SU Podium New Features



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Podium for SketchUp Specification Requirements

SU Podium V2.5.5  has been released

SU Podium V2.5.5 has been released, and can be downloaded here.

This is a free update for anyone already using V2.5.x, and requires SketchUp 2015 or 2016. V2.5.5 includes several new features and bug fixes, including the following:

1. Improved Generate Script with relative file paths – Podium’s generate script tool gives you the ability to output a .SCRIPT file that can be opened later on in OOPR. Podium has always had the ability to generate scripts, however until now it has used absolute file references, making it impossible to share .SCRIPT files between computers.

Generate now outputs a folder containing the materials and textures from your SketchUp model, and a .script file that uses relative file paths. The advantage being, you can now send your .script and textures folder to any computer with access to Podium/OOPR. Previously, .scripts files could only be run on the computer used to generate them. Read more about Generate here.

2. Defringe feature in PIE – Podium image editor now has a defringe feature used to clean up the edges of Podium images rendered with a transparent alpha channel. This is not always necessary, however transparent images (often those containing a lot of vegetation) end up with a noticeable “fringe” along the edge of the alpha channel. The defringe slider, can quickly remedy this problem:

3. Podium Image Editor now includes an option to upload a panoramic render directly to the Podium panorama server. Simply log-in or register, and share your panorama with the world without ever leaving SketchUp.

4. Preset comparison page – We have created an interactive preset comparison page that is accessible from the options dialog in v2.5.5. This page will be a helpful resource for anyone learning how presets work in SU Podium, and uses a “slide-to-compare” widget to demonstrate the differences between any two presets for seven different lighting examples.

5. Convert equirectangular to cubic panorama in PIE – Podium image editor now has a utility for converting equirectangular panoramic renders to a “cubic” panorama format. This can facilitate editing in some cases, and also allows you to use Podium renders with applications that require a cubic format.

Bug fixes in V2.5.5

  1. “Unknown symbol” issue fixed – The unexplained “unknown symbol” message that produced black images or images with camera view facing in the wrong direction, has been fixed.
  2. Podium light system bug fixed – The PLS issue that caused point and spotlights to revert back to default values has been resolved.

  Download: Download V2.5.5 here.

 The Podium Panorama server is ready

We’ve set up a web based hosting platform for your panorama renders.

The Podium Panorama server is now ready to use! Simply click through to the pano server webstite register with a username and password, an start uploading your panoramic renders.

  • Easily store and share your panoramas – When you upload an equirectangular image, the pano server automatically generates a unique URL that you can easily share with clients and colleagues.
  • Organize your projects – Create a free account and access all your panorama files from the same page. Sort your images into categories and organize your portfolio of panorama presentations.
  • Automatically convert panoramic render to VR presentation – The web platform automatically converts your equirectangular panorama render into a spherical panoramic VR presentation. You no longer need to convert your image in PIE if you are uploading to the pano server.

Coming this month in SU Podium v2.5.5: Upload your panoramas to the server without leaving SketchUp. The next Podium builds will include a direct link to your Panorama Server account through Podium Image Editor. Render, adjust, upload and share all from within SU Podium.

  Take a look:   Try the Podium Panorama Server here

3. Processing Scenes – super fast C++ method

SU Podium V2.5.1 Plus employs a significantly improved Podium Exporter that is written in C++.Previous versions used a very efficient ruby code to export SketchUp geometry, textures, camera and sun position to Podium’s raytracing engine. However, the C++ Podium Exporter can export geometry and materials to the raytracing engine much faster. Nearly 10 times faster. As you know, with large models, processing and parsing scenes can often be the longest stage in the entire rendering process. So for large models, the speed difference can be several minutes or more in rendering time.

For example:

This Lake House model from has 768,000 faces and 145 materials. On a very fast Windows 7 machine (Intel i7 4960X), with V2.18.972, processing scenes and parsing UV maps took 12 minutes. On the same computer with V2.5.x the geometry and materials exports took 43 seconds. We expect this speed performance will increase even more in the next free update.

4. Flipped textures and other material problems that are fixed

5. Podium Image Editor Improvement – DOF change

Podium Image Editor has an improved DOF (Depth of Field options) that lets you fine tune the in focus and out of focus areas.Read the detailed web documentation about PIE here.

6. Tools Analyse updated

Tools has been updated in V2.5 Plus additional Analyse Tools options providing more information about your model and how to fix problems.

You can see in the above images, there are many new items reported in Analyse. Now there is a summary section for Alerts which provide information why Podium may be crashing or is not rendering as expected. The list of materials now links with both the SketchUp Materials Editor and the Podium Materials Property. In other words, when you click on one of the listed materials in the Analyse Report the particular material is linked to SketchUp’s Material Editor and Podium Material Properties UI so you can make edits quickly.

7. Rendering Sections including in SU 2015 version

An often requested feature for SU Podium has been to support SketchUp sections. SketchUp sections simulate section cuts by hiding parts of the model that are behind the SketchUp section plane. But SketchUp does not actually trim or cut the faces from the model, to make sections as you might see in a solid modeling 3D program. SketchUp section feature does not remove geometry behind the section plane. Therefore Podium’s rendering engine can not distinguish between what is in front or behind (hidden) the SketchUp section plane.

To deal with this, Cadalog has a has a new section tool plug-in for SU Podium V2.5 Plus users, that cuts and removes the SketchUp geometry that is behind the section plane. To ensure that you do not lose geometry from your original model, the SU Podium Section Tool first makes a copy of your model and renames to a unique name. Then the tool creates a new face where the section plane is and removes the geometry that is behind the section plane. The result is a real physical section which you can then render with SU Podium.

Section Tool is now installed with V2.5 Plus for SketchUp 2015 64 bit. This is because SketchUp 2015 64 bit has improvements in memory management and Section Tools works well. However, we have not included Section Tools in SketchUp 2014 or in SketchUp 2015 32 bit because it will often crash due to lack of memory. However, 2014 customers will be able to download it from the SU Podium plugins page.

Click here for the Sections web page to read how to operate SU Podium Section Tools.

8. Support for more languages.

SU Podium V2.5.1 Plus adds support for more languages in the SketchUp 2014 version as well as the SketchUp 2015 version. First non-English language supported is Japanese with more European and Asian languages coming.

9. All other SU Podium V2.5.1 Plus features.

SU Podium V2.5.1 Plus retains all other V2 Plus features that were introduced one year ago. For a summary of what other features are included, such as Podium Image Editor, Podium Preset Editor, the new advanced metallic materials, EditInPlace, hidden LEM,

Podium Panoramas let users add interactivity to renders, allowing a viewer to “look around” the image in a full 360 degrees. If you haven’t seen an example of the panorama feature yet, click the image above to view the embedded example.


Processing Scenes is even faster – V2.5 implemented a switch from Ruby to C++, which increased the speed that Podium can process large models and textures by 10 times. In v2.5.1 we’ve continued refining the exporter, and are extremely happy that speeds have increased even further.

Control Shadow Casting – In addition to panoramas, we’ve added an option to Podium to let users toggle shadow casting on and off for specific items. This is particularly useful if you’re using image planes and other geometry in your scene for realistic reflections, but don’t want them casting shadows. Read more about this feature here.

Improved 2.0 Presets – In V2.5.1+ we have introduced improved versions of Podium’s presets. For the 2.0 presets, we’ve made small adjustments to indirect illumination and light bounce settings, which will give more weight to global illumination. In general, the 2.0 presets will distribute light more evenly, and the overall renders will be somewhat brighter at default exposure levels. As always, it is important to experiment with settings to determine which preset will best server your scene. Read more about 2.0 presets here. Bug Fixes- A number of bug fixes were taken care of in this new release. Read here.

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