How to Render in SketchUp

SketchUp’s excellent 3D modelling functionality makes it enormously popular in a wealth of circumstances where accurate, intuitive drawing is the name of the game. Whether it’s architectural drawings or drawings for interior design, landscaping, construction and engineering, even game design, it helps talented people create perfect working drawings.

3D models designed in SketchUp appear in a simple rendered output. They beautifully showcase shadows, colours and textures, but they don’t process reflections or light sources. When you want to see your model as a high-resolution photo-realistic image, you need rendering. So how do you render in SketchUp? You use rendering extensions. Did you know that rendering software for SketchUp is easy to use and delivers brilliant results? Welcome to the amazing world of SketchUp render plugins.

Creating Photo Realistic Renders with Sketchup

Designs in SketchUp don’t process reflections, light from electric lights or sunlight. But designers want to create clear, accurate, photorealistic renderings of their designs including exterior lighting and interior lighting, simply because light is often such a fundamental part of the way designs work. Get the light wrong and your design might not fit the bill.

You need a SketchUp Extension to achieve the desired rendered results, revealing how light falls on surfaces and changes the ambience and appearance of a design. SketchUp rendering solutions are your best friend, and there’s an extensive collection of rendering solutions for SketchUp specially created for adding realistic materials, adding lights and reflections, all perfect for creating atmosphere in your designs.

Basic SketchUp offers a choice of different rendering plugins, including:

How to Render in SketchUp

So what is the best rendering software for SketchUp? Some of the most popular are Su Podium, V-ray for SketchUp, Twilight Render and Enscape for SketchUp, all widely-used SketchUp rendering extensions. And V-ray is amongst the most popular rendering extensions for SketchUp of all.

V-ray for SketchUp is one of the most popular rendering plugins in the digital modelling sector, used to deliver SketchUp’s full potential in all its glory. It comes with an incredible choice of textures thanks to the powerful material editor. There’s an equally powerful render engine and the V-ray UI is nice and easy to handle. Together all this makes creating photorealistic renders faster. Would you like to take advantage of a generous free trial of the SketchUp V-ray render extension?

Su Podium is another seriously useful rendering extension for SketchUp. It lets you make beautiful photorealistic models including hyper-real looking materials, sun effects and sky effects, and it also does a fantastic job of portraying artificial lights. It has a simple, efficient UI and is built to deliver high quality images quickly. The plugin’s brilliant panorama rendering is special, called Podium Panoramas and viewable in virtual reality thanks to a clever spherical environment.

SketchUp Rendering with V-Ray

V-ray for SketchUp provides a choice of toolbar facilities: the V-Ray for SketchUp toolbar, the V-Ray lights toolbar, and the V-Ray objects toolbar. The settings available under the V-Ray for SketchUp toolbar menu include exciting functions like asset editing and material settings, plus realistic environment settings like sunlight. It offers model geometry settings and general render settings too, for a great range of render styles. This is where you’ll find the tools that let you edit your rendering, plus the render buttons themselves.

V-ray provides a large library of realistic materials. The V-ray lights tab comes with all sorts of settings for the different lights within the 3D model, and it works seamlessly in conjunction with the V-ray lights toolbar. This means you can add many different kinds of light, for example, rectangle lights, sphere lights, spotlights, IES lights, interior lights and exterior lights, each with its own unique effects.

You have two different types of renderings to choose from. Rendering with V-ray delivers a simple static rendering in your render window. But when you render with V-ray interactive you get an interactive render that changes as the camera moves. Both of these incredibly realistic rendering capabilities create the atmosphere you need to drum up the right level of enthusiasm in your clients, helping them to see and understand a space or a design in a way that simply isn’t possible without rendering.

If you’d like to know more, we have a suite of SketchUp tutorials to help you get to grips with every aspect of SketchUp, including rendering. And if you’d like to explore exciting V-ray extensions, you can find them here. You might also like to explore SketchUp Pro to see what extras you get.

Now you know how To Render In SketchUp like a pro, what will you create?

About Elmtec

Elmtec have been the UK distribution partner for SketchUp since 2010, and service a network of UK and Irish resellers. We have over 22 years’ experience within the digital design community.

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