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SU Walk Help and Support

What is SU Walk?

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 and install SU Walk for Windows

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Download the free trial SU Walk for Windows 7 and 8. SU Walk does not support the Mac. (Look at Podium Walker if you need Mac support)

Go to the Free Trial page and download

To install this version, uninstall all previous versions first (if you have previous versions installed.)

Install for SketchUp 7 and 8.

    Download the correct install file for SketchUp 7 or 8. 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.

    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.

Install for SketchUp 2013

    Download the correct install file for SketchUp 2013. Click on the install file. SU Walk will get installed here - C:\Program Files (x86)\SketchUp\SketchUp 2013\Plugins\su-walk\. A desktop icon will be created and placed on your Desktop.

    To uninstall SU Walk, go to the C:\Program Files (x86)\SketchUp\SketchUp 2013\Plugins\su-walk\. Click on the Unins000.exe or Uninstall the Windows Start button and go to SU Walk.

Install for SketchUp 2014 or 2015

    Download the correct install file for SketchUp 2014 or SketchUp 2015. Click on the install file. SU Walk will get installed here - C:\ProgramData\SketchUp\SketchUp 201x\SketchUp\plugins\SU_Walk. A desktop icon will be created and placed on your Desktop.

    To uninstall SU Walk, go to the C:\ProgramData\SketchUp\SketchUp 201x\SketchUp\plugins\SU_Walk. Click on the Unins000.exe or Uninstall the Windows Start button and go to SU Walk.

Check your computer's compatibility with 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.

Where to get support

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:

  • The SU Walk Forum - an active Forum with one experts online almost any time.
  • E-mail support - Please e-mail us with any question, any time. You should get a reply within 24 hours. Usually, much faster. Please be specific about the problem you are having.
  • Log file. SU Walk can export a log file which can be used to analyze the problem you may be having such as crashes. The log file provides information such as the GPU your computer is using. However, it does not record any personal information. To create a log file after a crash, run SU Walk again and hold down F7 key and then specify a folder where a log file will be saved. This will export a log file created in the last run. If the problem is not crashing but something else, such as the way an animation is displayed, close SU Walk once and follow the same procedure as above.
  • Upload your models. If you are having problems rendering your models, feel free to upload them to our account. Make sure you send and e-mail to us to let us know you have uploaded a model.

    Check your GPU from the GPU list

    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.

    Video Players

    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 and 8 provides a free video player called Live Movie Maker but some people have reported that it is not compatible to some video formats.

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    SU Walk - Two software programs:
    A SketchUp plug-in and a stand alone software

    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.

      Note SU Podium V2 users: SU Walk does not support SU Podium V2 high quality reflections. The rendering properties that SU Walk and SU Podium have in common are point/omni lights and spot lights. If you want photo-realistic reflections in your SU Walk animation, you will need to use the SU Walk SketchUp plug-in to apply SU Walk type reflections to the SketchUp model. However, SU Walk does support SU Podium V2's omni/point lights and spot lights.

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    Step 1: Preparing your SketchUp model with the SU Walk SketchUp plug-in

    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.

      Adding reflections to the SketchUp model - Flat Mirror

      Watch this video to find out about adding reflections to flat faces in you SketchUp model

      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.

      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:

      • First, turn the flat face (planar face) into a group. It's easy to do that in SketchUp by double clicking on the face. SketchUp will highlight the face and it's edges. Turn these highlighted entities into a group. Only one face should be in the new group. If the face you want to assign reflections to is already in a group, make the face a sub group or nested group.
      • Second, after the face has become a group, context click on the group and click on Flat Mirror
      • Now identify the front face of the face that Flat Mirror is assigned to by click on the Face so that the red line is perpendicular to the front face.

        • Front Side/ Back Side All SketchUp faces have a front side and back side. Flat mirror should be assigned to the Front side. You may need to reverse use the SketchUp context command Reverse Faces to flip to expose the front side of the face. You may even need to assign the material to the front side. Please read here on an explanation of Front Side/ Back Side.

      • Third, click on the mirror panel icon of the SU Walk tool bar and add reflections.
        1. You have a choice of adding reflections or blurred reflections.

      • Note: You can remove Flat Mirror reflection properties from the group by context clicking the group and using the Remove command.

      Adding reflections to curved faces - Environment Mapping

      Watch this video to find out about adding environment map type reflections to your curved SketchUp faces

        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.

      • First, turn a group of connected faces into a group, if this has not already been done.
      • Second, context click on the Group and assign an Environment Map to it. There's no need to choose the front side of a face with Environment Mapping.
      • Third, use the Mirror Panel from the SU Walk tool bar to add reflections (direct or blurred) to the group.

      • Note: You can remove Environment reflection properties from the group by context clicking the group and using the Remove command.

      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.

      Adding artificial lights

      Watch this video to find out about adding artificial lights to your SketchUp model for SU Walk

      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 or to use Podium Browser light fixtures. 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 Download and install Podium Browser and freely drag and drop any number of of the free 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 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.

      Adding bump maps and shine

      Watch this video to find out about adding bumps and shininess to your SketchUp materials for SU Walk

      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.

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    Step 2: Creating the photo-realistic animations with SU Walk

    • Video:Import the SketchUp model and create animations in SU Walk
    • Video: Save your SU Walk animation as a video

      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.

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      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.

      Pull down menu

      After importing your SketchUp, to get a quick start, look at the most important pull-down options - Shadows, Background and Presets.

    • Shadows On. The default setting is Shadow On When Stop. This setting will only display Shadows when your camera is not moving through the scene. This helps you save graphic memory. However, if your computer has the graphic power, turns Shadows On. This will display photo-realistic reflections/ lights and shadows in real time as you move around the scene.
    • Background Settings. When you toggle this option, the below dialog will be displayed. You can choose Texture or Simulation mode. Simulation mode will display sun position according to the time of day you have setup. Switch to simulation mode, if you are using the Before-Pool.skp demonstration model.
    • Preset Panel. When this is click on, the Preset Panel will appear. This dialog is where you will create camera views that you will combine to make an animation path. Also Scenes that were imported from SketchUp will be displayed here.
    • Fly Mode, Walk Mode

    • Fly Mode - A mode without considering gravity.
      There is no collision to any objects. View point height is ignored.
    • Walk Mode - A mode that simulates walking on the ground.
      This considers gravity. This mode detects collision. You can You can Jump by using the space bar. The view point is always located at the view point height except when using jump.
    • Click here to see a detail description of the all Pull Down menu items such as Preferences, Edges and Screen Capture

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      How to make an animation

      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.

      From 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.

      New Views

      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.)

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      Creating a Video File

      To create a video file of your animation, highlight the animation Path and click on "Generate a Movie file" in the Preset dialog.

      Creating a time line animation

      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.

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    Non photo-realistic mode

    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.

    How SU Walk works with SU Animate

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    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.

    What is Ambient Occlusion

    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.

    What is new in the most current version

      - Adds a controller for artificial light power factor to the status bar. You can control the overall intensity of artificial light sources in the model. Artificial light is added in the original SketchUp model with SU Podium omni and spot lights (or light fixtures from the Podium Browser).
      - Adds support for the north direction, latitude, longitude, date and time in a SketchUp file.
      - Updates the background engine to the latest version. The window resizing is faster.
      - Improves the window re sizing performance.
      - Changes Ctrl+Shift+L-drag rotation of the north direction to control of the date.
      - Changes the bwa file version. A new bwa file cannot be read with the older versions.
      - Resolves an issue in which "Head Light" mode.
      - Improves "Shadow Off" mode brightness.
      - Changes the rendering mode used when moving in "Shadow On When Stop" mode from "Shadow Off" to "Head Light".
      - Changes [View]-[Shadow] menu to [View]-[Rendering Mode].
      - Removes "TRIS" and "BAT" indicators from the status bar.