Multiple viewport

hi, is it possible to divide the editor to four “sub screens”, assign an point of view to each, edit, orbit, pan, etc. object in one “sub screen” and see it updated in real time in other “sub screens”. if not possible, do you know another app that can do this. thanks.

No. It can’t be done in SketchUp and there’s really no need for it. It is much easier to look at a single viewport since you can quickly and easily orbit around the model and look at it from any direction. If you work with the camera set to perspective, it’ll be much like looking at a real object.

I believe Blender offers the “sub screens”.

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You can also set up “scenes” to return to a particular view at any point.
I haven’t used it, but SU comes with Layout - specifically designed to have multiple views of the same model on one page. (… But I don’t know how the interaction between these “viewports” and the model actually work - I’m sure a guru will say whether this is possible or not)

It would be clumsy to use LayOut that way but I suppose it could be done if you use two screens with LO on one and SU on the other.

thank you for the reply. you’re right that there is no need for it if you are using a single 2d screen. i wish to project fours sides of the object i’m working on to four sides of a “cube” simultaneously OR divide one second physical screen into four parts and see four sides there, while working on it on the main screen.

as for layout, i think it is good for creating printed documentation where you can layout different views of the same object on a sheet of paper.

As Dave said, SketchUp cannot do this. But as a point of interest/discussion, why do you want to? Is it because you are accustomed to 2D ortho views and need it to feel comfortable? Or is there some technical reason?

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I would appreciate it the same way as I appreciate Rhino 3D: 1. drawing and viewing drawings is more efficient as one does not need to constantly switch between views to edit or view the model; 2. viewing the model in 2 separate viewports provides an effective way to understand what you’re looking at since it helps to see the model in plan and perspective.

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Not rejecting your reasoning, just by way of individual comparison and discussion:

I have always found parallel projection and its associated ortho views to be unnatural and to require multiple views to resolve ambiguities. One has to be trained to read them correctly. Drafting classes are famous for puzzles in which the issue is to mentally visualize the 3D object so as to figure out what a third view or isometric view should show. But, if one has worked with them for a long time I can appreciate how the traditional views become entrenched in a workflow and one feels lost without them.

If one instead uses a perspective projection with an interactive view (such as in SketchUp, where one can orbit and pan easily), for me it requires less mental effort to resolve ambiguities by changing the direction of view than by comparing multiple views.


@slbaumgartner, very well put, sir.

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Hi iomedia, hi folks.

See attached SU file. It shows a simple house component positioned in 3 different locations and rotated accordingly to simulate a front view, a plan view and an elevation view.

Use the "Edit"3 views.skp (32.7 KB)
scene to work in 3D.

Use the “View” Scene to view the result like multi 2d views.

You can also edit any of the 3 components in this 2D view. You will see the result in the other views since these are instances of the same component.

Add any new view by moving and rotating a copy of the component. This allows you to add other elevations, if required.



Hi Jean

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to upload your example, for me it is exactly what I have been looking for.

Would you be good enough to describe the process you went through to create it?

Kind regards,


Just to say I worked this out from your example thank you. And now I also know a bit more about components!

Thank you again for you help.

For anyone here that didn’t see the value in this:

I have exploded 3D views that I want to make a model out of. If I make one viewport the angle of the 3D perspective and position my model over te image in the viewport, I can recreate the model in the 2d views and see realtime if my proportions and sizes are to scale.

Huge time saver

This dog won’t hunt.

Working with multiple views is more confusing than working on a single view. Use SketchUp for awhile and you’ll figure it out.

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I’ve been using sketchup for a while, you might have missed my point.

Being able to design/code/develop and see your results realtime is way more efficient for me.

I have the task of reverse modelling a machine from exploded diagrams.
having multiple viewports will save me a significant amount of design time, end of story.

Anything that can save time, like having multiple views of the same object that update realtime as you modify any of the views is immensely time saving.

If you don’t get that then you just don’t get it. That’s OK, we’re all different.

Could you show a screen shot of how you model, rather than describing it? Just out of curiosity, for I can’t follow the description. Do you model over an image with perspective “exploded” items?

Baffling to me that so many insist multiple viewports/windows “isn’t necessary”.

Neither is a computer.

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But a computer isn’t in the way.

I would appreciate multiple viewports.

Simply saying “just model in 3D” doesn’t make sense. Many design processes are better done in 2D, especially when you’re working with 2D Plans provided by others. Try analyzing vehicle tracking curves or designing electrical layouts in 3D to see what I mean.

For interior design I can appreciate how moving around inside a 3d room or building can be difficult …Tight spaces require a high field of view which distorts the sense of distance and space. Objects in the foreground get in the way of objects behind them. (wireframe and xray are good but get very messy on complex models)… This is problematic also when collaborating with other professionals who aren’t used to navigating in 3d space.

Flicking between 2d/3d scenes all the time is a bit cumbersome and interupts the ‘flow’ of the designer.
So yes I think there is a valid use for modelling in 2D and 3D at the same time.

I would also like to view things in different styles, eg Sketchy edges and textured face view, at the same time.

I totally agree working in 2D is annoying and that documenting paper drawings is stupid and should be abolished from the world, but that day hasn’t come yet.