Suggestion for 2020.2 new linetype feature improvements

Also, and it’s difficult to exactly understand because of the language and your tag organisation, for example there is a viewport that links to a scene in SketchUp that shows the entire floor area where 3D objects are turned on but in Layout you have resized the viewport to show only a section of the floor area.

I don’t quite know how it works - someone more knowledgeable can confirm - but possibly it’s the case that when that viewport renders Layout will also render all those 3D objects that are in the linked scene but not showing in the viewport…?

I went through your Layout file and for each viewport I turned off (in Layout) the tags (I thought) relating to the soft living room chairs where those chairs were not visible.

I then turned on auto render, hid those cabinet doors that you did in the video and the change took about 18 seconds.

I’m sure file can be cleaned up and optimized… Keep in mind however that I have sent you one of our smaller projects and even after your cleanup it takes quite a bit of time to reload.

Right now I’m working on a project where files are in excess of 300MB (cleaned up and purged!)…

I’m using this option in my bigger projects, because without that it’d be impossible to work. I also set all vieports to render in Low quality to speed things up. However all this are just workarounds to make slow vieport renedring just a bit more managable. It’s not a solution to the root cause.

I don’t know how Layout renders SketchUp models - it’s beyond me.

But how fast do you expect Layout should render a single viewport? Micro seconds? Lest than that?

Is it your expectation that Layout should be able to update a large model and render a multi-page document with multiple viewports in less than 10 seconds or even significantly less?

Do you consider turning off auto render and having low display resolution enabled an unnecessary workaround or just a necessary requirement when working with large models?

I recently re-read Nick & Matt’s book and decided to break up my Layout construction document files (that were getting upwards of 30 pages) into multiple files, one for elevations, one for plans, one for sections, one for details, etc.

No, that’s not neccesary. If Sketchup team can make vieports to update 2x faster I think we’d be quite happy already. But obviously the faster the better.

Yes, already using auto render off in preferences. It’s annoying though when you have many vieports and pages and have to constantly click ‘Render Models on Page’…

Yes, we are also doing that with bigger projects since it’s the only way we can really work. We also try to split SU models into components and use in Layout only those that are really needed (for example construction documents only include 2D furniture and not 3D and such. All this helps us to stick with Layout - otherwise we would already be using another package …

And it’s impossible to click render locked layer models, which is really annoying… And if you want to reload locked layer viewports you have to open document setup > references which is even more annouying.

It’s not only speed trouble in Layout is a sum of so many details that should be fixed and tools that should work like Sketchup but instead work by dragging around and pointing to bad inference system…


Is it your expectation that Layout should be able to update a large model and render a multi-page document with multiple viewports in less than 10 seconds or even significantly less?

I’m often waiting more than that (5 mins per sheet is not uncommon in hybrid) but what 's also killer is the time it may take to fix a small issue that might be notice dwhen reviewing a PDF (eg, a symbol out of place in SU) . This is the process:

  • download & open the skp file (2-4 mins)
  • find and fix the issue in SU (10 seconds)
  • update the scene and any other scenes that need to be considered (1-2 mins)
  • save & upload the skp model (2-4 mins)
  • relink/update the skp reference in layout (2-4 mins)
  • re-render in layout (in hybrid) (3-5 mins++++)
  • check if the issue is fixed
  • re-assign any stray dimensions (1-5 mins)
  • save the LO file (2-3 mins)
  • export to PDF and check that output as well (2-5 mins)
  • upload the LO file (…)

average time to fix a tiny issue… 23 minutes
If you are usng multiple LO and SU files to generate a documentation set for one project, then the process is much longer! Add about 12 mins per LO & SKP file.

Yes we do try to check & double the design in SU perfectly so we dont have to fix mistakes…but they do creep in (and clients, designers, etc want to make little tweaks at the last minute)
It’s just that during the documentation stage is where a lot of little tweaks and amendments are made and that seems to be a painstaking process right now.

If SU+LO were truely seamless, we could “flow” little updates either from LO to SU, or with some live sync type thing. Or if the updates & saving & rendering etc were quicker then each step would be shorter.

Thinking abput this, I think SU+LO do need some sort of file/content managment interface that can help us keep track of all related files, dependencies, and can automate some of the output processes. The numerous tags, scenes,files, layout docs do take some careful planning to keep track of and, when ther’es a deadline and a flurry of work at the last minute, it’s this sort of thing creates errors on docs that are sent out (eg a particular sheet didnt update because we forgot that a specific stacked viewport was locked, because it happened to be in hybrid and we didnt want wait for it to re-render each time).

I really think we do need some sort of managemnt system (could be a spreadsheet) for multiple SU+LO docs, with all the tags & scenes & styles & all that…and AutoPDF… theres alot that can be automated (eg batch export of PDFs, updating references and re-rendering and PDFing all files with a simple right-click on the icon)… or at least just helping us keep track of things.


Annotation stage is scary. What you describe, with small differences, is where we have most of our inneficiencies at our office. We design better because of Sketchup and we present our designs nicelly with LO. We can develop and detail a sketchup model with accuracy speed and great results, while iterating through design at the construction documentation stage (which for us is still a design stage) but when we need to annotate we flunk the ship.

It’s the amount of times we have to small details while annotating that forces us to reload the model, that affect us the most in LO. We do split the LO files into multiple types of drawings, we do have lightweight models, we have everything very well controlled for maximum efficiency and speed from Sketchup and Layout, but 5+ min reloads simply are not helpful. It’s distracting because no one will wait 5+ minutes for a reload. It’s against morale.

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Same here. I hope someone from @SketchUpTeam is reading this…

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How this most recent rant relates to the LO line type control?

Line type control is a first take on reducing stacked viewports.

I’d say it’s welcome but not a structural change in our workflow.

Export tags as CAD layers in LO and remove section cut line from scenes/viewports would allow me to have no need for stacked viewports.

I need those two for ages.

With less viewports, LO incumbrances would be less.

With a single viewport I would then need to control each line thickness and style in the viewport and that’s what we have received right now…

I’d consider it ahead of time. I know the team will pull off what I need sometime.

I suggest you flag this thread and your comments to @Adam, he’s the LayOut Lead Developer on the SketchUp Team …

Just so you know, we are closely following this thread. We don’t think we’re done working on improving LayOut’s performance. Controlling line weights per tag is one way we think we can do this and also (we hope) speed up the workflow of creating drawings in SketchUp & LayOut. The feedback we’re hearing here is that viewport inferencing and reload performance is still an issue for efficient production in LayOut.


And don’t forget about viewport stacking: we need less of it.

Each viewport on the stack is adding up to confusion, inferences slowdown, amount of needed layers and, therefore, man hours.

The things needer in order to reduce stacking would be:

  • Ability to export SketchUp tags from Layout to CAD; - Ability to hide auto generated section cut lines in SketchUp and honoring that in Layout.

It won’t make Layout perform better, but it will facilitate our workflow a lot.


Very nicely framed JQL,
I think this entire exchange reveals the underlying frustration with LayOut that has been simmering just below the surface for many years. So, in this case, users are turning to proposed “tweaks” in the SU environment in order to solve the many presentation barriers and limitations encountered in LayOut.
Because Trimble has been so slow to solve these issues in LO, now we hope and think they will do it within SU instead?
If LayOut could just be modernized (totally rewritten?) to be the 2D presentation package it was intended to be, and should be, then this discussion would be moot.
But OK, fine Trimble - just solve these issues "somewhere" … please!

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I’m sure we are all very glad that you are tracking this thread …
Please make sure that @Adam and his team are tracking as well!
Any chance you could give him some additional staff and budget to turbo boost this effort?

Agreed AK_SAM,
Thus so much exploration here in the forum for other presentation software destinations for SU files.
But the embedded file link between SU & LO is seductive and compelling, with so much potential …
if only Trimble would rewrite LayOut into something truly fast and useful!

May I pile on here? My pet peeve is the print to pdf process it takes so long to print one page, (via Mac Print dialog). I make a quick change in SketchUp and everything is fine until then (and after), but during printing is the most time spent in the whole process–and you have to be active to wait through each step in the process, so you aren’t free while it goes on and on.

Then the pdf is too big (MB).

AND LayOut should automatically name separate output files by the page OR combine pdf. But I digress…

Thank you, for your attention. :grinning:

That should be because exporting to pdf will regen all pages before exporting. If you had all pages already rendered and updated it wouldn’t do that and would export fast.

If you’re wise you probably work with low quality raster settings and you might want to export the pdf with a different raster quality… if that’s the case, there’s no circumventing your problem.

However, if low quality settings are good for you on pdf exports, you migth save some time as most of the viewports might already have been updated while you worked with them.

The opposite might also be true. Sometimes, working on medium (or even high) quality settings might actually save you time, if you’re pretty sure you will not update your model often.

Pretty sure I’ve done all LayOut has to offer on my machine. Thanks though.

That’s strange. The only time pdf slows down for me is if viewports haven’t been regenerated yet. It’s a zip otherwise.