Troubleshooting the SketchUp Plugin

Plugin FAQ - Common SketchUp Obstacles and Solutions

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

Some common Sketchup issues with easy fixes!

1. Cannot Select Project

(User) The project selection dialog doesn't come up after clicking on the icon.

(Response) The Dialogue box can sometimes get lost of screen. When that happens, after clicking the cove.tool Project Selection button don't click anything else and follow these steps:

1. Hold down the ALT key. Hit SPACEBAR .

2. Release ALT key

3. Hit M key (Move)

4. Hit one of ↑ ↓ ← → arrow keys

5. Move your mouse around (without pressing any mouse key) until you see the missing window.

6. Press left mouse button on the desired place

2. Can't create cove.tool Layers/Empty cove.tool layers created

(User) I am having issues with the cove.tool layer creation in SketchUp. I am following your guidelines, but it doesn’t seem to work.

(Response) There are 2 steps necessary to get your cove.tool layers to appear with the 'create cove.tool layers command.'

  • Explode all groups, so that only individual 'Entities' (single objects) remain.

  • Move all envelope geometry to Layer0/Untagged (default layer). These steps should generate cove.tool layers, if some layers are missing check FAQ #3.

2. Incorrectly Layered Objects

(User) I used the 'create cove.tool layers' command and found some floors objects in the roof's layer, why?

(Response) The SketchUp plugin filters roof, floor, window, wall, and skylight objects based on their front face properties. To have them filter into the correct object category you can flip their face to the correct direction, by right clicking the panel and selecting the 'reverse faces' option. Also it is sometimes easier to re-assign objects to the correct cove.tool layer after creating the cove.tool views. Do this by selecting the geometry and switching the object to the correct layer in the 'Entity Info' window. Option 1 (left) and option 2 (right) below.

3. Missing Window Layers

(User) I used the 'create cove.tool layers' command and noticed no window layers were created. I modeled windows by they were not filtered, what happened?

(Response) The SketchUp Plugin uses simple object properties differences to identify the various building components, so if there is no difference between your window and wall objects, then that may be the reason it was not filtered out. Make sure to differentiate your walls and windows by applying a translucency material to your window objects.

4. Unable to Export

(User) I completed all the steps to set up export, then when I clicked the export button I received this error (below), what do I do next?

This error is the result of geometry being unable to separate elements into the required fields of the geometry page. To troubleshoot, first check for nonvertical (upright) geometry in the exterior walls and windows layer. Geometry in these layers is immediately separated by the plugin into the 8 cardinal directions (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW) fields. However, when horizontal geometry like window frames and wall edges end up in these layers, they crash the export command because they have no cardinal direction inclination. See the example below of a layered wall in SketchUp which may cause the export command to error out. Users can decide to delete or move these elements to the roof/floors layers or place them in a non cove.tool generated layer.

If your layers do not contain the problematic geometry as stated above, then the second most likely situation is reversed faces. Using the "Reverse Faces" button in the cove.tool plugin toolbar, activate a custom view style that will apply a high-contrast material property to all the front and back face building geometry in the SketchUp window. White surfaces representing front-facing planes and green surfaces represent back facing planes. It is crucial to have all building envelope geometry displaying front-facing surfaces outwards, and all horizontal plane geometry having their front planes facing upwards. If your export command gave the error at the top of this article, it is most likely your floor objects are facing downwards which would be incorrect for creating the energy and daylight model in cove.tool. Select incorrectly facing geometry in order to reverse them, then when done attempt exporting again. See the examples below.

5. Export error message/exporting for long

(User) When I click on Export, an error comes up or after I confirm the height, it keeps loading for the export for a long time.

(Response) The error comes up when

a) There are horizontal elements in the layers supposed to have vertical elements, like a floor/overhang in the exterior walls view and vice versa.

b) The upload data gets too large due to unnecessary data in the geometry and broken edges in the model.

Make sure all the surfaces are single plane, there are no detailed elements like designer mullions etc. and also remove/delete the edges from the cove.tool layers/tags since they are at times broken in a large number of smaller parts.

6. Stuck on Daylight Page

(User) After using the 'Launch Cove.tool' command to export my geometry with the 'Sync with SketchUp' button, I save and continue. I use the daylight tool, but when I attempt to go further I get stuck on the baseline load screen, what's happening?

(Response) This is a known problem caused by the temporary browser SketchUp launches from the plugin. This browser is not compatible beyond the daylight page, so after users have successfully exported and saved their building geometry, they should switch back to a local compatible web browser. Compatible Browsers include Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge (does not include Internet Explorer).

Tips and Tricks

If you are not able to find the issue from the above FAQs, troubleshoot your own model using these steps.

a) Export only floors, roofs, exterior walls and windows keeping all the other layers empty. If that goes well, keep adding one layer at a time to the export.
Shortlisting the layers that are causing issues will help figure out the problem layer.

b) Switch off all the layers, switch on each layer separately, put them in the Untagged layer and click on Create cove.tool layers. This will separate all the edges from the elements and move the planes to the intended layer.

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