Wierd ghost shards appearing across floor in shards


I have never come across this before… working on a model that has had to have loads of adjustments and putting the floor back in , or infact working anywhere on the base level , creates these stress like shards that have no respect of boundaries or lines and are messing up the model I am working on windows 10 and an intel core m processor … any ideas of fault or a fix?


I looks like Z-fighting. Possibly caused by two surfaces at the same location. Do you have two separate surfaces in that same location? Try selecting one and hiding it and see if there is another in the same place.


Hi and thankyou. There should not be any surface there. I had deleted it to make some adjustments and was trying to patch it back in when this started.
I tried your suggestion and selected then hid it, when i tried my next operation I had the screen message
"Your recent operation has caused geometry to merge with existing geometry that is hidden".

Not new to sketchup… but self taught and not using layering etc nor very technically savvy. Its not a complex drawing by my standards but never seen this problem before. Had ghost layers where i had to delete the top to colour or select but never these shards appearing in random… What is Z fighting? Is it my bad practice?
many thanks CA


That really looks like z-fighting. Also like maybe that surface isn’t flat, and the edges are stuck to outside geometry.

Z-fighting is when you see two surfaces occupying the same space at the same time, and one is showing you the front face and one is showing you the back face. SketchUp doesn’t know which color face to show, so it shows both a little. Does it “shimmer” when you orbit? If so, that’s Z-fighting.

This looks both faceted AND like z-fighting, though. If you turn on hidden geometry, I bet that surface isn’t flat. Is it supposed to be?


It could well be… looks like I am in need of steep learning curve. I just draw and very rarely group or component unless it makes the workload shorter or I am moving objects about.

I tried orbitting and not sure if i would say shimmer but changes from grey to blue to white .
Turned on hidden geometry ( new to me !!) and this is the screen grab.
Thanks KatyaKean so much for making the effort to deal with this duffer!!


It looks like your floor is stuck to the other objects and is shattering. I recommend grouping as you model to prevent such sticking. Your model should ultimately not have anything that isn’t grouped. Grouping is like putting things in containers in the fridge. You don’t just dump leftover spaghetti on the fridge shelf, you put it in a container first, so that it won’t get all over everything else in the fridge. It’s the same with SketchUp: Everything should really be put into a container as you are adding it to your model, or it will stick and merge with everything else, sometimes permanently.


This Help section has 3 subsections about keeping a model organized, which has functional benefits that go far beyond being tidy. it vastly improves your workflow and modeling efficacy.

These Help articles are a great resource. You could even use it as a training program and go through the articles sequentially. There’s always things in SketchUp that we don’t know that we don’t know until we get the training. I’m a SketchUp trainer and I keep learning new things all the time! Just today I learned how to fix Layout Trays. The learning never really ends, but it’s worth it.


This doesn’t look like z-fighting. The hidden faces are now visible due to displaying ‘Hisdden Geometry’ through menu View > Hidden Geometry.
With z-fighting the conflicting areas change when orbiting. you have many hidden edges separating areas into different faces. I strongly suspect that the face around the pool just isn’t coplanar anymore due to minuscule displacements of vertices of the initial face around the pool.

Upload/share the file to investigate.


It might on the front end but when you need to make adjustments later, it can create problems, confusion, and delay.


I think it’s both z-fighting and faceting. The parts that overlap the pool tile seem to be z-fighting in the first image.

Grouping takes a little effort up front, and then entails a lot of double-clicking for the editing, but it really helps later when there’s less mess and vastly increased flexibility and functionality. I think that’s what @DaveR is saying, too.


Not sure how to up load/ share file. More than happy to.


And @Wo3Dan, “minuscule displacements of vertices” is a beautiful phrase. It should totally be a title for an abstract art piece.


Thanks all for input and I take on board what your saying … will definitely group and component more.
I guess my best way out of this is the isolate the various objects… steps. walls pool etc and make them into individual components and then put them back to together on a new floor.??


@averygardens, do you see an up arrow to the left of the bullet points when you make a reply in this thread? If not, then maybe you could put the model on Dropbox or Google Drive and share a link to it.

Please Purge Unused before Uploading!


[quote=“katyakean, post:9, topic:40702”]
I think it’s both z-fighting and faceting. The parts that overlap the pool tile seem to be z-fighting in the first image.
[/quote] You are right about that area, z-fighting with the tiles faces. But there is a more serious problem with vertices that seem to be not coplanar. Forcing SketchUp to introduce hidden edges.


thanks for that… I have to hit the sack … In the UK ( bedtime) will look forward to seeing your suggestions. Thanks all for an informative and enlightening evening, all best to all Chris A_Ing beers courtyard to final draft march2017.skp (1.5 MB)


@averygardens, thank you for the file. I was able to erase most (if not all) hidden edges and still keeping the faces. The result was one large face. This means that vertices are coplanar. But they don’t have the same Z value (blue). The face is almost aligned according to the ground plane. I don’t know what operation caused this but its like asking for problems. see:


Thank you sir.
I can understand what your saying and I know where i have been battling on this drawing and maybe thats the source of this grief and not the program or my computer ( though I suspected it was me).

The courtyard drawn mostly existed and I plotted it aware that the wall and the house footprint were not parallel and later discovered the pool was relating to neither… a few scruffy inches out.
I started this drawing at the far end with the arch door and worked on the red axis for the house wall… By the time I was down off the pool area the alignment was slightly out of the red axis and the cursor kept nudging me slightly back or forth off line or I was forgetting to adjust !.

I dont know when I first noticed, Think it was upgrading from 2015 to 16 that the cursor seem to change and feels more ambiguous in its siting. It hovers as a circle close or square close by the intersection and sometimes needs a little magnified nudge to find the red X and “Intersection” advice. Often it settles somewhere a few pixels away from where it was intended which leads me to a load of back tracking to find where I have gone awry .

The steps have been redrawn a few times as the design changed all done on the true red axis and i have ( technical terms here!!) fudged,tweaked and stitched them in in the hurry to hit deadlines or get to bed!
There is a point I should have said … “give up and start it again” and I fear that “Short cuts are going to cause me long delays”.
But lessons learnt and some great suggestions here about research into grouping and components . I realise I now have to “up my game” and learn the difference and how best to use them. … and brush up on the cursor!!

Thank you so much for the time and effort you have put in to explain and guide me through this.
Really appreciated.


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