Layout feature request: Vector rendering cancel or warning

Please put in a warning message or cancel button for Layout vector rendering. If you have a complicated model and think, “maybe this’ll look better vectorized” …think again. Once you hit that vector render button, you have to be fully committed or you will find yourself waiting for 5-10 minutes to decide to Ctrl+Alt+Del or wait patiently.

or maybe even a progress meter…?

Sounds like there’s something else going on with your model… 5-10 minutes rendering time is really a long time. Can you share some more information about your model?

There IS already a warning dialog when changing LayOut rendering method. You have probably ticked the “do not show this again” box.

1 Like

Or, you could give our extension a go that updates references and rerenders just about all your .layout files in a single click, without even opening layout:

Should be on the extension warehouse in a few days, once it gets approved by the SketchUp team.



1 Like

Thanks, and it is live as of today:

1 Like

that would be a nice feature.

+100 to this FR :slight_smile:

5-10mins for me is typical and it can be 30mins. Happy to share a model with you.

just using Esc to cancel would be fantastic.

If you are looking for crisp black and white lines (as for a set of construction drawings) like those you might get when drafting by hand with technical pens, then vector rendering might be a good choice for you. If you aren’t careful in how you manage the complexity of your scene, however, surprisingly long rendering times may be an inevitable result. Just like with a raster rendering.

Moving the compute time to a single process that can be waited out over a cup of coffee is a good idea, though this doesn’t really reduce the wait or make it inherently more cancellable.

Sam: Now that we’ve seen a couple of your documents, I have to say I’m not surprised to see you’re experiencing really long rendering times. The allure of providing all possible detail in a set of drawings is strong, and there’s little in the UX to prevent you from detailing everything you want in SketchUp and LayOut… except that eventually, you’re going to run out of memory and start swapping to disk. Usually, you run out of memory all of a sudden, not gradually over time. One minute things are going fine… and the next they are hopelessly slow. It is tough to recover from that.

You might hope that we will ‘fix’ LayOut’s performance so that you never see these problems. We can, and do habitually, increase the performance of every key system in SketchUp and in Layout. Sometimes we find big optimizations, but both tools have matured, the improvements we can make are increasingly subtle and incremental. Every computational system ever invented has an upper limit to its performance. If you are making the biggest and most detailed models that your system will support, you’re going to be up against those bottlenecks every time. Trees and other scenic entourage are a very common source of too-much detail.

Maybe a cancel button on the longest operations would be helpful. But there’s more to consider. You could just make less computationally expensive models and drawings. They can still be big and detailed… just maybe dial it back a little bit more.

Every drawing, every model, everything you make when you’re designing is part of the story you are telling about your project. Ask yourself if you really need all that detail to tell your story. I’m fond of a piece of advice that Vincent Van Gogh taught (found in his letters to his brother Theo) back in 1888. He said of his own work that he sought to “…exaggerate the essential, but leave the obvious unclear.”



Yes and no. It will not speed up rerendering one layout file, but, the extension allows to rerender up to 3 layout files in parallel, thus speeding up x3 in case of needing to update multiple files + all of this without opening layout or without blocking the single layout instance one can run.

Thanks for your reply John - I appreciate you taking the time out to update us and explain things clearly :slight_smile:

I have a few burning questions I hope you can answer, if you have time.

  1. Sketchup can open a model and display it (in hybrid or vector mode) quickly (and change scenes near instantly…no rendering time). It can also export a PDF very quickly. So why does LayOut take so much longer to render the same information? Or is SU’s quality just limited to screen-resolution output whereas LO needs to render a lot of additonal resolution? I see how that’s relevant to raster, but not vector.

  2. Is there a bottleneck we can alleviate (memory)? I have 64gb and can upgrade if needed. Layout is showing use of 5gb of RAM during rendering. Is it the VRAM we need more of? Would a Titan RTX (24gb vram) help? If no hardware bottleneck, is there something to address as priority in the model, eg reduce the number of faces, avoid curves or transparancy., or reduce SKP model size?

  3. LayOut takes a long time to render a single page/view, even when the detail on that partcular page/scene/view is small. Is it rendering/processing information that is invisible (on hidden layers) or sitting outside of that viewport?

  4. Why does LO re-render the entire viewport even if the part that has changed is very minor, eg turning on one layer or extending the viewport frame by a tiny bit (to meet the edge of the page) or a rotation of the viewport (without changing its size/content).

Due to these rendering times, I’m beginning to suspect that there’s something else going on - may be buggy info in the SKP model causing LO to go slow? LO Raster rendering is much faster.

For illustrative purposes, I’ve prepared some examples using a model I’m working on (same one i posted last week):
File 1) Export SKP to LO, then render using Vector Mode. Rendering time 23mins, total time from SKP to PDF about 27mins.

File 2) Export SKP to PDF. Export time 2 mins. However file size is 64mb and lineweight is too fat. Add 2 minutes to open in Adobe Illustrator, reduce linewight and re-save. (file is uploaded).

File 3) SKP “Print to PDF” (a3 paper size and max quality settings using Adobe). Takes 1 min to produce. Lines are crisp and fine but on (very) close inspection the lines/curves are a bit ‘wobbly’.

File 4) One basic JPG from SKP, tilted view, just illustrating that this scene is not complex at all; it’s just 2d information (edges and faces with flat colour).

I will say that my Sketchup files are large (including this example; 670mb) - but I do keep the information on each scene to a minimum using Layers/components to only display what’s relevant.
If LO slowness is caused by a very large/complex SU file size then it could be managed by splitting the SKP model into into many parts, however that would be a real headache to manage.

Complex scenes we have no choice but to render in Raster Mode (hence my other FR thread requesting 600dpi). Hybrid is even slower (probably the time to render vector added to the time to render raster).

@kengeys extension may be a lifesaver for those of us caught in the rendering cycle; if it doesnt kill us from too caffine overdose due to too many coffee breaks! :smiley:

I dont know…I guess I assumed a Cancel button wouldnt be too difficult. I do often force-quit LayOut, which takes a little longer than hitting ESC.

File uploads (Note, these are large files and pretty boring to look at!)
1 LO 23 min output.pdf (2.2 MB) 2 PDF export from SKP to PDF then via AI to PDF.pdf (5.7 MB) 3 Print to PDF from SKP.pdf (4.3 MB)

1 Like

I haven’t read this entire thread so I don’t know if this has been asked before:
What quality settings do you use? I always set my display quality to low and output quality to high. I have found that it makes the handling and rendering of the LO document much faster.

Yes, same here.
Sometimes we need LO set to Medium or High (but that’s rare and im not sure that it even matters for Vector rendering mode)

As an aside, and I’m not necessarily suggesting this is relevant to your issue…

I see this quite often with master site plans, why do the houses have all the internal detail like furniture, fixtures, sanitaryware, etc.? Surely for a master site plan and the scale that they are depicted at this extra detail is not necessary?

1 Like

Good comment -
When fully exploded, the PDF (according to illustrator) has 800,000ish ‘paths’.
That’s a lot, but not crazy.
I could reduce # of edges with techniques such as Simplify Curves (Edge Tools extension), but I would have to run this a lot of times during the project lifecycle, and be careful about what I simplified as I did so. It’s a bit of admin.

This is partly why I ask these questions - what part of the process is causing delays and what should be addressd first?

I think the core issue for you is your file size… I have worked on many large master plans, high rise towers, residential developments in SU for 15+ years and never had a file over 200MB… I freak out if my files approach 100 MB…most are in the 40-60Mb range… I think your hardware has maybe dulled your sense of “fit for purpose” 64 GB ram and 24gb of Vram is a monster hardware spec… As also a former IT /Production manager I shudder to think how much storage space your project requires… let alone how anyone downstream manages your files… as others have said… I really think you should be reassessing your work practice first, not the software capability. Are you inheriting these files from someone else?..

…I don’t want to go too much off topic (the request is for a simple Cancel button) but will give some quick answers for you:

I think the core issue for you is your file size…

SKP file size? Are you sure that is relevant to LO rendering times? LO should only be rendering the vector information visible in that particular viewport, right? That’s basically what I’m trying to find out.

Let alone how anyone downstream manages your files…

Not an issue for me. Neither is storage capacity.

Are you inheriting these files from someone else?..

Some,yes. SketchUp is used to bring together the 3d buildings & site details from others (and we SKP to model further landscaping and street elements).

Hi, file size is a reflection of model complexity… and complexity will slow down processing…maybe your very powerful pc is masking problems most of us aviod with less powerful pc performance…

If importing from sources you dont have control over there may be embedded co mplexity that not optimised for your uses…

PS, not sure if your casting shadows, but if you are you can turn off receiving / casting shadows for discrete objects… I usually turn then off for small objects (i often turn off complex trees receiving shadows)

This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.