LO2021: Stacking a transparent raster layer on a opaque vector layer

Is this possible? I’m doing kitchen cabinets and I want the appliances to be transparent, and the rest of the kitchen in vector so I can pull dimensions off of the linework. I’ve made 2 scenes in SU – one of the kitchen in clean style I call “vector”, minus the appliances, and another scene that has everything hidden except the appliances, with a style I call “raster” along with fog. Those scenes are stacked in LO, with one rendered in raster the other vector. Except the negative space between the appliances renders as white and it completely blocks out the vector layer below it.

A quick work around was just adding a shape over the appliance and then making that shape fill white. Then I messed with the opacity slider until it was okay, but it’s not as pretty as I’d like it to be.

And if I may add on a question/gripe about the wonderful LO … when I’m using the dimension tool (or most tools for that matter) and it’s skipping around the screen due to the immense lag, I have a hard time trusting that it’s picking the proper point to dimension from and I have to go back and double check with the tape tool in SU. Obviously this is a huge blow to productivity, but I’ve followed Brightman’s tips – no auto-render, low output res – more things I can’t remember. Also Sonders’ tips, where I leave out things in the SU model that have nothing to do with what I’m doing in LO. These have made great improvements – but it’s still a clunky program (I’m using a new gaming laptop, WIN10, dedicated to SU/LO, with an NVIDEA GeForce RTX 2060 card, SU & LO set to always use the card in High Performance).
Is there something I can do maybe to line weights to make sure I’m clicking on the right point without having to check in SU? In my Sketchup Model tab in LO I have line scale always at 0.5pt and auto. I just changed auto to 0.25x and after a render didn’t notice anything change. I also keep line weights to 1 in my SU styles.

Sorry for the wall of text and thank you.

It would be helpful if you shared the LO file so we can see what you’re working with. It sounds to me as if you might need to give your appliances transparent materials so they don’t occlude the view to the vector layer. Or maybe you could just put the vector layer on top. If you have the face style for the vector render set to Hidden Line and Background turned off, there’ll be no face in the vector render.

FWIW, since you are using LO2021, you should be able to do this with just one SketchUp scene.

As for the “immense lag” and dimension tool skipping around the screen, make sure you have Grid Snap disabled and if you are dimensioning the casework, turn off the Appliance layer so that viewport isn’t being displayed.

The problem I find with making the appliances with transparent materials is that I’m getting the appliances off of the 3D Warehouse and there’s lots of little details and faces that I would have to click into and change one by one … I think. Unless I’m going about it the wrong way.

And I’m not sure how to share a LO File. I quickly looked for a FAQs page on the forum, but I didn’t see it.

I know what you mean about the tiny details in components from the 3DWH. Maybe not transparent materials in that case. I expect another option would work better in that situation.

If the file is small enough you could just drag the .layout file into a forum reply to upload it here. I would guess it’ll be too large, though. If it is, upload it to Drop Box and share the link. If the file has content you can’t share with the world, you could send the link via a direct message to me by clicking on my name and then “Message”. I promise I won’t share it around.

@coolcheech, I spend a lot of time doing cabinet design and production drawings and have been doing quite a bit of tweaking the last few weeks on my templates. I use a very similar system of scenes but have not chosen to focus on appliances alone being transparent. I have my wall sections set to vector both in plan and elevation views and all other groups or components are on a raster scene.

I have struggled quite a bit with the dimensioning issue and finally figured out that the problem was my understanding of Sketchup Styles and how those styles are impacted by changes to “Line Scale” in Layout. When I dialed in my Sketchup Styles AND dialed in the line weight assignments in Layout (vector is .3 & .5x; raster is .4 & .75x) I found that the object snapping was working better. More clarity in line weights seemed to make the snap points more apparent to Layout. Doesn’t mean I still don’t struggle coaxing Layout to grab that one point I need, but it is better. Oh…and one side note: DaveR’s comment about turning off higher layers when you dimension is absolutely right on.

This means that you have to be fairly detailed in your understanding of Styles and play with those settings. I only have 4 styles that I work with now. 2 for plans. 2 for elevations and sections. Raster and Vector separation for both, which I also have pulled from Sonder but tweaked to fit my needs. I would attach screen shots but it would be quite a few to communicate the point.

To address the appliance issue specifically…you might consider a 3rd layer? Instead of just a raster and vector layer, put your cabinets on a raster layer, appliances on a 2nd raster layer (and follow DaveR’s advice here, use only one scene if you can. reduces your workflow) and then put your walls on a third vector layer. Organize them with the wall vector layer on top, the cabinet layer second, and at the bottom the appliance layer. You might find that extra bit of control you need to get the transparency to work.

As to Layout wonkiness…welcome to the party! I have concluded that it is better to wrestle with some smaller performance issues in Layout than wrestle with the mind bog that is AutoCAD. I have crossed the rubicon and am now a full fledged patriot of the Sketchup Cinematic Universe.

Interesting because I’m just starting to customize my styles and the line weight thing just was something this morning I messed with.

What are somethings with the styles I should think about? I keep them pretty simple, but there’s no line weight option outside of section cut lines. And the line weight in LO can only go so small. I think I tested it at .25. (Scale only affects dash lines, I think?)