New SketchUp 2023 Overlay Feature

Hey everyone! We are pleased to announce that we recently launched SketchUp 2023. One of the new features we’ve made for extension developers to make use of is called “Overlays”.

With this feature, extensions can draw to the screen even when the extension is not active, opening an entirely new paradigm for displaying information with your SketchUp model. This is similar to how an architect will take their drawings, lay some trace paper over the top, and then draw annotations and information over their design, adding layers of helpful information.

To see Overlays in action, check out some of the extensions that have incorporated this functionality.

Composition Guides is an extension that adds visual guides to the screen for things like 16:9 ratio, 1:1 ratio, rule of thirds and many more. These guides can be very helpful for setting up more dynamic camera views for your image exports.

Solid Inspector has been around for some time and can be a lifesaver for helping to create solid models. It now makes use of Overlays to keep the problem areas in the model highlighted even while you are using native SketchUp tools like the Line tool. You can see where all the holes in your model are while you’re cleaning them up, without having to continuously reactivate the Solid Inspector tool. This small workflow change enabled by Overlays is a real time saver!

These are just a few of the extensions that are working to incorporate Overlay capability. We are interested to know what you think: Which extensions do you think could benefit from Overlays? Or, what would you like to see in a new extension (or SketchUp feature) using persistent Overlay display. Let us know in this thread!

ChrisF

9 Likes

Thanks for this feature !

I’ve mentioned previously in the forum about my custom select/hover tool that displays the tag name close to the cursor as you hover over tagged objects.

It also highlights bounding boxes and geometry – it’s a visual aid that I find useful.

So it’s great that I can leave the buggy PickHelper behind and use an overlay to replicate my extension with the native select tool.

1 Like

You gave two examples of extensions, but you left out a really good one, it’s even from your team

Annotations

I just stumbled on it by accident earlier today, once the overlay is activated, it allows you to annotate with a red pen in either 2D or 3D, similar to the tool in Layout’s presentation mode.

Capture d’écran 2023-04-02 à 12.48.43

I rechecked, there was no announcement about this, during or since release, yet it’s a good tool, it should even be there by default in SU pro at this point ! :slight_smile:

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Oh, I did not realize it had been updated since the beta version (v1.0.0).
I had commented on it needing an erase feature and being scene aware.

Thanks for posting this “heads up”.

I just installed the newest version (v1.1.1) and it looks like it is getting better.

I don’t think I’ll use it when working solo, but when teaching… man, this tool is needed.

when I started it was mostly video projectors on standard whiteboards, so I could write “on top” of the projected image, but now most places I go have very big TV screens.
So this is quite a good teaching tool

The erase feature is useful, it would be even better with an “erase all” option (like with the guidelines), but honestly, I’ll manage without :slight_smile:


Actually this is a feedback for the Extension warehouse team, On the main page, at the bottom, there are some developers worth checking. Yet the official SU developer account isn’t there.

As a result, it took me a LONG time to realise you guys had a set of extensions available (besides the 3 default pre installed ones), some of them being quite useful. I mean, I found Annotation only because when reinstalling material resizer (forgot to migrate it from 22) I accidentally clicked on the account icon and noticed the modern icon there.

Please open a feature request at: Issues · SketchUp/sketchup-annotations · GitHub

done. my god, all this time I managed to resist registering to github…

Don’t tell my dev friends, they wouldn’t let me rest :slight_smile:

Too late, … the secret’s out. :wink:

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And you’ll never guess who I am on Github.

how to use for me