Exploring Design Options: Part 3 – Layers and Scenes

In Part 1 of this series, I showed how to create layers and place objects on them. In Part 2, I showed how to use copied objects to create an alternate room design.

In this part, I’ll demonstrate the final step in this example: how to combine layers and scenes for easy viewing of both design options.

Option 1 Layer and Scene

Here’s where Part 2 left off: a SketchUp model with two layers. Each layer is used to display a different design option. In this example, the “Option 2” layer is showing, and “Option 1” is set to be invisible.SketchUp Scene Setup 21


If you’re following along at home with your own model, make sure the “Option 1” layer is showing, and “Option 2” is hidden.

Open the Scenes window (menu: Window / Scenes or Window / Default Tray / Scenes). If the lower half of this window doesn’t appear, click the Show Details icon. For the properties to save, keep all of them checked except for Camera Location. This means that the actual camera view of the room won’t be saved, so we’ll be able to view our scenes from any angle. LayersScenes22


To save the scene, click the “plus” icon. If you get this warning, click Do nothing to save changes. LayersScenes23


The new scene is created and given a default name of “Scene 1.” LayersScenes24


You can keep this name, or enter something more useful in the Name field, like “Option1.”LayersScenes25


The new scene tab appears along the top of the SketchUp window.  LayersScenes26


Option 2 Layer and Scene

Now switch the visible layers so that the “Option 2” layer is showing. LayersScenes27


Create a second scene with a name to match. Now you can view both options by switching back and forth between scene tabs. Because the camera location was not included as a saved scene property, you can view each room option from any angle.SketchUp Scene Setup 28

SketchUp Scene Setup 29


If you’re interested in exploring plan views of the two designs, switch to Camera / Standard Views / Top. Turn off perspective view by choosing Camera / Parallel Projection. SketchUp Scene Setup 30

SketchUp Scene Setup 31


And here are the rendered views of both designs I showed back in Part 1. I think I like the second one better.SketchUp Layer Setup RedRender0008


SketchUp Layer Setup RedRender10007



Of course, you can use this technique to explore more than just two design options. As long as the number of designs = the number of layers = the number of scenes, the sky’s the limit.

There is one more post to go in this series which will showcase a different design option scenario. Part 4 will demonstrate yet another reason to use groups: when you want to look at the same object in multiple materials.


About Bonnie Roskes

Bonnie Roskes has been writing tutorial-style projects on 3D modeling software, primarily SketchUp, since 2001. Her website, www.3dvinci.net offers a wide variety of learning materials for all ages, from kids in grade school through design professionals. Her materials cover general 3D design, 3D printing, geometry, interior design, geo-modeling, and more, and future books are in the works. Read more about Bonnie.



  1. I found these tutorials very easy to follow and I’m now able to arrange and compare scenes. Thankyou.


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