Layers in Layout inherited from SketchUp

Can the layer structure in LO inherit/ absorb that created in SU?
It would be great if each layer could be set to vector/ raster/ hybrid rather than as a global setting and also having each layer with its own visibility would help in creating drawing views

Layers names certainly can be exported from SketchUp via an extension to a LayOut document.
But there is not a 1-to-1 correspondence between the uses of “layers” in the two applications.

In SketchUp “layers” are 3D vizards. Ie, display property sheets that can be shared among entities.
SketchUp layers do not own nor have geometric collections of entities.

LayOut layers are instead the traditional kind of 2D layers that most CAD and drawing application users are familiar with. In addition LayOut layers can be shared with all document pages or only with a single page.

There would need to be some kind of export interface (dialog window) to choose which layers to export and for what purpose in the LayOut document.

LayOut layers already have their own individual visibility setting.
It is the eye icon in the LayOut Layers panel list.

SketchUp layers also have their own global visibility setting, and each scene page (which can be used as a render viewport in LayOut,) can remember what layers are switched on or off for it’s rendering. This is done via SketchUp’s Scenes manager panel by checking the box during scene update to remember layer states.

Except that LayOut layers have nothing to do with rendering.
Rendering (be it vector, raster or hybrid) is done in the model viewports.

I think you must be wishing for SketchUp layers to get a render setting that is then honored by LayOut when rendering. The endgame is likely to avoid the current workflow of stacking model viewports that must currently have different rendering styles in order to produce a composite view the way the author needs to present it.

Dan your prompt response is really appreciated…
I understand and extensively use the layer functions in SU and LO, for both rendering “stacks” and complex construction detailing. I hadn’t thought of SU layers as Vizards which makes sense, scenes being a snapshot of an arrangement of view settings
Frequently I find that I want a composite image for a detail, (eg a plan view of a property, the hard edges might be black and white outline whereas the vegetation might be presented in a “rendered” style. Yes, I have to solve this by either stacking view ports… not what I like to do as it complicates the update model workflow when things change in the parent model… or use a scrapbook of images to “paste-in” the plants…( I use plants only as an example ) Which is ok if the presentation images only require generic entourage, but often I need to use original items from the parent assemblies which is currently best solved via… stacking. Which all contributed to the thought… what if LO had access to the SU geometry configurations.

Hmmm… but SketchUp layers are not geometric.

  1. What would you do to (or with) the SketchUp model from LayOut, if it were possible ?

  2. What would you like to make stacking / multi viewports easier to create and use ?

I too would love to see something in this direction, still with the ability to create additional LO specific layers.

I like (love) the concept of SketchUp layers being available in Layout to, at least, control their visibility and export to CAD.

However, I have asked for a different thing in the past, that makes more sense to me and would solve your issue in a cleaner way: the ability to set styles per object and save those per scene in SketchUp, instead of only being able to set styles per scene for all objects.

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Setting styles per object/ group/ component/ layer (however it could be done) in SU would indeed open up a whole range of options for drawings and presentations. After all we now have a hint of that functionality with line style by layer

Exactly, line style by layer should be active/inactive by object by scene.

To elaborate a bit more on this, imagine that we have a slab that we want to see in one floor plan as a solid line while in the floor plan below it could be dashed.

In the current system you can assign it a layer that has a dashed style and you can either turn dashed lines on and off globally. You can control that single slab dashed line style as in this particular scenario you have only one object, if you want it solid you turn line styles off.

However if you have a second slab that you want to see as dashed you cannot turn dashed lines off. How do you control that a specific object is dashed in a scene and not dashed in another? You can’t.

So, IMHO, the current linestyles implementation is very limited.

To have it usable in SketchUp we have to isolate objects in specific scenes and then overlay viewports of those scenes in Layout, with transparent backgrounds.

If styles could be applied to specific objects like groups or components, the control we would get would be endless.

How would you propose this be done (in the GUI) so as not to confuse with LayOut layers ?

And would this just be a temporary change that is not saved to the actual SketchUp model ?
(Similar to plot styles in AutoCAD’s plot dialog?)

The GUI could be as simple as the layer’s name in italic.

No changes to layers on SketchUp model would be possible. It would be a read only thing.

However, the manipulations we would do in Layout would be remembered for that model in that viewport. Like in a viewport if you would hide layer A, no matter what you would do in sktetchup, that layer would be always hidden from then on.

This would be some sort of override for the layers you had setup in a SketchUp scene, but it would always be possible to reset a viewport to it’s original scene state.

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Okay your proposals are interesting. However, a LayOut file can have viewports from multiple model files. If the “model layers” were entwined into the LayOut layer list there’d be no way of controlling them individually for each viewport, if 2 or more happened to be using the same layer name(s). (And this is very likely as users use template with common layer sets.)

As I said above there is not a 1-to-1 correlation between what a SketchUp layer is and what a LayOut layer is, or is used for. I think that listing them together in the LayOut “Layers” panel is a very bad idea.

If the feature goal is controlling (or overriding) the visibility of viewport’s model layers, then the model layers would need to be listed in the “SketchUpModel” panel (as a new “Layers” tab) and change whenever a different viewport was selected, and update whenever the viewport’s Scene choice changes (to reflect the layer settings for the newly chosen scene page.)

@mchandler @trent Your thoughts ? Does this sound reasonable and doable, or is it beyond what the display code could hope to achieve ?


Or we would have a new panel, which would be SketchUp model’s layers. Because it does belong to the SketchUp model as you say, and not Layout layers, but the SketchUp model panel will get a bit long with the SketchUp layers list.

Still, I wouldn’t mind having it in the Layout layers list panel, maybe as a new tab.

The layers panel would have a tab for layout layers and viewport/sketchup layers.

I would like that a viewport could be saved as a scrapbook or that a template could be saved with viewports that always have specific layers hidden. That would beat SketchUp scenes a lot of times.

In that sense I wouldn’t mind at all that layers with same name, from different SketchUp files would be “merged” into a single one in Layout. They could also be grouped under a model name, like each model name could be a group and each of them would have the model’s layers listed, a bit like outlined does with groups and subgroups, but for layers.

Maybe merging layers from different models or separating them, could be an option in layer manager panel.

We could then mix SketchUp and layout templates for a lot of automation and reduce a lot on scene management.

The key for me would be that layers could get exported to CAD too.

The way Scrapbooks insert contents now is on the active LayOut Layer. The won’t insert Layout Layers like Components do in SketchUp.

Viewports can be that content and now have acces to SketchUp Model properties by rightclicking:

Why not add the models Layers, here?

Scrapbooks wouldn’t need to be inserted in a layer. Which sketchup layers would be turned off on a viewports saved as scrapbook, would be a property of the viewport itself.

As for the model layers place, there are models with hundreds of layers, that right click menu isn’t the best place imho

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what he said

Like I showed…

Hundreds of Layers in a separate window won’t solve that…

You can have hundreds of layers in current layout layers panel, why wouldn’t that work for SketchUp model’s layers?

An xtra tab in the SketchUp Model panel would suffice IMO

I don’t think Layers (SketchUp) are futureproof, a few for modeling purposes are enough.
SketchUp would gain more with a Tag system with a filter or search option.

Like Revit, which only uses layers for compatability reasons with the D(ino)W(orld)G(iants) you could have an export option panel as large as your screen to select which layers you would like to export (per referenced SketchUp Model or LayOut layers) in both LayOut and SketchUp.

The endgoal should not be a 2D CAD-clone, I think.

But the creators of the architectual extension Dibac did:

It imports .skp files as well!!

Great minds think alike. :wink:

And the “SketchUpModel” panel should have been named “Viewports”.
(I wish we had the option to change the panel caption.)