Why is Layout so slow!?

The only reason Autodesk would want to purchase Trimble is to kill SketchUp, I don’t think that’s the way to go :sweat_smile: I add my voice to the ones who love SKP and not that much Layout. I think it has some good features and that it’s a good software after all, but it’s hard to classify as a professional-looking technical sheets handler. I’m battling my colleagues who think they can’t produce good drawings as they do with CAD, and I have my hard time trying to prove them wrong… :roll_eyes:

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Just a nitpick but Autodesk ($73bUSD) is about 3.5x the company Trimble ($22bUSD) is. Revit has vastly more market penetration in ACE.

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I would pay an extra $1000/year for my SUPro subscription for a faster Layout. It’s that crucial.


we need to find some programmers/coders to make a plug-in for Sketchup that puts Layout in its resting place lol :laughing:

please share what you are doing that works

What makes you think you can reach the development team here? This is a user forum. Have you tried using Support?

I think what we need, if Trimble won’t do it, are programmers/coders that can build new software that can take SU data and do all that LO does but faster and better.

We may be waiting some time…

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I use Layout daily at my job and also struggle with slow rendering. I have noticed that this is especially the case with high resolution displays. We work with Mac and 4K or 5K displays here. The movements in Layout are constantly jerky. A good work around is to start Layout in “open in low resolution” mode. Then everything looks a bit blurry but the models can be moved smoothly, which has already been explained here: https://forums.sketchup.com/t/layout-is-behaving-badly-laggy-and-unresponsive/126174/13?

Then there are the models with a lot of geometry. You can’t even think about clicking on the “Vector” button. There is nothing else to do than to stay with the representation as “Raster”.

Hi Paul
Would you be able to upload the types of documentation you are able to successfully put out using layout? I myself have never been able to get get layout to output any project of any complexity, I have managed to do so for a specific piece of cabinetry, but not an entire architectural project. It would be great if those who say they have no problem could upload examples so we can see if it complexity or method thats the difference.

I do small scale residential and I’ve mentioned in previous threads that my SU models are simple and light on material/textures if at all. Much of the detail for my condocs I draw directly in LO.

Others that have been experiencing slowness with LO and have shared their projects on this forum (some much more complex than mine in terms of poly count and the use of materials and textures), on my machine have shown slowness when the model is updated in the LO file.

A number of those shared projects I’ve had a view on - a view that is based on my own past problems with LO and what I’ve learnt from this forum.

Would I model these shared projects differently - yes and would my workflow be different - yes.
Would there then be less slowness - probably perhaps. I really don’t know - because what I need to do for my work does not require large or complex models. I’ve no experience of larger projects.

But just look at what SU/LO guru Nick Sonder is able to do!

So a claim that LO is not cut out for professional work is not correct but, that people are having have issues, yes.

Happy to share a project.

I agree the slowness, in general, is such a problem for a professional user. I try to use components and strip out unwanted garbage from a model imported from 3d warehouse. Hard to think through what could slow down my LO output when I’m designing. Two different sides of the brain. I use this program as my livelihood.
Also, it is painful to wait while the snap point jumps to all kinds of locations, but won’t recognize the location I am zoomed into. Waiting and waiting for saves, not my setting, I’m at 15 min. saves, can’t afford to lose more work than that.
Saves take so long. Why can’t changes in SU automatically update a linked model. Have to save, switch programs, so go get the save, and wait. Hopefully saved correctly or have to do it all again. No way to explain to my clients why it takes so much time to do simple changes. So frustrating.

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So, Nick breaks his LO into many smaller files. Watch him, plans are a separate file from elevation, from site. All his details are separate files. Lots of coordination to keep his LO files small. Not optimal. In my experience a plan issue is tied to an elevation, and to a detail. Three files have to be opened because LO files can’t be large.

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Thanks for sharing those layout files Paul. That was good of you and I see you model them well, and get what you need out of them. As you say, your models are very simple and light, no significant detail and no textures. These models are what you need them to be, design models sufficient to generate the geometry, they are not illustrative 3D visualisations that most would typically use to communicate the look and feel in designing. I see your layout outputs are in most cases a referenced base plan or section, often stacked simple vector or hybrid on raster, with detail drawn in over the top in layout. So in looking a a section for example it as raster reference base, simple vector section stacked on top, and then detail and linework drawn in layout over the top of that. A perfectly sensible and valid method. I agree they prove you can achieve satisfactory outputs of simple projects and simple models. That does not therefore prove you can get satisfactory output of complex projects or models. I our case we us our detailed models to communicate with the clients, and show textures, skirtings, appliances, lights, ductwork, etc… I have seen this type of thread ( Layouts not up to scratch ) many times in these forums, and heard many say well look at what Nick Sonder does, which I have. And I’d say, impressive as his outputs are, Nick proves that layouts not up to scratch, with a complex series of inefficient, non live, workarounds that compensate for layouts failings. He doe plans an sections using a raster based plan at the base, and then goes back to sketchup to create a group linework from section slice jn sketchup, then cleans up that generated linework in sketchup to fill in walls etc, then goes back to layout an pastes that linework in over the top of his raster plan so he has line work he can then set to vector. He himself says he does this convoluted method because its faster than turning a section to vector in layout. But thats not a satisfactory method for most as designs evolve, and pasting in static copies of linework as it was at some point in time, is not accepatable in a live moving documentation process. Surely those who are arguing that latyouts fine, would prefer that if they change the model the layout documents update to reflect the changes without having to go manually replace and eit every section slice you have copied. That anyone finds they can get a result out of layout by having a plain white non detail model, or copy unlinked static vectorlinework into it, must also prefer the idea that layout would be better if it could achieve these things reliably, without enormnous lags and crashes, live, like other CAD software does.

I am just joining this thread and am very curious who uses SketchUp for construction documents - architecture. I have seen Nick Sonders presentations and work. While he has a system down for his use it looks incredibly combersome. We have used ArchiCAD for 20 years and actually think it’s a great program, and if you can get over the initial cost the annual subscription isn’t bad. Although we have 30 licenses so I don’t know what 5 or less will cost.

I’d like to know the scale of project people are doing on SU? Do you repeat many of the same details from one project to another? Not likely to do a school in SU but just trying to get an idea of how far it can be pushed. Actually tried Nicks method on a small carriage house and while it can be done, I did the same thing in ArchiCAD in half the time. That is not to say I am any kind of expert in SU, so my test may not be an apples to apples comparison….also why I’m interested in what people are doing.

I don’t model construction documents, but I do I model projects consisting of up to approx 200 homes/units and all the landscape and civil elements needed to create a neighbourhood or housing development.

CDs, including elemental analysis and detail views can be done in SketchUp but , compared to BIM, there isn’t so much dynamic/parametic detailing potential. Per-object dynamic dimensioning, symbols, hatching, linewieghts, etc take a bit of time to set up and need some manual workarounds.

For my urban development projects I only use 1 sketchup file and, where possible, 1 layout file. I, too, find the idea of managing multiple versions of files with cross-referencing/updates, etc, is way too cumbersome, risky, and crash-prone on larger projects. This is particulalry the case where information is imported (regularly) from other sources, such as Landscape Archtitects, Surveyors, or Civil engineers.

For my projects I will either model buildings in SketchUp (and the level of detail is relatively simple, eg a wall surface is flat, not comprised of 100s of indivdual cladding elements) - or - I will import the houses from other sources eg archicad. If importing 3d files, e.g. Archicad houses, they likely need to be Exploded first otherwise there are too many groups/sub-components and Sketchup doesnt respond well to that. It’s not a lengthy process though.
Also, 3d trees and plants (I use very high detail ones), are included as Proxies only (simplfied until rendered), and cars/people/decor is added at the end.

The other thing I do is I try to keep the model “editable” for as long as possible; this is a design tool not a rendering or output tool. Any new ideas should be able to be incorprated in the design without “starting from scratch” or needing to set up seperate files. That is the point of sketchup vs other (BIM) software. Setting up SketchUp and LayOut templates is quite easy once you have developed a “case study” example. You can load a surprising amount in to automate document production.
However you will typically want to leave the Dimensioning in layout til the end (as it is prone to breaking when the model changes).