Whining about Layout speed again

Sorry, but I need to whine about Layout’s speed again in hopes that maybe one day, one day, Trimble might do something. Yesterday was a new high in my Layout adventures. A 10 page 11"x17" drawing set including orthographic and perspectives drawings, 14 meg Sketchup file, rendered in hybrid took 2 1/2 hours to complete. Two and one half hours! I’ve remodeled items to lower geometry, hid some things in different views and every other trick I know to lower geometry and it took me that long - wasting my time sitting in front of a screen. These are professional documents and raster output is not an option.


It would be interesting to see if there’s more that could be done to optimize your model and LO file. It would also be interesting to see if render times are different on different hardware and operating system. Would you share it?

Is the information in your profile up to date?

Thanks Dave - I wish I could share but it’s a high profile project and I’m under a NDA. My quad core i7 is getting a bit long in the tooth but even with a newer setup, I don’t think I could save more than half the time. Even if I could, it would still be an hour for 10 sheets. Raster render is instant but I can’t use it. Some folks will need the vector geometry of PDF or if I need, can output DWG from the vector/hybrid method. Again, thanks for your offer. I’m just whining - I guess plenty of time to listen to podcasts while I sit waiting.

Understood on the NDA. Of course there’s really nothing anyone can do to help you without seeing what you are working with. Podcasts, taking the dog for a walk, getting a bite to eat…


I have to agree with DaveR on this one. I work with 10-20 page layouts on 11x17 for all my projects and I never have to sit and wait for my computer to render anything. I’m referencing multiple files and have very intricate details to communicate. I use hybrid mostly. iMac 3.9 i9 w/ the AMD 5700 XT.

I have discovered that in almost every case where I did battle slow downs in the past, there was something I could tweak in my Sketchup Model and even in my hardware interface (mouse and keyboard shortcuts) to alleviate the issues I was having in Layout. I have been on slower machines even, and there was always something I could do to improve a little more. I have found that most of those improvements came from learning deeper and deeper levels of how to setup Sketchup files and model with Sketchup correctly so that Layout didn’t have to work as hard to render a viewport.

That said, maybe you can’t share the current file, but could you share a file that is not under an NDA that caused similar problems? The pro’s here might be able to see something that would help you out.

By the way, None of that is to say that I don’t agree with your original whine about Layout needing that much needed upgrade. I can’t wait for that day. Until then though, I think what this weakness in Layout is doing is forcing this whole community to become serious experts in how to squeeze out the best performance possible from this toolset.

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Dave, if Layout would let you instruct it to re-render an entire set would help so one could let it run over-night so we wouldn’t have to listen to podcasts. I have been 3D modeling since Sculpt 3D on the Amiga. I can assure you I have taken every measure to lighten the poly count in my model, hiding things, etc. The nature of the work requires showing lots of theatrical lights and such. I’ve spent countless hours remodeling manufacturer’s models so they’re as slim as possible. Again, I appreciate your offers but I think Trimble needs to do something. I love using sketchup and I run my entire practice on it.

I keep hoping some Trimble representative would reach out and tell us we have you covered. Just wait a few more months.

Regards and thanks.

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I do agree with you on that. It would be nice to have that option.

I asked before but didn’t see an answer. Are you still using LayOut 2020 as indicated in your profile? There have been improvements in 2021 and 2022.

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One of the up sides to having a whine about something is that you usually end up with some tips and tricks and changes to your workflow that can be hugely beneficial.
Doing so with a model you can’t share is less than optimal.

I have to agree with the others on this, even your computer settings can make a huge difference. I have spent the last ten years eeking out every last drop of performance from an ancient laptop. Recently I acquired a better setup but it has still taken me over a week to get it performing properly with SU and LO. There is much to be said for tweaking.

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There aren’t that many people who regularly use Layout professionally who say: “Gee, isn’t Layout swell the way it does things so fast”, so no one is likely to disagree about the need for it to be updated.

Workarounds are great but they are also proof, if proof were needed, that something needs improving. The clue is in the word. Better than nothing though.

The fact that so many have moaned for so long about LO speed (including me) suggests that it is either too difficult or too expensive for Trimble to do much about it. Maybe it will always be hobbled.

That said, I note that you use a Mac, as I do. LO speed seems to be much more of a thing with Macs than PCs, from what I can gather. Every now and then, I toy with the idea of buying a PC solely for Sketchup work.


Go for it Simon!

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have bounced into that room a few times…can’t seem to pull the trigger though.

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Yes Simon,
Presumably it isn’t Trimble awareness, so … Too difficult, too expensive, not enough of, or the right staff to execute, not enough revenue share/users to be worthwhile, too something … or wouldn’t it have happened by now?
Regarding Macs, it’s my impression that a large percentage (over half?) of the SketchUp team uses Macs? … go figure!

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Possibly a major re-write…?


My willpower is awesome…

I blocked Beamer2 and Trampy some time ago but the forum shows view x hidden reply(ies).

I have so far resisted the temptation to click those links.

Have any of them had anything meaningful to say?


Nope, nothing about SketchUp!

I feel your pain.
Im not on a Mac so unsure if this process translates, but are you aware of the secret “render everything” function?

With Auto Rendering turned OFF in your Model Tray
Go to Edit > Preferences > General
Then check the box that says “Automatically re-render SketchUp models as needed”

It will render everything in the document.

Once finished, uncheck it and it will revert back to auto-render being off.

I’d like to see a button somewhere for this because it’s a function I use a lot but it’s kind of hidden away. I think it would benefit more users to know about it.

But then, I’ve also been asking for higher resolution outputs because 150dpi isnt quite enough.

I suppose the common workaround in your case is to use Stacked Viewports (one model view on one layer and another sitting above it on a different layer) and have much of the information in your model being rendered in Raster with only the critical information in Vector or Hybrid. It can mean having double the scenes in your model. You may already know this so I’m posting for others to read, too.

If you do any interrogation, you may want to look for:

    1. Objects that have no visible edges but a lot of geometry. In hybrid, LayOut processes all edges, faces, etc, even if they are hidden/softened. So your 3d shrub may not look complex in SKP, but LO sees all the hidden edges.
    1. Transparency - if objects happen to be transparent, then LO processes things much slower in Hybrid mode.
    1. Hidden items - Im not 100% sure about this - but I feel like LO may be processing things that are in the active group/component even if they are Hidden from view using the “hide” command.
    1. Items outside of the “view” - ie sitting off to one side; again, I feel like LO may be processing things even if they aren’t on the screen.
    1. Large PNG or JPG images, including those with transparency.

It’s something to check, at least. I’ve been hoping to do some testing around this myself but havnt quite had the chance.

Finally, a PC, and particularly an 11th or 12th gen intel CPU, will process LO much, much faster…50%+++. It will feel much smoother, too, with less lag between keystrokes. That’s of course, up until a certain model complexity when it just starts to go “nope”.

What I would love @adam to do is explain in clear terms how LO performance works, so we can get the most out of it. We are working through trial and error & some guessing, at the moment.
A decent hardware benchmarking tool would be helpful, tool. People are spending good money in vain, to make SketchUp & LO run faster.


Thanks AK Sam. Some very smart tricks in there and appreciate you taking the time. I’m not sure the auto render trick works for me because I’m moving from raster to hybrid but maybe I can adapt it. In the last year, on large projects, I use raster for my working file, then create a print file where I move everything over to hybrid or vector. This keeps me working as quickly as possible then sit and watch cartoons while the machine renders out pages.

I have auto render on. It still renders per page as you switch sheets. Stacking view ports like Sam says does create more viewports but will render faster than a single viewport that is vector rendered. The way I see it, is only items within the section, need to be vector or in my case, hybrid rendered. Everything beyond the cut is raster rendered. My largest files over 100 mb, with 3 stacked viewports take no more than 30 seconds to render on my PC. Most of my project pages take 5-10 seconds to render.

I moved position a few months ago. I now work for Trimble MEP in the Netherlands where we provide and support a solution for AD (Revit and Autodesk)

The one thing our clients continuously have to deal with is speed…
We provide a template with 160+ Views and sheets with all the countless settings and filters inside Revit.
They (MEP guys) only need to draw their part, the architectual model is only referenced, but we advice to delay hitting the ‘Publish sheets’ button when everything is finished, for it can take 1,5-5 hours to produce the whole set.

Conduits, piping and sewers are also drawn as solids instead of the real thing with inner diameters.

You’re not alone…:slight_smile:

Thanks man, you know our pain.