Soft Edges is a feature of SpaceDesign which lets you soften the edge display of SketchUp models.
- Use 50% mask - Will turn off every other pixel in the edges.
- Edge Transparency - makes the edges semi transparent - so they appeaqr lighter.
- Make name Unique - creates a unique name for each image created. Otherwise, the image will have a name based on the current SketchUp model name. (Images are stored in "My Documents\NprTools\SoftEdges")
- Launch when complete - If checked, then the image will be launched in a paint or viewer program after is is created.
- If this is not checked, the Launch File dialog will be loaded which lets you select the application used to launch the image.
- Image size - Click to set the size of the saved images
Edges in SketchUp
Here is a SketchUp model displayed in SketchUp without edge lines
Note - the detail of some of the railings at the top is lost without edge lines.
Here is the same model with SketchUp edge lines turned on.
The edge lines bring out the detail which are lost with no edges.
However, for some applications, these edges may be too harsh.
Using Soft Edges, here is the model with the edges 50% transparent.
Using Soft Edges, here is the model with a 50% pattern mask applied to the edges.
This same concept works with Sketchy Edges as well.
Here is the Model in SketchUp with Sketchy Edges (Very harsh)
Here is the Soft Edges display with both 50% masking and 50% transparency.
Here is a blown-up detail of one of the windows showing the pattern and transparency of the edges.
Comparison to using lighter color for edges
You can use edge color in SketchUp to lighten the color of the edges. However using transparency and masking will help preserve some of the detail, especially when the edge lines are very close together.
The differences are subtle, but take a look at the blow up of the stairs from the 4 images. The transparency and masking is able to preserve more of the detail of the stairs.