Managing Large Files

I am currently working on various new projects that are filled with models downloaded from the 3D Warehouse. These models are really cool, and lends credence to my many designs, from wine cellars, to tractor service centres and fertiliser warehouses. In many instances, the 3D Warehouse models do just that little extra to steer potential clients to give us a full commission! But… I really would like to know how best to manage these large files. I work on a MacBook Pro late 2018 model with 16GB RAM (which seems to little). One solution is to remove all the 3D Warehouse models into another file - by just placing them on a separate Tag does not seem to help, especially when I have to figure out best angle of presentation and sun angle. I do then purge the main file, which seems to remove all the unused geometry.

It also seems that things run a little faster if I am offline! Working from home using my phone to connect to the net. Does working on a slow connection also affect the redraw capability? I also have resorted to putting off some of the models if they don’t appear in any specific scene.

Is there a method to split the model into two files perhaps, where one could reference the ‘heavy’ file containing all these extra models, for doing the final render?!

Large File|690x455

not ONE response! Not even from a Sage? Let’s make it simple: Does working on a slow internet connection affect the redraw capability?

I looked at this when you posted it and didn’t reply because firstly you use a Mac and I have little experience with them.
Secondly because I would have said what has been said so many times before, don’t use high poly models in large amounts, don’t just dump stuff from the warehouse into your model, download separately and clean them before adding to your model,.
But your post suggests you don’t want to hear that, you want to know how to manage that and I can’t help with that.

There is really not much to respond to. You know yourself that your heavy components slow your SketchUp down, and whatever you do, when they are visible, SketchUp has to trawl through all the extra geometry. There is no solution to allow you to have fast model navigation while the bloats are visible.

If you need to have the fully detailed (even over-detailed) models in your final render you yourself have hinted at a solution.

Find or create simpler proxies for use while you are modelling, which are good enough to decide on viewpoints, lighting and shadows, then either use a renderer that automatically knows how to substitute fully detailed components, or use the native Reload component command, or a cross reference manager extension to replace the proxy before rendering.

Or find simpler but ‘good enough’ 3D Warehouse models in the first place. My experience is that many are poorly structured, and have one or more of grossly over modelled geometry, invisible internal details, and/or don’t use components properly.

Generally, download each 3DW model into a new file, and spend time cleaning it up before adding it to your main model.

Your internet connection should have no impact on modeling. Once launched, SketchUp Pro does not access the internet for anything until/unless you open a window for the 3DWarehouse, Extension Warehouse, or Geolocation. Aside from when you are downloading content, none of these are involved with drawing to the screen.

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I would guess that slowdowns might be caused by things like Windows Update that fire up when you are online.

You might try vetting the warehouse components you import better. There are often lower poly alternatives that look equally good,

The image you posted appears to have shadows and profiles on. Both of these greatly increase the work your graphics card has to do to re-render every tiny orbit. You might consider making a style for working in that has shadows,profiles, depth cue, even textures set to off, just turn them on to present.


thank you for your insights! The comments really help me understand how best to optimise my system. I am obviously aware of the overall issues when working with SU, your comments have enforced some of my suspicions. Unfortunately, I am working on a Mac that cannot be upgraded - RAM or SSD! An upgrade would certainly help, so now have to look at a new Mac. I was thinking of loading SU on one of our office Mac’s, some have 60GB RAM and huge SSD’s and the latest processors, but due to the Covid, staff take their iMacs home when not working in the office.

The best strategy, in my opinion, is to clean up and simplify any and all models you download from the 3D warehouse, before importing them into your model. This includes making sure all materials are optimized, geometry isn’t overly complex, and that there are no errors that will cause issues once imported into your model (tags, stray geometry, etc). Also make sure they are all proper components.

Then, when you’re modeling, you can speed things up by turning off shadows and profiles. I do this using a style that doesn’t affect anything related to camera positions or tag visibility. Toggling on this “work” mode will allow you to navigate and model much quicker.

If your models are still too large to handle, then you may consider breaking them up into smaller model subsets.


An example of the benefit of the frequent advise to clean up 3D Warehouse components before adding them to your projects:

This cook top in the Warehouse is 4 Mb.

Putting it on a diet gets it down to around 0.9 Mb without hurting it. I got rid of small details that wouldn’t be visible when it is added to a kitchen and eliminated the excessive nesting. More could be done to lighten this even further.

Screenshot - 9_30_2021 , 7_51_53 AM

I suggest to my students that they consider that there is some “budget” for their project. They max out the budget when their computer starts to choke on the file. I tell them to give some thought to where it makes sense to invest their budget and where they can cut corners.


Luckily, in our parts, the most popular modern cooktop is of the electric induction type. Its accurate representation is a black rectangle. :grinning:


In my quest to ‘lighten’ my files (thanks for all the tips), I saved a 62,5MB file in SU version 2018, opened it there, then saved it, then reopened it in 2021 … WOW!!! File reduced to 426kb!

Here’s also a good tip, I learend this the hard way. Texture size is possibly the biggest contributor to file size for people who download textures online and in various places. I saw my house model go from 350 mb which was extremely poorly done by my interior designer because she had no understanding on how to download 3d warehouse models, the file when I made all textures to be around 1080 instead many of which were 3000,4000 pixels, the file went from roughly 350 mb to something like 120, than the 3d warehouse cleanup took the file size to around 30mb, for a 3thousand sq ft house with a completely decked out interior of high quality, a full site plan, etc, a file size of 30 some mb is what you should get. For example, nick sonders has a huge home designed where just the home design and finsihed interior, the file size is 12mb… These things taught me a lot, however texture is one of again if not the biggest contributors to file size there is for designers…