Suggestion for 2020.2 new linetype feature improvements

Correct me if my understanding is wrong (the last version of AutoCAD I used was 2007)…

This is a ‘CAD’ workflow - in CAD model space the line weights are set…?

The thrust of the debate over SU layers vs tags was that SU tags (previously layers) didn’t work in the same way a CAD layers and that if only users embraced how tags should be used their SU experience world be much improved.

Sure we have existing ways to style our models but in a similar way to SU tags, my current feeling is to not ‘complicate’ SU with lineweight customisations per tag…

That’s exactly where confusion stems from.

Sketchup is a 3D modeller and it’s organization is object based, not layer based.

The way you structure your model is explicit in the Outliner not in the Layers panel. You have an organization that is: model > object > subobject > subobject > etc…

Objects in Sketchup are Groups or Components.

It’s how you organize a Sketchup model, where in a CAD drawing you split in Layers.

Therefore, thinking on style by Layer/Tag is never the right way as it serves only some purposes. If tags are there it is a viable option for some work, but not for all work.

My proposal is exactly to style 3d objects individually not tag based. You have a group that want to show in a certain way, in a certain scene then you style it that way. You just have to find smart ways to select the groups you need or several groups at the same time, and apply the style you need on the scene you are working on and save that to scene.

Send the scene to layout and the viewport will display exactly what you see in Sketchup. If you then want to override the linetype of some layer, you can, but it wouldn’t be needed if the scene was already as you wanted.

The problem is that styles work not per object, but per scene. All objects in the scene must follow the current style’s rules. You will only be free from that if each object can be styled different in a single scene.

Layers should could also change style by scene. It would work exactly as in Layout, but you would do it in Sketchup. This would mean that a dashed layer in one scene could be dotted in the next scene. A red layer in one scene, could be blue in the next. This would affect not only edges, but also faces but remember that this is a property of styles. It’s in Sketchup styles that you activate dashes, or color by layer. The problem is that you either activate color by layer and dashes for all objects, or for none.

Which means that if you ever want to present a window dashed in Sketchup, you have to make that window’s layer dashed, and you must activate all dashes on the current style, so all things in the scene will either be activelly dashed or not. You cannot have a specific object dashed while the others are solid.

It’s very limiting.

Why should we only be able to do that in Layout doesn’t make sense for me.

And that’s why we should be able to style objects by scene differently and not all objects in the scene with the same rules.

That’s what could give us creative freedom and freedom from Layout+Sketchup’s speed, workflow and style limitations.

Sometimes overriding line styles is good enough, but the full solution in Sketchup would be to have all of Sketchup’s output empowered, not only Layout and not with limitations.


Yes I agree this is critical.
Styles need to be a bit more powerful in SU - colours and line types & weights are missing.

And I dont mind using either SU or LO to change line colours etc, as long as they are linked together.

@eneroth has the edge style “Depth Cue” ever worked well? That’s a sort of vector fog isn’t it? It never seems to work for me but is an extension possible (similar to Accurate Fog)?

What about a choice to have the vector fog either affect line color or line weight? :smiley:

I think the long term goal is that you shouldn’t have to have a “presentation model” in between the working model and layout document. It is an effective workaround for the time being, but it’s not very intuitive and is not how you would automatically use the software when trying them out on your own. For a long term approach, I’d want everything controlled in this “presentation model”, styles, camera locations, tag visibility, section cuts etc, be controlled directly in LayOut.

I haven’t used that much but it’s a bit similar. I don’t think you can control on what plane lines have a “neutral” thickness though, which is necessary for drawings.

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About two years ago, I had issues with Layout being slow. I switched from Apple to windows and a meh improved video card. Could that be the issue with those reporting slow Layout? The poor video capabilities of Macs?

I have 12GB Titan X on a windows 10 system.

Layout is slow.

As this has become a thread about requests instead of analysis of the changes.

  1. I have always struggled for good linework in SketchUp. I wish there was a way that SketchUp could have some function that can automatically differentiate between a profile that is a 1/4" offset from the surface behind and one that is 20’ (or infinity) in front of the next background surface–and allow a relative lineweight setting. Obviously to be universal it’d have to be based on the relative distances in the view.

  2. Or a way to quickly run the cursor over sketchUp edges in LayOut and cause them to appear thicker (probably something that you’d have to do for every revision). Even a facility to outline ultimate outer edges in a view would help. Because SU cannot do this, “profiles” on destroys most detail while “depth cue” has always been useless.

  3. Picking up on Eneroth’s suggestion, give LayOut rendering settings so that line work and raster image in the viewport can SEPARATELY be adjusted for brightness and color (saturation etc.). Then we can quickly adjust the image according to the output required.

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Heartily agree with this! SU and LO together can create some really nice looking documents, but it takes a lot of effort to get things just so. If more could be automated or, at least made much easier, it would make my jobs more profitable and me much happier.


In reply to:


IMHO having consistency between Layout and SU is a must - so if it’s value based in Layout it should be the same in Sketchup. I agree visual representation is also useful. Ideally we would have bothe - visual and numeral option.

Yes, that is the main thing. We are waising so much time reloading model that can sometimes be 200MB or more.

I agree. Consistency is the key! Consistent naming and visual representation.

I agree - it needs proper simplification and consistency of use.

Hehe that would be nice indeed. Layout is a kind of achiles heel of Sketchup for CAD drafting.

All Windows here, several computers with fast GFX cards and CPUs. It’s not hardware related. Reloading and rerendering viewports of files that are hunderd of MB takes a lot of time…


I’m not sure we neccesarely need per object styles. I’m worried it’d make everything too complex to control then.

Also if Styles stay like they are (property of Scenes) then that’s fine as long as I can adjust certain parameters like line/face color and line type per Tag instead of only per Style. So in your above example one could still use Layout to override certain tag and have that window object be display as dashed in one viewport and solid in another. Besides unless Layout allows selectiong objects (which is highly unlikely) then it would be impossible to do any kind of per object styling inside Layout.

I still think that what I wrote in my opening post - adding color by tag option to Edge style settings and also adding line weights option to Tags panel is easy enough to implement and would make things just one step better. Then Sketchup team needs to focus on how to make Layout viewport rendering/updating much faster.

In all seriousness (genuinely), for someone who has models significantly smaller than yours and has no performance problems with Layout, it would be interesting to load one of your layout files to get an understanding of what you are experiencing.

(and my Layout files are not just one or two pages and minimally complex)

I don’t want to share my layout files freely but I can show you what happens when I load them or how they behave overall. It’s painful.

I must akbowledge that the team behind SketchUp and Layout are seriously trying to tackle issues and honestly that’s a strong reason to put up with Layout.

If my studio was already at another level, I have no doubt that Layout would make me ditch away SketchUp.

Up to conceptual level Layout can handle everything beautifully, but once working with layout implies more than 3 reloads per day, we are not happy with working with it.

Dimensioning works well if you do not reload, but while dimensioning you are reviewing the project. If a door is not right you need 1 minute to change it in SketchUp and 5 to reload the model in Layout. Unbearable.

Your experience sounds exactly like mine.

Models of 200-500m are quite common in urban design/landscape architecture/commercial architecture projects. There are lots of assets and 3d meshes to work with and these need to be updated regularly, so spending time 'stripping’them (or simplifying) isnt ideal/practical.

LayOut does work for big projects, but it’s very slow. Dimensioning is particularly painstaking, even with snapping turned off. And tags/line styles get confused on large multi-page docs and need to be reset often.

In response to the idea of Per-object styles( and Per-tag styles), this would be very useful in some cases such as showing a component as a hidden (dashed line) object in one view but a sold line in a different view. Another good benefit would be the ability to show some objects in colour/materials, while others are shown in white (hidden line) would open many new creative possibilities. (and speed up rendering processes; if we had one tag rendered in Hybrid, while all other (less-important) tags rendered in raster (stacked viewports still need to be used to acheive this).

Ultimately I think SU & LO would perform much better if LO didnt try to import the entire SU model.
By allowing LO to manipulate all the Tags and the viewport camera, it seems to be necessary for LO to import the entire SU model and hold it in memory. This means LO files are hundreds of MB and very slow to work with, even though the particular page we are viewing might be very simple. Updating links, etc, is very slow.

I can’t work out why rendering in LO can’t be done using OPEN GL . It takes seconds to flick to a new scene in SU, but can take many minutes to do the same in LO (in hybrid mode). Or why can’t the process of Rendering (eg swapping to hybrid) by executed upon export to PDF, and run as a background process???

This speed limitation within LO makes people avoid putting high quality objects into models (trees, cars, people) and instead rely on either basic 2D items (looks amatuerish) or use a secondary process (photoshop) to add them, or maintain a 2nd sketchup model as a ''client presentation/rendering"model - which distrupts design workflow. So LO is signficantly bringing DOWN the quality of our SU modelling experience.

@paul.mcalenan i’ll send you a LO file this week - obviously it’'s commercially sensitive so cant be shared. You 'll need a decent spec PC to open it.


It definitely does.

There’s something I never understood in Layout: why should it use a SketchUp 3d model in every viewport.

I have tried using 2D SketchUp files in Layout and it was fast. If, instead of loading a full 3d model into each viewport, LO would deal with 2d models of each scene in SketchUp, it would speed up many times.

It would be a matter of having a batch 2d exporter for SketchUp scenes and then inserting those into layout. This could be done automatically in the backstage between SU and LO.

Maybe the batch exporting process would be a bit slow, but once it finished everything would be fast from then on.

Now reloading a model is also slow, but then refreshing viewports is slow, working is slow, snapping is slow and that’s all contributing to a slow workflow.

I have sent the suggestion to the SU team. It would already be easier if we had a batch exporter for 2d scenes, but we can only export them one by one and into DWG, loosing a lot of 2d visual data.

Our studio has used a workflow of scaled PDF export from SU (very quick, using scenes>PDF) then using Adobe Illustrator to stack the PDFs into layers, then ad all the other drawing elements such as vector hatching, titleblock, legends, tables, annotations etc . Dimensions can be restyled using the SU dimensions & area annotatioins.
The SU -> Adobe Illustrator workflow is excellent for certain projects but gets a little bit fiddly if there are lots of iterations to a design or if there are lots of dimensions.

Lately I’ve really been trying to use LO more and get fast with it… mixed results.

One thing that both SketchUp and Layout are lacking is any sort of special shaders such as inner glow, image fill,etc. . I must say that plans produced using the Adobe Illustrator workflow just look a lot nicer (less ‘technical’) than SU+LO. I can’t figure out why the Color Picker in LO is so slow and clunky! It’s a real chore to pick and apply nice colours. The text editor is also really slow and annoying. Compare this to Indesign / Illustrator and the difference in useability is very obvious, and it shows in the results of the final output.

Here’s an example of relatively small scene - just a living room and kitchen with furniture. SU file is 150mb in size: Download files(Request access)

See how long it takes Layout to update viewports after making changes in SU. This video that was recorded on my laptop (Asus N580GD with i7-8750H and 16GB RAM, Geforce GTX 1050):

I made a simple change in SU that took about 30s to save and almost a full minute to update viewport inside Layout so ~1:30 in total. Now imagine having to go back and forth several times… And switching between pages is also very slow - see how long it took to do another update and to switch between pages - especially to page 10 in this video: - (it took more than 1:30min!)

I’d say that if you need such illustration options then you are better off to do it in a specialized app like Illustrator anyways. We have been doing that also when we need special presentation style. It’s a nice to have feature but not neccasary for Layout as long as you can export sucesfuly to other vector editing apps.

Does the link to the download files work?

Sorry, link was broken. Please try again:

Hi Jure,

Thanks for sharing the files, I’ll send you a message later.

But checking out the videos you made…

In the first video I notice that in the viewport panel you have auto render enabled. What this means is that for every viewport on every page all those viewports are going to refresh themselves!

You’ve got 24 pages in the LO file with viewports on 23 pages (some pages have more than one viewport).

And on many have those pages, in the video example, the viewports don’t even show a scene that contains the change that you made.

I set the viewport panel to not auto render and and I made the same change to the SU model that you made in the video. Apart from the initial model update that was about 7 seconds the actual update of the viewport in question (right click>render model) was a mere 1 second.

Sure this means that all the other viewports in the LO file will show the yellow exclamation symbol but many of those vierwports don’t show the scene that you changed.

Nice work BTW

I don’t see a need for all color adjustments or effects, but being able to adjust tone some, separately for edges and fills, would help.