Can we work on one LayOut document while the other is rendering/updating?

For producing design drawings, I use a variation of “Sonder’s process” involving multiple LayOut documents connected to 1 sketchup file.
The documents might be:

  1. Site Plans
  2. Cross sections
  3. Details
  4. Building elevations
  5. Shadow studies

Each document has a handful of pages (sheets), maybe up to 20.

When the SketchUp file is large (600mb+) and the LayOut documents are complex (hybrid, or sections, or dimensions) it takes approx 30-45mins to update or re-render each document (even longer if its hybrid).
Most of my day producing drawings seems to be watching LayOut loading (ie hours of waiting). I have a very fast PC and all files are saved locally.

How can we make it so that I can load 1 document in LayOut, and, while it’s rendering, I can be working on other documents? (I notice only 1 cpu core is fully active during rendering operations)

Is there a way to launch multiple instances of LayOut ?


Are you working on windows or on osx?

If we could get rid of the multi document behavior and have separate instances of the program open this wouldn’t be a problem. It would also allow quicker access to the document you want directly from the taskbar. And it would allow different version to run at the same time if we want to compare some changes, e.g. check if a bug is new.

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Windows 10

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A reference/update manager would be nice…something that can read across multiple SU and LO files and update + render with a click.

Is there currently no way to open more instances of LO? Or even to render one of the LO docs (tabs) in the background? Surely there’s a method (or hack)?

I don’t know if there is any undocumented/“secret” command line parameter, similarly to what there is for languages in SketchUp. If there is I’d want to know. Being able to start multiple instances has so many use cases, ranging from productivity in actual production, to investigate translation errors.

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Ideally you’d even don’t want to open>relink>rerender all of them manually, but make use of a batch tool that does this for you.

And… it happens to be the case I am working on such tool :slight_smile:

LayOut live API and render plugins would be the best! Imagine just right clicking a viewport and select convert to rendering and then it’s an image. All viewport data serialized so you can convert back. You can enter render resolution both as absolute pixels and DPI value.

Or better… Imagine dragging and dropping an unlimited number of layout files to an app that just starts rendering all viewports at once…

Anyhow. I’ve done a fair amount of ruby layout programming, time for some native tools to come :slight_smile:

Or, to get back on topic: Imagine dragging and dropping an unlimited number of layout files to an app that just starts updating all model references and rerenders them.

Yeah, the batch update thing makes sense. I even thought it possibly could work as a menu inside SU (eg, update of a SU Scene updates the associated LO viewport)

Glad to hear you’re working on something. Let me know when I can purchase :smiley:

Renderers (notably Lumion) have a live (‘realtime’) render window for SU. Even if SU and LO could grab images from a rendering program, that would be fine.

Some sort of image composing (layers) would be nice, too (instead of pulling SU /Renders into Photoshop then into LO)

What about a process of “Update & Export to PDF” which can run in the background?

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Well, I f you are fine by doing the update manually (for now), and then automatically exporting to pdf, I do have an alpha version ready that does just that.

Just let me know if you want to give it a try.

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Are you opening your layout files in lowest possible preview / update mode? Not much else I can offer, sorry.

If allowed, I would like to link to this thread here: LayOut bulk rerender - looking for closed alpha testing

At first, didn’t LayOut Update one port at request? Now it seems update all whether you want to or not. Would save time. Everything is slow about this program and it creates needlessly large pdf files.

I have posted this request as well. If I could render one window and still type text or measure another window it would change layout profoundly.

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Yes, good comment. Auto-render is definitely turned off.

I’m testing whether having files (even small ones like symbols or a logo graphic) on the Network location is causng a slowdown (it doesnt seem like a cause, except it may slowdown the startup process).