Scenes and animate;

If I’m making simple scenes to animate and I want to conceal certain things in the scene is it best to ‘hide’ these or create layers and turn off the layers. ? What is best practice or is it just choice ?

In general, layers are preferable to the hide flag. SketchUp keeps only a one-deep stack of hide operations and has the subtle gotcha that unhide affects only things in the current edit context (model, group, or component). It is easy to become confused! Layers are more systematic and reliable.


As Steve says, layers are the way to go. Both of these animations were created in SketchUp using layers.

I can make scenes work when changing the camera angle/view, I watch the vids which are very help full here( but I want create movement i.e. lifting a lid off a box. I find hard to get my head round the combination of Layers, Entity and Scenes panels.

start wit something simple. like two copies of a group…

try the file attached…

scn_anim_v15.skp (90.2 KB)


Here’s another example that is a little more involved than John’s but no more difficult. In this case I used Rotate/Copy to make a total of eight instances of the door component. Each door as a different layer associated with it and only one of those layers is visible in any given scene.

Thanks for those. Do you need to create in any order i.e. layers first then scenes or layer/scene, layer/scene etc ? I notice there are no mention of the Entity box ?

I’d create the copies of the component, create the layers and assign them, and then create the scenes with the appropriate layers visible or not visible as needed. If you create the scenes and then create the layers, you’ll need to go back and update all the scenes which is more work. The layer visibility state is a property of the scene so if you change the layer visibility, you need to update the property of the scene to get it to stick.

Scene animation in SketchUp typically involves changing the Camera Location from Scene > Scene to create a walk-through or fly-through.
In such animation the objects in the model are stationary; only the Camera moves.
The camera is in fact the only thing that can move as SketchUp has no native ability to animate objects.

You can create the illusion of an object moving by creating multiple copies of the object positioned incrementally along the intended path.
In many ways the method is akin to Flip Book animation.
Each instance of the object is assigned to a unique Layer.
The visibility of each Layer is controlled by the Saved Properties of each Scene you create.
Camera Location remains static from Scene > Scene.

Take a look at the animation model below.
Open the Entity Info, Layers and Scenes mangers to see the relationship of Scene, Layer and Entity as you click through the Scene tabs.

I can’t make out what I meant to do with this

I’ve been trying to move a box from point A to point B, I’ve done it once but now I can’t recreate it.

I can’t make out the relationship between the Name ‘dot’ indicators, the layer tick boxes, and the entity panel and with the box having to be selected ?

How about sharing the SKP file?

Are you moving a single box from point A to point B or did you make copies in each position as I did with the door?

With the box in position A, I create a layer, I move the box to point B, and create another layer, right/wrong ?
It must be wrong because I uncheck the layer and the box disappears !
Yes share a SKP file I’m sure It’ll help

Wrong. You need to make a copy of the box and place it in position B, not move the box. Go back and look at my example above.

Two instances of the box; one at point A and another at point B. Box at Point a on box L layer, box at point B on box R layer.

Upload your SKP file and I’ll set it up for you.

The file is nothing special I’m just practicing with box

So here are a couple of screen shots. Look at the layer assignment for the selected box in each.

And now, two scenes one showing the left box, the other showing the right box. Notice the layer visibility state in each screen shot.


This is exactly what both John and I showed earlier.

With all layers visible you would see multiple (all) boxes, each on its own location along the path that you envision.
Once you have that you turn off all but one layer per scene. Each scene now should have a single but different layer visible. Last step is to see (and correct) if the sequence of scenes (thus layers visible) is correct in an animation. This step (moving scene(s) left or right) may be superfluous if your workflow is correct in the first place.

So both box’s are visible, but the selected box is assigned the layer ?

Both boxes can be visible if they’re layer visibility is selected on. Each box gets a different layer assigned to it. But for each scene, only one is visible at a time. Again, look at my screen shot and watch the animated GIF of the door opening.

I see, so if I make/copy 10 boxes in a row, select each one and give it a layer, moving along the row ?

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