Scenes vs Tags vs Entity Info

I am new to Sketchup (2021) on a Mac, but have been an interior designer for 16 years (not a technically enabled one clearly!)
Just spent a week learning SKP for Interior Designers with independent course. Challenge was that material had visuals from PC and older (2019) version of SKP where Tags were called Layers.
Yesterday, bolted on 3D online learning to model up the floorplan I had drawn - so far so good.
Today, started on my first piece of client work. Basic floorplan done - easy.
BUT…it appears that in neither the 2D or 3D online course did I grasp the difference / interractions / hierarchy of Scenes vs Tags vs Entity Info. I am thoroughly confused as to what to use when. I get that in Tags I can toggle off visibility. I get that I need to have separate Scenes (eg: Floorplan, furniture layout, electrical plan) and that Tags seem to have the same titles. Why? Duplication?
Hope you can help me unravel this so I can crack on with my project and not cause myself a whole host of issues with the model further down the line. Thx

Those three things don’t really have a hierarchy although generally you would want to create tags before you create scene.

Think of Scenes generally as camera positions. Look through the list of Properties to Save in the Scenes panel to get an idea of what goes into a scene.

Tags are things that are put onto objects in the model (Components and Groups) and are used to control the visibility of said objects. Remember that ALL edges and faces are created and remain untagged. Only components and groups get tags.

Entity Info is mainly just a bit of information about what you have selected in the model space. It’s also where you give tags to the objects you have selected.

Suppose you are working on a dining room. You can create scenes that show it from different viewpoints such as from the door to the kitchen or looking in through the window. By turning off the visibility for the tags given to the chairs, table, and sideboard your scenes can show the room empty or with only the sideboard. Or you could have two different sideboards, one with the tag “Sideboard A” and another with “Sideboard B”. In one scene Sideboard A is turned on and Sideboard B is off. In the next scene you reverse those. Then switching from one scene to the next changes which sideboard is shown in the room. You could do the same for the table and chairs. And the art on the walls and drapes…

As for the names for your scenes and tags, it’s not really duplication. Again tags are given to the objects in your model. If you give one tag to all the furniture in the model it probably makes sense to call that tag “Furniture” since it identifies the objects the tag is on. And maybe it makes sense to give a scene that name, too. Or maybe the scene is “Lounge with furniture” and the Furniture tag is visible for that scene. And then there might be a Lounge Electrical plan with the tag called Electrical turned on but Furniture turned off to reduce clutter.

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Thank you - the fog is starting to clear. Can I check I have this right…

  1. I have drawn a floorplan. I have grouped walls, doors, windows and am going to Tag that group say 01_Floorplan (my first layer if you like). This layer has only an opening where a large window will be located.
  2. I draw and group some bi-folding windows and Tag them only as 02_RearWindowOption1. Then I could draw and group a different window config and Tag it 02_RearWindowOption2.
  3. I draw low level kitchen cabinetry, group it and Tag as 03_Kitchenbaseunits. And do the same for Island unit, and wall units - each made into separate group or component where relevant.
  4. Back to the dining room, I create a table shape and Tag it as say 04_DiningTable. And then create a separate Tag for each furniture item or small group of furniture items, say table and chairs.
  5. I put in electrical items (lamps, switches and sockets). Do I need to group them in order to name them a Tag, or do I simply Shift select them all to allocate them to a Tag? (Similarly with furniture in point 4 above)
  6. Only at this point do I create my Scenes. On creating a Scene (to your point, a ‘camera view’), I toggle on and off the visibility of the relevant Tags I have created as above, so that I am seeing exactly what I want to see on that particular Scene. Then I right click on the Scene and update it if I happen to need to change some of the visibilities.
  7. Hoping the above is an accurate reflection of what you have explained to me…the only thing left is entities. Do I need to write anything in an entity? Or do I do all the assigning of labels in the Tags window? I’m still not sure I know what I am supposed to do with entities. Do I name something in this window when I have created it as a Group perhaps? For example, I have drawn a standard window and grouped it. Do I first right click on Entity Info and name it? Then Tag it under the same name?. Then for my bifold window same again, or am I still confused and only really need to use Tags for this job?
    Sorry to seek further clarification. Nearly there I hope!

OK. Basically you’re right.

If the walls doors, and windows in (1) are fixed you could group them together and use a single tag. You could make a group of the walls only and have the doors and windows as components and just give all of them the same tag.

2 and 3: Yes. tag like objects together in a logical way so you don’t need to work hard to show or not show them as needed.

4: You can have tags for Dining Room Table, Dining Room Chairs, Sideboard, and Wax Statue of Old Aunt Effie With Her Favorite Cat if you’d like or you could have a single tag for all of that stuff. It depends on what you need to show in each scene.

5: If each lamp, switch, and socket is a component or group, you don’t have to put them all into a group before tagging them. You can just select all of them and give them the same tag.

6: Yes. If you can keep your model organized and think ahead to what you need, making all of your tags and assigning them before creating scenes is definitely a good way to go. But no matter how hard you work at that it seems something will creep in later. The client will decide they need to add a clawfoot bathtub to the dining room and you’ll want to show it with or without the table and chairs so it gets its own new tag. And then you update the scene(s) to show the changes.

  1. Entity Info. Normally when you create components you should give them Definition Names that make sense. If you select a component you can edit its name in Entity Info if needed. When you make a group SketchUp just calls it “Group”. You could select the group and type a name for it in Entity Info. (It’s a whole lot easier to call the right child from the classroom if they aren’t all named Billy.) Create the tags in the Tags panel and then simply assign them to the selected objects in Entity Info.

Just a note about grouping. Think of a group or component (G/C) as a container for something. At the basic level a G/C has some loose geometry inside. Think of a sandwich in a clear zip-lock bag. If you want to make any changes to the sandwich (add mustard or cheese) you need to open the bag. In SU that’s opening the G/C for editing. You can put several G/Cs into a larger G/C which would be like putting several sandwiches and a thing of yogurt into a box. That would make a nested group or component in SketchUp. And you can have a bunch of box lunches in a larger box. That can be useful in SketchUp but it can also make more work for you especially if you need to edit the geometry in a group or component.

Going back to your dining room furniture for a moment; you could have a nested group that contains the table and chairs. Call that nested group “DR Furniture.” Then you could create and assign tags for the table, the chairs, and DR Furniture. If you turn off the visibility for the table, it would disappear leaving the chairs. Or you could hide the chairs and leave the table. Or you could turn of the DR Furniture tag and all of it would disappear.

Hopefully this won’t make your head explode but with SU2021 we now have Tag Folders. Instead of creating the nested DR Furniture group and tagging it, you could make a tag folder called DR Furniture and add the Chairs and Table tags to that folder. Then you can still control the visibility as above but without creating an additional group.

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Woah…and breathe…I’m putting Old Aunt Effie’ statue in every drawing going forwards (a bit like in my ex management consultant days when cumberland sausage had to be uttered in every meeting!), and I’m going to attempt to keep my packed lunch to not too greedy proportions!
Thank you for your help DaveR. I’m ready to motor!

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Don’t forget her cat.

Victor Ambrus always included a dog in his illustrations for Time Team and Robert (Mouseman) Thomspon carved little mice into his furniture. Maybe Old Aunt Effie would be your signature thing.

Precisely !

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Hi again,
Think I have the hang of the scenes, tags stuff. The lunchbox analogy really helped. I have, today been working on extruding elements of the ground floor of this house. Just gone to put a floor in and I can’t select the floor. Makes me think I perhaps did something incorrectly when I was first building the floorplan - and hope I can rectify it as it’s taken me hours to get to this point. It is 14:49 UK time right now. i will be at my desk until 16:00, then back again from 17:00 hoping to finish the model today. It might be helpful to share screens perhaps if that is possible. I also am stuck on how to change rooflines / roof levels, as my walls are not behaving. Again, it’s possibly and initial build issue. And finally, putting counter tops on kitchen cabinets has not been as straightforward as I would have imagined. Suggestions welcome here. Hope to hear from you this afternoon.Thanks