Transparent style views rendering opaque in Layout 2017

Hey, Trent. That might be the way to solve this problem. If the root cause here is changes to SketchUp’s rendering engine, and those changes are not easily undone without breaking something else, then how about instead adding a transparency slider to the LayOut viewport objects? This would be the same transparency control that is available for other layout entities, such as the white rectangle you used to fade the trees. If I could do that to a viewport, I’d be golden!


@jwhida and @des to both your points we are aware of the benefit this sort of feature request could provide.


Just downloaded the newest release… and … it seems there is still no progress in this area with the Sketchup 2019.2 release.
Fingers crossed for next time hey

@jwhida and @des … Please try again… I love to be the bearer of good news and in this case it is true.

With existing LO files the viewports will need to be re-rendered to display the updated rendering.
This image is before a re-renderbefore%20re-render
and this one is after displaying the transparent materials.

Sorry I had intended on updating this post.


OMG is this true? theres my number 1 reason to migrate to 19.2. good job


Just downloaded and yes, layer transparency does appear to be fixed.Chill the champagne!

Thanks, Sketchup team!


Its 2020 now and I’m still using 2019. Ive got a similar problem but not quite the same. I’m able to render stacked viewports on screen but when I try to print the top layer fills in with white thus having everything underneath it disappear. This seems to happen ONLY when I print - as in, I don’t even see the error in my pdf viewer after its been exported (I use preview).

Hi all,

I’m on v20.1.228 on a MacOS Mojave - and Layout 2020 appears to have this issue still - my example: glass guardrail with 0% opacity full transparent in SU:

But this is how it appears in LO:

As you can see, the shadows (and cladding material of the wall) appear to peek through but the other lines of the sliding door panels behind do not show…

Please tell me this is just a setting that I have to toggle on/off as this is very disappointing if it’s this bug all over again…

Thanks in advance for any response.

I tested the earlier example file in 2017, 2019.3, and 2020.1. I could see that the topic problem was fixed by 2019.3 (meaning too that the 2019.2 fix still works). What you are seeing may be something different. Are you able to get a very cut down example file we can check? (6.4 MB)

Hi Colin, SU and LO files attached - I found this discussion that relates more to my issue than this thread does perhaps

and my LO file appears to concur what’s happening in this thread I found. So I’m not sure if my discussion needs to be tossed over there for more relevant tracking. And as it appears in that thread, this issue hasn’t been resolved. Would you know if it’s on the radar to be resolved by the SU/LO team?


Not related to your main question, but you have Profiles turned on. You could turn those off while working in SketchUp, things will speed up a lot. Then turn Profiles back on before updating the LayOut reference.

I am fairly sure that what you are seeing is not a problem, but is just how things work. To get transparency you need to render in Raster, if you use Vector, faces will be filled in. For the model that looks wrong, you’re using Hybrid, and the Vector part of that is causing the faces to be opaque. The model that looks right is set to Raster.

You could go into your model and delete the face, rather than rely on filling it with a transparent material. Then Vector or Hybrid will look correct. Finding your way to the face is a small challenge, given that it’s see-through. You could set Face Style to Monochrome, to speed up finding the right face.

Hi Colin,

thanks for the suggestions re unrelated - yes, I typically have a “Design” scene that has its style set to minimal graphic-intense settings (ie. no profiles, no shadows etc) - I just deleted about 20 scenes before sending it your way.

Aww - it sucks that I can’t have a Hybrid viewport that respects the transparency right down to the vector line behind it - as mentioned, the other thread that I found, it seems to be an issue others (perhaps not enough) are finding to be an annoyance as well.

As for the transparency for the guardrail - I only had it set to 0% just as an extreme to show there’s no threshold as to when the vector lines may show up - e.g. related but unrelated, I recently found out that the threshold for transparent material to cast shadows is 71% opacity - ≥ 71% opacity, a material will cast shadows while an opacity setting less than that will not cast shadows - not sure if that was ‘intentional’ or just the way things worked out.

Back to this topic, I just hope this will be something that is just by default in future releases as opposed to just a convenient way (easy-out) the SU / LO developers decided to have it displayed in the viewports. My situation is a rather simple example of this - the other thread has others with projects that would required intensive workarounds, especially when revisions are required.

Thanks for looking into this Colin.

Colin, your suggestion to switch to Raster mode in LO to see the line art behind any transparent surface, may be the solution to the transparency issue, but we then get jagged lines as the trade off. Even when page display is set to high and output also to high, the jaggies are unacceptable and very rudimentary when compared to the clean lines of “hybrid” mode, or the texture-less materials seen in “vector” mode.

None of the 3 modes seems to be without its limitations…where the standard view in SKP is beautiful and stunning in its own right. Its has always pained me, with the loss of image quality LO forces onto the users…and I guess i’m not the only one?

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Hey guys,

Been having this issue too. Banged my head against the screen all day yesterday, then found this thread and realized that this is EXACTLY the issue I’m having! Looks like I’m late to the party!

Great thread. So thanks Des for discovering this issue, and thanks sages and team for getting there in the end!


I’m working out of SU and LO 2018 and aren’t in a position to be updating anytime soon. I’m trying to present my drawings in a way that shows the joinery detail using x-ray or translucent materials and as I understand it can only get there using raster. Hybrid gets me close, but still too opaque for my liking.

Is there a way I can get the fix that @trent referred to in his Aug 19 post to work on my 2018 version?


It’s safe to say the answer to that is no.

The way I used to do that when I was using 2018 and earlier was to use Back Edges in the scene style and leave the viewport set to raster. Then I would use LO’s drawing tools to trace the back edges. After i was finished tracing those edges I would change the viewport rendering to Vector or Hybrid as appropriate so the back edges weren’t displayed. It’s much easier now in LO2020.2 but that method worked and made much better looking documents than other options that were available in 2018.

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Haha! Thought that would probably be the case!

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll give that a whirl.

You can also stack viewports and put a wireframe view with a dashed line style on top of a hidden line view.


Thanks for the suggestion, Anssi. I’ve just tried this and can’t seem to find the option for dashed lines in wireframe. Sure I’m missing something! Do you mind elaborating on this please?


Brent, maybe this will help. It’ll look a little different on the Mac but should be basically the same.

This is the Wireframe style in SU from the Default Styles. You can make your own if you wish, too.
Screenshot - 9_8_2020 , 3_06_26 AM

Dashes are enabled under in Edge Settings.
Screenshot - 9_8_2020 , 3_06_38 AM

In LO with a viewport selected,the style should be selectable in the Style section of the SketchUp Model panel. Find Styles and then Default Styles. I have two “Styles” folder. The first is for the native Styles collection and the second is for my custom styles collections.
Screenshot - 9_8_2020 , 3_12_41 AM

Screenshot - 9_8_2020 , 3_18_02 AM

Screenshot - 9_8_2020 , 3_18_18 AM

Then to display dashes in the viewport you need to select a Dashes style for the tag(s). You can do that in SU if you wish or with LO2020.2, you can do it in the SketchUp model panel. Here at the bottom of the panel you can see my tags for this SU file with none of them having a dashes style set for the viewport.

Clicking on Default for one of the tags brings up the Dashes settings. Set the dash style, the line color, weight multiplier and the scale multiplier. Then click on OK.

Note that I have a set of custom styles including one I called ‘Wireframe with dash’ which is a holdover from previous 2020 versions where the dashes were selectable in LO. I also have some styles with dashes turned off in that collection. I need to edit the style collection and pare them down since I don’t need what are effectively duplicate styles other than the dash setting.

Hey Dave,

Thanks for those suggestions and detailed step by step, however I’m on SU 2018 and unfortunately don’t have the dashes option in the style editor.

I still haven’t tried your earlier suggestion, which was to trace the joinery in from LO.
Anssi’s stacking viewports option seems like a less labour intensive workflow if I can get that to work though! :slight_smile: