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How to Modify Edge Settings in Google SketchUp 8

The Edge section of the Edit tab in the Styles dialog box in Google SketchUp contains all the controls that affect the appearance of edges in your model. This includes their visibility, their color, and other special effects you can apply.

The Edge section is tricky because it changes a little bit depending on what kind of style you currently have applied to your model. Nonphotorealistic rendering (NPR) styles have different settings than regular, non-NPR styles.

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In NPR, SketchUp uses digitized, hand-drawn lines to render the edges in your model. All the styles in the Sketchy Edges collection, as well as all the ones in the Assorted Styles collection, are NPR styles. Because you can create your own styles based on existing ones, all the styles you create using edge settings from one of these NPR styles is an NPR style, too.

Here’s the lowdown on some of the less-obvious settings in the Edge section:

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  • Back Edges: Switching this on tells SketchUp to draw all your model’s obscured (hidden behind a face) edges as dashed lines.

  • Profiles: Selecting the Profiles check box tells SketchUp to use a thicker line for edges that outline shapes in your model. Using profile lines is a pretty standard drawing convention that’s been around for a long time.

  • Depth Cue: Using different line thicknesses to convey depth is another popular drawing convention. Objects closest to the viewer are drawn with the thickest lines, whereas the most distant things in the scene are drawn with the thinnest ones.

  • Halo: Halo simply ends certain lines before they run into other ones, creating a halo of empty space around objects in the foreground. This keeps your model looking neat and easy to read.

  • Level of Detail: When you slide the Level of Detail controller (which appears only when you’ve applied an NPR style) back and forth, you’re effectively telling SketchUp how busy you want your model to look.

  • Color: Use the Color drop-down list to tell SketchUp what color to use for all the edges in your model.

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