MAC: Exporting 2D Images Bug


I have this issue when exporting several images from a large SketchUp file. I’m usually exporting large 24x36" images for display on boards. I’ve tried to use the animation feature with 0 second transitions, but have found that takes a really long time and ties up my computer.

Basically, the first two exports work fine and export out in under 15 mins. As soon as I export the third image it ends up taking hours… sometimes 5+. It’s gotten so bad that I often open SU 2014 and export two images at a time and work on other things. It’s always the same. First 2 images less than 15 mins. The next exports are 3-6 hours. It doesn’t make a difference if its pngs or jpgs.

I’m running a 3.2 Ghz iMac with 32 GB RAM on El Capitain. This was also an issue with Mavericks.


A bunch of questions to help narrow down what is happening:

I presume from what you wrote that SU 2014 is your only installed version (this is a never-ending problem with the profile system here - yours says SU Pro but not what release)? Have you watched the Activity Monitor while this is happening to see if SU’s CPU and memory usage are different than during the first two exports? Does this still happen on the third image if you change the order of the scenes? If you quit SU, restart it, and do just the scene you had as #3, does it take 15 mins or hours?


there are a few gotcha’s with exporting images on a mac…

some are System wide, some SU specific, here are a couple for starters…

the first is making sure your SU viewport [the model window] is the same aspect ratio as you desired image…

in your case that’s 1:5, and the reason it matters is two fold,

  1. SU doesn’t ‘crop’ the viewport
  2. the time/memory required to squash the viewport image to the aspect ratio shape…

secondly, mac Core Image [the engine behind the scene], uses a third party library for jpg and png, but has optimised native support for tif…

Computationally, this leads to larger files, but less memory usage and faster processing times…

last for now…

when processing a ‘set’ of instruction, SU adds each into memory until it’s finished all…

This is why you see a slow down, i.e. for each ‘image’ added the less playing room it has…

It is quicker to make each image individually, either manually or using a ruby script…



I’m running SU 2015 Pro but still have 2014 on my computer. I would backsave a 2014 SU file and export from both 2014 and 2015 at the same time… 2 images in 4 hrs, vs 2 images in 8 hrs. I do this after exporting first 2 and then have a long wait exporting image 3. I will save a copy after image 3 is completed.

I haven’t watched the activity monitor, but will try that next change I get.

I can’t remember if I’ve changed order and tried to export, but fell like I’ve done this. I can try this to confirm as well.

It still takes hours if I quit and restart. Also takes hours if I save a copy, open and export starting with image 3.

Very mysterious…


Hi John,

To clarify I’ve stopped exporting the animation and have been exporting each image individually. Sometimes after a quit and restart and sometimes not. Always image 3 takes a long time.

If I understand correctly I should resize the window to 36x24" (Landscape) aspect ratio (3:2) before exporting? You mentioned a ruby plugin. Is there one that does this or just for image exporting as individual images?


So it seems like the key is to try to figure out what is different about that image vs the others.


I have a private plugin for window resizing I can PM you…

Materials is also a ‘big slower’, does image 3 differ?

do you happen to have Vray installed by any chance?


3/2.to_f = 1.5
3:2 == 1.5:1


Plugin for resizing would be great!

The image 3 doesn’t differ much between image 1 and image 2. So materials shouldn’t be the issue.

Also a note, this has happened in more than one Sketchup model. The models are usually very large as I work on urban design - lots of context buildings, trees etc. I still don’t think the size of the models explains why image 1 and 2 export quickly and the others take so long.


Is there a reason you aren’t exporting from Layout? There, the page size sets the image size and you can export one page at a time or all of them.


+1. That’s what LayOut is for. And if anything goes wrong in the process, export to PDF in LayOut, and print from there.


I’ve tried using layout and yes it does work, but can take a while to set up pages etc. It gets tedious if exporting for post processing in photoshop, especially with multiple view, each with their own style. It is a good work-around for now. Thanks for the suggestion.


? LayOut is 10X faster than doing it manually. Do this: take your model, without any geometry, just scenes. Send that blank model to LayOut. Set up scene-per-page or whatever you want. Save as template in LayOut.

Now go back to SketchUp: any model you have that has the same scene names and you Send to LayOut using that template will populate EVERY page of the LayOut document. Yea, first time may take a bit, but you update your model and your LayOut document updates automatically, which is way faster than anything else you could set up.