Quick links and common questions:

If you are seeing a line in the Podium Render Manager (OOPR) that reads, Total Time 00:xx:xx, it means the image was finished. As a default, the image is being saved in the "model" folder which is the same folder as where your SketchUp model is.

If you want to change the folder where the image will be saved, use the Custom button in the Podium Options dialog box. Click on the Browse button to change folders.

If you are still unable to save the rendered image to a folder this may be due to several reasons:

  • The folders write permissions that you are saving the image to are read only.
  • The name of the path that the image is being saved to is too long or has special characters in it. Characters like ', !!, # in the complete path name can be a problem. Also, if the path name is very long, this can cause SU Podium not to save the image to the custom folder you choose.
  • The model button and the custom button are on at the same time, in the Image Save location. Make sure only one of the options are on. There are some solutions to this issue.
    1. Create a folder on your primary drive (for Windows, C:\, for Mac under your user name). Make it an obvious name such as c:\images. The folder must have write permissions in Windows or on the Mac, so make sure you can save files to the folder you want Podium to save rendered images to.
    2. Use PodiumImageEditor. After the rendering is done, highlight the Total Time 00:xx:xx line in OOPR. Then, open the image using the Edit button. This will open the image in PodiumImageEditor. Then select File, Save and save the image in a folder of your choice (not the file format will default to .jpg so pick .png if you want the .png format).

There are reported problems saving images in folders with names that are more than 32 characters, or very long path names or have special characters in the path name. This is a Windows only problem. SU Podium will ignore the folder name and save the image to the default SketchUp model folder location or to a temporary folder. Make sure your designated folder name has less that 32 characters in it. Also, try to minimize the path name and avoid using special characters in the path name. Look at item #1 above and use this technique if you can not save the rendered image.


 License Questions:

If you have a full license of SU Podium V2.x, make sure you re-start SketchUp after activating your license to get out of trial mode.

There are several ways to find your license assuming your computer has not crashed and you have not deleted all your e-mail receipts:

  1. If you purchased your SU Podium V2.x or Podium Browser license from www.suplugins.com, look for the e-mail receipt that was sent to you. This email contains your license information.
  2. If you purchased from www.suplugins.com's Webstore, go to webstore.cadaloginc.com. If you created an account with a user name and password, login to your account. Your license information is in your account.
  3. If you have SU Podium running, go to the License option in the SU Podium pull down. This will display your license.

Yes, please see the following from the EULA:

If the Software is permanently installed on the hard disk or other storage device of a computer and one person uses that computer more than 50% of the time it is in use, then that person may also use the same license of the Software on a portable or home computer while the original copy is not in use. The spirit of this clause is to allow the user to use the same license of the Software at home while away from his or her office. It is not a grant of permission to install the same license of the Software on more than one computer in a work environment.


 Troubleshooting your Podium installation:

   Mac - Troubleshoot a Mac installation.


   Mac - Installation Failure Message

If you are using SketchUp Pro or Make 2014/2015/2016 and do not see a Extensions menu in the SketchUp pull-down menu area, go to Windows--->Extension Warehouse menu, and install a free Extension. Here is one that we recommend that will require the Plugins menu. Simplify Contour Tool. To use Extension Warehouse you must Sign In and to do that you need to have a 3D Warehouse Account. Once you have signed in, use the Search and type in Contour. The Simplify Contour Tool will show up in the search. Install this extension. This will be accessed from the SketchUp Plugins menu and will force SketchUp to display the plugins menu.

Alternatively, if you can not or do not want to access the Extension Warehouse, download Make Fur from the SU Plugins Download page and install Make Fur .rbz from the SketchUp Prefence Extension menu. This installation will force the SketchUp extensions pull down menu to display, which will then show the SU Podium V2.x pull down menu. Then reboot SketchUp. This action will activate the SketchUp Extensions menu which is needed for SU Podium.


 After installing, SU Podium is not in my Extensions menu

There are several things that could cause this. Please check the following:

  1. Mac User

    SU Podium for Mac V2.x requires a different installer for nearly every SketchUp version. Make sure you download the SU Podium installer that matches your SketchUp version. If you downloaded the wrong version of SU Podium V2 Plus or V2.5.x, Podium will not appear in your SketchUp plugins menu. Click here to be directed to the install file that matches your SketchUp version.

  2. SketchUp 8 Windows

    Make sure you download the SketchUp 8 version of V2 or V2 Plus. We recommend V2 Plus.

    The default install location for SU Podium V2 or V2 Plus for SketchUp 8 is \program files (x86)\google\google SketchUp 8\plugins\.

    Make sure the destination folder in the install read c:\program files (x86)\google\google SketchUp 8\plugins\

Please read here if you are installing SU Podium V2 for SketchUp 2013 .

Please read here if you are installing V2.5 Plus for SU 2014/2015/2016 and the SU Podium V2.x menu is not appearing in SketchUp. The problem is solved usually by simply changing the destination folder during install.

If Sketchup.exe is not in the c:\program files or c:\program files (x86), SU Podium will not show up.

You may find that for some reason on your Windows computer, SketchUp was not installed in c:\program files or \program files (x86) folder. To check to see where your sketchup.exe file is located, go to your Desktop, right click on the SketchUp icon, choose Properties from the context menu and select Shortcuts to see where sketchup.exe is located. If it is not in the \program files (x86)\google\google sketchUp \ folder, reinstall SketchUp so that it gets installed in the default location. You may need to consult with your IT person regarding this.

Make sure you are installing the correct Windows version.

V2.5.x for SketchUp 2014/2015/2016 supports both Win 64 bit and Win 32 on Windows 7 and 8. Make sure you do not install the 64 bit version if you are running 32 bit Windows. SU Podium will install but when you load SketchUp you will see errors and/or the SketchUp menu will not get loaded.

Note: For SketchUp 2015, Trimble offers a 64 bit and 32 bit version of the software. It is essential that you match the correct V2.x Plus version with your SketchUp 2015 installation.

Your account must have administrative permissions for SU podium to install the proper files and folders.

Some third party Ruby script organizers attempt to organize Ruby scripts that are in the SketchUp plugins folder. These should be removed, as they most likely will block SU Podium V2.x from launching.


 SketchUp bugsplats when using Podium - known causess

If you have both SU Podium V2 and SU Podium V2.5 installed as extensions in the same installation of SketchUp, SketchUp will bugsplat when you begin a render.

Please uninstall both versions of SU Podium and reinstall the version you have a license for. Use the following link to find the appropriate installers if you need to re-download:

Run Podium Tools Analyse to identify the .tif file and remove it from your model.

This problem does not exist in SU Podium V2.5.x Mac or on any version on Windows

If you are using PlusSpec with SketchUp 2015 or 2016 on Windows and have SU Podium installed, when you invoke Plus Spec, the splash screen of Plus Spec will cause SketchUp to crash when SU Podium is installed. The work around is:

  1. Uninstall SU Podium using the appropriate installer for Windows or Mac.
  2. Then install SU Podium in this folder instead of the default folder:
         C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\SketchUp\SketchUp 2016\SketchUp\Plugins\

This will solve the incompatibility of PlusSpec's splash screen and SU Podium.

 Podium presets, lights, materials, and camera questions:

To change the light power of any point/omni light, click on the light group in the model or use SketchUp's Outliner and select the light group. The light group will have a name such as . Once the light group is selected, pick the Podium Light System icon from the SU Podium tool bar. Change light values here. Keep in mind you can use decimals values for omnis such as .25.

For the Omni Grid, find any one of the light groups using SketchUp's Outliner and change the light power and all the other light groups in the grid will update. Omni Grid consists of a main Group--->Individual Component-->Light Group. The components are instances of each other. Outliner is the best way to pick the light group in the Omni Grid. The light groups are nested within the main group, down 2 levels.

How are the presets different? How do I choose?

Your final rendered image is dependent upon the preset chosen. Podium presets are configured for different types of scene and will produce strange results on others. You may need to experiment to find the best preset for your model. We have several resources to help you understand presets, and how to choose one to match your scene:

If you select a texture that is on a curved surface, the texture's name will not appear in Podium V2.x's Material dialog box. Select that specific material from SketchUp's Material browser (Windows) or use the SketchUp material selection (eyedropper) tool. This is true for textures that are on a back side (reverse side) of a SketchUp face as well. If you select the material in question by using the eyedropper or by selecting it from SketchUp's material browser (Windows only), the material will be displayed in the Podium Material dialog.

One thing to keep in mind is SU Podium V2.x’s Physical Sky (in the Options/ Environment tab). As a default, Physical Sky is off but if it is on, it will simulate sky turbidity and depth. Podium will only render Physical Sky when it is turned on AND when SketchUp Shadows are on. When Physical Sky is on, the sun intensity and exposure sliders in the Environment dialog are the most effective way to change sun light. Changing the sun’s angle by changing SketchUp’s time of day is also effective.

Your choice of SU Podium Presets will also effect sun/ sky brightness greatly. The default preset or default.pps is created with no specific environment in mind. It is the fastest preset. However, if you are rendering an outdoor or exterior scene, use one of the exterior presets. You will be able to control the sun and sky brightness more effectively.

The interior preset is a very bright preset and is intended for interior scenes. If you use interior preset in an exterior scene which is using sun light, the rendering may look extremely bright and even look like white out.

For more information about presets and for customized presets, please go to the Preset web page.

Physical Sky has a sky color gradient that you can not control. The color will depend on the time of the day that your SketchUp shadows are set to. If you don’t like this effect and/ or want to have control of the sky color as well as additional control of sun light, do the following:

  1. Turn off Physical Sky in the SU Podium Options/Environment dialog.
  2. Go to SketchUp Styles and then to Background. Turn off Sky. Darken the color of your background.
  3. Use one of the Podium Styles from the SketchUp Styles dialog (make sure Physical Sky is off)
  4. If your SketchUp Shadows are on, change the time of day of month so the sun is at a different angle.

SU Podium V2.x does render two point perspective camera views (2PP). However, if you navigate the camera in 2PP and render again, Podium renders the previous camera position and renders that view. To deal with this, if you are going to change your camera position, go back to perspective view, change the camera position and then invoke 2PP. Then render. The key is to use perspective view to change the camera view before invoking 2PP.


 Known bugs and common issues:

It's been reported from several customers that Avast and some other anti-virus programs may do the following:

  • Block the download of V2.xx.xx install file.
  • Remove critical files, even after successfully downloading V2.xx.xx - The files being removed or blocked are OOPR.exe and PodiumImageEditor.exe. These are critical files for the Podium rendering and image editing to work.

The solution for now is to turn off or disable Avast while downloading SU Podium nstall program. Then after successfully downloading and installing SU Podium, add an exception to Avast Anti-Virus or any other suspect anti-virus program. The exceptions you want to add are OOPR.exe, PodiumImageEditor.exe and the web site - http://www.suplugins.com/version2.php. Please read about adding exceptions to Avast here.

Unknown Symbol message appears in the OOPR dialog UI in rare cases. This is a perplexing problem and usually only happens when there is one or more materials that Podium's rendering engine stumbles over. Unknown Symbol error message is a symptom of a problem material or materials in the model. But almost always, this message does not mean that Podium has quit processing the rendering. It may take longer to render, but the rendering will eventually produce an image.

Even with the Podium Rendering Manager, models that are larger than 800,000 faces may crash if you are not using the 64 bit version of SU Podium and have less than 8gb or RAM. Limitations on memory use means that some models will not render because the system will run out of RAM. Use the Windows 64 bit version of Podium V2.x if you have more than 4 GB of RAM. Mac is a 64 bit operating system so you do not need to worry about which OS you have. However, having more than 4GB of RAM will make a difference.

If you assign texture to a component and then flip that component, SU Podium V2 or V2.5 Plus will render the component's textures black or in a distorted fashion. The solution to this bug is to explode one or all of the flipped components. You can turn the exploded geometry back into a component after exploding it. We recommend that for now, use Copy+Rotate SketchUp command instead of the context menu Flip command.


Distorted textures in a group that was mirrored.

Explode one of the groups to solve the problem.

For this reason using hidden LEMs in tight interior scenes may not be ideal. You usually can work around this problem by making the LEM material, 100% transparent. SU Podium V2 and V2.5 automatically turn hidden LEMs into transparent materials.

If you select an omni light group (point light) from inside SketchUp or using SketchUp's Outliner and then open the PLS (Podium Light System) dialog, the light power value is often rounded off to the nearest whole number even though the actual power value might be a decimal.

If you notice this, select the omni light group again from either the SketchUp space or Outliner. Upon the second selection, the correct decimal power value will be displayed. (Omni light group will appear group.) This may seem like a bug but it is not.

If you pick the Brick option in the color palette from Podium Light System (spot lights and omni lights) and then pick a color from the texture palettes using the Mac, SketchUp 2013 and 2014 will crash. The solution for this is to pick a color from the color wheel, Apple, Crayons, Web safe colors but not from texture palettes.

When using the Generate feature, if you Escape from the dialog box asking you for a location to save the Generate folder, SketchUp will crash.

If the rendered SketchUp file, has a multi-byte file name such as Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and you select Edit in OOPR after the image is rendered, this action will display an error message instead of launching PIE. This only happens if the SketchUp model's file name is using multi-byte character name (Japanese, Korean, Chinese and some other languages). Use Image Editor from the Podium Tools menu in this case.


 Textures display in SketchUp but do not render:

If you import images as images and not textures (SketchUp File--> Import), the images will not render or render black. You should either import the images as textures or explode the images after it is imported.

If you have assigned textures to groups and not individual faces, sometimes the textures will fail to display in the Podium rendering. If this does happen, explode the group in question so that the texture does get mapped to each face in the group. You can then re-group the object in question.

There is an issue with textures that are assigned to the back side of a face and then are exposed in the model. Podium V2.x will some times render these textures inversely. To avoid this problem, make sure exposed faces are front side and not back side.

How can you tell which face is front side and which is back side? There are a couple of ways to find out.

SketchUp has a nice tool that will turn off textures and display only the monochrome color of all the faces in the model. In SketchUp the normal or front side of a face is a light tan color and the back side is a darker, usually blue color. Using the monochrome icon in the Face Style tool bar, you can see which face is blue or back side. When you find the blue or back side faces, right click on them and use the Reverse Face option. You will have to reapply the texture to the front side face.

The other method is to right click on the face and pick Entity Info. You will see two image panes in the Entity Info box. The left side is the front side. The right is the back side. Which side is the texture on?


 Textures render black:

Some complex models from 3D Warehouse have been created in non-SketchUp 3D programs with textures that Podium has difficulty rendering. A Simple solution to this is to explode the imported component so that the textures get mapped to specific SketchUp faces.

If you run the SU Podium V2.x → Tools → Analyze Model program, it will reveal if any of the textures in your SketchUp model have potential problems. These textures may render black. One problem is imported textures that have no extension name. Another potential problem is textures that have not been converted to bit map textures. These would be .pdf or .psd textures. Another potential problem is textures with very long names or double byte names.

If a material with LEM light properties is assigned to the backside of a SketchUp face, it will cause that face to render black or not at all.

Materials that have zero percent Diffuse/ Transparency/ Reflection applied to them from the SU Podium Material Properties UI, will render black.


 Other texturing and file-type errors:

If you create an .skm file from a .jpg or .png texture inside SketchUp that has Podium properties applied to it, when you insert this .skm from the SketchUp Materials dialog, this action will crash SketchUp.

SketcUp material names that have a single letter name especially "h" and "b" are known to create probles. The material name "h" can crash Podium during processing scenes. A material with the single letter name "b" can change Podium camera angle t to be different from SketchUp's camera angle.

These problems have been fixed in V2.5 Plus.

There is an OOPR crash in Mac V2 Plus 64 bit if the SketchUp model has TIFF texture images in it. This bug has been fixed in V2.5 Plus.

Neither the Mac or Windows versions of SU Podium support CMYK texture files. If you have CMYK files in your SketchUp model, please convert those textures to RGB color space using Photoshop or GIMP.


 Render-time errors and OOPR (render manager) crashes:

A firewall or anti-virus program on your computer with overly strict settings can block the connection between processing scenes and OOPR and in some cases, may crash OOPR. Less commonly, other software running in the background on your computer's network port might also interrupt this process. One example is the Wacom tablet driver on the Mac, which is known to block OOPR. In some cases, SU Podium's own Geometry Caching may be interfering.

If the above is occurring, there are some things you can do to verify that an anti-virus program or firewall is blocking or crashing OOPR.

  1. Render a 3D cube or any of these test models. Does SU Podium complete the rendered image? If yes, than it's not likely that a firewall or anti-virus is the problem. Contact Support at Cadalog, Inc. or your reseller in this case. The problem may be an odd material in the model and we can help you solve this.
  2. If a simple 3D cube or any of the sample models do not render, the problem is likely to be with an anti-virus or firewall program blocking the connection to OOPR.
  3. Is there a message in the OOPR dialog box? You may have a situation where OOPR has opened but it is not showing a message. Normally while Process Scene is occurring you will see an idle OOPR dialog box with a message "receiving from network client". If OOPR is open but you do not see a message, a fire wall or some other program is likely blocking the connection.
  4. Use Generate: Another good way to see if a firewall or anti-virus program is block or crashing OOPR, is to use Generate. How to use Generate is described here. If Generate succeeds, then the problem is anti-virus or firewall interference the the communication between processing scenes and OOPR.
  5. Please read here on how to temporarily "turn-off" your anti-virus program or firewall in the Anti-Virus, Firewall section.
  1. Is computer memory the problem? Runtime error.

    Create a very simple model like a 3d cube or use one of the sample models from the test models page and render. Does OOPR start and does Podium complete the render process and save an image? If there's a rendered image, the problem is not OOPR or a fire wall.

    It may be that the model that is failing is too large and your system is running up against its memory limitations. The easiest solution to this is to add more system memory or RAM if you have a desktop. SU Podium's OOPR calculations are 64 bit applications and will use as much memory as you have on your computer. The alternative is to reduce the model's size or reduce the number of point lights.

  2. Run Podium Tools Analyse to check for problems:

    Running Podium Tools Analyse may provide Alerts that are causing crashes. One cause for a crash is having an LEM light that has other Podium properties. LEM materials should never have any other Podium Material property applied to them. For example, do not have reflections or bump properties on an LEM material. This can cause the rendering to crash or turn the LEM material into a black face.

    Further, high LEM should never be applied to any texture. Only apply High LEM to a color. There are some good LEM colors in Podium Browser under Materials.

  1. In V2.5.x Plus, it is very rare for Processing Scenes to fail. It was more common in earlier versions of SU Podium due to limits of the ruby script.
  2. Memory or CPU - Very large SketchUp models comprised of hundreds of thousands of faces requires a fairly large amount of RAM and a reasonably fast CPU. If processing scenes fails, memory limitations are the most likely culprit. If a memory upgrade is not feasible, try to reduce the amount of geometry in your SketchUp model.
  3. Textures and Omni Lights - Similarly, having hundreds of textures (especially large ones) in the model or a large number of Omni lights can affect Processing Scenes' speed as well. If Processing Scenes is unreasonably slow, try reducing the number of Omni lights, number of textures, and if necessary, texture resolutions.
  4. In rare cases, certain types of materials will hang up Processing scenes. Most of these problems have been eliminated in V2.5.x Plus
  1. Purge: First Purge the model using SketchUp's Purge command available from SketchUp' Model Info. dialog under the Window pull down menu. This will purge the model of faces, materials and layers that SketchUp does not think are being actively used. Save the file and close SketchUp to clear out anything left in memory. Reopen the purged SketchUp file.
  2. Use Copy and Paste In Place and create a new SketchUp file: After turning off unneeded layers, choose Select All and invoke the SketchUp Copy command. If the model is very large, copy could take several minutes. Once the model is copied, open a New SketchUp file. Then go to SketchUp's Edit menu and use Paste In Place. What will get pasted is just the selected entities from the original model and not the geometry on hidden layers. Save this file as a different file name.
  3. Delete unnecessary geometry and textures: Delete as many faces and textures that are not needed from your new model. Once deleted, Purge, Save and reopen your purged model. Check Model Info and keep deleting faces and textures until the size of the model is drastically reduced.
  4. Hide geometry that is not needed in the rendered image: SU Podium V2.5.x Plus does not process or calculate geometry and textures that are hidden. So, if you have V2.5.x, hide unnecessary objects using hidden layers, etc.

Podium includes an Analyse utility that can scan your SketchUp model and flag potential problems in the file. Analyse will look for certain types of invalid textures, material properties, and number of omni lights, LEM materials, and faces in your scene.

To launch Analyse go to Extensions SU Podium V2.5x Plus Tools Analyse.

Read more about Podium Analyse Tools here.