Getting Started with PW

Getting started with Podium Walker is easy.  In this six part 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 installedif 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 V2 materials or lights included. To examine Podium Walker functions, load a SketchUp model with Podium properties or download this Barcelona model from here.

Note: This model has Podium V2 reflections applied to the water.

Podium Walker can be accessed from the SketchUp plug-ins 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 Podium V2 materials properties and artificial lights are rendered as well.

NOTE: Podium Walker is not meant for still image rendering. SU Podium V2 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 V2.

4. 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 V2 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, PW camera is disconnected to SketchUp camera. The mouse controls in PW 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.