Download SU Podium V2.6 Beta now

Introducing SU Podium V2.6 Beta

SU Podium V2.6 is a significant feature update, adding image-based lighting with HDR backgrounds and incorporating changes to Podium Browser's interface and licensing. The upgrade to V2.6 also includes all incremental v2.6x updates.

HDRI Lighting
HDRI Lighting

Support for image-based lighting via HDRI backgrounds.

Read more below
New Podium Browser interface
Podium Browser

Interface redesign, plus SU Podium and Podium Browser now sold as a single license.

Read more below
Multi-threaded Podium Exporter
Podium Exporter

Processing scenes is now a multi-threaded process and uses all CPU cores and threads.

Read more below
HDR post-processing support

PIE now supports HDR editing and includes an "Advanced linear tonemapping" option.

Read more below

V2.6 will be a paid upgrade when it hits official release - Because of the license changes to Podium Browser there are two upgrade "tiers" depending on whether you already own a Podium Browser license. The beta is free to try — please see here about licensing during the beta period.

 HDR image-based lighting

  SU Podium now supports image-based lighting

V2.6 includes five HDRI backgrounds in the installation which can be used as an alternative option to the two Podium physical sky simulations.

These backgrounds/skies contain realistic luminance and tonal data captured directly from real-world environments. Image-based lighting is a versatile, realistic approach to natural lighting, and lets the user easily test a number of different lighting scenarios to choose the one that showcases the project in the best light (so to speak).

 Additional HDRIs available in Podium Browser

Only five backgounds are included in the installation to keep file sizes manageable. However, licensed Podium users are entitled to a large library of additional HDRIs that can be added directly from Podium Browser.

 Simple, fast, versatile look development

Trying out a different sky and background is as simple as choosing a different Instagram filter. Your reflections, shadows, and color palette always remain in harmony, because everything is driven by the HDRI background.

A real-time preview window lets you rotate the HDRI to control shadows and adjust exposure so there are no surprises at render-time.

Learn more about HDRI lighting and see it in action in Podium?  

  Multi-threaded Podium Exporter

We have once again improved speed during the "Processing Scenes" portion of the render process

  • Before SU Podium v2.6 the Podium Exporter only used a single CPU core

    Since most modern workstations have several cores (at a minimum) this means a lot of potential computing resources sat idle while Podium exported your model's geometry and textures to the render engine.

  • The SU Podium v2.6 exporter uses all your CPU cores/threads during the export process

    While this may not reduce your render time significantly for a final image, it is hugely beneficial during the preliminary design phase of a project, cutting down the time it takes to output multiple iterative test renders. This is especially true with larger SketchUp files.

 Podium Browser redesign and license changes

 Podium Browser redesign

The Podium Browser interface has been updated to make the process of searching through categories and subcategories faster. Click and drag sliders let you scan an entire category quickly, and new sorting options let users view up to a hundred thumbnails at once.

 Podium Browser and SU Podium are now a single license

Starting with V2.6, Podium Browser paid content will be included with the purchase of SU Podium.

That means anyone upgrading to V2.6 will also gain access to the entire Podium Browser library if they do not already own a license. Since many of you already own Podium Browser paid content we are offering two different upgrade prices to compensate; pricing details to be determined.

Note - Because Podium V2.6 is only being released for SketchUp 2017 and 2018, Podium Browser will still be sold as a stand-alone plugin for users who are still working in SketchUp 2016 and earlier.

 HDR editing in Podium Image Editor

Podium Image Editor now supports a 32 bit editing workflow for .HDR renders from Podium. This includes all existing editing in tools in PIE, as well as a new adaptive tonemapping function, shown below:

Adaptive linear tonemapping - One click histogram normalization function for HDR renders in Podium Image Editor.

Note - Our licensing system is changing in V2.6, and your SU Podium V2.5 and Podium Browser licenses cannot be used to activate the beta.

  1. If you own SU Podium V2.5 but not Podium Browser - The SU Podium V2.6 beta installer does not have any trial limitations, and will function exactly like a fully licensed version of SU Podium. You can continue using V2.6 in "trial mode" while the beta is running without missing any functionality.
  2. If you own Podium Browser paid content - You will need to request a temporary V2.6 beta license to unlock Podium Browser. Please send an email to and include your Podium Browser serial number in the email. We'll send you a beta license right away.

SU Podium V2.6 requires SketchUp 2017 or 2018.

Download SU Podium V2.6 beta here