What Sketchup needs

I don’t see these really as requests but more like what Sketchup has been missing for years. There are more things but these changes would totally change the way Sketchup would feel. It would remove the frustration from such an awesome modeling program. FormZ has really stepped up its game and in many ways is better than Sketchup but I still prefer sketchup and would love to see it grow in features.

GUI/general problems that need to be fixed:
All the floating stuff needs to be dealt with:

  • The layer drop down should be standard on the top toolbar and should have the ability to turn layers on and off. The entity info layer setting should be part of the layer dropdown. If you click on an entity then the layer dropdown you can change its layer there. Entity info as far as name and area should show up next to measurement at the bottom. Then get rid of entity info and layer under window. I have these little windows on my screen and have to keep moving them around and its distracting.
  • Add a delay before changing the zoom speed for zooming if you happen to move the mouse off from the thing you are using as a zoom reference. Getting stuck in walls is painful. Also the zoom speed should gradually change to the new speed instead of being instantly changed to it.
  • Palettes should be able to be added to a side bar which pops out when you hover over it. Then hides when you exit it. That way you can organize all the things you need there but then it gets out of the way when you don’t need it.
  • Add simple camera collisions to alleviate some of the zooming problems.
  • All the scene functionality should just be added to the scene tab space. Including a + icon to add a scene. Then remove this from the windows area.
  • Add a warning for when you are doing something which will break something from being solid.

Basically work on making Sketchup move of what it is. Its a tool which just allows you to model without getting in the way.

Features missing:

  • Lights. This is just missing and makes perfect sense for Sketchup.
  • Key frame Animation and simple bones to make it easy to make simple animations.
  • A skybox which exists without it being something you can zoom to. The skybox would have clouds and a real sun controlled by the shadows settings. You should have control over color and cloud density and so forth . Maybe the clouds move like Lumion?

You make a lot of good points. I just wanted to comment on this particular one. SketchUp is not and does not pretend to be a renderer. So, lights probably couldn’t do what you want them for within SketchUp.

On PC, the Layer toolbar (which has a dropdown control) can be docked by anyone anywhere in the top docking pane. (This is where I myself put it. At the start of the 2nd row of toolbars.) Toolbars can also be docked in the bottom, left and right docking panes, on PC.

+1 : This has been long requested.

This works now, at least in the PC editions.

Say that the current active layer is “Layer0”. With nothing selected, the dropdown background will be white, and “Layer0” will be shown preceded by a checkmark. (The checkmark indicates the dropdown is displaying the active layer.)

Select an object that is on a different layer, and the dropdown background changes to a pastel yellow, and displays the selected entity’s layer preceded by a arrow cursor symbol. (The arrow cursor indicates the dropdown is displaying the selection’s layer.) Choose a different layer in the dropdown, and the selected entity’s layer is changed, the dropdown layer controls both on the Layer toolbar and the EntityInfo inspector change to display the entity’s layer.

You can right click an a scene tab and get that functionality.

There are a lot of render plugins available, I don’t think we need a build in one (with probably reduced functionality) that would take a lot of development resources away from SU itself.