How to Add Detail to Your SketchUp Terrain with Triangles

By Aidan Chopra, Rebecca Huehls

Like the Flip Edge tool, the Add Detail tool in SketchUp is kind of a one-trick pony. Use it to add triangles to areas of your terrain surface that need more detail. That way, you can save geometry (and file size, and waiting) by having lots of faces only in the areas of your terrain that require it.

If you were designing a golf course, you could use very big triangles for the vast majority of it. You could also use the Add Detail tool to add triangles to areas where you planned to have smallish things like sand traps.

You can use the Add Detail tool in two ways:

  • Add detail to faces one at a time. To be honest, you may never have a reason to use the tool this way, but here goes: You can activate the tool (see the next bullet) without having any geometry selected. Then click faces or edges on your terrain to divide them into more faces. This method might be handy when you model something very precisely.
  • Add detail to an area all at once. Simply select the faces on your terrain you want to subdivide and choose Tools → Sandbox → Add Detail from the menu bar.