Understanding Layout "Viewports"

I come from VW and AUTOCAD, and I’m not using Sketchup & Layout because they’re the preferred choice of my employer.
As I start to build final plates of my models, I’m finding that the work flow is:

  1. Create “Scenes” in Sketchup, with layer assignments, camera angles, etc.
  2. Place Viewport in Layout, and assign to Sketchup Scene.

Then, if I need to edit a viewport, OR more likely, create similar viewports with different layers, I have to go BACK to sketchup and create more scenes. My frustration is that the scene manager is clumsy at best, and doesn’t allow for scene specific layer selection, without visiting the scene. Plus, as you accrue more scenes (maybe 20-30 per project) they become very hard to manage.

Would it be possible to add a feature to Layout that lets me select which layers are visible in a viewport, directly from the viewport? It would save a LOT of time and thought in the editing process. Maybe the viewport camera angles could event be adjusted from within Layout. That’d be cool.

I’m honestly not sure why Layout is a separate program, but since it is, it would be great if it had more functionality. Maybe there’s a way to do all this that I’m just not aware of. I’ve learned that most of Sketchup’s functionality is hidden is secret keyboard shortcuts. Maybe the same is true of Layout?


I tend to agree with most of the things you propose. LayOut being a separate application is not a problem for me, but it would be much simpler to be able to perform all the view-related tasks (styles, viewpoints, section planes, scenes, layers etc. from within LayOut and to use SketchUp mainly for the “raw” modelling.



I’m also finding that if you start a series of “Scenes” and then add layers, the new layers by default appear in the old scenes. That means that VPs & plates I created previously, now have to be edited.

Lots of extra steps in this process.

There is at least one extension that will allow you to create new layers that are turned off for existing scenes. Jim’s Add Layer can do that. So can CMD’s Auto-Invisible Layer, I believe.

This was perhaps an oversight in the original design of layers in SketchUp, as it is at least as common a workflow as creating a new layer that is visible in all scenes. But it is so easy to code using the Ruby API that there numerous plugins and extensions that create new layers with scene-related behavior. Given all these plugins, Trimble hasn’t ever seen any priority to address this.

I’m developing a workflow that involves making a “Scene” for each view that I need, then plating them in layout page by page. I assume there is a way to automate this.
Do I just need to learn to use the Ruby API?

I agree, it will be usefull for work, changing scene setting from LayOut.
But we need change referenced original SKP file, not imported one.

BTW, Did you try sample exteension of LayOut C API?
This sample extension creates one LayOut page for each scene in your current SketchUp model.

Scene and Lalyer visibility setting is very important for LayOut drawing.
I’m naming each scene for I can understand by myself, like this…

(CONDOC TOOLS is useful but it is not fit to my workflow, as type of japanese drawing style.)
I believe SketchUp + LayOut will be my main workflow.