LO 2024 - Vector Rendering, Model Updating, PDF Exporting - Takes So Long To Complete Anything

Long time lurker - first time poster.

I’ve been a SKP user for going on 10 years or so and just recently started using LO in 2022. We have a project happening at work where I am in charge of planning our new building move, equipment layout, office layout, MEP layouts, etc… After months of discussion our team has finally agreed to the current layout and structure that I’ve been working with. The Sketchup file is roughly 150mb (it floats between 150 and 200 depending on what I’ve imported from 3D warehouse). I’ve not really had any major issues with either SketchUp 2023 or the new 2024 release, however I’ve had nothing but major backlog when it comes to Layout, to the point where I dread opening SketchUp and making any changes or updates to the model.

The load times can be anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on viewport settings and how i may have left the last save. switching from raster to vector on the viewport can take 15 minutes as well. Exporting a 2 page PDF file took over an hour (and the file was 16mb).

I’m really not sure where I’m going wrong with this. I’m trying to keep the model as detailed as possible since we use it across the board for multiple contractors along with our own internal staff meetings, but i feel that the detail in the model may be the culprit for the horrible results I’m getting in LO.

LO 23 was slightly better than 24 in terms of overall performance and exporting, but only slightly. I’m losing too many working hours waiting on LO.


Just a thought. It looks like you have one site and two buildings. You could make one low level of detail site file and two separate high level of detail building files.

If you find a way to share your file here, someone could recommend ways to slim down the file size.


definitely look at options to reduce the weight of the models - for example - in my plans in LO, i will have several models - general architecture, demolition plan, elevations, sections, interiors, structure, MEP, details, and “shell” for rendering images.
each has appropriate detail for the communication. a “master” project have all the sub-projects for creating a staging presentation of the construction process, etc. but that is seldom used in the documentation.
generally speaking, this means only pages which need updating due to model changes are affected. and because details are wholly separated from the overall drawings - models and LO pages, the printing is fairly quick as well. a typical project for me with say 40-45 D size pages - loads in about 30 seconds or less, and printing to PDF (all high) is about 10-12 minutes.
this only happens because of the work to subdivide, optimize, and focus documentation viewports to what is needed to communicate the information. for the last 10 or so years, this has worked out quite well.

1 Like

I think I’m following you…

So for example, I have 1 Master File Called “1500/1430 Expansion”.

Each building structure is a component (which includes the current structure as well as the remodeled structure) and then all of the internal components are grouped. My master file only has 2 main components and 2 main groups.

So i could break down my Master File into 1500 only and then 1430 only, but the issue I feel like I could run into is that all of my MEP relies heavily on equipment placement and that equipment is the bulk of the SKP file.

Now as far as breaking down the LO files, I am already doing that. I have one LO file i use as a template. There are only 2 references in that file (the SKP model and the company logo). Then each construction category gets its own LO file made (demo, electrical, plumbing, etc…). Each of those get exported into PDF and then printing is what it is at that point… So in a nutshell, I’m not running a LO file that is using 40+ pages… i think the largest LO file uses 7 pages.

Yes it is 2 buildings (connected buildings via a breezeway) on one site. I’ve thought about doing what you’ve suggested, however the exterior of the buildings aren’t even in the scope of what I’m working on at this point. Everything I’ve been focused on for now has been interior layouts for equipment placement. Since the 2 buildings are technically merged, i try to keep them together in one “Master File” with SketchUp. Then in LO i break down and sub file each MEP or building goal into its own file.

I’ll see if i can find a way to post the file. I’ll have to remove all company information and save it under a new name, but i’ll work on that right now.

Link to my Google Drive – https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1B-O9Z7BYBdQPNyssn3NKhf3W7S6pHp7Z?usp=drive_link

Both the SketchUp file and the LO file I am using as the template are there.

Let me know if there are issues accessing it… I’m about 50/50 when it comes to sharing from my g-drive

I had a quick poke around your SketchUp model. I expect a large part of the issues you are having can be traced to some heavily detailed parts of the model. Relatively small parts that have loads of edges that LayOut has to consider when rendering viewports. Below are screenshots for different parts of your model. I expect in most cases these objects could be simplified without losing important information.

The chainfalls on the hoists are pretty “heavy” for what they add to your overall model. So is that thing at the end of the duct in the bottom of this screenshot.

And from below. Would those areas ever be seen in your LayOut project?

Overhead doors. Do they really need the curved surfaces?

Does all that plumbing need to be as detailed as it is? Do the edges of the bases on those tangles need to be radiused? BTW, you should correct the exposed back faces (blue).

Do the breakers really need to have 3D text labels? The text adds more geometry. Do they need to be labeled at all for the scope of your project?

Do you need the nuts and bolts?

More nuts and bolts that probably could be eliminated without hurting anything. Same with the cables wound up on the hoist.

And surely you don’t need ball bearings or gears inside the drum on the hoist.

What about the mounting plates and hubs on the casters? And the nut inside the caster house with its screw threads?

Or the axle bolt and nut with threads and 3D text?
Screenshot - 5_20_2024 , 2_07_28 PM
Do the extruded rails need to have all those radius edges and the holes? I expect that’s OTS stuff and you aren’t doing manufacturing drawing for the extruder dies, right?

What about this stuff inside and enclosure? Will it ever be seen? Even though its inside a cabinet bot SketchUp and LayOut have to take time to consider whether or not those edges will be displayed and thus rendered.

More represented screw threads that probably don’t add to your story.

All that detail is loading down your model and every last edge and face is contributing to the time you have to wait. A lot of it doesn’t appear to advance your story. It becomes a liability instead of an asset.



thank you for looking into this for me. A bit of background, most of these models have been made over the last few years so we could have 3D record of company assets, and then during the building planning, the different models have been added into the Master File. I see your point however regarding all of the complex geometry and slowing things down.

To answer your questions – in a short winded way, No, all of the detail is not needed for the LO drawing. Some of the modeling has been exported from drawings I’ve done in Fusion, others have been brought in as .step files from vendors/manufacturers into Fusion, and then exported out to SketchUp. That at least explains the complex geometry, which as you already know, is not needed for the LO drawing.

I can try and think of another approach to this, but as a quick and dirty idea… does LO care about hidden geometry? For example, i keep the model of the crane in the master file, but, inside of that component, create a “basic” form that can be used in LO. Then just assign a tag for complex geometry and a tag for basic geometry.

Since these components are company assets and you might use them in future projects, too, I would be inlcined to push you in the direction of making extremely simplified versions of them for projects like this one and use them instead of the detailed ones. If you create the simplified ones with their component axes located and oriented the same as in the detailed versions you could swap the simple one out and the detailed on in if need for some close up view. I’d still strip down the detailed ones and remove content that would never add anything useful to your projects. For example, unless you are making the casters for those motor carts, you wouldn’t need the nut up in the caster shell nor would you need a threaded axle and axle nut, let alone the text identifying it as M10.

Even for the detailed components you should look at them closely for unwarranted detail. Would there ever be a need to look inside that closure where the backs of those control are housed or inside the gantry crane to see the gubbins? If not there’s no reason to leave them there bloating the components.

Yes. It has the figured if that geometry is hidden or softened or what.

Don’t give tags to geometry (edges and faces) in the model. Tags should only be given to components and groups.

On another note, I see in your LO file that you’ve modified the Camera properties for the viewports. I would very strongly recommend you don’t do that. It can set you up for all sorts of grief if the Camera gets reset. Create scenes that show the model as you need to show it in your LO document and don’t modify the Camera properties in LO.

Here’s a quick example. I added a few dimensions and labels in your LO file.

And then I reset the Camera

Really there was no need to modify the Camera for the viewport in the first place. You could have just dragged the edges of the viewport to crop it as needed. Here I’ve set up the viewport to show the same part of the model you showed but because I just dragged the edges of the viewport to do it, I haven’t modified the Camera properties. No risk of having the model shift around in the viewport unless the scene gets changed and updated in SketchUp.

My apologies. I tend to use the word geometry for everything CAD related. I did mean components and groups, not edges and faces. But as I understand from your first quote, that LO still renders the entire project regardless of whether or not tags are turned on or off? If that’s the case, then that idea wont work.

Yes, I’m not very proficient in LO. I’ve watched quite a bit of content relating to it to try and get my bearings, but as with all online content, not all of it is golden and I’ve developed some bad habits. One of them being what you’re pointing out. I’m not great with scenes inside of SketchUp and even worse implementing them into LO. If i remember right, i was having trouble with the viewport when it kept doing a 180° flip on me (something i probably screwed up somewhere awhile ago).

With it getting so close to the start of our build date, i just need to really focus on cleaning up the model and simplifying it as much as i can i guess. Id hate to have to step back and start from scratch on it, but if that’s what it takes, its all a lesson at the end of the day…

1 Like

Understood. I think I would suggest you try to plow ahead at this point. If you can quickly simplify some of the SketchUp model, great. But before the next project it would be good to get a better handle on the SketchUp and LayOut work flow. When it’s done correctly it should go pretty quickly and easily for you.

1 Like

Turning off tags that are not used in the scene speeds up the rendering of those associated viewports, because all viewports needs to be rendered. So for a site plan all interior tags should be turned off.

But of course the whole model needs to be replaced upon a update of the SU model inside Layout. So for a big model that will take a longer time regardless of what is shown in the viewports. At least until a future Layout just replaces the geometry of an incremental save :slight_smile:

I too have problems with too complicated geometry, in ifc´s from other parties. I import them using conversion through the .trb file format so to get ifc imports with a tag structure, and delete all the nuts and bolts that are mostly on separate tags if made by a proper engineer.

1 Like

Yes i think that is definitely the best course of action for me at this point. I’m going to spend the day going through the model, and simplifying what i can. I’ll try to simplify some of the more complex components with simpler ones and see if LO likes it better if i use something like a “simple component” tag and a “detailed component” tag. That way, the SketchUp model can utilize both and i can show the detail during our meetings and teams calls, but LO can utilize the simple structures. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll just have to suffer quietly until i get a better handle on the work flow between the 2 programs.

this is what i am hoping to take advantage of. If i can put all of the complex components on one tag, and replace those with simple components on another tag, maybe LO wont get so mad at me.

yes, but Layout will still need to load the 150mb model every time you update the model, and then start sorting tags to show for each viewport.

I would purge the complex components from the SU model, and keep two separate libraries on your server, one complex, for when you need that for some illustrations, and one very basic symbol library for architectural work. the actual output in plan view of a trolley is maybe just 7-8 edges or something. In the old days those symbols was made like that because of economy of drawing lines, and that still very much applies. Your drawings in 1:100 cannot tell the difference between the 7 lines and the 20 000 miniscule lines. That is just setting up Layout for failure, because Layout draws all those invisible lines, searches for snap points, and cannot tell whether those 20000 lines should really just be ignored.

I do many industrial buildings, with steel construction models inside, and try to keep my SU model under 10 mb.

So I made a new revision to my Master SketchUp model and saved 2 copies of it… One called SketchUp Use, and the other called LayOut use. Then in the layout model, i replaced all of the heavy components with simple components (boxes, cylinders, etc…). Deleted all of the components that were replaced and got the file down to 32mb.

Layout is literally FLYING through the edits now.

Im going back through all of the previous LayOut files i’ve done (there are about 10 or 15 separate files) and relinking the old model to the new LO Use model. Since everything stayed at the same origin, nothing is out of whack and it seems like i can just breeze through this.

I was able to get it down to 32mb and the speed is unreal. I should have known that the complicated geometry was causing the issue, but I’m so used to doing complex work that i struggle mentally just putting boxes in for something that isn’t technically a box LOL

I have found that using several stacked view ports on their own layer speeds things up. I set one with a vector style and turn off all unnecessary tags. I use this one for dimensioning then have a working raster with most components turned off and a final output layer that might be hybrid or at least has a style that gives me the line quality and texture settings. I usually only have one at a time turned on but then switching between them doesnt cause a re-render.

This is cool. Layout becomes a serious worktool for construction documents once one plannes for it to work. For drawing 2D details, it still has some ways to go.