Sketchup Fundamentals Course

First question: Is there a list of terms/short definition (nomenclature list) available? I’ve learned enough that I need to get my terminology straight. I don’t want to have to review my way through previous videos to get to the one where the term was mentioned.

Pleasantly going through SketchUp Fundamentals
(very well done, I’m not sure, but when I took a test a second time I could swear you’d changed the placement of the answers–nice touch!),
and after trying the exercise file use my tableau (“The Kitchen”) as a to recreate it. Everything was going great until I ran up against an odd anomaly–objects I’m creating are coming in with a solid (or shimmering) green color.

It all started when I went bonkers trying to notice which vertice of a polygon/circle was the one that allowed me to resize rather than move that entity, then again when I couldn’t get a Follow Me object to do so. (Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.) It looks kinda like the blue shimmer one should get (nomenclature!) when extruding a hole into an object. (Oh, and that isn’t happening either–I’m dreading if it might have to do with a screwed up UCS?)

Cool, glad you are seeing benefit from the Campus. What you are seeing is called Z-fighting, you can search the forum for more info. This happens when two planes are occupying the exact same overlapping location in space and the graphics card can’t decide which one to show you, so it shows both simultaneously. Nothing is broken in the model, and this is not unique to SketchUp.

In regards to seeing Z-fighting while attempting a hole, that should let you know there are two separate surfaces there, not a circle drawn on a surface. Which means your circle was not drawn in the same context as the surface it’s on. Most likely the cube is a component or group and you drew on the surface of the closed group, so the geometry is not interacting by design. Instead, open the group for editing first, then make your circle. If you attempt to push pull the circle the way it is now you will simply be making a cylinder entity overlapped by the cube, two separate entities instead of modifying the cube.

This might be your follow-me problem too, again the line you want to follow and the surface you want to extrude must be in the same context.

“in the same context” Is there a “list of terms” document?
I’ve just reviewed 5 YouTubes dealing with the subject and aside from the one that suggests ‘just’ making your latest objects negligibly thicker, all the solutions are incredibly complex, involving getting rid of multiple entities suggesting possibly changing the graphics card (for one “with a higher precision z-buffer”!) or switching to another rendering algorithm (e.g., ray-tracing). .

Yes, everything I can draw anything on has been made into a component or group. Isn’t that part of the SketchUp bible?

I realigned the UCS so it matched the wall/floor, but that didn’t change anything.

What’s so challenging is that (unless I extrude everything I make a smidge) it happens every time I draw an entity, anywhere. Well wait, there!, there’s a spot that takes the circle correctly!

Do I need to un-component or un-group everything I want to draw on (i.e., everything)?

Suddenly everything seems off.
image (the other ends of the boards seem to align, sigh)

Z-Fighting is a natural and important part of Sketchup. It tell us when two faces are together which allows us to see the appropriate point to finish a pushpull to cut a hole. It tells us that things are sitting flat on a surface.
On raw geometry it basically means the faces will be removed.
On a Group or Component it shows that the face is flat on another face.

Got it, sorta.

  • Z-fighting isn’t bad (as all, so far, of the videos I’ve brought up seem to imply). In fact it’s an indicator that I’m laying an object onto another, which is good (although till now (for many days, many many hours), I’ve never seen it happen).
  • Z-fighting is what occurs when one has extruded an object exactly to the object(it’s extruding through) far wall–although I’ve never seen this happen and have to be satisfied by clicking to the opposite wall’s edge inference (which is probably more exact, anyway?).
  • A-Fighting is like the Aurora Borealis. Sometimes it’s one color (mine are only green); sometimes another (everyone elses I’ve seen is blue); and sometimes it doesn’t happen at all.
  • You can extrude a hole in a group object provided you’re in edit group mode

By the way is there a (.pdf or whatever) glossary of ShetchUp Terms (terminology) around?


Random videos are not the best place to get information from. Search the Forum instead of Youtube.


Because you were not yet using groups and components. Without using groups and components it is impossible to see Z-fighting because any two surfaces that occupy the same space simply merge and become one. You need two separate surfaces to get Z-fighting, and that’s only possible when one or both of the planes are isolated inside a group or component.

Inferencing the far side of geometry is great, or watching for z-fighting can work as the inference engine snaps to the far side of geometry as well. Lot’s of different ways to get it right.

No. The two colors in Z-fighting are the two colors of the two faces that are fighting. Every surface has two sides, an inside and an outside. The default style settings for new faces are white on the outside and blue on the inside. All geometry should have the white outside facing outward, seeing a blue face let’s you know you should reverse that face so it is on the inside. When you make a fresh rectangle, circle or any 2d geometry SketchUp makes the first plane upside down with the white outside facing down and the blue inside facing up. This is because it is assuming that a subsequent move will be to push/pull upward to make a 3D object in which that first 2D shape will be the bottom and be oriented correctly, with it’s outside face on the bottom and it’s inside face inward. So any new 2D shape will be generally blue because you are seeing the backside of the shape on top. This is why a lot of z-fighting is blue because it’s the default backside color. The file you are working with is Kitchen 9 which I sent to you in a different thread, I repaired the original geometry, made all things into groups and components and applied a structured set of tags then sent it back to you. Along the way I also set the Style to my preferred working style, in which the default backside is bright green so that as I model any reversed faces are very obvious and easy to quickly correct. That is why your initial shapes are green because you are sill modeling in my custom style, and why yours may be different than some others you see. If you paint two surfaces any color you like they will Z-fight between those two colors, if you paint the two surface the same color the Z-fighting is invisible.

Correct, and an important basic principle. Sounds like you should keep at the fundamentals course. You can not do anything to the geometry inside a group or component without opening it for editing. As a wise sage once said: raw geometry is like piles of jelly beans, and groups and components are like glass jars you put particular jelly beans into so they don’t get mixed up with the rest. Then you can move all the glass jars around however you like and the collections of jellybeans stay together inside. If you want to change the jelly beans inside, add some or take some out, you have to open the jar first so you can get at them. When you double click on a group/component or right click and choose edit (same thing) you will see the blue bounding box go away and the rest of the model will go slightly grey. Then you are editing the geometry inside that context, only then can you change it or manipulate it. Each Group or Component is like it’s own tiny separate SketchUp file, it must be open to work on it.

I have not seen one. Most of the jargon is picked up along the way in the fundamentals course. Many SketchUp books like the StetchUp for dummies have glossaries.

I’ve completed SketchUp Fundamentals (and yes, I’m still a rank amateur), have gone through the exercises over and over (esp. inference related ones) have a kitchen floor full of Follow Me playthings, and am obsessing over what I worry could be a bunch of errors in my drawing. (like my #4 post on this topic).

Yes, I could start it all over (groan), but for the sake of learning, are there any tutorials devoted to bringing up, evaluating, and correcting, an existing drawing? I would imagine one approach might be to make invisible all but one entity (group or component) and, by progressively making visible attached entities (and correcting them if necessary–e.g., start with the wall and floor, etc.) check each out until the drawing is completed. (If one can’t do this, it’s possible one could make the same mistakes all over and not know it.)

Is there such a tutorial or how-to description?

In the View menu is Component Edit. One option in there is Hide Rest of Model. If that is selected you could go into each group or component that you want to improve, and the rest of the model will hide itself. No need for you to going around hiding things in order to see clearly the one you are working on.

As my old coach said, you gotta learn to critique yourself…and this sounds like what you are after. I’m just thinking out loud here. There are problems in models that only you know, because others would say it looks OK–but it’s not what you were after. Then there is obviously screwed up geometry, that you have to figure out how to fix, and others might help. Finally there is just poor or inefficient modeling practices, which might be discernible in the final product, but you may not see it as yet.
i haven’t run across videos that go into an analysis like that. You may have to break it down yourself. Good thought.

Sketchup Fundamentals was great. Each training (so well elucidated you can play it at 1.75 speed and hear every word clearly); excellent example files (and all packaged in one zip file); good quizzes…

I now need to learn
The proper way to dimension (and get rid of existing dimensions that are on my drawing!)
How to create those View tabs so that I can quickly navigate from one view to another (without having to select/view or select/hide dozens of Outliner entities)

But I don’t think it’s time to get into Layout yet.

Are there SketchUp trainings you recommend that cover Dimensioning and View Tabs?

I don’t know where these subjects are covered. You can Google them, I guess.

“View Tabs” are Scenes.

To create your first scene you can open the Scenes window and click the “plus” button.
Now you’ve saved a scene. It will probably have all the attributes of the scene you are looking at when you created it. Click the button in the Scene window “Show Details” which will show you a list of the different attributes that you can save when you create or update a scene.
Also Control Click / hold ( or right click/ Hold) on the Scene Tab at the top of the SketchUP window. You will see other actions in a pull down menu.

Dimensions don’t have a lot of options. To start choose the dimension tool click on your first point and then the second then third click places the dimension line.

But dimensions float about so oddly when you’re traveling through a scene. And they’re quite the dickens to delete. (they’re not in the Outliner or the Tabs…)

Dimensions pretty much stay in one place like other geometry. The text swivels to stay upright.

I don’t see a problem with deleting them. I select the dimension and press the delete button or use the eraser tool. Tag all dimensions with a “Dimensions” tag. Or you may have dimensions tag for each scene, Like “cabinet dimensions” then you can only have them show for that scene. Then if you must you can hide your other Tags and see the dimensions more easily.

Some times I put a dimension or two in the model to keep track of something as a reminder, but generally don’t use them much–unless I am dimensioning a scene inside SketchUp (the other way is to dimension in LayOut). So first I’d set the scene so you have the proper viewpoint and make the dimensions. And I’d make a Tag for the dimensions in that scene (so I can hide it) because I don’t want to see them in the other scenes, as they wouldn’t fit properly at other viewpoints.

In the entity info pane you have more options for the dimension object–if you “display the secondary selection pane” (SketchUp was created before the English language was invented).Screen Shot 2021-03-01 at 5.45.07 PM