Presenting a Model as a 3D



Hi everyone,

I’ll need to present my 3D model to our clients sometime soon. First we were just supposed to give them renders but now they want to see it as a entire 3D model. The renders are good but the 3D itself I think isn’t as presentable (at least compared to the renders).
Biggest Issue: I have a good laptop with NVDIA graphic card and around 16 GB of memory but still as I rotate the 3D model it’s nothing but black lines with huge lags and some model parts disappearing.
What could I do to improve this.

Is there a way to render the entire 3D model and present them as 3D?
What could I do to solve this lag issue and make the model look better as a 3D in sketchUp.

Thank you in advance. This is important to me. Thanks.


To simplyfy the model start by reviwing the following:

  • Model size (the model, or any part of the model a very large size, eg 10 miles across? - Can this be reduced?
  • Texture size (are you using high-res textures? if so, un-tick the “use maximum texture size” option under preferences).
  • Antialiasing (can be changed or turned off under preferences)
  • Video drivers up to date, system resources made available to sketchup (close background tasks etc) Check system resources to see if you are lacking RAM.
  • Reduce complexity of the model - look for vehicles, people, foliage, furniture, contour lines as these are High-Polygon and should be replaced with simplified versions if performance is suffering.
  • turn off shadowing, profile edges and any ‘artistic’ styles that you may want to use.
  • pick your angle of view carefully so as not to try to show too much within any scene. Have pre-set scenes that you can click through one by one instead of trying to navigate freely. This allows you to turn OFF any items (using layers) that are not required to be visible in each scene.

To view a ‘rendered’ model in realtime you have a few basic options:

  1. use SketchUp and simply navigate around (but you said ths is slow - you will need to reduce the polygons, model complexity, turn off styles, shadowing, etc) And this is not “rendered”.

  2. use LightUp which renders within SketchUp. This will make it look better, but requires even more graphics power.

  3. export the model to a web-based tool such as SketchFab. Again this will require you to simplify the model.

  4. export the model to a game engine such as Unity or UnrealEngine, which will be amazing but is difficult and time-consuming.

  5. render a video animation using a renderer such as Vray or Indigo, which you can view as a video file. this is not able to be navigated in ‘realtime’ as it’s just a video.

  6. export to a different 3d modelling package that is more equipped to handle your large & complex model (eg 3dStudioMax or Revit. This may require expensive software, hardware and training.


Some options seems to not be possible for me but there were a lot of good options to try as well. Thank you for taking time to answer. I will try them! Thank you. :slight_smile:


See this compendium of performance modeling techniques at the SketchUp Sage Site.
How do I make SketchUp Run Faster? — SketchUp Sage


Exporting as a 3d PDF can be quite useful.


Will do that. Thanks :slight_smile:


Will see if that’s possible, I am not sure if there are free 3D pdf viewers, just for this case I won’t be able to purchase one.


Exporting a video fly around can be a very useful option. Get your scenes all arranged to move around the model as a 360 and include some zoom of specific things you want the client to see, set the style how you like, even change the style from scene to scene to suit the focus, then export your video. This is of course less flexible than truly navigating the model but if the movie is well made it can be “navigated” by the client using the scrubbing handle at the bottom of the video player, by dragging forward and reverse they can fly around the 3D in the path you have chosen for them while still having a 3D expierence. Plus they are seeing things from the perspective that suits you and not seeing the things you would rather not focus on. This method has the advantage of being fast, supporting a style (like shadows) that might bog your computer in real time, or changes like FOV degrees or switch to parallel projection that can be tedious to do during a presentation , plus it’s easy to navigate and easy to share.


Thank you for your comment. I sure want to do it that way but I am not sure, they really do want to navigate in 3D and have a look themselves. I will of-course get a video ready and use it instead of giving them a ream tour in SketchUp but not sure if that would satisfy them.
Any ways thank you for the comment, some good points for me to remember. Thanks.


If you want to navigate in real time (but with a rendered view) then the only options that I know of with really polished results are game engines, either Unity or Unreal. However unless you are familiar with them you wont be able to just pick them up quickly with good results.

I hear light-up may have some sort of watered down walkaround option you may want to check that out I think it will be easier but not sure how well it will run on a laptop.


Thanks for the insight. I will try lightup once and see the results. Thank you.


I have personally used Enscape for taking SketchUp model live on the presentations, and it works well for our purpose.

A high-end laptop was necessary to get these results, but your model might not be as complex.

This is just another method along the lines of…

Although I found Enscape would be a lot easier than scripting for those game engines.


This is really cool. I’ll give it a try with the trial version. Thanks for answering. Regards!


Yes agreed, it doesn’t look so bad!

I am one year+ in to Unreal and still yet to produce anything of note…


You are so much better than I am.
I had one week into Unreal and lost my patience thinking - there must be a better way than this.


Yeah it’s not the easiest thing but it’s the only option for VR really.


If it is for interactive VR, sure.

But Enscape has filled that visuals in VR for us as well.


Yeah I need something with a bit more polish, interactivity and self movement. It was going ok for a while but I ended up taking 12 months to learn how to code so I could use it better. It’s been fun however, not too stressful.


Was that shopping mall drawn entirely in SU? If so, how many man hours was involved in doing so? I simply can’t imagine working with an SU file of that complexity.


I wouldn’t say entirely, as some parts did come from Revit. But they had to be correctly materialized, and modified to make it look better. Years of man hours, as it is a working model where we do designs, not a final model.