Getting Started with Podium Walker
Difference between ProWalker GPU and Podium Walker (Standard)
- ProWalkerGPU is a Sketchup extension for visualization and animation based on Nvidia Iray's high quality raytracing program. It requires one more Nvidia GPU to work effectively. Please read here.
- ProWalker GPU only works on a Windows 7 or 10 computer. It will not run on a Mac.
- Podium Walker (Standard) is a fast, raytracing extension for SketchUp based on Intel's raytracing kernels. It is CPU based. No GPU is required. It is fast but quality level is lower than ProWalker GPU.
- Podium Walker will work on Windows and Mac.
- Both ProWalker and Podium Walker support all of SU Podium and Podium Browser materials and lights.
Getting started with Podium Walker is easy. In this guide, we'll take our first look into Podium Walker, explore the interface and navigation, and explain how to create and export an animated video. This guide assumes you already have Podium Walker installed—if you're having trouble doing so, please consult our installation guide.
1. After installing Podium Walker open SketchUp
Podium Walker works best on SketchUp models that have some SU Podium materials or lights included. To examine Podium Walker functions, load a SketchUp model with Podium properties or download the Barcelona Pavilion model from here. Note: This model has SU Podium's reflections applied to the water.
Podium Walker can be accessed from the SketchUp extensions menu or from a single icon tool bar.
2. Click the Podium Walker icon to launch the PW interface.
Your current SketchUp model will get loaded (exported) into a Podium Walker window and rendered very quickly. If your SketchUp scene covers the entire viewport, it's possible that the Podium Walker window will be behind the SketchUp window. Your viewport should look like this image below with the SketchUp window and the Podium Walker window:
With the Barcelona model, you can see how Podium Walker quickly converts the SketchUp model and renders it using ray tracing. The SU Podium's materials properties and artificial lights are rendered as well.
NOTE: Podium Walker is not meant for still image rendering. SU Podium is a much higher quality ray tracing and global illumination program. However, with Podium Walker you can navigate inside the Podium Walker window and experience real time ray tracing. It can be used a "viewer" for SU Podium. Podium Walker does have a still image function as well.
3. Things to note:
Podium Walker also reads the time of day from SketchUp and provides natural sun and sky light. The sky environment provided by Podium Walker will change with the time of day and or position of your camera.
You can re-size the Podium Window dynamically.
Changing geometry in SketchUp or adding SU Podium properties does require that you to close and reopen the Podium Walker window or use the button from the top icon menu.
As a default, PodiumWalker camera is disconnected to SketchUp camera. The mouse controls in PodiumWalker are different from SketchUp's. Please read the navigation section below. However, you can connect the PW camera to the SketchUp camera to obtain the familiar SketchUp navigation controls. Please read below.