Best print output option for Layout


I’ve been trying to get the best and most accurate output method from Layout to produce very large printable files.
What I’ve been doing is creating an A2 template in Layout (bigger doesnt seem to get any better) take up as much space on the page as possible, set my line width etc then export as a PDF set to high output. I’m then opening the file in Photoshop and editing the result. Best fine print quality I can get is A2, which is a 90+ meg file. If I try for any bigger I’m simply magnifying the bitmap image and the quality of the line degrades. I’d like to be able to print at around A0 and get a vector line result but that doesnt seem possible.
I’ve tried the Autocad export, Vector and Hybrid settings, I dont use AutoCad but can open the exported files in CorelDesiger, edit then export a big tiff file. Vector seems a bit better but the export has problems in that every line facet is represented as a seperate editable object and circles and curves are often incomplete, its workable but time consuming resetting line ends and filling in gaps. Obviously what I’m after is a smooth vector style line drawing which I can edit in Photoshop then output to a large format Epson printer at 300+dpi quality, a big ask I know but I’m intersted if anyone has come up with a better method.


I think a better method is improves on quality outputs, and not the necessity for other programs to do it well.


If you don’t need textures or shadows, I would recommend exporting PDF files in Vector rendering. If the circles and arcs look too segmented, you can increase the segment count in SketchUp. I have also noticed that sometimes some lines are missing from vector-rendered output, and I have no sure fix for that. Switching the rendering method back and forth might help somewhat. Also, you might try exploding the viewport before exporting - that would simplify the resulting PDF. Just don’t save the file if trying this.



How did you get on with this in the end? I’m after a similar result, will be printing something that I’ve drawn in sketchup at around 5m square - and would also like clean vector like results.


I’ve never beaten the bitmap problem via Layout. Best I have done is to create an A2 custom page – import and expand the drawing onto it, export as Hi Quality PDF, open in Photoshop and finish, I get a 90+ meg file that prints well at A2 but any bigger becomes too jaggy. Otherwise export a DXF file and I open in Corel Designer, export the tiff line drawing, open in Photoshop etc. Problem is that all shading is lost in the process. 5meters is a big ask direct from Layout, might be better to try via a better CAD program with render output.



LayOut has a tiled-rendering mode that gets used when a viewport is too large to fit into a single rendered image at the requested DPI. I would expect that you’d be able to export an A0 page at high quality and still get a 300dpi rendering, especially now that LayOut is 64-bit. Vector linework should also be independent of dpi.

Are you seeing different behavior?



Haven’t tried it for a while as my results were as I previously described. I work with photography and generally output finished work from anywhere up to 127 x 240cm via Epson or sometimes much larger, getting the equivalent to a clean vector line especially diagonal lines or corners always resulted in jaggy lines or missing bitmap ‘pixels’ requiring a lot of work inPhotoshop to correct. Large format options via Sketchup or Layout have been frustrating, as I said A2 has been the only option for me so far using the process I described. I wasted a lot of time complaining about this limitation a few years back and finally accepted that this was a built in limit, I’ll test today. Are you suggesting creating a custom AO page in Layout and exporting a PDF?


Yes, I would expect that LayOut would export a vector rendered viewport that fills an A0 page into a PDF with sufficient quality. Any of the vector-rendered edges should come through to the PDF as vector linework, at which point they should be smooth at all zoom levels.

I’m working on a Mac to test this, are you on Mac or PC?

I know that the old SketchUp forum posts are missing at the moment, but if you have a link to some other forum where the issue was discussed I’ll take a look and get up to speed with your exact issue.



I’ll give it a go later today, will be great if it works. I’m using a PC, custom built and configured for CAD and Photoshop work.

All my posts are pretty predictable, increasing image resolution for large scale printing. I’m an artist, for me print quality, colour accuracy and render quality is what it’s all about as I work to very high standards and expectations. I also use Podium for Photo Rendering pushed to the limit, some renders have taken 15 hours.



Just had a go at it, I hadn’t noticed that Layout now supports AO, it works fine, still has jaggys if I magnify but that the nature of a bitmap program. Would be great if a vector option was there (I’ve experimented with the vector render options in Layout which I wasn’t too impressed with). When I get a chance I’ll run some print tests. Thanks.



Cool! Keep me posted if you run into issues. I just did a test render to PNG at 60" x 48" at 300dpi, and it took my machine a while but it did complete successfully. I also tried setting the output to 600dpi at a regular 11.5x8 paper size and that worked. I think the 64-bit support has made this sort of thing more possible.

I do see quite a bit of jagginess - I’m not really seeing any AA in effect here.



Hi Marc,

May I ask you where can I find the options to set a custom dpi to 600 dpi. The only setting I can find related to output quality is under document setup - output resolution. Setting the output to high will generate a 300 dpi image.

I’m on a rMBP - SU 2015 - EL Capitan



I was exporting to PNG.

Choose Format: PNG
Click on the “Options…” button

Our image export code is smart enough to do tiled rendering - if the image is too large to fit into memory at once, LayOut will split it up into smaller pieces. This allows us to offer a custom DPI that we can’t offer in other exporters.



Ahh! I thought you were exporting a raster pdf to 600 dpi. Anyway, exporting to .png did the trick.