I appreciate that SketchUp relies on a huge amount of 3D graphics card processing, however, you can now buy laptops with Asus / Nvidea / i7 / 16Gbyte / 1TB SSD and it needs to run on powerful laptops so that professionals can offer presentations.
SketchUp is brilliant for ‘dolls house modelling’ and doing lovely 3D presentations. However, start adding components such as tress, grass, bushes,roof tiles (ie all the things which are no longer a texture they are a 3D textured object) and SketchUp reaches a point where it suddenly stops, keeps saying ‘Unresponsive’ for maybe 30 seconds and is unusable. The solution is not a better laptop because I have the most expensive, fastest laptop money can currently buy! What is needed:
If you split your model into layers, layers that are unchecked seem to be hidden from the display algorithms and the model speeds up, just like it should. However, if you are highly organized like myself with Groups and Components, the groups in your model that are set as ‘Hide’ are still processed in the display algorithm and bring your PC to a halt, WHY!
Back in the old days of 1024x768 we used ‘Greeking’. This is where the software would look at its processing power and before it did anything it would spend a few mS working out how long it was going to take to display what you had asked it to display. If it was being asked to do unreasonable things it would take insignificant complex objects in the background and ‘Greek’ them ie convert them to simple squiggles. The algorithm would repeat this process until it had usable drawing that could be displayed in say a second. Nobody was aware of what was going on internally! As you zoomed in of course the info was cached in a fairly complex video database library and the Greeked objects were redrawn to be less Greeked. This had a curious effect that as you zoomed into a complicated tree in the background it would start to get clearer and clearer. If you zoomed in quickly, the zoom would be done with the graphics card and you would in fact see the Greeked tree but if you took your hand off the mouse and just sat back for a second, the tree would be miraculously redrawn with all the branches, leaves, twigs and berrys! What SketchUp is doing is spending all its time trying to draw 20 trees in minute details that are 1cm high on your screen and not drawing the giant house in the foreground that you are trying to move the door in!
SketchUp needs to analyse what components/groups are off the display and not bother processing them AT ALL. Once rendered and awaiting keyboard/mouse event, it can add these in the background to the GC memory. It does mean that for some pan operations ‘Wait’ will appear on the screen, but at least SketchUp is in control as opposed to the currently ‘Unresponsive program’ that we get at the moment.
As a simple compromise, can we not have a more advanced component with a ‘Draft’ and ‘Presentation’ mode. Presentation mode is the default, however, if you create ‘draft modes’ for your components when you are drawing it only uses the draft model which for a tree would be three brown sticks and four green stacked cubes which would be fast and simple. When we plot, export or animate the dialogue box can have a check box ‘Use Presentation components’. In this case the twenty trees in your drawing would all have their 20 branches, 200 twigs and 600 leaves!