Podium Browser questions? Go to the Podium Browser FAQ here.

Trouble Shooting/ FAQ/ Tips

A. Trouble Shooting common problems

B. Common problems and solutions

C. Tips and Tutorials Page

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A. Trouble Shooting

I. Trouble Shooting Install V2.x Plus

1. What's the difference between V2 Plus and V2.5 Plus?

2. After installing, SU Podium is not in my SketchUp extensions menu

    Most common reasons why SU Podium is not displaying in your SketchUp extensions menu.

      A. SU Podium version does not match the SketchUp version

        1. Mac User

        There are specific SU Podium versions for each SketchUp version. Make sure you download the correct version that matches your SketchUp version for the Mac. If you downloaded the wrong version SU Podium V2.x, Podium will not appear in your SketchUp extensions 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 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\

        3. SketchUp 2013/ 2014/ 2015/ 2016- SU Podium menu is not displaying

        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 SU Podium V2 menu is not appearing in SketchUp. The problem is solved usually by simply changing the destination folder during install.

        4. Rare case - SketchUp is not in the C:\program files\ or C:\program files (x86) folder.

          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.

      B. Windows 64 or 32 bit versions.

        Make sure you are installing the correct Windows version.

        V2.5 Plus for SketchUp 2014/ 2015 supports both Win 64 bit and Win 32 on Windows 7 and 8. Make sure you do not install the 64 bit version for 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.

        With SketchUp 2015, Trimble offers a 64 bit and 32 bit version of SketchUp 2015. Make sure you match the correct V2.5 Plus version with your SketchUp 2015 version.

      C. Does your user account have administrative permissions?

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

      D. Using a 3rd party Ruby Organizer will often not fail

      There are some third party Ruby script organizers that 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 from launching.

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3. There is no extensions menu in my SketchUp pull down menus

    If you are using SketchUp and do not see an Extensions menu in the SketchUp pull-down menu area
    1. go to SketchUp Preferences, click on Extensions and turn on all the Extensions.
    2. Next go to SketchUp Extension menu, and install a free Extension. Here is one that we recommend that will require the Plugins menu. Simplify Contour Tool.
    3. 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.
    4. Alternatively, if you can not or do not want to access the Extension Warehouse, download Make Fur from the Download page and install Make Fur .rbz. This 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 Plugins/ Extensions menu which is needed for SU Podium.

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II. I downloaded the wrong version. What should I do?

III. Nothing happens, OOPR crashing, Process Scenes quits, etc.

    This will link to a web page called Why Podium V2.x might be failing and what to do.

I V. Podium Browser FAQ page

    Having problems with activating or downloading Paid content from Podium Browser?
    Only seeing most "Show only Recent files" no matter what category you choose?

V. Other issues

    1. Where to download the most current version 2. I have the full version but I can not change image resolution size

      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.

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    3. I have lost my SU Podium V2.x license and/ or my Podium Browser license.
      There are several ways to find your license assuming your computer has not crashed and you have not deleted all your e-mail receipts.

      a. If you purchased your SU Podium V2 or Podium Browser license from www.suplugins.com, look for the e-mail receipt that was sent to you. This has your license information.

      b. 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.

      c. If you have SU Podium V2 running, go to the License option in the SU Podium V2 pull down. This will display your license.

    4. Avast and other anti-virus programs remove or block OOPR.exe
      It's been reported from several customers that some other anti-virus programs may do the following:
      1. Block the communication between Process Scenes and OOPR (Podium Render Manager) so it appears as if nothing is happening after selecting the Render button..
      2. Remove critical files, even after successfully downloading V2.x. 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. If OOPR.exe has been removed by a Anti-Virus or Firewall program, SU Podium will not render.

      If this is happening to you, a temporary solution is to turn off or disable the Anti-Virus program while downloading SU Podium install program. Then after successfully downloading and installing SU Podium, add an exception to the 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. An example of adding exceptions is here here.


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B. Known bugs and common questions

Known bugs

    1.Flipped Components with the same texture bug and render black or distorted has been fixed in V2.5.x Plus.

    If you assign texture to a component and then flip that component, SU Podium V2 or V2 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

    Work around is to explode one of the groups

    2. Hidden LEM cast backwards shadows of their own light

      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 V2.5 automatically turns hidden LEMs into transparent materials. With SU Podium V2.5.1, there is a Cast Shadow option that you can turn off which will stop the LEM material from casting shadows.

    3. Omni Light decimal value is rounded off to the nearest whole number in PLS dialog

      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 <light-point ##> group.) This may seem like a bug but it is not.

    4. Picking color in Podium light system for the Mac

      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, the color of the point / spot light will not change. The solution for this is to pick a color from the color wheel, Apple, Crayons, Web safe colors but not from texture (brick) palettes.

    5. Creating .skm textures with Podium properties will cause SketchUp to crash

      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.

    6. Mac 64 bit and TIFF crash - this has been fixed in V2.5 Plus.

      There is a OOPR crash in Mac V2Plus 64 bit if the SketchUp model has TIFF texture images in it. This bug has been fixed in V2.5 Plus.

    7. Generate bug - fixed in V2.5 Plus

      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.

    8. Multi-byte named SketchUp files will not open directly from Edit (PIE) in OOPR

      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.
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Textures display in SketchUp but do no render in Podium. Top 3 reasons.

    Imported images do not render or render black

    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.

    Textures on reverse or back side faces

    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 assigned to groups

    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.

Black Rendered textures - several reasons

    There are several reasons for black rendered textures.

      1. LEM with other property. One common reason for unexpected black textures in rendering is this – LEM light property that is on a material that is on a back side of a SketchUp faces. If LEM (Light Emitting Material) is applied to a material which is on the back side of a SketchUp face, the material will either render black or not at all. Click here to read about checking back side and front side faces in SketchUp.
      2. Textures on reverse or back side faces. Please see here - Textures on back side of faces.
      3. Another possible reason for black textures is because of the instanced group/ component texture bug described above. Please read here.
      4. 3D Warehouse models. Some complex models from 3D Warehouse have been created in non-SketchUp 3D programs with textures that Podium has difficulty rendering. Simple solution to this is to explode the imported component so that the textures get mapped to specific SketchUp faces.
      5. Textures with bad extensions, vector based or double byte names. If you run the SU Podium V2, 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.
      6. Materials that have zero percent Diffuse/ Transparency/ Reflection applied to them from the SU Podium Material Properties UI, will render black.
      7. Materials or textures that have image source such as .jpg or .png that are CYMK mode will render black. Export the texture from SketchUp and using Photoshop change the image mode to RGB.
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SketchUp Materials that have a single letter name like "h" or "b"

    SketchUp material names that have a single letter name especially "h" and "b" are known to create problems. 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.

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How can I save the rendered image into the folder I want?

    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 and saved somewhere. 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.
  • 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.

Changing light value in a light fixtures, omni grid and point lights

    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 <light-point-2#x>. Once the light group is selected, pick the Podium Light System icon from the SU Podium V2 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.

When I select a material, it does not show in the Podium Material dialog

    If you select a texture that is on a curved surface, the texture's name will not appear in Podium V2'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.

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Quick way to control sun/sky brightness

    One thing to keep in mind is SU Podium V2’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:

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

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Two point perspective issues

    SU Podium V2 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.

Unknown Symbol message

    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.

Other known issues

a. Support for large or complex models. 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.

b. The rendered results are dependent upon the preset chosen. Some 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.