|ProWalker GPU||Podium Walker||SU Podium|
|Supported OS||Windows only||Win/Mac||Win/Mac|
|Key hardware||NVIDIA Graphics Cards||CPU||CPU|
|Key tech||NVIDIA Iray - (Pathtracing)||Intel Embree - (Raytracing)||Kray - (Raytracing / Photon Mapping)|
|Podium Browser Support|
|Interactive viewport / live preview|
|Artificial lighting||Read below||Read below|
|Realistic Materials||Read below||Read below|
|Camera animation||Best option|
|360° Panoramic Rendering|
|Interactive Pano Tours|
|Stand-alone/remote option||Podium Server|
* Lighting and Materials - SU Podium is the only plugin with a user interface for creating artificial lights and configuring material properties, but these properties are supported by all three plugins. To create artificial lights and configure materials for use in ProWalker GPU and Podium Walker, you must install the SU Podium plugin. Even if you are not a licensed Podium user, the lighting and materials UI will continue working after the SU Podium trial expires.
1. You're already using SU Podium, and need to render camera / fly-through animations or timelapses. Additionally, you are a Windows user and own (or plan to purchase) an NVIDIA graphics card that supports CUDA computing. Read about ProWalker hardware recommendations here..
2. You're using SU Podium, but are considering a GPU based solution to accompany Podium for still rendering. Because the two plugins are built on the same lighting/material workflow, they complement one another very well. ProWalker's interactive viewport can greatly aid in your design process, even if you choose to use Podium for the final image. Reminder: ProWalker GPU is half off for existing Podium users.
3. Is there anyone who should buy ProWalker instead of SU Podium for still rendering? If you are already heavily invested in GPU hardware, you may find that the ProWalker GPU workfow is faster and more efficient for you. A GTX 1080 is probably a reasonable base-line for this recommendation, and beyond that (on multiple-GPU systems) it becomes even more true. ProWalker's real-time viewport preview, plus the Iray denoiser can lead to a very fluid/iterative design process on high-end graphics hardware.
SU Podium (along with Podium Browser) is still our flagship product for rendering still images and creating architectural visualization in SketchUp — ProWalker GPU and Podium Walker were designed to complement, not replace SU Podium. Render quality in SU Podium and ProWalker is quite comparable, however Podium maintains an advantage in certain regards:
You're already using SU Podium and need to add camera animation, but don't have the necessary hardware to use ProWalker GPU effectively. This includes Mac users (ProWalker is Windows only), and also Windows users with low-end or AMD graphics cards.
Everyone! The Podium Browser content library can be seen as the connective fabric between the rest of our plugins, and the cost-to-benefit proposition is hard to overstate. Podium Browser automatically makes your workflow faster and more streamlined — having immediate access to a library of tiling textures/materials will shave hours off of every project you work on, and the extensive selection of furnishings will make your life easier.
We are biased, but we believe Podium Browser should almost be an automatic purchase for anyone working in the Podium ecosystem.