SketchUp pro for garden design

Hi All
I was wondering if anyone may help explain why my laptop is struggling once file sizes go over 60mb. I looked up some reviews and went for a asus rog g15 strix. I am far from a computer buff but went with this. My intention is to use it for my garden designs. My latest design is up to 93k and the laptop is lagging. Introducing models like plants seems to be the stinger. I use the turbo mode on the laptop which pushes the processor up to 5ghz.
As far as I can see the laptop is very powerful and should cope well but I was not really expectations reach a ceiling of 93mb where the lag is a few seconds. Am I doing anything wrong. Greatly appreciate any suggestions
Kind Regards
|Operating system|Windows 10 (64-bit)|

PERFORMANCE Processor - Intel® Core™i7-10750H Processor

  • Hexa-core
  • 2.6 GHz / 5.0 GHz
  • 12 MB cache
    RAM - 16 GB DDR4 (3200 MHz)
  • 32 GB maximum installable RAM
    Graphics card - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
  • 8 GB GDDR6
    Storage 1 TB SSD

Plant models are often ridiculously complex and over detailed. Notoriously these can bog down any model once you start duplicating them, even if you’re using components. It’s not hard to reach millions (unnecessary) of faces in a model with these types of plant models. Are you downloading these from the warehouse?

One option is to turn off shadows and profiles and see if that helps. Then you might actually turn off some foliage while modeling other areas. Will really help.

The other option and step is to make sure you simplify the foliage components and reduce them to a minimum of geometry to still work.

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Yes I do download from the warehouse. Is there another way of doing plants whilst keeping the finished render accurate?
I’ve uploaded some images of what I have done if this helps. Hope they can be seen

I can tell there are probably tons of unnecessary geometry in there. Have you gone down in to see if someone modeled each bulb and leaf in intricate detail? If so you should adjust if this is really what you want. Looks like it’s the plant with all the black outlines in profile too.

I know one pro designed an entire plant show and used 2d png for the foliage and didn’t have any models. Helped keep the whole thing manageable and still looked decent.

Your profile says you’re using sketchup pro but that looks like a screenshot from a different app.

Many thanks Monospaced. Yes the plants are very intricate and detailed to each leaf. Clearly takes a lot of processor power with all those faces in the plant models. Some plants are noticeably ‘heavy’ in the model even when the file size didn’t seem that big. So I can look at ‘thinning’ out sine models on the warehouse and try 2d instead of models. Maybe I was expecting a little too much! The laptop seems pretty powerful. It’s actually a gaming machine so apparently geared towards graphics. Glad to hear it’s not really the machine.
Yes I have SketchUp viewer on my iPhone which is really handy but again limited by file size but so far has been fine. Very good app I think.
Here’s a more closeup of the planting

Many Thanks :+1:

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I have SketchUp pro 2021

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Your machine is very powerful. It is not an issue. Some plants look 2d already. One in particular looks very complex.

On a side note, turning off profiles will help speed things up.

Super will try that. Where will I find profiles in pro to turn off?
Many Thanks

If you want to find out which plants are the ‘heavy’ ones in edges and faces, @slbaumgartner (Steve Baumgartner) has a plugin called Statistics Probe. He’s recently updated it, but I don’t know if it was ever published. If so, the earlier version would be on SketchUcation plugin store.

It’s often worth using 2D FaceMe components instead of full 3D plants, wherever the plant isn’t foremost in the view. You can make your own by taking an image of a 3D plant model, or even a real plant, and importing the image onto a face with a transparent background. Cut off (roughly) the surplus background face, and hide its edges. Can look very realistic, and be low poly. Don’t overdo the resolution of the image, though, as that can also bloat the file size and processing needed to display it.

I’ve seen reference on the forum a few months ago to a plugin which does some of the heavy lifting for you by starting with a 3D model and converting it. Sorry, I can’t remember who wrote it or what it’s called, but someone else on the forum may remember.

PS. If you can upload your .skp file to a file sharing service and provide a link, Steve or I could run Statistics Probe on it to highlight the plants which contribute most to the edge count.


But your image looks as if it’s from the Web version, Free or Shop, not SU Pro which you asked about. Have you just switched?

File sizes do not matter much. What does is the actual face/edge count of your model. It shows on the Window menu>Model Info>Statistics page when you tick the Show nested Components box. When the counts run in the millions the model will be slow, whatever the computer specs. Like all 3D modeling applications, Sketchup is single-threaded so the number of cores in your CPU doesn’t matter.

Use “2D” face-me plants whenever possible.

Yes I recently bought SketchUp pro subscription from educandi. I think I did this design on SketchUp 2017 but I now use pro 2021 as it allows my to transfer to layout which is really good. I will try those plugins and may start my own plant catalogue.
Many Thanks John

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I’ve tried using detailed foliage in one model I made. I even went in and simplified things a ton, and got things as lean as possible. But I still ended up with a very slow model. Ultimately I turned off all plants until I absolutley had to show them. I needed them detailed because they were closeups, but for overall design you might get away with less detail. Good luck.

I will certainly limit planting and turn off where I can. Thanks for the help Monospaced. It’s only when I’m preparing the planting is when I need to work with the plant models. I am finding the software very good however. Very powerful tool. I used to Dre by hand prior but SketchUp really helps.
Many Thanks

Many thanks Anssi. This makes a lot of sense. I’m still learning from software but so far very impressed with its capabilities. I will look through those stats. I’m guessing there’s a load of faces in the model which slow it down I decided to go with pro 2021 after testing it with 2017. Layout has helped my with the drawing part of it, but clients love the modelling too.
Many Thanks

Years ago someone posted images of the most beautiful SketchUp garden design I have seen here. He/she had basically used only simple boxes, cylinders and such geometric shapes to represent the plants, painted with a semitransparent foliage texture. I wish I had stored an example image as the forum has migrated a couple of times since.