Wish Layout also had a Greyed option for Tag Visibility

Layout could be improved by adding a Greyed option to Tag Visibility. Tags are currently set to ON or OFF. Other CAD type programs also have a greyed option. in effect that greyed option does the equivalent of laying a white sheet over that tag with Opacity turned down to 75% for example. That way one could group a bunch of items and put then on a tag Existing, same Demolition and New. That would allow very clear drawings to be easily made like the below. I a tedious process I can replicate the outcome by stacking a viewport “Existing” at the Base / a white rectangle at 75% opacity over that / then a viewport with "New " on top. But then one needs come in with a complex polygon and apply a clipping mask to obscure the sight to certain items. Would be great for this and many other uses where one wants to quickly focus on aspects.


I agree.

This would be very useful, however I think this kind of control ahould exist in Sketchup scenes and styles and allow a lot more use cases.

That would require the ability to set a style per object per scene. This would allow us to apply a different style to several objects in the same scene instead of a single style for all object in a scene.


I will throw my name onto any request that allows me opacity control over tagged geometry.


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You can do this in SU with style and layer control. You just need to setup a template. I do this for remodels where I want the new construction to stand out and the existing construction is in a fogged scene, while the new construction shows less fog to stand out. For remodels, I show the existing in a style that does not show materials to really get the punch on the new construction.

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@Sonder, could you show a (few) example(s) of the result to go with your answer above? TIA.

Hi @Sonder you can do this only with limited control. It’s easier with parallel projections like plans and axonometrics for example. You can get combinations of scenes, styles and layers, mix them in Layout and even use viewports as masks, but more complex mixing of styles under one model you can only do with Vector or Image software.

If, we had a style per object per scene control, the complexity of what we could achieve would be much higher and, of course, simple examples like the one above would be very easy to achieve.

With the feature request I made, you could even do this kind of stuff with a live model. Nowadays, to do this live, you must create a separate model and change it to a point where it might even impossible to use xrefs.

So, we can do this, it’s not a problem, it might take more or less time, if you use templates it might help, but it’s not easy or powerful or fully 3d and dynamic unless we are talking about simple stuff like the image above.

I’d like to have a revamp in styles and scenes that would allow much more.

The key actually is the template for both SU and LO. As long as your template setup is consistent, it is very easy to achieve. The templates are the key for any project. They don’t just “might” help, they are critical for consistency and speed.

I honestly can’t imagine starting any project without utilizing a custom template for both SU and LO.

I never use templates. All projects start and end differently here.

Unfortunately I am unable to at the moment. Most of my work is new construction and the one major remodel I completed is with a client that is very private.

I am starting another major remodel now, so I can ask if they are OK with me posting. It’s very simple to do utilizing my system of stacking view ports in LO. You simply have tags that define new and existing construction you can isolate in scenes. The existing construction scenes can either simply utilize heavy fog or no materials. The new construction scenes only show the new work with lighter fog and materials. The SU template is all preset, so the only thing you edit in the scenes is the camera location depending on project size. Same for the LO Template. Both use proxy models, so its just a matter of eliminating the proxy model in SU and modeling using the preset tags and styles. In LO you simply update the reference file and position the viewport to your liking. Since the proxy models all utilize the same tag and scene structure, you don’t have to fuss with that in either SU or LO.

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That would cost a lot of time. Using Templates for both SU and LO is pretty crucial to consistency and speed…for me.

If you aren’t using templates that means you are setting up tags, styles, scenes in SU for every project. Same with LO…setting up layers and viewports and title blocks for every project. Not saying it doesn’t work for you, bur for me that would be a giant time suck.

Its too bad 3D basecamp wasn’t captured for youtube. I demonstrated that process to show how fast LO can be when you implement both SU and LO with proxy models with everything preset…tags, styles, scenes in SU; viewports, layers etc. in LO.


And I believe you, but I’m not working that way as our process is just different or I’m simply not that organized.

In the end, every project has similarities, of course, but the process is ever changing.

I agree on the everchanging. I do make changes to my templates as I work through different projects, but not in the last year. I respect what works for you is the most important.

I do think you would find a standard set of templates for both SU and LO would save you a lot of time. As an example the task of actually stacking viewports, you would only do once with the template. Then each project you just update the reference and everything is already stacked for you. Same goes for SU. All your scenes, tag system and styles are preset and ready to go. You just model and assign tags then each scene is already set for the appropriate visibility. You may have to fuss a little with camera position, but on a typical job that takes 2 minutes or less to get each scene set up for LO. Then in LO, you simply replace the proxy model with the new reference, position the view ports to your liking. I spend very little time setting up scenes in SU and viewports in LO.

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Maybe this is getting a bit off topic, but I actually don’t loose a lot of time setting up the project for Layout. It’s pretty straight forward, just a matter of copying first page and change scenes. I don’t see how it pays off doing it with a template because each project shape is different and the layout on page will be different as well as the page size.

Our process (and I guess yours too) also evolves from simple models, to ever more complex, but the first stage is always simple, while the later stages just grow a bit in complexity and we just add what we need as we go along.

If we had templates we would have to adapt them too, for each project, at each stage.

We have a method that we orbit around, it works fine and templates wouldn’t add much. If we could become more standardized in presentation format, maybe that would work, but we are not, at this point.

Anyway, I understand what you do, why you do it, and why it makes sense for you. My problems don’t stem from setting up layout, or the sketchup model for working with it, but rather from having other blocks in the process.

Hi Nick, Thanks for explaining your method. The fog method you use makes sense, and is another way to achieve the example I posted, which is also stacked viewports in Layout ( in my case with an 75% white rectangle over existing ). Your method and mine both work but as shown in my example, this stacking method also requires complex clipping masks in some areas where existing should block view of new for example. I was suggesting that if there was a native ability to grey off a tag layer, then there would be no need for stacking, and no need for clipping masks. Greying a layer has been a native ability of every CAD application I have seen, and is used to clarify what to focus on in drawing outputs. I have heard you say that SU / Layout is not trying to be like CAD, but Layout is the method of output and we both see the need to Grey out / Fog out tags / layers in some applications. I just wish it was a native ability and not another stacked workaround.

I have never seen stacking viewports as a workaround. To me it’s a powerful feature of Lay-out letting you mix multiple styles in a single drawing. Setting up your templates are key to make the process fast.

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Style by tag would be a pretty fab feature. Or even a very simple opacity slider in Layout for any given viewport, very handy. I to do this with stacked viewports and x-ray or masking shapes in LO but a quicker way would nice. I have tried married Su and LO templates but it’s not a great fit for me. Some projects are stadium sized others are the size of a shoe box, sometimes I need tags for the 15 different pneumatic circuits, other times I need tags for the automated coffins, or for the woodwind section. There is just too much variety in my Layout docs to predict, so quicker on the fly methods of controlling these features from within LO would be welcome for me.


I really like the idea of Tag opacity adjustment!

There’s probably no reason that it couldnt have a 50% and a 25%,or even a manual value.

I often create stacked viewports on different Layers, with white boxes overlaid…it works but it’s not elegant (and the white box often interferes with dimensioning , text notes, etc).
This (and fog methods) don’t give as much control or WYSIWYG as a per-tag setting, and it seems to bloat the LO file quite a bit.

Templates are a side issue…obviously any workflow involving creating similar outputs from models with consistent tags/scenes will benefit massively from adopting a good template. But this applies whether you’re using white boxes, or fog, or a opacity control.


And if if opacity of fogging could be controlled by tag, there would be no need to stack, and no need for complex clipping masks to reveal and hide as I illustrated was necessary above. the upshot of this thread is that we all agree that this sort of output is wanted and would be quicker, easier, and more controllable by tag control than by stacking and styles. I hope someone from Sketchup sees the example and understands how commonly one would want to differentiate and focus on certain aspects this way.


I think we’d also need to be able to multi tag in order to make this work cleanly. But then we’d get onto issues of what tags have priorities when you style by tag… Something the programming team would have to develop a consistent UI for.

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Multi tag system would be amazing for many things, but in this case having a certain object styled in a way in a scene and another object styled differently in the same scene would help.

Like one is hidden line white shaded, the other is textured, even if both have been painted and can be textured in a different scene.

This would allow a single scene and a single viewport, no stacking, no mess in layout and orbiting around in Sketchup for the stakeholders to see.