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

I don’t see the skp file.

Yeah…the first compound curve demo was pretty ugly…I probably shouldn’t have left it in the clip. Was getting the point across about font choice and being a bit careful with creating the curves. The clip was more about a simple demo of the different ways to apply a 3d text object using Chris’s most excellent plugin.:slight_smile:

The degree of curvature is so slight that you can probably just split the angle and use the cookie cutter method:


so jagged? Can it be smoothed?

Here it is (sorry)
​…I appreciate your insight. RoB

I still don’t see the file.

Thankyou for taking the time to do a mockup. I did try it but can’t get it
to work. Here’s what happened…

I created a few letters…“XXO”…then I highlighted them and pressed
the push/pull tool and it "un"highlights the letters. So I can’t move
forward (sadly). The ither 2 issues on the file I sent are that the van I
parked into the scene as well as the ladder that I leaned onto the building
fly out of control whenever I touch the scene rotator. It would be nice to
be able to asign objects to layers.
Back to the curved lettering…When you say “push/pull through” do you mean
push? Or pull? Then you say "Intersect faces and delete excess material"
Not quite sure what that is. Sorry to be such a nimrod, but I am from the
Photoshop/CorelDraw school, and am trying to think like Sketchup. I am
thankful to you and Dave for getting me on track.


Okay. The idea here is simply to penetrate the awning with a text extrusion and to make a set of edges where the letters and the awning intersect. These lines if intersection form along the surface of the awning and follow the shapes of the letters. The new edges delineate a series of shapes cut into the awning–to wit, the letters.

The exact order in which you do things is somewhat flexible. I created the 3D text unextruded and exploded it immediately, then positioned the bare letters out slightly in front of the awning and tipped back half as far as the top of the awning (tending to minimize the distortion of the characters from entering the awning at an angle). Then I Pushed (extruded) the characters through the awning with the Push Pull tool.

If you leave a bunch of the extrusion sticking out past the intersection, it’s very easy to select with a right-to-left selection window, then right-click > Intersect Faces with model, the effect of which is to draw the lines of intersection between the extruded letters and the awning. After that, it’s still easy to select the part of the extrusion sticking out so you can delete it.

You could also create the 3D text extruded to some appropriate length and position it as a unit before exploding it. In fact, that’s probably a better way to do it.


So when you say “the relatively small size of the video”, how do you reckon that? Keen to understand your thinking behind that statement.

Yes, the first compound curve demo was rough, but pretty sure it was to do with the curve length being greater than the object length (causes a scaling when the plugin is applied) and not welding the curve section together. It also looks rough because of the taper required to curve a reasonably deep extrude to the font.

Hi @roborizino,

You’re running short of a full solution above because you haven’t attached a .skp file yet.
. . . but then this is just my observation.

when you say things like…

I get the impression that you’re not comfortable yet with using some of SketchUp’s basic tool set. or, its inference system.

…and specifically, how the Move, and Rotate tools, integrate with the inferencing system.

It’s possible to create a view in SU which suggests a certain ‘trompe l’oeil’ effect, where things are sitting where they should be.

BUT, if you orbit your view around, and items appear to start flying around… then that’s really, not so much a problem as, you just getting a different perspective on how these objects are positioned within the 3D model space that SketchUp is using.

Objects placed properly together don’t need to be grouped together to avoid the flight effect… and then even if you did group them, or assign them to a layer… That won’t really change anything anyway.

Layers, and Groups don’t override an objects placement in 3D space. They also don’t stop the reality of a different viewport showing your model in a different spacial relationship. They are used for other reasons.

The more you orbit your view around, the more you start to see the real truth of what you’ve created, and how you’ve placed your objects relative to each other. Try to use this multiple view point approach as a technique for checking the accuracy of how you’ve positioned your objects while you’re drawing them… In the long run you’ll be saving time by not having to make as many corrections later on.

And none of this is BAD, I don’t mean to jump on your case here. I’m just suggesting that you go back and tune up the basic skill set of using the Move, and Rotate Tool. especially as they relate to the inference system. Once you get used to controlling the proper placement, and rotation of objects, then you’ll have no problem with items appearing to fly around while you’re orbiting the view.

incidentally, The Group tool is used to keep raw geometry isolated from each other. Use it whenever you have an item/object that will touch something else.

Raw geometry that touches sticks together… and a typical task of moving one item away from another will tend warp the stationary item. As such, placing the stationary object, or the objects being moved into a group will prevent the warping effect in this example.

And sort of important… Layers in SketchUp don’t work in the same fashion that they do in Photoshop, or Illustrator. They typically get used for controlling the visibility of an item, or set of items.

The warning message for Layers, is that you can run into problems if you draw directly onto them. So try to avoid changing layers, and then drawing stuff directly onto them. The better approach is to always draw onto the default Layer 0,… and then assign those objects (afterwards) to a layer of your choice.

I will go back to the basics and learn more about the move and rotate
tools. Is youtube the best place to do this/

Thankyou for your help.


SketchUp has their own Youtube channel, which has a set of Getting Started Videos…

Also, see Aidan Chopra’s channel… Among many many more.

You’ve already been working with DaveR, and Gully Foyle… both of whom have a very large collection of advice, and tutorials, which cover the gamut from beginner to advanced skills, and everything in-between.

While on YouTube… Look up Dave Richards (Which is DaveR’s full last name).

And then for a few hours, if not days Search out Gully Fully’s comments on this very forum.
He has a wonderful set of diagrams which are 1) very informative, 2) very concise, and 3) a great example of laying out information… just from a standpoint of good design skills and editorial finesse (among many other things).

And as always there are many others deserving of the same attention. . . which I don’t mention because I’m limiting the list to folks you’ve already encountered.

Just take note of the the many other contributors who frequent the threads as well. You’ll run across all of the important folks.

… and you’ll always be at risk of not taking complete advantage of that, if you don’t upload your sketchUp files when they’ve been requested.

uploading files is not about folks peaking into your private designs and stealing from you (they don’t need to), or about making fun of things (they’ve seen far worse already—including their own early efforts), or whatever else you’re worried about…

It’s mostly a matter of being courteous to those who are extending their time to help—There not getting paid anything while doing so. And uploading a file allows them the chance to take back their valuable time and get straight to the main issue, without having to dance around the topic, and speculate on where else things might have gone wrong.

I wish I had good advice for you about the typography stuff. My experience with typographers is that they’re very sensitive to reading contours, much more sensitive than most folks are. SketchUp is unfortunately less flattering to these contours than what I’d like to see too.

FWIW, the comments already mentioned above go as far as anything I’ve yet run across for trying to get the most faithful results of the original contours. But don’t let this stop you in your quest for finding the perfection which you’re looking for.

SketchUp doesn’t offer a native builtin solution for this… when the workaround gets to be too costly against your own valuable time. Then keep in mind a workflow that would export a 2D image from SketchUp, and take that into Photoshop, or Illustrator to really dial in your typography.

I’m hoping that one day there will be a means for allowing SVG graphics to integrate directly within SketchUp without any breakdown in the vector lines.

Whether that’s my dream of dilusion, or stupidity, I’m not yet sure. There could some hard technical problems working against this. Or just a better solution.

I have to be honest with you. I tried 20 hours of studying and just wanted
to make a nice sketch/mockup for a sign job. Time is running out, so I was
hoping someone could just help me solve a few small issues. I have always
been gracious as well as profoundly grateful for the help and advice I have
gotten from the hero’s at sketchup. Including you.
Thank-you for taking time to tell me your opinion. I did post a skp file
showing my concerns.
Much gratitude,


Rob, I’d be happy to look at the SKP file but I still can’t find one in any of your posts.

Dave…I did post it yesterday, but maybe something went wrong. I really
need the work, so I have been studying this really cool Sketchup pprogram.
I love it, but need to make a simple finished project, just a line drawing
would be great. Anyhow, this is the skp. The van flys around when I orbit
as does the ladder. If I could orbit thos things together, i would be able
to meet my tuesday deadline. I am hungry to learn more abut this fine
utility. I appreciate your followup more than you know.


unless you drag’n’drop it, uploading is a two step process…

Step 1: Select the File
Step 2: Click the Upload Button at the bottom…


Absolutely, I never thought otherwise. and I doubt anyone else would think any differently either.

I just don’t, or didn’t see your attachment.

And I’m not at all concerned with how you conduct yourself, nor for that matter am I in the enforcement business for ensuring folks act a certain way around here anyhow.

I just had the impression that you were missing out on helpful info, for lack of not having a model uploaded.

When using the Move Tool… try locking you movements into a single direction at a time.

If you hold down the shift key, as your moving along a primary axis, SU will restrict movements to that axis… You’ll know your on one because line tracking changes to match the color of the axis direction your tracking on. And you’ll want to find one before you can lock onto it. So don’t press the shift key before find one (or you won’t be locking to it)

red = x axis
green = y axis
blue = z axis

[… The arrow keys on the keyboard correspond to the primary axis directions…and using them is another way to lock onto a specific direction…

Up arrow tracks on the z-axis (blue)
Left arrow tracks on the y-axis (green)
Right arrow tracks on the x-axis (red) …]

Set up an orbit view so you can see how far off your objects are from one another.

select an object and with the Move tool click on it, and start to drag it along a primary axis closer to where you want it to go. Hold down the Shift key to lock onto this axis (and don’t let up on it), now you can move your cursor over to another point in the model which you want to align to.

Once SU reads this point that your referencing/inferencing to it will snap the object to that same plane. and your one step closer.

repeat in another direction to gain a little more.

Eventually you’ll be able to work in full 3D space, and you can reference diagonal directions and stuff.

Success with all of this usually depends on you setting up a good view angle so that you can see what you need to do, And SketchUp isn’t confused by elements in the background.

SU has to deal with 3D model space, but our users interface is a 2D monitor… Zoom, and Orbit, are about our only tools for decluttering an environment.

When things get too crowded you can start to hide objects, so that’s also very helpful. But I wouldn’t think you need to do this just yet.

Hi … This is the only way I know how to send this kind of file. It’s on
the following link (from my cloud). Thankyou for looking into this. I’m
dead in the water if I don’t get this done by Tuesday. Link>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


That vans geometry count is big.

There’s a strange issue going on with how the axes origin has been placed for the components you’ve downloaded.

Try to use the ‘Explode’ function until there are no longer any grouped elements remaining. and then turn around and regroup them.

The new group you create should reset the axes origins to something more stable… and I think you’ll find that placing these objects in your model will be easier to manage.

My hats off to on having to deal with this one (or even me for that matter). These components don’t act normally, and a new users wouldn’t necessarily even expect that there is anything wrong with them.

You may also need to scale that van down to a more realistic size.

There are other more involved, and more sophisticated ways in fixing this… but I think the explode and re-group approach is the fastest, and puts you back on track fairly well.

Because of the vans size, and the internet connection where I’m currently at, I can’t upload your model, it’s going to take too long, or possibly not even work at all.

Take the precaution of saving you file under a new file name, just to make sure you save what you currently have now.

Exploding a component takes away any of the benefits someone designed into them in the first place, so that stuff whatever it was will be lost. . . though I’m not sure it’s important anyhow. But just in case.

the van is huge delete it and purge your model…

then upload the much smaller skp…

EDIT: I did the basics…
and I fixed the ladder…RoBSleep.skp|attachment (481.0 KB)

now try the suggestions and then ask how to add that van back in, if you need it…


Hi John… I brought in a different vehicle from the warehouse, exploded
it, then hit the “S” key and dragged it down to the red baseline. Seems to
rotate beautifully with the rest of the image. Can you tell me how you
straightened out the ladder? It’s beautiful. Still left for me tonight is
to learn how to make the text “conform” with the awning. The actual text is
"You deserve to sleep in comfort", but if you can explain how a newbie can
do it, I would be very grateful. Then tomorrow I have to learn how to
import an oval design into Sketchup that will follow th design when I
orbit. Yes, I have a deadline for Tuesday, but what I am learning, I intend
to use as a way to equal or surpass the others in the local sign-making
community. Work has been hard to get, so I need to advance with the times.
Sketchup and it’s community rocks! Here is the repaired (and inserted)
vehicle >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>