Speed of Layout - scenes vs components

Layout runs very slowly.

Will it be faster in Layout if I have multiple scenes (where each has its own section plane) of my model or if I have multiple components with one section plane in my model?

Thank you

I don’t quite understand your question but you should be creating scenes in SketchUp for each view of the model you want in LayOut. And LayOut doesn’t know from components. The viewports are just the scenes from your SketchUp model. If you want to show different section cuts in different views of the model, you do that with scenes.

If you aren’t creating scenes for your viewports, you will have problems when you have to make changes to the model.

Thanks for your fast response Dave!
Usually I use components.

I make my model (e.g. a kitchen), then I make the whole model a component, then I create copies of that component off to the side. I put a section plane through all the copies, and rotate/move my components as necessary in order to see inside different areas (the fridge or the oven or the cabinets). If I want to edit the model, all the copies receive the change since they’re components. Then in Layout I just zoom into the different components. With complicated models, Layout can get super slow.

I’ve recently been suggested to use scenes. I’m trying it out and it’s hard to tell if it’s any faster. Scenes make it easier to get the different views in Layout, however when editing the model in sketchup, I have to click through the scenes one at a time to examine inside the model.

If you aren’t using scenes in your SketchUp model, your views in the LO doc can get screwed up after you edit the model. If time spent on your LO document is important then you probably don’t want to be spending a lot of time fixing your document because you didn’t use scenes. (Side note: Do not modify scenes in LayOut, either.)

I suspect that part of your slow down comes from your process of making multiple copies of your components and moving/rotating them to get the section cuts you want. It would be more efficient to set up scenes of the main model with the various sections as needed. Use Layers correctly to control the visibility of groups and components you want to show or not show.

Clicking through scenes shouldn’t be a big deal. You shouldn’t need to click through all of them when you make an edit in the model anyway.

example of kitchen.pdf (636.9 KB)

I’m including a PDF so you can see how I normally place multiple components next to each other.

Layout views do tend to get screwed up sometimes. Sometimes the dimensions follow the changes, sometimes not. It’s just nice to be able to see multiple different views at once, and having the components allows that. What do you mean by I should need to click through them to make edits? Do you just mean that since they provide views inside the model, I’ll most likely be using the different scenes in order to access different parts to make changes?

From your PDF it’s no wonder you are seeing slow behavior.

If you’d use scenes in SketchUp (and not modify them in LayOut) the views wouldn’t get screwed up. Ever.

I corrected it. It should have read “shouldn’t”. You shouldn’t need to click through all of your scenes when you make edits to the model.

Oh ok.

Is there anything else I can do to improve Layout’s speed? My more recent files use only scenes and they’re still slow. I keep the file in Raster until the very end when I’m ready to turn it into a PDF.

Should I keep dimensions / images grouped? Could that make the speed faster or slower?

I expect that much of what you are seeing is rendering speed due to your graphics card. Unfortunately not much you can do short of changing hardware.

Viewports and dimensions should be on their own layers. Grouping them won’t affect rendering speed. Neither will putting the entities on different layers but doing so will make it easier to deal with the parts of the document you need to work on.

Can you tell me a little more about putting viewports and dimensions on their own layers? How does it make it easier?

There are several reasons to do that. In LayOut, layer order controls what shows up on top of what. A layer for dimensions higher in the list than the layer(s) for viewports ensures that dimensions won’t end up behind the model viewports. You can also lock layers. Lock the layer(s) viewports are on before adding dimensions or labels. That way, when you double click on a dimension or label to edit it, you don’t risk opening the viewport and creating a modified scene. If you need to make changes to all of one sort of entity–say you want to change the font for all the dimensions on the page–it’s much easier to select only the dimensions if they are all on the same layer and all the other layers are locked.

Depending on the situation, that might be times when you want to turn off the visibility of certain types of entities. Maybe you want to do some scaled drawing over a viewport that’s already been dimensions. You could turn off the visibility for the Dimensions layer, lock the viewport layer and do your scaled drawing on a layer in between.

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Thanks Dave
I have a simple model open in Layout now, and it was moving pretty slowly. When I changed all the images to vectors, it sped up a little bit.
I thought rasters were supposed to be the fastest? Is everything I know a lie?

Raster is normally the fastest to render but once it’s rendered, vector can be faster because there’s no textures and no 3D shading to tax the graphics card.

One of the useful abilities of components / copies is that I can make some components unique and hide certain parts (like hide cushions to show a bench). I can’t figure out a way to do this in scenes. Is there a way to have a scene that doesn’t show a layer or set of parts, or has a set of parts moved away from the model? It seems like it should be possible if scenes can have different camera views / active section planes.

Yes. With proper use of layers you can show or not show different parts of a model. You can have different layers visible for different scenes. Here’s an example.

This is a tilt top table I did plans for a while back. I need to show the top in both positions.


There are copies of the top, brackets, swing arm, and wedges in two different positions and on different layers. With all those layers turned on, the table looks like this:

There are three scenes in the SketchUp model using the geometry visible in the above screen shots and each one is used for one of the three viewport in the LO file.

Of course there are more scenes to show things like exploded views and individual parts for dimensions and such. With all the layers turned on, this is all there is in the model.

The components above the assembled copy of the table are shown a few at a time in different scenes. For example, the scene for the swing arm assembly parts looks like like below. This scene is used for dimensioning these parts. For this scene the layers for the feet, legs, stretcher, top, etc. are all turned off so only the layer for the swing arm parts is shown.

Like you, I use components throughout. When I need to edit parts of the model i can edit the components in the assembled version of the table and know that the changes will be made everywhere. And of course I use Make Unique when that is appropriate.

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