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    OOPR, Processing Scenes, Reducing model size: Why Podium V2 might be failing and what to do

    OOPR in Podium V2: What should happen when you click on the Render icon

    The first thing SU Podium V2 does when you click on the Render icon is it simultaneously starts processing the SketchUp geometry and textures (Processing Scene) and opens up a connection with OOPR (the Podium Render Manager). See image above.

The rendering steps you should see from start to end are:
  • Processing Scene and OOPR open. Processing Scene progress bar displays the number of entities being processed. At this point OOPR is idle and has a message "receiving from network client....".
  • Processing Scene finishes and then UV mappings starts (UV mapping is usually very quick.)
  • OOPR starts Prerendering.
  • OOPR starts Raytracing when Prerendering is finished. At this point you can click on Preview to see the progress.
  • OOPR start Resampling (anti-aliasing) and finishes and the rendered image is saved.
    • OOPR is a program that is on your computer but it works like a server and responds to connection requests from Podium, the client. When Podium asks for a connection, OOPR always accept that request and a connection is established. The client (Podium) then sends OOPR a combination of commands and processing scene script which when received, starts the pre-rendering, raytracing and re-sampling process and saves a beautiful image. A fire wall on your computer with overly strict settings would impact this process. Some other software running in the background on your computer's network port might also interrupt this process. In some cases, Podium's own Geometry Caching may be interfering.

      If Podium is not rendering, there are two things to look for initially:

        1. Is OOPR starting? In other words, after clicking on the Render icon, do you see an OOPR dialog box open up on your desktop. The OOPR icon may be in your task bar or dock. If OOPR has not started, then the problem is not an OOPR or a fire wall interference problem but most likely something in your SketchUp model or possibly because Geometry Caching is on, OOPR is being blocked.

        2. 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.

      There are some simple tests you can do to narrow down the problem.

        1. Is computer memory the problem?

        Create a very simple model like a cube and render it. Does OOPR start and does Podium complete the render process and save an image (it's likely that the cube has not textures on it so the rendered image may be very white). 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 for your memory size. Read through Processing Scene section below if this is the case.

        2. Turn off Geometry Caching

        Try turning off Podium's Geometry caching. The feature is located in the SU Podium V2 Options (Settings) in the Environment tab.

        3. Use Generate to go around the OOPR connection.

        If OOPR is not getting initiated, use the Generate command to generate a script without OOPR. Generate does not require a OOPR's automatic connection. It's a slower way to do things but it will tell us what the problem is. If Generate works, the reason why OOPR is not running is usually because a fire wall or anti-virus program is blocking the connection.

        To use the Generate command, read this section of the Help page.

        4. Turn off anti-virus or Fire walls

        If Generate does work, turn off your fire wall or anti-virus programs. Please read here.

      Processing Scene takes a long time or fails

      A SketchUp model that is comprised of:
      • hundreds of thousands of faces,
      • hundreds of omni lights,
      • hundreds of textures,
      • or combination of the above,

      can cause Processing Scene to take a long time or even fail during this first phase of SU Podium's rendering.
      Processing Scene - is a single core, 32 bit operation.

      Even though most of SU Podium V2 supports multi-core operations and is a 64 bit application capable of accessing any amount of RAM memory on your computer, Processing Scene is a single core, 32 bit operation.

      When you select the Render icon, the rendering process begins. In the first rendering phase, SU Podium needs to convert the SketchUp polygons (faces) and textures into a mesh model for the Podium rendering engine. This is standard procedure for all photo-realistic rendering programs. In SU Podium the user interface for this is called Processing Scene and you should see a progress bar start up.

      This Processing Scene program is a SketchUp based ruby script. SketchUp is a 32 bit application limited to using a single CPU core and unable to use more than 4gb of available memory. (In fact, a 32 bit application will not be able to access all 4gb of memory as other applications will be using some memory.) Therefore Processing Scene is a single core, 32 bit operation.

      Why does Processing Scene take so long or fail?
      • Very large SketchUp model comprised of hundreds of thousands of faces is the most common reason.
      • Hundreds of textures in the model can effect Processing Scenes speed as well.
      • Hundreds of omni lights may also slow down Processing Scenes greatly.

      • Note - Turning off layers makes no difference to Podium calculations because Podium has to process everything in the model. Podium is not selective about what is not being viewed on your screen. But Copy and Paste in Place described below is a way to get rid of geometry on hidden layers.
      What to do if Processing Scene takes hours or fails
    • 1. Eliminate the possibility that an anti-virus or fire wall program is interfering with Podium.
      • You can easily do this by rendering a simple cube model or downloading one of the small sample models from the sample model page. If this is successful proceed below.
    • 2. Check the number of faces in the SketchUp model
      • Look at SketchUp's Model Info and statistics. Make sure Nested Groups is checked on. How many faces does this model have? Is it hundreds of thousands? Millions? If so, this is most common reason why Processing Scene is taking a long time or is failing. Jump down to Reduce geometry to see what action to take.
    • 3. Use Podium Tools to Anaylse Model
      • Another possibility is the number of omni lights are so great that Processing Scene is slowing down. Take a look at SU Podium V2, Tools and Analyse Model. How many omni lights are in the model? If there are hundreds and you are having problems rendering, you should reduce the number. You can toggle the omni lights off by choosing the Toggle Lights option. But if you do this, do not save the model as that will permanently toggle the omni lights off. If you have hundreds of omni lights, try toggling them off and rendering. Read about Podium Tools here.

      How to effectively reduce geometry and textures in the SketchUp model

      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.

      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.

      Delete as much as you can. 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.