Why are the surfaces blue and white in jagged geometrical shapes?



Could someone please let me know why the faces of my model (only the front face) is displaying triangular, geometrical blue shapes. What can I do to rectify the problem?

Thank you :smile:


Did you draw the drawer fronts as Faces directly atop the front Face of the cabinet? If so, you are seeing “z-fighting” in which OpenGL tries to tell you that two surfaces are at exactly the same location.


You genius! I just deleted the surfaces and yup there is a perfectly fine under surface (which was fighting as you say with the top one).

Thanks so much :smile:


I seem to have a different issue, though it looks similar.
When I try deleting the blue faces, I can say through my airplane’s fuselage.
What is the difference here between the blue and white areas?
Any help would be greatly appreciated by this beginner. :grinning:

Oscar v045.skp (627.2 KB)


You have reversed faces, by the look of it. Highlight a white face, RIGHT click and select Orient Faces to fix.

You might need to triple (left) click first to select all the faces to orient correctly. The blue faces are ‘back’ (inside) faces showing back to front.


Previous reply was from my phone and looking only at your image. Looking at the actual model, it doesn’t work so easily. You’ll have to select the blue faces, using a mix of window select and adding other blue and removing white faces in the selection. Then R-click and Reverse faces.

It’s even more complicated than that. You seem somehow to have coloured some of the faces white on both sides.

Go to the Materials window, select the default material (top left), Select All of the model, and apply the default material to get the back faces showing a different colour from the front.

Then view in Monochrome (View/Face Style/Monochrome), select a white outside face, and R-click Orient Faces. You might have to do it more than once to get them all correct.

Before going much further, you should learn about and start to use Components - most of your model is ‘loose geometry’, although you have used some groups. Better to make them components, then you can mirror them to complete the other half of the fuselage knowing that any edits you make later to one side will be reflected on the other.

And you have some unclosed wireframe edges at the top of the fin.

Nicely shaped fuselage, though.


Be mindful of how you’re using SketchUp’s Layer System.

Apparently, you exploded the fuselage Group which was assigned to a Layer named ‘fuselage’.
The result is, the raw geometry of the fuselage that was on the Default Layer0 is now on Layer fuselage.

And then it appears you’ve changed the Active Layer to another named ‘cowling’.
Not good…

See this SketchUp Training Video:



Thanks for the links! I was hoping some kind person could make a helpful suggestion to point me in the right direction. I’m still trying to learn what Sketchup’s definition of a “layer” is. Since I recognize the word, I thought I understood it, but it seems to be what linguists call a “false friend.” I’m sure your links will help! :grinning:


Happy 2019!
As a SketchUp Sage, would you say that it is possible to save this first attempt, or should I just start over?
I would like to merge all objects, remove all extra faces, delete any stray lines, and get the pieces aligned on the green axis. Is that possible with the file in its current state? :thinking:Oscar v045.skp (527.6 KB)


I would suggest NOT merging all objects. Keep the separate parts as separate components, make each only a half of the symmetrical objects they represent, then mirror the halves to create the whole aircraft. You could either collect all the half components into one half assembly, then mirror that, or mirror them separately - I’d prefer the former, but either could work.

I’ve cleaned up the reversed faces in the fuselage and made it into a component, converted your existing groups into components, and reduced the nosecone and cowling to half of the whole.

And I see you now have all the geometry on Layer0 which is good.

I’ve closed the openings in the fin, and removed some stray interior lines. I also found when I did Zoom Extents that there were some stray lines on one side, and a curve on the other, which weren’t visible, so I deleted them.

You still have to finish off the tail of the fuselage to meet the fin and form a point in plan, and a curve on the centreline in elevation, and I’m not sure how that goes so have left it to you.

Your profile isn’t at all complete, so in case you are using an older version I’ve saved the edited file back as SU v2015.

Please complete your profile with OS, graphics card, and SU version - year and type if Desktop (Make or Pro), or SU Free, SU for Schools, or the paid-for Shop web version.
Oscar v045 (cleaned up).skp (499.2 KB)

It’s now looking pretty clean, so I’d work forward from here to soften or hide the hard lines on the fin and wherever else you want the surface to look smooth, add materials and colours, possibly separate out the markings as individual components, and draw the rest of the wings, undercarriage, propellor etc. to finish the model.


Dear John,
please accept my apologies for not responding more quickly. To be honest, I was so overwhelmed by the kindness you showed by putting so much effort into my messy model that I had trouble formulating an answer. Please accept my simple, “Thank you!” and know that I deeply appreciate your taking the time to help me take my first steps in Sketchup. One reads in the news these days that the internet is supposedly full of nasty people, but thus far, I have been very humbled by the selfless helpfulness I have experienced from others in this Sketchup forum.

Following your various points of advice, I hope that by now I have successfully completed my profile; I just had trouble figuring out what my graphics card is and was surprised that it wasn’t immediately obvious when I typed it in next to the magnifying glass at the bottom right of my screen. I am using Windows 10 and as far as I can tell, it is an “Intel® HD Graphics 520.”

I have done a bit more work since your message and include my latest version here in the attachment.

The next task I wanted to address makes me a bit nervous, as I am afraid to mess up the rest of the model: both the vertical stabilizer and the propeller spinner are not lying exactly on the green line. Can I simply select them and move them over with the “move, etc.” tool, or would it make more sense to redraw them?

Thanks again!

Oscar v047.skp (742 KB)


No problem at all and no apology needed for the timing of your reply - just when you are ready.

I’ll have a look again at the bottom of the fin and the spinner.

Now that they are components (and even if they had remained as groups), it shouldn’t be a problem to move the whole component, and/or adjust it internally - it wouldn’t interfere with the fuselage if it were still the component I made it into, but it is exploded loose geometry again in this version (0.47).

Making groups - or generally better, components - is key to keeping geometry from ‘sticking’ to other geometry.

So i’ve remade the fuselage half into a component again.

Also, I see you have turned Endpoints on the Style window - I’ve turned them off.

To get the fin and spinner exactly on the midline, I drew a plane in the green/blue axis, opened each for editing, selected all of the faces and edges, then did Edit/Intersect faces to get a set of lines all on the plane. Then I deleted the surplus out-of-plane edges one at a time by zooming close in to select and erase them. A little bit of moving of a few points got rid of some little jags.
I also cleaned up the straight wing section, which was missing a few faces. Deleted all but the inner profile, then pushpulled that out and softened all the edges.

Saved as Oscar 0.47 cleaned up and uploaded here.
Oscar v047 cleaned up.skp (727.0 KB)

Looks like this now:


Wow! Thanks again for all the work on my behalf.
Next I need to read up on and better understand the difference between groups, components, and layers, since the program I am used to (Metasequoia, here http://www.metaseq.net/en/) takes a different approach–one that I now need to wall off in my head if I am to become more adept at using Sketchup. :grin: