Orientation of faces


I have been searching for posts relating with “correctly orientation of faces” and similar wordings but have not found anything so far…I have made a very large model, tried to render it with a trial of Podium and many of the materials look absolutely flat…by chance I have clicked on “orient faces” and lots of the faces have changed so I believe I have done something terribly wrong…a bit late to realize but as I am a rookie I am not surprised  …
Maybe somebody could point me out in the right direction? ideally to a) a discussion / tutorial to orientate the faces right at modelling stage and b) a discussion / tutorial explaining how to fix the problem when it has already been made.

thanks so much, alex


Look on YouTube -there are sever getting started videos there.


Hey as a relatively newbie-beginner, myself included this is where learning to save a copy comes into play. There are no tutorials or videos only something I have learned the hard way. I have wasted many hours of diligent modeling hours only to realize that FILE > NEW was what I had to do. The only good is that it is truly practice for you next attempt. Your issue is just one of many others that will arise but can be avoided. This simple step allows you to go back passed the default number of undo`s available, then gives you a fresh amount to utilize before the next saved copy. Make this part of every model you do…regardless.

You can change the face colors from the Styles options, select EDIT. So the backside face is much darker or total different. Alerting you sooner then later.

Why SU will apply or it will show a face reversed I cant explain, I have had situations were the results of a applied tool or option. Has reversed it from the others on the same plane, I am still learning. So this will help you to realize it before you spend another hour adding to the file. Then hit that point of no return, WISHING YOU HAD SAVED A COPY. Hope it helps and it even has a key board short cut you may need it so much…Peace…


OH and when your happy and satisfied your model is complete just go back and delete the saved copies prier to the last, to clear out the file space especially if your on a laptop…Peace…


oh, good one, thank you, my model is so large I have been building it in different files for building, site, landscape etc so I do have a copy of the building’s original file. I shall try and fix the most obvious wrong faces.
peace indeed, we need a lot of that
and thanks again


Hi Alex,

Faces and Surfaces in SketchUp have a Front side and a Back side.
SketchUp’s default face materials are:
Front = White
Back = Bluish Gray

Best practice is to keep all visible faces of a model oriented such that the Front Side (white) faces outward.
Face orientation is important as certain export formats and renderers only support single-sided polygons.
You can check face orientation anytime by viewing the model in Monochrome Face Style.
View > Face Style > Monochrome

Change face orientation by using the Context Menu commands.
Right context click on a face and select … Reverse Faces or Orient Faces.

• Reverse Faces
The Reverse Faces menu item is used to flip the front and back sides of the currently selected face.

• Orient Faces
The Orient Faces menu item is used to automatically orient all the connected faces of your
model to the orientation of the currently selected face. This option could lead to unexpected
results when an edge of a face bounds three or more other faces.

Faces and Surfaces retain their Front / Back property regardless of what other materials you might apply.
And each side of a Face or Surface has its own individual material attribute.

Notice when a Face or Surface is selected the Entity Info Box displays two material swatches.
The left swatch is the Front side material; the right swatch is the Back side material.
You can change/edit the front or back face material by clicking on the respective swatch.

Dimension is backwards for push pull

You can change the back face color in the styles menu to say bright pink to help readily ID reversed faces; I am not ruby person but my understanding is there is no absolute closed form solution to make sure face direction is correct=> use as learning experience. Make sure they are correct as you proceed is best approach vs. waiting to end to correct.


dear all

, see all those grey faces? :joy: :joy: now me too!!

muchas gracias everybody!