Placing images on layers

I want to put some images I imported on to different layers, so I can pick which over lays the other. I used PS cs6 to make the image backgrounds transparent, but have not succeeded in putting them on separate layers. Is there a trick, or do the layers apply only to components and groups?


fastlane at vault.skp (854.9 KB)

Like his?

SketchUp layers do not have (ie “own”) entities. They are display behaviors that can be shared among entities. So do not think of layers as a geometric context or collection, because in SketchUp they are not.

This also means that layers (in SketchUp) have no spatial dimensions. They do not exist at any specific coordinates, nor do they “stack” in any certain order (Z-wise), like they do in 2D drawing apps.

When you import an image, it gets wrapped up in a special kind of group which SketchUp calls an Image object. You can assign this Image object to use a custom layer if you wish in order to control it’s visibility. You can also wrap it up within a group if you wish to give it a name or further organize things.

But, as component instances, groups and image objects are 3D geometric objects, in order to stack them z-wise, … ie, to control which overlays another, … you must separate them them in the Z direction by open 3D space.

If they lie upon the same plain the faces will suffer from Z-fighting.

The further away from them that you need to view them, the larger the Z separation needs to be in order to eliminate OpenGL bleed through.

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This is the kind of thing to do in LayOut that has layers that “stack” above one another. But " so I can pick which over lays the other" – you can simply move one behind the other in SketchUp. Save a scene like you have in parallel projection looking at the images straight on. Orbit out to adjust the position of the images relative to the camera and, going back to your scene, they will lay over each other in your view. As Dan says they will Z-fight if you leave them right on top of each other. Space them apart. ( I think that is what Mihal is doing.)

if I understand you correctly, Mihai.s, you are selecting a portion of my model, adding a layer, naming it, then going to entity info, assigning it to that layer, then selecting another portion, and repeating the same steps, until all the portions of my model are on different layers.

Since I know close to next to nothing about layers - that was very helpful. I tried it and I was able to put the images on separate layers.

The second issue I was having, was when I selected “jpg 1” and dragged it over “jpg 2” - “jpg 2” remained on top and “jpg 1” went under it. Since I wanted the opposite condition, I discovered if I dragged “jpg2” over “jpg1” the condition reversed, which gave me the look I wished.

The disadvantage was the image moved and any objects I drew on it didn’t move with it.

So, am I correct in assuming :
A) I need to make the image and objects drawn on it into a group so they are linked together? Then make a layer of that group? Then they will move in unisyn?

B) that assigning an image to a layer won’t determine if it is above or below the other layer?

I don’t understand the term z-fighting.


No gerretw I believe it is time you actually made an effort to:
Firstly, spend some time learning how the software you want to use works, or stick with what you are good at and invest in a modeller.
Secondly, actually read the responses you get and acknowledge all of them.
How layers work has been explained twice in the posts above but you seem to have chosen to ignore both of those posts.

Layers in Layout are like sheets of paper, one will cover the other.
Those same sheets of paper in sketchup are acetate on an overhead projector, the image fights for dominance. Z-Fighting.


A. If you group objects they will move in unison. I don’t know if you need to this but yes. It’s a good way to keep objects fixed relative to one another.

B. Yes Assigning layers does not affect the location of objects. It is a 3d space that’s all. The location of the object is determined only by where you put it or move it. Layers in SketchUp are only for visibility of objects (Groups, Components, Images, Text). For now if you don’t need to hide something, I suggest you don’t use layers at all. That is: leave everything on Layer0. If you import something and it creates another layer. Remove that layer and assign all items to Layer0. And always leave edges and faces on Layer0.

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I didn’t not read them, I did read them - and I was also reading about layers in the sketchup to layout book, and the SU help page. I also watched the video with the multi colored simple house. However what I was trying to do didn’t appear the be solved in layers on SU. I thought the gurus here would have a solution.

Best, G

I think part of the problem is that despite your reading and the video you watched, you have not yet caught on to the fact that “layers” in SketchUp are not at all like layers in LayOut or Photoshop or other programs. Layers only add a visibility control to groups, components, images, and text in SketchUp. Their order in the Layers panel doesn’t make a lick of difference, they don’t control what appears to be in front of what. As has already been written several times, you need to allow distance between the images in the 3D space if you want one image to appear to be in front of another. This is a pretty simple concept if you are thinking in three dimensions.

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The gurus had a solution. You can composite your overlay by placing the images relative to each other in 3d space, just like setting up presentations boards one behind the other on stands, with a little space between–in SketchUp. View with a camera set to parallel projection.

Or set up overlays with LAYERS in LayOut.

I ran into the same problem today, 2 years later, reread your posts, and I understood what I didn’t before. I am used to layout being able to control which image is on top, and was frustrated I couldn’t do it in SU. I eventually reopened this thread, and understood what I didn’t before - you have to physically use the move tool to locate one image below the other, for them to appear the way I wanted. It took hours of putzing around before I finally went back and found this thread

So thanks - I appreciate it. G

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