Xref a Skatter

Are you planning some kind of Skatter Xrefing?

I like to create skatters outside my main model, so I can experiment and render them faster without rendering the building.

Once I’m finished I have to:

  • Either export the skatter as components into the main model, loosing the render only ability;
  • Or export all skatter hosts to the main model, create library items for each skatter and then redo the skatters in the original model, wich I expect then makes me loose all my painted areas and point skatters.

Have you got any thoughts on this or on how I could achieve the same thing using current functionality?

So, you’d like to link to another Sketchup containing Skatter setups? Or do you have in mind another way of Xrefing Skatter?

Well, anyway you’d come up would be nice.

I’m currently using a new model to recreate a simple mockup of my original model. I copy the skatter groups and the most render influencing geometry groups in the model.

Then, I test my Skatters on a fast rendering environment using Thea.

After that I save a library and reproduce it in the original file.

Usually this is convenient as The Skatter groups might nested in several different contexts. Example: I have a pool area group and a garden area group and inside each group I have the skatter hosts. However, in my mockup this isn’t happening.

I could change my workflow if Skatter would impose some rules though:

  • I could have my skatter host groups as components and use “save as” context menu to export them as xrefs - This is done from the Original Model;
  • I have several xrefed components in a folder - Skatter Folder;
  • I could then import them into a new model - this is the Skatter Model;
  • I would use Skatter on each component of the new model until everything is fine on the Skatter Model;
  • The main problem I have is that when I’m creating a Skatter I’m experimenting a lot.
  • Every group I use to define an area I can copy paste in the Original Model, or save as Component into Skatter Folder and reload in Original Model;
  • But point and pPainted Skatters are really unique to Skatter and I don’t think they are being saved into a Host Component/Group, but in the model instead wich, In this case, is not the Original Model.
  • So after I use Skatter by Points or Painting in the Skatter Model, I have no way of transfering those actions to a new model.
  • I’d like, at the time I end the Skatter Model, that I could then save each of the Host Components back to The Skatter folder, overwriting the to external Sketchup file that exists there.
  • I would then reload each host component in the Original Model wich would already have the skatter applied;
  • However, as each reloaded component on the Original Model is at a different context (coponent/group hierarchy) than what was used at the Skatter Model, I suspect this wouldn’t work. Skatter would have to recreate the full Skatter by finding the components in different hierarchy positions.
  • Also, while reloading a Component, Area Groups, Curves, Points and Painted areas should be imported too (wich is probably impossible?)

The above would be what fits my workflow, but I could adapt.

If Skatter would simply have a tool that would work as the library, but exports every info about Skatter, Hosts, Objects and Areas into another model we could simply import an “External Skatter Info” into any model:

  • This info would try to find the same Components/Groups in the model, and apply the Skatter to it. If it didn’t find “Component/Group A”, It would then ask where would it be, and we’d find it for the tool.
  • All the areas, curves and point skatters would then be applied;
  • It would be great if the component would create area groups into the model though, as library does with Skatter objects.

Maybe the above would only work if Sketchup would have some kind of ID for object that is independent of context?

If you’d only want to have this tool working within a single component, meaning that you could create a component wich had all needed Skatter hosts and area groups, I would gladly change the hierarchy of my models so I could create a single or several of these components (Skatter Bags?) wich I would edit and the Skatter Bag component would be reloaded with every new geometry created (hosts and areas), every new object (proxies or full geometry) and every Skatter option.