Section fill by Layer/Tag

This seems like an ultra-simple request that would be immensely useful – Is it possible to specify a section fill by layer just as we can now do with line styles? I am trying to illustrate masonry veneer and concrete foundation walls in plan view and becoming frustrated with the amount of work it takes to perform what should be a simple task. I’d be happy to just select different color tones without hatch patterns for now…

Currently in order to differentiate a material in a floor plan (or section) view I have to create a 2D section slice and add a raster material to the geometry, requiring a lot of work coordinating when a change is made. With the extra work I am able get a great looking plan with shadows etc generated from the model, still composed from two to three stacked scenes in Layout:

Or, in an effort to avoid the continuous coordination of section slices, I am having to stack multiple scenes each with different section fill styles to get a plan view like this in Layout. The scene below is composed by stacking five different scenes (concrete hatch | masonry hatch | wall poche | base plan section with floors/roofs/structure and a 2D furniture/fixture scene):

This method has its own set of problems, particularly the hatch scenes have to be rendered in vector/hybrid to be transparent in the stack, which will draw all edges beyond regardless if the style has them turned off in SU. I end up spending an excessive amount of time tweaking geometry so that the scenes stack properly in Layout.

If section fill were to be specified by layer, it would greatly reduce the number of scenes needed and make the section tool more powerful in general.

I have used the Scalp plugin with some success however it’s too cumbersome for large building models and still relies on generating a 2D section slice to generate multiple hatches.


I see you’ve used SKALP, a good extension I’ve used in the past. I’ve also tried Curic Section and am using that as it seems to be a little lighter on resources (I have to admit there is one thing I miss from SKALP though). Curic has some useful extensions, maybe also take a look at their Scene Manager, I think you might find that it’ll change the way you manage your modeling.

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Thanks for the recommendations, I have looked into Curic plugins but I find there is a lack of info available that explain how these plugins work and how to adapt them to my standards. I am not about to purchase another plugin that requires adapting to preset configurations and scripts.

I use curic section. It’s really good, but not perfect.
I think it would be extremely useful if it was possible for the “Section fill” to be linked to the Layers (or tags, haha)
It could have 2 options for “color by layer”: one for the 3D model state (like it already is), and other only for the section fill. So we can manage the model more precisely.
Like this:


This is precisely what I dream about while sleeping. Please Team Sketchup, make this happen!

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I feel your pain.

My workaround method is to model the walls, but delete the top face (the “top plate”) leaving the wall hollow. I turn OFF section fills, and use a pattern on the base of the wall. Windows and doors are 2d symbols. Most of the time, instead of using sections
To make this work even easier, I dont even use section planes for Plans - I just model each level of the building as a group (Ground floor, first floor, second floor, etc) and use scenes to turn on and off the groups so the First Floor Plan just looks top town at the first floor.
This can even work for combination walls (where the bottom half of the wall is a different material to the top half)

I’ve uploaded a simple file to demonstrate.

Untitled.skp (170.7 KB)

It doesnt solve the problem for cross sections; I just use a section fill for those, or trace a face in LayOUt and add the mateiral there, if necessary (and done after all design work is complete so no further changes).

It really would be lovely to have an option where Hatches/Patterns could be visible when using Hidden Line, Wireframe and LO Vector Rendering modes, even though they are raster. (even better would be vector-based hatches, but I assume that’s just too difficult to implement, for some reason).

Section color by tag would have so many use cases. You could set up your 3d views with real life Colors, and have your sections and plans adhere to drawing conventions of architectural drawing, with their need for readability. In plan view and sections Window-frames could be grey or white, and window glass could be white or blue even though it was cut by the section. Inner walls could have different plan view color than outer walls. Tall interior elements like cabinets could be white, and not the section color, so they don’t look like they are part of the wall. With this you could make simple boxes for cabinets and not needing to detail it to make them hollow, and you could skip all the elaborate organisational exercises of hiding some parts of geometry in sections, others in plan view, and all the added geometry that is there only to show up in certain views. It would make for simple lighter drawings with less geometry, less tags, and less strain on the brain. You can already set up your plan views as color by tag, so that the elements that are not cut by the sections have their “symbol color”, like an inner door tag could be white, so that the door sill would be white from the tag color, the cut through the doorframe could be grey from the section color, even though the component was brownish in the 3d view. Controlling section tag color is the logical step to get control over how plans and sections look. It is how you can finally say that you would never want a door tool, a wall tool and a window tool like those BIM- packages out there.


Wouldn’t it be wonderful!!?


It would be modeling without work-arounds…

Yes, and section fills represented as hatch patterns (adopting the material of the component they are cutting through)

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Please implement hatching in Sketchup. This by layer / tag approach would be perfect. All geometry on each layer can have an assigned hatch to it’s section cut. Perfect.


Hatching is a quick way to bloat any model with excessive geometry. In this respect using texture images is much safer.

Not really going to bloat the model with excessive geometry - only on section faces. We are talking about a limited area of flat 2D linework within the confines of the section face. Hardly excessive. Sketchup’s marketing is focused heavily on the AEC industry and with no hatching natively possible, well that’s really disappointing.

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I have been advocating a hatch feature but I see the dangers. Being an old AutoCad user I remember well how quite a little patch of “dot” type hatching can put that application on its knees, and SketchUp is even more sensitive.

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Why not advocate for increasing the capabilities of a piece of software? I notice a lot of regulars here on the forums constantly making excuses for both sketchup and layout’s failings. Rather absurd.


I, how nearly, like hatching with textures. Vector hatches do not offer any noticeable advantage. If raster hatches are printed at the right scale they look good, don’t bog down our work and as do the job.

The problem is dealing with them when exporting to DWG from Layout and especially when you have multiple stacked viewports. I think all images should merge into a single one per Layout page and sent to back. This would work like merging layers in image editors. The background image would then be exported with a nice name related with the name of the Layout file and page, instead of 001.png.

I agree completely. And section color by tag would make it so much easier to quickly show the distinction between new construction and existing construction for remodel projects.

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I wish this was implemented…

SU Material Scene menu WISH


The only thing needed would be a “size relative to screen” toggle button for any texture, that would make it scale differently depending on the zoom level you had. Then in layout this would be seen as relative to papersize.

I think this section material should be assigned in entity info, to a component.