SketchUp 2024: innovations in visualization and new design features

News | 12.04.2024

Features of SketchUp 2024

SketchUp 2024 offers a new level of realism and innovative visual styles directly in the SketchUp interface, as well as productivity-enhancing updates.

SketchUp also introduced a new Labs feature that will speed up 3D scanning and designing on the iPad.


Realistic visual effects are now available directly in SketchUp. You can easily improve your models without switching between programs for many conceptual visualization tasks

A new SketchUp Labs feature, Scan-to-Design [Labs], will dramatically speed up the modeling process directly on the iPad.

Using Canvas scanning and Apple's RoomPlan technology, scan a space in the SketchUp iPad app. SketchUp then converts that data into 3D so you can start designing immediately

Along with improved visualization, SketchUp 2024 includes process productivity improvements ranging from a new graphics engine to easier ways to share ideas with stakeholders.

Let's take a detailed look at what's new in SketchUp 2024

Ambient Occlusion — stylized image creation

Add visual emphasis and tangible depth to the edges of the model with a new global style setting called Ambient Occlusion. This new feature can be configured to create stylized visuals similar to clay or white models.

Ambient Occlusion is one of SketchUp's most significant visual enhancements to date and a milestone in its development, allowing you to create compelling visual effects in natural environments.
Ambient Occlusion is available for Desktop, iPad and LayOut.

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Styles that complement your performance

Many architects will enjoy unique visual style options that will match the aesthetic preferences of your clients. Ambient Occlusion can help you find the visual balance between too simple and too realistic, allowing you to add aesthetic touches to your 3D model without revealing material specifics.

Create and save SketchUp styles with your preferred Ambient Occlusion settings and share them with your project team so everyone can work and see your vision. 

Improve the quality of 2D documentation

In addition to color, materials, and other styling elements, SketchUp has added another tool to help you achieve more depth and richness in your 2D drawings.

LayOut supports Ambient Occlusion styles, making it easy to turn them on and off when creating 2D drawings. When you enable Ambient Occlusion in SketchUp scenes that you use in LayOut, the visual effects will be automatically updated throughout the LayOut file.

Advanced visualization workflows at your fingertips

SketchUp has improved visual results and made complex rendering and animation processes more accessible than ever. Improved import and export functionality for USDZ and glTF files provides a seamless transition between SketchUp and other standard tools.

Use these files in real-time applications like NVIDIA Omniverse or Epic Games' Twinmotion for rendered animations and advanced XR viewing experiences.

Scan, design, and collaborate all in one app SketchUp

With SketchUp Labs' new SketchUp Labs feature, you can easily get detailed construction status information and instantly turn scans into 3D models using your iPad. 

With advanced technology from Canvas, Apple and Trimble, Scan-to-Design [Labs] captures space better than other methods, such as reference photos, and eliminates unnecessary trips to the site to check details you may have overlooked.

Smart model generation

SketchUp converts scan data into clean, organized geometry that you can work with immediately. This means you can spend less time cleaning up scan data and more time looking for ideas in 3D.

Customize 3D outputs

Every project is unique, so we offer several options for scanning and creating the perfect 3D model. Scan-to-Design provides different types of geometry, meshes, and planes for different workflows. Once you start a project on your iPad, you can publish it to Trimble Connect and continue to develop your ideas in the desktop and web-based SketchUp applications. 

Share your 3D model in SketchUp with everyone

SketchUp's link sharing feature has been extremely popular on the web and iPad, so it's now available on the desktop as well. Instead of exporting one-off, flat visuals or spending time documenting, formatting and exporting project updates, simply share a single link.

Your link can show your entire model or selected Scenes and is viewable without a SketchUp subscription. An unlimited number of people can access your view-only model, and they can navigate through it in any web browser. Turn file visibility on and off for all viewers right in SketchUp.

SketchUp 2024 improvements that optimize design processes

  • A new graphics engine brings a faster, more responsive SketchUp experience. Tests with customer models showed an average eight times increase in frames per second rendered. This means navigating and orbiting models will feel considerably lighter and faster
  • The new Draft Mode in LayOut saves processing power, allowing you to efficiently navigate through working models while exporting high-resolution documents when needed.
  • Major modeling updates offer improved Move tool functionality and an enhanced inference system to reduce visual noise and optimize daily workflow.
  • Deliver accurate BIM documentation and improve cross-software interoperability with IFC import and export improvements. SketchUp data is now more precisely mapped to IFC class attributes; new geometry tessellation is available for creating optimized geometry and lightweight IFC files; and users can now consistently export data from Advanced Attributes and Dynamic Components. Import files with special characters and preserve drawing origin in a predictable way. 
  • Enjoy more terrain data and simplified importing into Add Location, increasing your confidence when bringing real data into SketchUp.

Softprom — distributor of SketchUp.