Layers. I know they are critical but I can't get the hang of them. Help?

I’m a furniture maker and I have been using SketchUp to make my plans since about the time that Google bought them in the first place (version 3?) but I am entirely self taught and so never learned (now obviously) basic stuff Appvalley

I am trying to use online lessons to get better, but it’s obvious that I have a big gap in my knowledge because my drawings always go off the rails about 4 or 5 steps in. Bad layer management is the obvious culprit, with bits of the drawing ending up scattered across multiple layers.

Is there a good resource to learn about these basic procedures? Text lessons are infinitely better than videos, especially when amateurs are making them.

SketchUp best practices and applied principles | SketchUp Help

Best practice with layers or tags is to leave the active layer to Layer0 (or Untagged), draw an Object (Group or Component and than draw the next.

If you wanna control visibility, add a layer (or tag), have the entity panel open, select drawn objects and assign the layer to them.

It might be an idea to upload a typical file of yours here so that we can see where you might be going wrong. It might be a bit embarrassing but you could learn a lot.

One typical rookie error is not to get in the habit early doors of grouping geometry. You need to get in the habit of thinking of your model as a set of discrete items each of which has its own group. That makes sure the inherent “stickiness” of loose geometry doesn’t cause untold problems. Once you have made your Groups or Components, allocate them to a tag that is not Untagged. When you’re done, there should normally be nothing showing up in the Untagged category.

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I wouldn’t go so far as that myself. If there are parts of your model you want to be always visible, it’s fine (in my view) to leave them Untagged.

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Fair enough. But would you leave them ungrouped?

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Here’s my predicate logic:

A Component is a (little) Sketchup model (.skp)
A Sketchup model should consist of grouped geometry

Therefore a Component should consist of Group(s)

Jack does your “predicate logic” (wasn’t that a Steely Dan album?) preclude Components with Component sub-groups?

Pretzel Logic


No - I wouldn’t normally leave any ungrouped geometry in a model. Draw something assigned to default Layer0 or Untagged, then make component. Rarely (in my case) make group instead of component.

Optionally, tag the component or group.

‘Double wrapping is my name, rapping is my game’

But seriously, one should consider the level of detail on project basis, I guess, or LOD in terms of Bim in the progress of the build.