Why is 3d text so jagged? Can it be smoothed?

I am learning Sketchup 2016 and it’s coming along, however, when I make 3d text, it has “nodes” all round the letters. Jagged bumps. Looks terrible. Anyone know what I’m doing wrong? Thankyou!


Can you show an example screen shot? Best guess based on the little information you gave is that you’ve chosen a style that has endpoints and/or extensions turned on and you’re getting something like this.

If that’s it, edit the style and turn off endpoints and extensions.

After editing the style, click on the thumbnail in the upper right corner of the Styles window to update the style for that model.

If you don’t like those endpoints, you should either choose a template that doesn’t use them or edit the style and save a new template.

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3D text is ordinary geometry. It shouldn’t look any different from other geometry.

It may be a style setting exaggerating line ends or something like that, but that would also affect everything else. It would nice to know what you’re calling “nodes.” Please post a screenshot, ensuring that it clearly shows the problem.

As for telling you what you’re doing wrong, you haven’t told us what you’re doing in the first place, so who would know?


​Thankyou Dave and Gully for ready my question. Dave screenshot kinda
nailed what I look at with text. Nodes (or nodules) are little bumps along
the edges of the letters. Very ragged. I tried the styles thing but can’t
find endpoints. I am so happy there is a community that can bring me out of
the darkest of ages.

RoB Baldwinsville, NY​

Go to Window > Style > Edit > Edge Settings (1st icon). Experiment.


Dave and Gully…I figured out the endpoint and extensions, and tried a
word or 2 in Edwardian Script. They look funky but not “as” funky as
before. I also learned how to do a screenshot…and here it is. Any
suggestions? I appreciate your help!


You want to know how to make it look “less funky”?

Either turn down the funkiness knob or get very specific and objective about exactly what appearance you’re talking about.



I don’t know what you mean exactly by “The look funky” but I’m guessing you’re referring to the straight line segments for the edges on the curves. SketchUp approximates curves with a series of straight edges. This can result in a sort of rough look to the curves. Depending upon what you are using the text for, you’ll probably find that it isn’t really a problem.

Hi Dave and gully…you asked what I mean by funky. It’s the opposite of
crisp. Text being geometry, I would hope that a curve is the same curve at
3 points height as it would be at 30 ft. Height. Like in AI, a font looks
great at any size, so one can put a tiny outline on a crisp line of text,
and it looks splendid. Anyway, to me funky means jagged and not clean.


Well, I think I explained what you’re seeing. It’s exactly the same as if you’d draw a circle in SketchUp. And the more you zoom in, the less smooth the curves will appear. This is not like AI at all.

Yes, SketchUp’s 3D text is drawn as SketchUp geometry, not as a scalable vector font such as you see in AI. When you enlarge, at some point the segments approximating curves will become visible.

Also, screen fonts are rendered, not simply drawn, by a rendering engine (generally part of the OS) that uses hinting and smoothing to make fonts appear less funky. These technologies are not applied to ordinary geometry.


I’m beginning to see, but am still puzzeled by some of the beautiful
renderings I see that were made with Sketchup. Definitely "finished work"
abouds. I have been a sign designer since the mid 70’s, and have always
painstakingly tried to work clean. A few samples are on my site
www.actionsignscny.com Thanks for your insight. RoB

Can you point to some examples of renders started in SketchUp with 3D text that meet your definition of beautiful? Maybe there’s something else you need to consider.

With other geometry that you draw in SketchUp there are options to adjust the number of segments used on curves and with them set sufficiently high the curves will appear to be smooth. The number of segments doesn’t have to be all that high, either. There is no such adjustment for 3D Text, though. I suppose you could redraw the text manually or maybe smooth the curves with Fredo’s Bezier Spline extension.

I converted the curves in the bottom text to Catmull splines using BZ Spline.

3d text test.skp (989.6 KB)

Hi Dave and good morning. This fellow seems to be pretty good…I noticed
his text looks pretty clean, and would make an acceptable mockup for a job.
What do you think?


RoB https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSPNGxAEpRk

The first bent text he created didn’t look too bad but part of that has to do with the relatively small size of the video. If you were to zoom in on the text in the model, you would find it not very smooth at all. And in the second example with the compound curve, it’s pretty rough. You’ll remember at the beginning he also advises against using “fancy fonts”.

There are methods for improving the smoothness of curves but you have to weigh the benefits compared to the effort you put in. If you’re just doing things like your website shows, you might be better off to stick with software that is designed for the purpose. If you are making 3D models and want to include text in signs and such, you will likely find the straight 3D text adequate.

there are a couple of $$ Extensions that bring in higher node count font characters…

you can also import font outlines from other software as dxf or svg and push/pull those…


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Hi…It’s that newby that is me (Rob). I am learning Sketchup so I can
make mockuyps for building signs etc…So, I have been studying a few
hours a day, watching videos etc…and I cannot find siplified answers to
my SU Pro 2016 questions. For practice, I made a building wall, then I put
a van next to it and a ladder on it (from 3D warehouse). I also did some
lettering, which came out good enough. I looked everywhere to see how i
could “place” layers to the fronf, or to form fit (like the letters on the
awning). If I rotate the view the letters look like flags sticking straight
up, and the van and the ladder go all over the place in disarray.
I am indebted to the heros at the Sketchup help site. I will attach a
screen shot if that helps.
Thankyou for your kind attention.


As for the letters on the awning, you would have to bend them to fit on the awning. It could be done with something like Shape Bender.

I’m not sure what you’re seeing with the ladder and the van. Maybe you can share the SKP file?

David…Here is the .skp file. The ladder doesn’t look right at any angle.
The lettering doesn’t conform to the awning (I probably expect too much).
The van goes whacky when I rotate my view, as does the ladder. I was
thinking maybe i could create a “group” so that everything moves when the
view moves? I will tinker with the shape tool to see if I can conform the
letters to the awning. I appreciate your time and talent.