Improving Sandbox tool performance

The more complex your model (the more faces), the slower SketchUp. Some Sandbox tools are capable of creating a lot of faces, thus slowing performance. Following are some tips for improving performance using the Sandbox tools.

Depending on the complexity of the model, it can take SketchUp several minutes to several hours to calculate the geometry created by the Sandbox tools. SketchUp may even appear to have stopped responding. Once you have started a Sandbox operation, you should not make any more changes to the model until after SketchUp has finished the operation. If you make any changes before that, you'll interrupt the calculations.

Sandbox From Contours tool

Simplify contours so that they have fewer lines and end points (when the complexity of the contours is not important for your overall model). Use the Simplify Contours script to reduce the number of line segments and endpoints. This script evaluates each pair of segments in a contour. If a pair forms an angle that is less than the simplify angle, which defaults to 10 degrees, they are merged into one segment, eliminating one endpoint. You can change the simplify angle when running the script.

You can reduce the endpoints by 50% or more when using the 10 degree setting, while maintaining contours that are smooth enough for modeling. To use the Simplify Contours Ruby script:

  1. Download the Simplify Contours script from the SketchUp web site .
  2. Uncompress the Simplify Contours script to create a SimplifyContours.rb file.
  3. Place the Simplify Contours script into your Plugin The Plugins folder on Microsoft Windows is at:s folder.
  4. C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp #\Plugins

    The Plugins folder on Mac OS X is at:

    /Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp #/SketchUp/plugins

  5. Restart SketchUp.
  6. Open your model with the contoured terrain.
  7. Select all of the contours. The contours are highlighted.
  8. Select the Plugins > Simplify Contours.
  9. (optional) Set the Simplify Angle.
  10. Click the OK button. The contours are simplified.

Sandbox From Scratch tool

Reduce grid complexity, by adjusting grid spacing to be larger, when creating a sandbox from scratch.

Stamp and Drape tool

The Stamp tool and Drape tool create additional faces from existing terrain. Simplify your existing terrain to yield simpler results with these tools by:

  • Simplifying your contours if your existing terrain was created from contours.
  • Adjusting grid spacing to be larger if your existing terrain was created from scratch.
  • Crop existing terrain to essential area needed for your model (removing all unneeded geometry).

The following image shows the additional polygons created when using the Stamp tool on a complex terrain (rectangles that compose the house foundation):

The following image shows the additional polygons created when using the Stamp tool on a simple terrain (rectangles that compose the house foundation):

The following image shows the additional polygons created when using the Drape tool on complex terrain (shaded below the house foundation):

The following image shows the additional polygons created when using the Drape tool on a simple terrain (shaded below the house foundation):

Add Details tool

Minimize use of this tool unless you truly need to add detail to your model because this tool adds additional faces to your terrain.