Newbie Various Problems with Layout 2015

Hi, hopefully these are silly newbie problems as I’m on a steep learning curve. Having done a design in sketchup and layout using the trial version of sketchup pro 2014, I have now bought a 2015 license, upgraded, and am having various problems.

The design is of a panel membrane label to go on the front of a fire alarm panel, with a window for the display, navkey buttons, and graphics (text and logos). I have modelled it as a flat XY plane in sketchup, then done a drawing in Layout to send to the manufacturers.

  1. Lost Layout Info
    I had added lots of dimensions and labels to the layout view, and these have all disappeared when I load the .layout file in layout2015. Any idea what could cause this?

  2. Scaling and Position
    Each time I open the layout file, or reload the skp file, the scaling and position of the sketchup model changes, with the scaling always seeming to jump to something like 1.93432:1. It takes two attempts to get the scaling back to 1:1 - the first time I change it to 1:1 it jumps to 1:2, and I change it to 1:1 again and it finally goes to 1:1. Similarly I keep having to mess with the position to get the 2D view of the model central in my A4 drawing boarder.

  3. Text and Graphics
    The sketchup model includes things like text (drawn as text labels), images (imported from pngs etc), and face colors, and these often go a bit screwy in Layout. For example the text jumps around as I zoom in and out.

Have I just misunderstood the basics of sketchup and layout and am expecting too much of it? I’m after a mechanical engineering cad tool that can generate proper mechanical and graphical designs and manufacturing drawings. We don’t do enough of it to justify buying a Solidworks license, and Sketchup Pro seemed a sensible alternative.

Any help gratefully received

Did you draw the dimensions and labels on a different layer which are hidden in LO 2015?

Thanks Yogesh

I’ve checked the layer settings with this file loaded in LO2015, and all layers are on.

Or do you mean there could be layers in the 2014 file that get ignored by LO2015? I hope not! :wink:

Have you set up your scene in Sketchup and referring in layout to those scene or is Layout just referring to “last saved view”, under scene.

To work correctly should be referring to a sketchup scene

Aha! Thanks, onto something here, it is using “last saved scene”. I don’t know how scenes work - do you have any suggestions on how I best I can learn about them, and how they should be used in layout?

I’m struggling to find documentation that explains how they should be used. Is it one of those things that they assume is obvious, but it isn’t obvious to me… :wink:

Normally how I do it is:

  • in sketchup set up your scenes, (View/animation/create scene) selecting the style you want for that scene, the camera position an type (parallel/perceptive), sections on or off etc.
    Once you are happy, just press, create scene or update scene if that is the case. If you are using a different styles to the one used previously, it will ask you, if you want to update style or create new style or nothing. Just press “new style”
  • once you have create the necessary scenes to tell the story, save it and send it to layout.

In Layout is just a matter of selecting the scene number (right click over the selected model/scene) and put it to the right scale if that is the case (mainly for construction 2d dwg plans).

Copy and paste that model to the new position where you want to display the second scene, Change the scene to the next one and there you go!

Good luck

Many thanks, makes sense, I’m now using scenes.

At least now the scaling stays put at 1:1, however it doesn’t appear to have helped with my other problems.

I cannot work out how to position the model to line up with the Layout grid, though hopefully if I persevere I can.

Dimensions and labels that I add do appear to stay put, however there is no sign of any of the many labels and dimensions I added before upgrading to 2015 - I guess I have to start again?

Text and graphics from the sketchup model still jump about. Text is the worst, typically the font size reduces to about 2/3, and the text moves (I suspect that one corner of the text window is in the right place, but because the font size changes so much the text placement moves with it). This is a show-stopper for me, as we need to include things like label designs. I guess I could design all labels in another package like Illustrator, and import them as images, however that would mean all the fonts are rasterised, and editing them becomes messy.

I’ve also just realised that the model is rendered as a bitmap in Layout, which seems pretty disastrous to me. I just want to be able to issue 2D engineering drawings, as normal vector drawings (e.g. dxf or dwg). However if I export a dxf or dwg from Layout it appears as an embedded bitmap. This means no one can lift dimensions electronically from the file, for example for programming a CNC machine.

I’m wondering if I have completely misunderstood Sketchup Pro - is it little more than a 3D sketching tool (as indeed the name implies…)

I’d appreciate any comments on this, however frank they are, as I am losing a lot of time on this and need to decide ASAP whether this is a suitable tool, or whether I should be by a solidworks license. We’re not a mechanical design house and only do a few simple little drawings each year, so would struggle to justify the cost…


Lining up the model is a matter of practise. A mix of creating your scenes in Sketchup and move then nicely around your layout page (sometimes with snap on or off, depends)

The issue of your dimensions and labels. I’m not sure if I fully understood but are those dimensions and labels done inside Sketchup or inside Layout? Just try to keep all the notes and dimension in Layout, a lot easier to control then. If you did it in Layout but didn’t refer that model to a particular Sketchup scene, maybe the dims and labels anchor when all mixed up!

The render of the Sketchup file is raster but you can change it to vector or hybrid, (selecting the model and go to your tray, where it said, Sketchup model, and change it there). There are props and const of each one but for sending it as CNC, what I tent to do is a export as section slice in Sketchup (create a section plane in the exact point you want the CNC, and export it under file export and just use the Layout as a PDF construction doc.

I used Sketchup for large projects and is worth every penny.

Good luck!

Thanks, you are being most helpful.

The missing labels and dimensions were done in Layout. I’m not sure I’ll ever find where they went, so am simply adding them again.

The bigger problem is with text and graphics I have added to the model in Sketchup. For example I am drawing an electronic module housing very similar to a fire alarm panel, with a display panel with buttons and LCD. The design includes the text and graphics for the printing on the front panel, so I want to include it in the model, not just the Layout view, as it forms part of the design. This text and graphics changes size and position when viewed in Layout.

Regards the render, I can see where you suggest I change it, but the control is greyed out on raster. I’ve had a look at the model and scene settings in sketchup and cannot find anything obvious, just the anti-alias setting. Any ideas? I’ll look at exporting direct from sketchup, although we prefer sending out drawings with drawing borders, for notes, version control etc.

Good to know you think Sketchup is worth persevering with, thanks again

What I always try to do is: Anything that has nothing to do with the design, I’ll do it in Layout. If the text is part of the design like the example, used the 3d text, with or with extrusion.

As for render,in layout you have to pre select the model you want to be changed.

Thanks again acalvodominguez, very helpful :smile:

Quite, I’ve been doing that

This surprises me, as 3D text seems cumbersome, when all I want is some 2D text on a surface. However it does behave better in layout than the 2D text labels I was using. That said I still have the following problems:-

  • sketchup turns it into a vector approximation of the font which is pretty rough around the edges
  • the width of the lines in this vectored approximation appear to be set by styles, and get messed up in Layout
  • I’m using Calibri font for this design, and the 3D Calibri appears to be broken. Each time I save the design I get a “Don’t Panic… Fix Now” dialog box, and after fixing all the "3"s are not filled, and the triangular centre of all the "4"s is filled.

Doh! I’m sure I tried that, works now :wink:

My next problem is that I have some png images (logos etc) on surfaces in sketchup, and these are looking terrible in Layout. I’ve selected Hybrid rendering so I can have a vector drawing with embedded raster images. The vectored stuff looks OK but the raster stuff is coming out around 120dpi even though I’ve changed the rendering resolution in document settings to “High”. I’m guessing that this is a fundamental limitation of Layout?

I think I need to learn more about Styles as well, as they are not doing what I expected at all, and could be the cause of some of the above problems

Arghhh tearing my hair out…

Newbie 2: My pan doesn’t work when I open a window in Layout? It defaults to orbit and I cannot get panning to work?

In LayOut it is Shift+H to pan.