How Do I Create a Section Render in SketchUp?

Creating a section render in SketchUp can greatly enhance the visual presentation of your 3D models. Whether you are an architect, interior designer, or simply a hobbyist, adding section views to your SketchUp models can provide valuable insights into the spatial layout and design details. In this tutorial, we will explore how to create a section render in SketchUp using various tools and techniques.

Step 1: Setting up the Scene

Before we dive into creating a section render, it is important to set up the scene properly. Make sure you have your 3D model ready and positioned as desired. Consider adjusting the camera angle and zoom level to capture the most visually appealing composition.

Step 2: Activating Section Plane Tool

To create a section render, we need to activate the Section Plane tool in SketchUp. You can find this tool in the Tools menu or by using the shortcut key “P”. Once activated, you will notice a plane with handles appear in your model.

Step 3: Positioning the Section Plane

Now comes the fun part – positioning the section plane! Click and drag one of the handles of the section plane to adjust its position along any axis. You can move it horizontally, vertically, or even diagonally depending on how you want to cut through your model.


  • Use Guides: If you want precise control over the placement of your section plane, consider using guides as references. Simply activate the Tape Measure tool (shortcut: “T”) and create guidelines that intersect with your desired cutting points.
  • Multiple Section Planes: SketchUp allows you to create multiple section planes in one scene. This can be useful if you want to show different views of your model or highlight specific areas.

Step 4: Adjusting Section Plane Properties

Once you have positioned the section plane, you can further customize its properties to achieve the desired effect. Right-click on the section plane and select “Entity Info” from the context menu. In the Entity Info dialog box, you can adjust various properties such as color, transparency, and cut depth.


  • Color: Experiment with different colors to differentiate the section plane from the rest of your model. Bold colors like red or blue often work well.
  • Transparency: Adjusting the transparency of the section plane can help create a more subtle and realistic rendering effect.

    Try reducing the opacity slightly to allow some of the underlying geometry to show through.

  • Cut Depth: The cut depth property determines how far into your model the section plane will cut. You can adjust this value to showcase specific interior details or simply slice through everything for a more dramatic effect.

Step 5: Applying Materials

To make your section render even more visually engaging, consider applying different materials to your model’s surfaces. Experiment with textures, colors, and transparency settings to highlight specific elements or create a cohesive visual style.


  • Material Editor: Use SketchUp’s Material Editor tool (shortcut: “B”) to browse and apply materials from an extensive library. You can also import custom textures or create your own materials from scratch.
  • Material Assignments: To apply a material to a specific surface, use the Paint Bucket tool (shortcut: “B”) and click on the desired surface with the material selected.
  • Texture Scaling: Adjusting the scale of a texture can greatly impact how it looks on your model. Play around with the scale settings in the Material Editor to achieve the desired effect.

By following these steps and incorporating your own creative ideas, you can create stunning section renders in SketchUp. Remember to experiment, refine, and iterate until you achieve the desired visual result. Happy rendering!