SketchUp in 2019: where great ideas get to work

I’m sooo excited.

The problem is the UV mapping in Sketchup. In Unreal it is not as simple as: Sketchup Export-> Datashith-> Unreal-> Render/VR. Lots of cleanup and optimization of the static meshes are needed to get the light mapping correct.

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Then why not make their extnesions official “Sketchup Extensions”?
Because, believe it (or not) users don’t want a separate menu called “Chris Fullmer Tools” with a bunch of random tools grouped together (along with a strange link to a Chris Fuller Extension Warehouse page). It’s just not a user-friendly way to organise a menu/interface.

Selling extensions to a product while also developing that product seems like a pretty odd conflict of interest.


All 3d software companies that I know of have an API for outside developers to make 3rd party tools. I am an extension developer thanks to this and want SketchUp to keep supporting us.

Part of why I love SketchUp is that it is SIMPLE to learn and as you gain experience you can clutter the UI with all the extensions you want because you are now ready (aka SketchUp Master).

Imagine how a beginner will feel if SketchUp would make tons of tools for who knows what!

I will be Happy if SketchUp keeps improving its core for performance and also add to its API for us developers.


Too bad [enter] still doesn’t finish naming / renaming a group or component in the entity info window.
The naming/renaming process is only finished after updating the viewport (rotating the view for instance, clicking a menu item). So if you forget and press Z(oom) afterwards - your objects name is ‘wallsZ’

rant incoming:

This should be easy to fix or…? Its sad we still have to use workarounds year after year. These ‘features’ are annoying and break your workflow many many times a day.
With every new release I hope some of these are finally fixed. I want my workflow also keeping-it-simple and not ‘shoot, I forgot to close the Outliner before running this plugin and my last save was 15 minutes ago…crossing fingers SketchUp wont freeze & crash…’
I really can’t be happy with all the dev effort going to features I don’t care for (web/cloud/ar/vr/subscription) while these bugs are neglected for many years already. I ask myself - whats the use reporting bugs on this forum?!



You ask Chris to move them out of his sub menu. If he has remembered to put an open source license on them you can do it yourself and re-publish.

I must admit to being very concerned about this development! I use SketchUp Pro 2016 with a pertetual liscence. This I use on two machines, as I was assued by the team at SketchUp I would always be able to do (one on my iMac and on my MacBook Pro) is this going to end? Will I still be able to use these as the new “regime” (Supscription) comes into force. To be honest SketchUp Pro 2016 is absolutely fine for me and what I do in my projects.

From what I understand perpetual licenses should work forever. Just make sure you have the installers saved somewhere in case your machine should stop working. SketchUp only keeps installers on their website for 2 major versions back.


Hi eneroth3.
Thanks for that! Yes I have the install drives still on both Macs. What a shame that SketchUp feel that they need to go the same way as Adobe? It was bad enough that they put the free version onto the cloud only. I know many friends who liked the be able to get to grips with the App before buying it and they didn’t need all the 'bells and whistles"?! I feel that SketchUp/Trimble need to reconsider both of these issues promptly? What do others feel?

SketchUp Make 2017 is still available though, even if it doesn’t have all new features and bug fixes. However I’m a bit worried it may be taken down from their website when 2020 is released, as they normally only make 2 versions back available. I surely hope not for the sake of the hobbyist community.


agree. That’s precisely why I quit AutoCad. But you have to say, the list of annoying SU bug is quite small compare to Acad. But again, agree.

@mattd where do you get it?

Woaaaaaaw! That is so cool. Thanks a lot for the plug guy.

I also have this problem with some client being alergic to colour planset. Not agree with them but they are the client! This plugin fix that problem. Thx @jim_foltz and all of you who point out this very nice feature.


This is not exactly the same as what @AK_SAM is talking about. Please re-read his post. It’s not about you, not working for Trimble SketchUp.

voilà! In my opinion, Grayscale textures should be a viewstyle in the core program.


It certainly seems as if the 2019 release has stirred some strong opinions. One of the saddest things is that so many original & considered recommendations by extremely competent and enthusiastic users under the feature requests heading on this forum that would have certainly improved SU have not been implemented. It appears that there is genuine disappointment that the core programme has not developed as the users would have wanted it to. After all they are the customers and should be listened to. Whilst there may be merit in going to web based software it isn’t much use if your connection is sub standard, or non existent. Neither will it help (if I understood it correctly) if sometime after you cease to be a subscriber, you need to alter, or update work you have previously done and are unable to do so, for any reason. I certainly hope that I can continue to own my software call it Sketchup Pro, or Classic or whatever in the future. If it becomes purely subscription and web based like others who have spoken here, my last purchased version would likely be my last update. Let’s hope that the ownership option stays as that is in part one of SU’s USP.


Your beautiful work in SU inspired me to consider SU as an alternative to AutoCad which I’d used since the 80’s. You are correct that $300 annual is very reasonable for a business… and likely you’re quite correct that the primary outrage is based on fear of what happens down the road.

That fear is justified.

You obviously invested huge amounts of time into SU to make it a workable solution for your business. When you spent all that time you owned your copy of SU and surely you eagerly awaited updates and happily paid the fee. I question whether you would have comfortably invested all that time into SU if you knew you would have absolutely nothing if SU went belly-up or if you didn’t continue to pay subscription. Knowing that you could continue working for the foreseeable future with only your latest version of SU and the mods you’ve made gives a huge comfort level that will be totally gone if subscription becomes the only available option. Consider the reality that you’d have no legacy version to fall back on. What if subscription kept going up each year and now it’s up to $1500 per year and each update doesn’t really help your work performance but only mostly creates headaches because you have to redo all the settings and shortcuts and other things that you’ve spent years setting up? Would you still want to keep paying your subscription at that point? That is what happened to me with AutoCad over the years between the 80’s and the 2010’s.

What we’re seeing here is a revolt to ‘the norm’ of subscription… and I hope that it continues. We’ll pay for updates, but want to be able to know that we’ll always have a working tool on hand even if it’s not perfect.


One of the great things about Blender is your SU models come in ready to render (with your SU textures, or add new ones), without UV Mapping. You can then use Blender’s realtime renderer, EEVEE, just like you would do in Unreal.

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I completely agree and would love to see Nathaniel’s work better supported. I also dont use it (and other extensions) for similar same reasons.
So you can have all the might of these amazing extensions but they dont get aopted. Its like having awesome fonts and never using them because compatibility means we always end up with the same 6 fonts for everything.

Issue 1) We cant collaborate with people who dont have that extension - model can break if they open it and save it.

Issue 2) No assurance that the extension will be maintained or features wont be dropped. Adopting somthing into a workflow is a huge investment.

Issue 3) Inability of Layout to document it (with schedules etc), transmit to other pros in IFC or DWG formats.

Issue 4) too much admin; Skalp, Vali architects, Profile Builder, Meedek Wall and Roof, etc etc - all licensed in differnet ways, updated at random (or never) and not compatibility tested with each other.

Since this BSA alliance , developers are hiring 3rd party sleuths to chasing down and sue users who install multiple copies or dont maintain accurate records of licenses (eg if i sign in on your pc and forget to sign out) and the amounts are $10ks per infringement. I cant go into details here but its a serious professional risk.

We are not hip young students working on macbooks at starbucks and an appetite for trial and error. We are in a corporate environment with professional standards and liabilities to adhere to. Our projects are worth many $millions and people rely on our outputs. Nathaniel is a bright and dedicated guy, but how would I know if his structural modelling is accurate or his model data is reliable?


Dear Trimble,

I am very disappointed with this release. I was thrilled at the idea of an actual update after so many years, but soon realized by reading the web page that the biggest new feature is another price increase in dashed line makeup. Oh, and of course introducing as usual a “2019” file format that makes older versions artificially obsolete.

I love SketchUp and have been using it for more than 10 years. But I see some serious management issues here. How can Trimble increase the price without following the competition? Are you trying to see how much money they can milk out of SketchUp users without investing in it? The new feature/“amount of coffee” ratio seems pretty terrible to me and this will not work much longer. In the Forum summary email I just recieved, 12 posts out of 16 were complaints about 2019, the new business model and even censorship. The anger is building up.

A great move would be to buy and implement extensions and hire their developers, there are true artists out there! :wink: