The usual complaint ... again

“Don’t use Vector or Hybrid rendering with models that have many edge”
My attempts to use Vector or Hybrid styles have been very unsuccessful, and caused layout to be unbearably slow and unworkable. Yes using raster only improves things a bit, but who wants such poor quality construction drawings. I have looked at the Sonder (very clever and organised) techniques and rather than that convincing me layouts up to scratch, I think it shows how many workarounds need be employed to avoid or compensate for layouts problems. eg To cut a section slice in sketchup and paste that as vector linework in Layout on top of a raster viewport, is an inconvenient, non live, non updating, workaround to compensate for layouts inability to cope with its on vector setting we are told to avoid. So you end up with construction documents with many cases of pasted section slice line work all of which need manual updating when the model changes. I understand there are workarounds, the point is that we’d prefer Layout didn’t require so many workarounds and could represent the 3D model, with quality vector and hybrid linework, with live references. That would be great.


If you really want to pain someone, scale up their dot hatch, make it a dark colour and explode it!.. I actually edited out the dot hatch from our autocad install templates and banned its use in our office.


FYI I don’t create line work anymore. The section cuts are live with the use of styles that utilize opacity by tag…aka “the Donley method”.

I’ve said this many times on raster rendering…when printed at standard drawing sizes the raster is very clear. It’s not the same as when you are zoomed in on a screen.

Your files are likely slow for two reasons:

  1. You are vector or hybrid rendering the entire model in multiple viewports in a single LO file.
  2. You are trying to creat a full set of CD’s in a single LO file.

All other 3D cad software will come to a halt if you try to do the same.

SU and LO are not intended to be like ACAD or Revit. They both shine in comparison due to their simplicity and speed. You just need a solid approach.

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Worked with several LO files today on my new system, but still got some very very laggy and clunky situations in LO. Even with very simple SU files (very simple). Bit disappointing, and I’m convinced they should rewrite some code…LO is the only program now which is annoyable slowwww.

I always use Low display resolution to work with LayOut and High for exporting and printing. I also always turn off JPG compression from my PDF exports. JPG compression creates very ugly artifacts - this might be the reason why people think raster output quality as poor.
The default “Medium” setting is a poor compromise. Low display quality makes LayOut more responsive while working, and Medium is still rather coarse for output.

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This is also assuming that 100% of downloads are using Layout. I suspect the percentage of SU users that use Layout is low…because they don’t need it for their workflow, are not interested in learning it, or because they tried using LO and realized that is an outdated and clunky tool that needs more development.
I respect that their are workflows and workarounds and compromises that can be used for LO (I have my own that I use daily for the past decade), but LO is like using only a hand saw and hammer in the days of battery powered electric circular saws and nail guns. LO does not have a logical workflow that isn’t too manual operations based or that moves slower than my hands and brain. Sure, I can use only a hand saw and hammer to build a house and it will turn out wonderful and with crafted precision, but it will take a lot more time and effort.

No doubt there is always room for improvement. However there is not a single drafting software I have seen that can produce as much work as I am able. Certainly not any of the mainstays like Acad, Revit, DataCAD and vector works. They are all at a snails pace compared to what I can produce with LO and SU.

Thanks Nick, I wasnt up to date by the sounds of it. Is that Donley Method in your “Sketchup and Layout for Architecture” book. If not is it likely to be updated? I have looked at the Donley Method but cant see how things like door swings and other line only aspects get captured using fills only.

We are doing a second edition that will go through my current process. It should be released before the next basecamp. Much of the concept is the same with some better improvements for speed. It will also include a different project sample, updated templates and likely go into much more detail on 3D details that reflect the current detail library for sale.

I looked up Mikes “Donley Method” and I find it very interesting as to how you are using it.
If you are no longer use “line work” in LO (no more stacking viewports?) can you share a bit more info what replaces the line work.
With opacity set to zero I imagine the LO viewports render much quicker?

I suppose I could experiment myself…and understand If we have to wait for your new book…perhaps a teaser?

Thanks Nick.


I don’t have that problem. Find your issue.

??? Incomprehensible

I still stack viewports. All the section cuts utilize this method and are rendered in hybrid mode. They are all live, so no editing. Once you have it setup, you are set through the whole project. So, all the templates are new.

There is a downside though. Since they are sections you cannot dimension them. So you pull dimensions from the raster viewport which I’ve always done anyway. You can make this even easier by isolating just the walls by scene or tag control in LO (then hit reset when finished).

There’s quite a bit of change to my setup. Too much to go into here. It is very fast though!

Aha…I thought maybe you previously dimensioned from section line work.
Would be great if persistent id’s were created “on” the section.

Anyhow…thanks for detailed reply…looking forward to the new book.


Okay, I’m out of date here, I am used to using SU v.8 and the accompanying LO. The first thing I do after sending to LO is change the view to Vector for the clarity. With v.8 and an older, less nimble and more limited Mac I have done huge files with many pages of views, details, etc. Are you folks saying Vector just isn’t stable like that any more?

No - at least I don’t think so.

Just that some users have problems with Layout and one (of a number of recommendations) is to not render as vector.

I don’t have any problems with layout even with vector on.

I don’t know where the limit is but the feasibility of Vector or Hybrid rendering is linked to model size as measured in faces and edges. Models constructed with this in mind should work well.

I find that outputting raster rendered PDF files with High output resolution and no JPG compression produces files that are quite good enough, mostly indistinguishable from vector without a strong magnifying glass. I use Vector only when requiring vector output, as when exporting to CAD.

Not at all. I still use vector and hybrid rendering. I just minimize it for speed. I think you would find the newest versions of both SU and LO to be faster and more stable than V8.