Struggling To Close A Trace of A Shape To Apply A Texture

I am trying to use the line tool to trace the infield of a ball ball defined by the dugouts, backstop and outfield edge (created using the acr tool). I want to apply a texture to the shape that the tracing creates.

But I’ve been fighting to get the shape to close. I am joining several lengths of lines end to end but the shape doesn’t appear to close for me to apply a texture to the face.

I’m assuming it’s because there is a break somewhere in my tracings, but how can I figure out where? Is there any way to turn the line a different colour or something to ensure that the drawn lines are actually being drawn? The traced line following so many edges of adjoining geometry, its difficult to destinguish what is what.

Can you upload the SU file you are working in so others can take a look?

Hi John. Sure I can, but don’t laugh.

Auburn16.skp (1.0 MB)

Why would I laugh?

What is the shape you are trying to draw that won’t close? Not clear.

Sorry, don’t understand baseball.

What/where are these? I can see the big arcs. But they don’t join at a corner of either back or front of the stands with sloped roofs. (I have seen earlier posts about drawing the fence, and assorted other things.)

I’ve just noticed, your whole model is upside down, with the blue axis pointing downwards, not up as it should be.

Hover over one of the axes, R-click on it, then Reset axes to get things the right way up, and sky showing on top of ground.

In general, to get your lines all in the same plane, and connected, I would start by drawing a large rectangle on the red-green plane, bigger than everything in the drawing. You can tap the Ctrl key to draw from the centre of the rectangle. Place the centre of the rectangle at the centre-point of your arc where you have a guide point on the green axis, and draw it out large enough. Make it a component.

Then when you want to draw with the line tool, round whatever are the dugouts, backstop, and outfield edge, make sure the line tool is showing the On Face inference at the start and end of every line, or the Endpoint inference when you are connecting to an already drawn line.

But before you try that again, there are several things in the model you should fix first.

You have stray loose geometry in your fence assembly. Make it a single component so your lines don’t tangle up with it.

And more loose geometry at the back of the roofed stands.

AND you have the default layer set to Infield. ALWAYS, ALWAYS set it to Layer0 and LEAVE IT THERE.

When you have finished drawing an object make it into a component before you draw anything else. And make assembly components (that is, components that contain other components, and (rarely) loose geometry alongside the sub components).

Your model will be much easier to manage, and to edit, if you do that.

It looks to me that you haven’t quite yet grasped the proper use of components and groups, and the correct application of Layers ONLY to components, groups, and later, to dimensions and text.

If you haven’t already, please view or re-view the Sketchup Fundamentals video on

One of your unnamed groups has its axes oddly angled.

Make it into a component, set the axes sensibly (R-click, Change Axes), give it a meaningful name, and in future use components rather than groups - it is easy to name components as you make them, whereas to name a group, you have to highlight it in Entity Info, then give it an Instance name.

Your two shelters, or stands, or whatever you call them, should be mirror images of the same component, and symmetrically placed about the centreline. They aren’t - when I mirror one to the other about the green axis, they don’t register. Pick the correctly placed one, make the whole of it into a component, delete the opposite stand, then mirror the first into place.

Your back fence also isn’t symmetrical. Delete one angled side, then mirror the other into place, so it now fits against the mirrored ‘stand’, where it should be.

And now pick your line endpoints zoomed right in. You might actually find it easier to work viewing the model from underneath where you can see the stand outline and their floors (make them into components too.)

I’ve taken the liberty of doing these things to the model you uploaded. Use it if you like, but also follow the steps I used, to see the difference it has made, and how I got there.

BTW, I found it quite helpful that you saved the model with Face style/X-ray on. It makes it easier to see the centres of the fence and stand posts.

You’ll notice I said ‘mirror’ quite often. When you are modelling something symmetrical, you can save a lot of time by only modelling half, then mirroring to get the other half.

I find the simple TIG-mirror plugin useful (from SketchUcation plugin store), but you can do it with native tools, using Move/Copy, then either Flip along (appropriate axis) or Scale using -1 as the scale factor, and moving into position.

Good luck with your continued modelling.

Auburn16_JWM.skp (1.1 MB)

John, thank you so much for taking such great time and care in your reply. Along with your patience, it’s greatly appreciated.

What is the shape you are trying to draw that won’t close? Not clear

I’ve just noticed, your whole model is upside down, with the blue axis pointing downwards, not up as it should be.

I have fixed up my components, I have a compoinent for each dugout (roofed stands) and the backstop (fencing). I have learned the importance and the benfits of working with components, and have been getting into the habit. I think where things get messed up is when I edit them. eg. editing a component vs. explode to make changes. I am unsure whether or not the elements recomine back into that component after editing or not. Sometimes if I edit a component and I click on it it doesn’t bule highlight the componet, just an element)

I have no idea what I did with the layers. I added the “Infield Layer” but not sure how I made it the default. When I uncheck the visible box for the infield layer, I lose one of my dugouts. ??? All my structures were part of the one and only layer I was working with. I added the infield layer when I wanted to do the tracing. But clearly my ignorance shined through.

And yes you are right. The backstop isn’t symetrical. As I am modeling an existing structure, the actual isn’t symetrical. The two opposite angles of the backstop are slightly different. As a result of that, the left and right base shelters aren’t mirrored , or symetical either.

I will certainly look deeper into the mirroring concept as I play more with modeling.

When I trace, to define the shape, dop I have to trace the arc as well?

DON’T explode a component to make changes. Open it for editing instead. Either R-click on it and choose Edit component or double click on it.

Are they the same size even if not symmetrically placed, or differently sized?

No, as the arcs are not inside a component, though when you have finished drawing the lines, you should make one of all the lines and the arcs. The left hand arc doesn’t quite meet the dugout floor, though. You might want to fix that first. Move the endpoint to meet the floor, then check the radius in Entity Info. Change it to match the radius of the opposite arc.

That makes sense now.

It’s WAY too late now in UK. It’s a few minutes to 2am. I’m belatedly (as usual) off to bed. Will skip my usual bath tonight as it’s got so late.

Hello John,
I was successful in accomplishing my task. It probably wasn’t as easy or straightforward as it could have been. Will it cause problems moving forward? Possibly. I’m learning that what might work at the moment may very well cause compounding problems moving forward. I will adnit to knowing a bit more now than I did a couple hours ago.

But if I edit a component, than don’t all those components take on that change? For example, my backstop was a component, made up of other components … the vertical post and the horizontal bars. For the most part, the bars are all 10’ long, so I made a cmponent of that bar. But, there are two bars on the upper left and right that are not 10’. I had to reduce their lengths. In doing so, all the horizonatl bars reduced in length. The only way I could (imo) prevent that was to edit via explode of the single bar. Me thinks I will have lots of opportunity to experiment.

Thank you!!!

Select the components you want to change and make them unique in stead of exploding Them.

Yes, they all do. BUT, as @tweenulzeven says, before you make the change, make the ones that you don’t want to change unique - if you select two, and Make Unique, those two will stay the same as each other, and not be changed by your change to the remaining ones.

And if all you are doing is making two posts shorter, you can Scale them one at a time along their length. That way, they remain instances of the common post, but if you scale them, the scaling is only applied to that one instance, not the original component.

If you wanted to shorten all of them, you could either just open the post for editing and PushPull the top down (or up, if you wanted it longer), or Select all of its contents, and scale those instead. The visible effect would be exactly the same.