Why does this display incorrectly?

Hi All,

It has been a while. Can anybody explain why this displays incorrectly? All planes are the same height (Z) and all perfectly meet yet Sketchup displays it as though they are a different levels? It is driving me mad.

display problem.skp (151.1 KB)

Not sure what you mean by a display problem but I do see that some of the objects are not in the same Z plane.

You wouldn’t see that in dimensions or heights in your model due to the coarseness of your Display Precision.
Screenshot - 11_20_2023 , 9_03_07 AM
I increased display precision by changing units to millimeters and setting 6 places right of the decimal.

One possible cause of this is that you have Length Snapping turned on. Best practice is to turn it off for your custom SketchUp template. Also choose higher Display Precision than you need so you can see dimension issues if they occur.

When I zoom in on your model, I see quite a bit of z-fighting where two joists place faces at the same location.

I see the Z-fighting when I initially open the file but then after setting the Camera to Perspective it’s gone.

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Didn’t notice that! I am seeing little glitches such as this, however:

Edit: I also see some grossly misplaced joists partially overlapping the sides of others and inconsistent closing of ends of joists. It does not look like you built this using groups or components carefully and checking whether they are solids.

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Hi Dave & slbaumgartner

It was laid out on a flat plane to start with. I created the components by push/pull to set heights i.e. typed in 0.12m in the Z direction and then snapped to the centre joist position using the guides. Are you saying that snap isn’t a good way to go?

The joists were set out to be perpendicular at 90 degree angles using the compass tool to create the guides and again push/pulled to the face of the perpendicular joist edge. I would expect them to be 90 degrees which you have shown they aren’t.

Thank you both for your advice. I will go away and fix the issues.

How did you get that information on heights on the screen? What extension is this?

I am seriously looking at Blender at the moment. I have used SU for many years and the level of frustration is seriously building.

Are you referring to the cordinates I showed? No extension for that. I just used the Text tool. You have to burrow in to the geometry and click on an endpoint to get the coordinates to show.

Thank you. I don’t use the text tool as it is so poor. Every day is a school day!

I have increased the display precision to max. I have checked that both objects are solids and I have selected one corner of one object. I moved it and then tried to move it back to align with the corner of the other object. It does not pick up the corner.

I have made a video that I will send in a minute. What am I doing wrong here?

I don’t use it for annotation. That should be done in LayOut. But I use it quite frequently for showing coordinates of points in models for others.

Did you turn off Length Snapping?

yes on length and angle

i am struggling to get the video from my phone to the PC !

Here is the video

. At the end it displays as though the corners are not on the same Z level.

Make sure Length Snapping has been disabled and set the Camera to Perspective. Then try again.

Thanks Dave, That has fixed it. Why does it have to be in perspective to work? surely it should make no difference?

SketchUp is really designed to be used with the camera set to Perspective and the general advice is to always model in Perspective and save Parallel Projection for output.

These are the coordinates for the camera when I open your model.


It’s a long way from the geometry. It’s 81138.16172016683 meters from the origin. That’s like you’re looking at your model from south of Wolverhampton.

When I set the camera to Perspective and zoom in to see about the same part of the model the camera’s coordinates look like this.
which is only 31.6329649916752587 meters from the origin.

When you get the camera miles from the model you can wind up with problems like you’ve been seeing. If you leave the camera set to Perspective while modeling you’ll be able to tell when you get the camera a long way from the model because the model will look tiny or disappear.

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Thanks Dave. Can I ask how did you get the coordinates of the camera?

This is what drives me mad with this software. It is a large model. This bit of the model is 31m away from the origin. I have just measured it. I have just repositioned the camera and switched back to parallel and everything looks great. It will be a technical drawing at the end of the day so it needs to be in parallel.

I appreciate that there is ultimately a finite precision that can be used but its maths at the end of the day. I wish that they would spend more time and money sorting this sort of issue out instead of wasting it on creating new icons that we don’t need…

There’s an Advanced Camera Property thing that shows these coordinates among other information. When I get back to my computer I will look it up to tell you.

SletchUp is designed to be used to model things the way we see them. That is, in perspective. Do your modeling that way and then create scenes using Parallel Projection as needed for the output.

Or, if you absolutely insist on modeling with the camera set to Parallel Projection, create a scene with the camera placed close to the model so you can quickly get back to that point when you have moved the camera a couple hours drive or more away.

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Thanks but it is very frustrating. I have lost a day messing about with this. That is not to say that I do not appreciate your help which is, as always, incredible.

Here’s the little plugin. I don’t remember where I got it. As I remember it only works on Windows.
AdvancedCameraSettings.rbz (298 Bytes)

I’m sorry you spent all day on this. To be honest, though, I don’t see this as a problem that SketchUp needs to fix. The tool is designed to be used a certain way. Choosing to use it in a different way that yields sub-optimal results doesn’t mean there’s a problem with the tool. In over 20 years of using SketchUp nearly every day I’ve never had this problem with the camera winding up in a neighboring county or, as some people have experience, the next galaxy. I’ve always followed the advice I gave you, though. I model the way I see the world (in perspective) and save the Parallel Projection views for scenes for export or LayOut.

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Thanks for the link.

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