Masks are entities that control where instances can and cannot be scattered. They can either be Paint masks, Area masks, Path masks, Image masks, or Composition masks.

If a composition contains both types of masks, inclusive masks are applied first and then exclusive masks are applied over the remaining instances.

Masks are automatically reordered when toggling their inclusive/exclusive mode in order to reflect this rule.

Paint masks

A Paint mask allows you to manually draw the shape of the mask. You draw the shape with a brush, just like you would in Photoshop or similar image editors.

Erasing an inclusive Paint mask is not the same thing as drawing an exclusive Paint mask!



Change the drawing mode when pressed (toggle paint/erase)


Draw a straight line


Maintain pressed and move the cursor laterally to change the brush's radius

Area masks

An Area mask is a group or a component instance that defines a space under which instances will not be scattered.



Part of the geometry used for masking.

In Faces mode, instances directly below the entity faces will be masked. This is useful to preserve holes in the mask.

In Contours mode, the whole silhouette of the picked entity is used. Only edges are considered, faces do not have any effect.

Projection axis

The direction in which instances are masked.

If unchanged, the default behavior is to use the same projection axis as the composition.

Path masks

A Path mask uses a curve with a configurable thickness under which instances will not be scattered.



Lateral distance under which instances are masked

Projection axis

The direction in which instances are masked, like for area masks

Image masks

An Image mask uses an external image file to control where instances can be scattered. This is useful to reproduce complex patterns.

Image masks rely on the surface hosts having valid texture coordinates. Please make sure that your surface hosts are properly set up.



Image file to use as a mask.


Moves the image along the X and Y axis.

Texture coordinates are traditionally defined in the [0, 1] range, so an offset of 0.5 usually moves the image by half its size (this convention might not be followed depending on the origin of the texture coordinates).


Size of the projected image. Tweak this value to create zoom or tiling effects.


Orientation of the image, in degrees.

Display the texture

Shows the image in the viewport (only for SketchUp 2020+).

SketchUp only allows extensions to draw textures in the viewport since SketchUp 2020 so the preview will not be available for older versions.

Darkness values

The whiter a pixel of the image is, the more likely it is for an instance to be scattered there.

A 100% white pixel means that instances can be scattered there. A 100% black pixel means that instances cannot be scattered there. Values in between are interpolated linearly.

Image masks only consider grayscale values, as shown in the SketchUp preview. Skatter accepts colored images and converts them to grayscale.

Composition masks

A Composition mask uses the instances from another composition to filter where instances can and cannot be scattered.

For instance, a composition Trees might be used as the composition mask for a composition Fallen leaves, so that they only appear around the trees.



The other composition to use as a mask


Distance to mask around each instance of the other composition

It is possible to chain multiple compositions as masks of each other ("composition A masks composition B which itself masks composition C...").

However, Skatter does not allow to create cycles where all compositions depend on each other ("A → B → C → A") as it would be impossible to compute.

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