as it may seem to honor the SketchUp logo, it is probably a copyright violation. I don’t work for Trimble or SketchUp, so this isn’t any sort of official warning, just advice.