How to Speed up Sketchup (+ VRay tips)


Isn’t it absolutely frustrating when your model starts to lag and takes ages to respond? How about when the whole thing crashes and you didn’t save your last highly detailed progress?

I’ve been through that a million times, until I developed a routine that eliminated this whole painful experience (to be honest, any model below 200 MB works like a charm, due to the limitations of my laptop anything above 200MB still lags).
Here are some small and easy tips that I tested and they have come through for me.

If things start to get slow or even crash, don’t worry! It’s not time to change your computer just yet.

Follow these steps and everything will run noticeably smoother:

  1. In your Sketchup, go to ‘View’ menu, then ‘Edge Style’, and then uncheck every Edge Style but ‘Edges’; as in uncheck ‘Profiles’ and ‘Extensions’, which are the default Edge Style for Sketchup.
    Fixing Sketchup Lag
    Doing this will put less pressure on the work-space renderer
  2. If your model is big or you have a lot of imported texture, in the same drop down menu go to ‘Face Style’ and select either ‘Shaded’ or ‘Monochrome’, this will hide all the textures or colors in your model to make it smoother to navigate. Don’t worry you can get them back by selecting ‘Shaded With Textures’ again, and it won’t affect your render whatever you choose.
    Fixing Sketchup Lag
    This, too, will free up space that the Work-space renderer uses for other more important tasks.
  3. Go to Window menu, then Model Info, a smallish window will appear, on the side there are options, select Statistics, you will see all the components, textures, layers, groups, etc. in your model in numbers. Click Purge Unused, wait a moment because it may freeze for a few seconds or minutes; depending on how much purging it has to do. Voila! All the unwanted things lying around are gone and everything runs smoothly.
    fixing sketchup lag
    Components and Textures stay behind in your model, even after you remove them. This method gets rid of them once and for all.

    You can also avoid importing textures all together and create your own; that way you can keep track of them as you model.

  4. Sometimes due to extended periods of modeling or multiple crashes an Autosave file(s) may appear, also an *.skb file, or a number of them (starting from 0.skb); these are all a waste of much needed space. Make sure you save your model in a named file and delete the rest regularly, if you don’t need them. Especially the numbered *.skb files.
    fixing sketchup lag
    Save your model, and then delete all the *.skb files (Don’t delete the *.skp: it’s your main file)
  5. Don’t over clutter your model with high poly accessories, if you’re not doing any closeups then use low poly accessories, also keep in mind that ‘less is always more’. Find out more by visiting this post.
  6. Always have a cleanup program handy. My personal favorite is CCleaner, it’s free, reliable, and doesn’t hurt the system. After you’re done with modeling and rendering, clean up your computer, or with time it will lag like a 100 year old car.
    fixing sketchup lag
    It’s a god send, I promise.
  7. Whether you know it or not, your internet browser is not a lite program, be it Chrome, Safari, Explorer, or Firefox. Try as much as possible to avoid browsing while rendering. Same applies to Photoshop, AutoCAD, and Games. They will end up fighting over your RAM and Sketchup might end up losing and crashing.
  8. Speaking of RAM, you can change how much VRay utilizes your RAM via the ‘Options’ Menu.
    fixing sketchup lag vray dynamic memory limit
    Through the ‘System’ tab, you can adjust the ‘Dynamic Memory Limit’

    A little tip: Load your favorite Render Settings first, adjust the Memory Limit, then save it. So whenever you load it, it’s already preset and you don’t have to adjust it every time.

Here’s a little table that will help you figure out how to set that up

The Option for Windows 7 should work just fine for other Windows Versions. Source: zdesigninfo

Hope after you follow these steps, you get a smoother modeling.

If you face any problems, want to ask questions, or have suggestions of your own, please feel free to comment below.


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