Panning and zooming with very large files - Sketchup vs Blender

upload your .dae file and we can test that…

I imported your ‘full’ sized .skp in less than 30 min into a empty fast style SU session and although it was ‘mud’ once loaded, it’s to expected with only 245MB of ram on this mac…

on import I normally decimate .obj or .dae terrain files and can get around ok…


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Thanks a lot for your comments.
I am unsure how you can “import with no Origin”, I find no option for this when importing .dae. Please expand on this.

I only worked with the SKP file you shared.


Since I previously was using Sketchup 19.0, I will recreate the .dae file (from Sketchup 19.2.222) and verify that Blender will correctly import it.
Also, I will check whether the Sketchup import process this behaves the same.
Then I will post the .dae file, and notify.
This will probably take a little bit of time…

Again, thanks for you support.

Architects and Designers need to illustrate and present their ideas to clients.
To that end, SketchUp’s ability to render artistic views is one of its core strengths.

Those resource hogging artsy rendering effects are for presentation purposes.
They’re not appropriate for building the model.

I have now recreated the .dae file (from Sketchup 19.2.222) and verified that Blender does correctly import and render it (in 25 secs).
Importing the same .dae file into Sketchup, still takes some 30 minutes “busy wheel” spin, after which the Sketchup application starts to respond very slow (independent of edge profiles being set or not).

And the terrain details appears all gone… not really sure why…

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Collada is a text XML file. It’s quite possible Blender has better text parsing than SketchUp does.

When comparing certain things in Sketchup and Blender - as I have attemped to do here - I always find it difficult to know whether the comparison is “fair” or not. Which is certainly illustrated by my unawareness of the implication of the Edge Profile setting in Sketchup.

There are certainly abilities in Sketchup which I like and rely on, and I do not yet know whether the same abilities are present (in the same way) in Blender. I agree with you
that Blender appears very efficient and slick, and I will certainly allocate some time now to dive into Blender, especially as the 2.80 version is now available.
Probably I will report back here if I miss features which I rely on in Sketchup, of if Blender somehow does not live up to (my) expectation.
Anyway, I feel that it is good to stand on more than one leg…

Absolutely. Totally different market and purpose behind them. I use sketchup exclusively because it’s made for what I do. Blender would never be a replacement for the reasons you hinted at.

That aside, it feels rather obvious that Blender is more efficient overall for graphics and handling of geometry. I tinker in Blender semi regularly and there’s no comparison when it comes to display abilities. It NEVER gets bogged down and give up displaying full shadows and textures. And that’s with real time multiple light sources and even atmospheric effects and reflections on. As a preview. It’s insane.

I destroyed the building, but the terrain now runs well on my meagre mac… (6.0 MB)

couple of layers in there as well…


Yeah we witnessed that

Cool! But in this context, this is a little bit beyond the point.
Simplifying the data file affects both Sketchup and Blender alike, and has nothing to do with Sketchup vs Blender. I was really trying to focus on the behavioral aspects of both applications for large data files (from a principal point of view).

BTW, did you have any chance of testing the .dae file you asked me to upload?

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That’s what millions upon millions of closely spaced Edges look like from a distance.
• Turn off Edges


Edit the Component
• Switch to Wireframe
• Select the Edges and tick both Soft and Smooth in Entity Info

Blender handles poly’s far better than SU, but SU handles geometry far better than Blender…

this is primarily due to the ‘stickiness’ required for SU’s inferencing engine that facilitates the fast nature of it’s ‘sketch’ modelling…

to take advantage of SU, you have to limit it’s inferencing scope in the view…

reducing poly’s, hiding layers, etc… all ‘help’ alleviate the lag, but will never match a engine that doesn’t care what it’s looking at…

for those engines they only need to show current, not pre-empt your next move…

it’s why they usually have so many more dialogs, buttons, menus and steeper learning curve…

DAE: my mac was taking forever so I converted it first, as I normally would…


I have noticed that when working with massive photogrammerty and point cloud models SketchUp works much smoother when using a 3D Mouse. Even when working with simpler ones I don’t get the degradation of quality so soon when navigating.

You are probably right in this… so read me right, please. When you say “primarily due to”, I get the feeling you have some detailed Sketchup inference engine insight. Forgive me my curiosity, but do “sages” have some special information channels not available to others, or is your statement based on long time experiences only??

My point was the Sketchup’s .dae import prosess is especially slow compared to Blender’s (30 minutes vs 25 seconds), which is what I guess is what you are seeing as well… I guess this should be looked at by the appropriate Trimble guys…

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you don’t talk about ‘sage’ club :wink:

my ‘insight’ [if I have any] is mainly from writing extensions to help speed up other peoples workflows…

by developing on an under powered computer, I can easily see improvements my code makes and know it will only be better on a more appropriate setup…


This IMHO is what it is (almost) all about.
(@JoNoS), you are trying to compare apples and oranges here.

Sure. But I guess that is the situation we (as users) will often find ourselves in when comparing various products (in this case 3D software modellers) to solve some specific task for us.
Still, what is the alternative???

Thanks, very good point, I saw that one afterwards. This allows the faces of the terrain to show. However, the responsiveness of Sketchup is now all gone, every operation is ‘mud’. So somehow the result is worse than ever.

I believe I might have come to the end of this for now (unless anyone disproves me).
Probably Sketchup’s .dae import is not very important to me anyway (but .dae export could potentially, though). And, 30 minutes import time is over the top. So if any Trimble people is listening in, feel free to improve this.
The implications of the Edge Profile setting is now crystal clear for me!!! And I will keep a sharp eye on that one from now!! :star_struck:

Although I have been using Sketchup regularily for some years, having for time time needed to deal with very large files, this did confront me with some challenges. This discussion has contributed significantly to my understanding of Sketchup, both limitations and advantages.
Thanks to all of you for helping out.

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