SU Walk Help and Support
Overview of all features - 10 minute video
What is it - short video
SU Walk is a stand alone walk thru/ fly thru animation program for SketchUp. It will create photo-realistic, real time, animations from your SketchUp model. In photo-realistic mode, SU Walk supports sun light, moon light, artificial lights, reflections, blurred reflections, bump maps and specular shine.
In non-photo-realistic mode, SU Walk supports sun light and various sky simulations. The imported SketchUp model will look almost exactly like it does in SketchUp. However, SU Walk can handle large size models with textures easily and has a polygon reduction feature. Creating on-the-fly walk thru animations is a breeze using SU Walk.
SU Walk is a stand alone software Windows program. It imports SketchUp models and allows you to create key frame based animations. SU Walk also includes a SketchUp plug-in for adding realistic reflections, lights, bumps and other photo-realistic properties to your SketchUp model. If you want reflections and lights in your photo-realistic animation, you must add these properties to SketchUp using the SU Walk's SketchUp plug-in. After these are added to the SketchUp model, import the model to SU Walk. The reflection, material and light properties are then displayed in SU Walk in real time and you can build your photo-realistic animation quickly.
Like many rendering and animation software programs, SU Walk utilizes the computer's GPU to make reflection and light calculations. If your computer is a old or under powered, you may want to switch to non-photo-realistic mode. In photo-realistic mode, SU Walk needs a GPU that supports Shader Model 3.0 which most current PCs support. If you have a lower end notebook not designed for graphics or are using an older PC, you may need to run SU Walk in non-photo-realistic mode.
Download the free trial SU Walk for Windows XP, Vista and 7
Go to the Free Trial page and download To install this version, uninstall all previous versions first (if you have previous versions installed.)
Click on the install file. SU Walk will get installed here - c:\Program files (or program files x86)\Google\Google SketchUp 8 (or 7)\plugins\su-walk\. A desktop icon will be created and placed on your Desktop.
We will start working on the Mac port after several new features are added to SU Walk.
To uninstall SU Walk, go to the c:\Program files (or program files x86)\Google\Google SketchUp 8 (or 7)\plugins\su-walk\. Click on the Unins000.exe or Uninstall the Windows Start button and go to SU Walk.
Before purchasing SU Walk, run some easy tests after downloading and installing SU Walk.
Click Here to import a test model. This will take two minutest to do and will save you a lot of frustration.
The following Help pages will guide you through Installation and using and applying SU Podium. Please take a moment and read through the Installation chapter if you are having difficulty with the install. If you are having trouble finding your serial number, please take a look at the FAQ section of this web site. There is a detailed description of how to find your serial number. In addition, you can get support from the following areas:
GPUs that are two or more years old may not support Shader Model 3.0 or above. In some cases that may not support Shader 2.0. SU Walk needs the GPU to support SM 3.0 or above to run in photo-realistic mode and SM 2.0 or above to run in non-photo-realistic mode. Check your GPU from this list to see if your computer can support SU Walk.
Once you create an animation with SU Walk and run it and like the way it looks, you will want to export the animation to a video (movie) format such as .mp4. To view the movie you create, you will need a video player. You may need to experiment with video players to make sure the movie format you export to can be played. Windows 7 provides a free video player called Live Movie Maker but some people have reported that it is not compatible to some video formats.
There are two software programs that get installed with SU Walk. The first is the SU Walk stand alone Windows program. This is ready to use right away. Simply open it and import a SketchUp model to begin. Read the sections below to learn the operations of SU Walk or watch the tutorial videos:
However, if you want to have realistic reflections and artificial lights (other than sky light, sun light or moon light), you will need apply reflections and lights to the SketchUp model. In that case, you will need to operate the SU Walk SketchUp plug-in to add SU Walk properties to your SketchUp model. The SketchUp plug-in is the second software program that gets installed automatically.
SU Walk comes is a stand alone Windows program. It also installs a SketchUp plug-in. This section will examine how to prepare the SketchUp model to create photo-realistic animations with SU Walk. If you want to add photo-realistic reflections, bump maps, shininess and artificial lights to animation, you will need to use the SU Walk SketchUp plug-in.
(Skip this section and go to the Section on how to create photo-realistic animations if you do not need to add reflections and other photo-realistic properties to your SU Walk animation.)
SU Walk tool bar inside SketchUp.
After installing SU Walk, when you open SketchUp,you should see the above tool bar in your SketchUp tool bar area.
If you want to have photo-realistic reflections for your animation, you will need to apply SU Walk reflection properties to groups. The reflections are different from SU Podium V2 reflections.
Open SketchUp and your model.
Sample Pool-Before skp file If you need a model to learn SU Walk, this is a good one. It's used in all the video tutorials
Flat Mirror is one the reflection types that can be easily added to a SketchUp group. To learn how to apply Flat Mirror, take a look at the above video tutorial.
Also read below:
Flat Mirror is a type of reflection that is best for flat or planar SketchUp faces such as a floor, wall or glass window faces. After you apply flat mirror and save the SketchUp model, when you import the model to SU Walk, your reflections will be obvious and displayed in real-time. The steps to prepare your SketchUp model for flat mirrors are:
Another method of adding reflections to groups is Environment Mapping. This method is best when using groups of faces and in particular groups of curved faces such as the ball group in the sample pool model or the tea kettle in the Olle Bergman model. Apply Environment Mapping to a group is very similar to the Flat Mirror process.
With Environment Mapping or Flat Mirror properly applied, you can save your model and import it into SU Walk and have realistic reflections in your animation.
Please note, nothing applied with SU Walk in SketchUp will interfere with SU Podium or any other rendering application for SketchUp.
Artificial lights are omni directional point lights. SU Walk supports it's own sunlight and skylight but also supports SU Podium V2 point lights. It does NOT support SU Podium LEM lights as this would be very time consuming to your computer's GPU when rendering in real time in SU Walk. However, Podium point lights are supported and can be added to interiors or exteriors of your SketchUp model easily.
Currently, the only way to get point lights into our SketchUp model is to use SU Podium. This does not mean that you must own a copy of SU Podium V2. You can currently use two free, plugins to insert point lights.
One is by using the free Podium Browser available from the Registered User area of www.suplugins.com (this web site). Download and install Podium Browser and freely drag and drop any number of light fixtures into SketchUp. Each light fixture contains one or more point lights (some contain LEM lights) that will render in SU Walk.
Another free tool is the OmniGridV2 also available from the Registered User area of www.suplugins.com. Download and install this SketchUp plugin. You can insert a grid of point lights offset from your ceiling or wall using OmniGrid V2. Please read about OmniGrid here.
Bumps and shininess properties can be added to SketchUp materials directly from the Materials Panel. Bumps will give a SketchUp material a bumpy effect when displayed in SU Walk. Shine will display shininess to a material in relation to light sources.
Both bump and shininess properties are added to a SketchUp material by using the material panel in the SU Walk plug-in tool bar. Open the material panel and then select the SketchUp material. You can select the SketchUp material in two ways. One way is to select the SketchUp material by using the eye dropper from the SU Walk material panel. Another way is to open the SketchUp Material Browser and select the In-Model material.
Once you have selected the SketchUp material, the material's name will be displayed in the SU Walk material panel dialog box. Confirm you have the correct material and then use the Shininess or Bump slider to add these properties. Save the model and import it to SU Walk. Note - the bump and shininess properties have a subtle effect.
This section will examine how to create photo-realistic animations using the Windows stand alone product, SU Walk. To start,click on the SU Walk Desktop icon to open the program.
Note: When you need to change something in SketchUp such as the model's geometry, reflection and/or light properties, you will need to open the model in SketchUp, make your changes, save and then re-import the model to SU Walk.
The first step to creating an animation is to import a SketchUp model. If you want to add reflections and artificial lights, read the section above on the SU Walk SketchUp plugin. After selecting the SketchUp model to open:
Select one of the three options - Import an active scene, Import selected scenes and Import all scenes. For the option Import selected scenes, select a necessary scenes and click the OK button.
When a SketchUp file is imported, it is displayed with the default SU Walk preference settings. The most important of these are described in the below Pull down menu and status bar sections. Let's go over the default settings before creating the animation.
After importing your SketchUp, to get a quick start, look at the most important pull-down options - Shadows, Background and Presets.
The status bar will control camera height, FOV and time or location. To get started, leave the status bar defaults as is.
To move around the scene, use your mouse. Please click on the link below to find out how to move forward, back and side ways, rotate views, get out of collisions, create time lines and more..
There are three ways to create an animation. One is a key frame animation. Another is a Tour animation which is a type of Key Frame animation. A third is recording your camera movements in real time. Key frame animations are an accurate and easy way to create an animation. It uses a sequence of Views or Scenes. You can create views or scenes from the Preset panel. Each view or scene will be treated like a key frame in the animation. If you have already imported a number of SketchUp scenes, these scenes can be used as key frames.
The definition of view points, camera views and key frames are the same. These terms apply to the same thing.
What is a key frame (camera view/ view point)?
SU Walk treats each view or scene as a key frame of the animation. Once you have created several views, arrange the views in sequence so that each view is a key frame in the animation. SU Walk will interpolate an animation path from the sequence of views or scenes.
If you have already made an number of animation scenes in SketchUp and imported these scenes to SU Walk and wish to use these scenes as the viewpoint (camera view) of the animation, highlight all the scenes using your shift key. You can delete scenes or move scenes by using the Arrow Keys. When you are ready, pick K or T from the preset menu. You will prompted to Create New Path. Name the path. The new path name will appear in the Presets dialog box. Click on it and view the animation.
If you are creating an animation from scratch in SU Walk, create a number of views in SU Walk by moving your mouse forward or backwards so you have a new camera view. Each viewpoint is a camera view and represent a key frame of the animation. SU Walk will interpolate an animation path from the views you create.
Creating the key frame animation or animation path
To command SU Walk to create an animation path, highlight all your views or scenes that you have arranged in sequence and then click on the K icon in your Preset dialog. (K is the symbol for Key Frame). You will be prompted to name a path. To run the animation, double click on the path name that you have created.
Using Rec to create the animation
If you start the Rec operation, SU Walk will create an animation path from your mouse camera movement. Click on Rec when you are finished recording the screen. This method is particularly very useful if you are creating time line animations. Please read below.
Using T instead of K
The T icon stands for Tour. This option will create a path that has a transition time between each key frame. In other words, the animation will pause between each key frame or view. The length of the pause is determined in the Preference. (Please click here to read about Preference and other menu items.)
To create a video file of your animation, highlight the animation Path and click on "Generate a Movie file" in the Preset dialog.
If you can create an animation a time line of sun light during the day of a specific camera view. This type of animation is often called time line animation. Here is how to do it:
1. Make sure your background dialog is set to Simulation
2. Hold the Crtl key while dragging with the left mouse button. Look at the status bar while you do this. The time and time scale will change.
3. Click on the REC icon in the Preset dialog. This will record your screen activity.
4. Stop recording by end the time line and then clicking on REC a second time. to stop and save the recording. You will be prompted for the animation name.
5. Make sure you click on Record the Position of the sun.
6. Run the Path and you will view the time line animation.
Three examples of SketchUp models that have been setup for SU Walk photo-realistic mode are located here.
Furthermore, you can examine more examples on the Gallery page.
If you want to create animations quickly without the need of photo-realistic quality, you can turn non photo-realistic mode on. To turn non-photo-realistic mode on, go to your tool bar and turn off the check mark next to Photo realistic You may be surprised at the quality you will get in non-photo-realistic mode. Non photo-realistic mode support sunlight and imports all SketchUp textures. Furthermore, the SketchUp model file size is reduced and you can usually navigate through your model much more quickly than you can in SketchUp.
New Video - with SU Animate 4, you can create key frames in SketchUp quickly and export to SU Walk.
Creating the key frames in SketchUp with SU Animate: Check out this video
Importing the key frames into SU Walk quickly: Check out this video
Camera animation paths created by SU Animate can be imported two different ways. The easiest way is to first make all the scenes in SketchUp using SU Animate's Make Scenes command. Next import the SketchUp model and all the scenes. You can then highlight all the imported scenes and create a Key frame. path in SU Walk as described in the Operations section.
Another way of importing SU Animate camera path's into SU Walk is - After you have previewed the camera animation in SU Animate's preview, Export the Camera Path. This will not work unless you have a camera animation. Export the Camera Path menu in SU Animate will create a CSV file. Import the model into SU Walk without the scenes. Once the model is imported, go to Presets and IMP (import) the SU Animate CSV file.
Ambient Occlusion (AO) is an indirect light method similar to Global Illumination (GI) which is built into SU Podium V2. AO provides indirect illumination so that areas of the 3D model that are no illuminated directly by natural or artificial light sources can reflect light from indirect light sources such as other faces. AO is similar to GI but not as high in quality. However with AO no pre-processing is needed such as is with GI. Due to this, the computer's performance and memory consumption will not change much from smaller to larger size models (measured by number of faces or polygons). AO is what makes SU Walk photo-realistic and so fast. However, if you need high quality still images, uses SU Podium which has both a high quality raytracing and global illumination programs built into it.