SketchUp 2024 Ambient Occlusion

SketchUp 2024 delivers big graphics boost

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New graphics engine in SketchUp 2024 promises better 3D performance and enhanced realism

SketchUp 2024, the latest release of the push pull modeller commonly used for architectural concept design, has a brand-new graphics engine designed to increase 3D performance, and realism through Ambient Occlusion.

The new graphics engine is reported to allow users to experience both an increase in frames-per-second while orbiting models and better handling and responsiveness.

According to the developers, internal testing has shown that the most common configurations are about 2.4x faster than SketchUp’s ‘classic’ graphics engine, and for higher-end configurations, there’s an improvement of 8.4x faster, with some cases even higher.

The ‘classic’ SketchUp graphics engine is still available for those with older hardware configurations.

SketchUp 2024 large city model
The new graphics engine in SketchUp 2024 makes it possible to smoothly navigate gigantic city models.

The new graphics engine also supports Ambient Occlusion, a viewing style designed to emphasise edges and faces, adding perceived depth to models, increasing realism in SketchUp viewport.

Users can select pre-built Ambient Occlusion Styles in the Styles panel or tweak the Ambient Occlusion settings sliders and create their own new Styles

“Ambient Occlusion makes the core tool no longer look like just a “sketch,” said one beta tester. “Before, I needed to always consider rendering it in some other app before presenting my model. I no longer have to worry about that — 95% of what we need to convey is ready to go in SketchUp.”


“Ambient Occlusion is the single most exciting feature in recent years! I got no work done this afternoon playing with it,” said Joe Calvin, lead architect. “Most of my models are achromatic, so this makes them pop, particularly architectural interiors.”

SketchUp 2024 viewport with Ambient Occlusion enabled (wooden ceiling panels have more depth)

SketchUp 2024 viewport with Ambient Occlusion disabled