How to render in SketchUp: 8 add-ons to take the 3D design baton

Knowing how to render in SketchUp is essential for all professionals involved in the world of architecture and/or 3D design and animation. Through this program, accompanied by different add-ons or render engines, you can achieve a rendered image in three dimensions and with typical characteristics of photorealism.

Therefore, if you are very interested in the universe of architectural design, or also in interior design, or if you need to acquire this knowledge to improve your work profile, then there is a great chance that you will need to learn how to render in SketchUp.

In this article, we will tell you in detail how toobtain high quality renderings, which are the best 3D rendering programs and how to apply them in each of your design projects.

Are you ready? let’s start building a digital architecture!

1. Your Podium

Su Podium is a direct extension for SketchUp that uses a photon mapping algorithm, and provides accurate ray tracing and global illumination to produce photorealistic images.

If you want to know how to render in SketchUp, this user interface is straightforward and does not require advanced knowledge of rendering techniques.

Keep in mind that what you need to render in SketchUp is to choose the best rendering program that is compatible on Mac or Windows. In this case, Your Podium is only available for rendering on Windows devices.

Podium renderizado

Source: Podium

2. Maxwell

Continuing our guide on how to render in SketchUp, this render for SketchUp is exclusively available for Mac systems.

It features lighting systems, various physical materials and cameras to create physically accurate and realistic models.

According to a study by Forbes, when it comes to 3D design, technological development makes it possible to combine the typical processes of artistic creation with the most efficient digital advances .

Thus, by knowing how to render in SketchUp through this rendering engine, you will be able to take advantage of the benefits of digital transformation to create 3D designs with a high degree of realism.

Maxwell programa para hacer renders

Source: Maxwell

As a result, you can obtain 3D design parts that have a high level of compatibility with reality. in this way, rendering is a practical tool for professionals who want to optimize the quality of all their projects .

So, if you need to know how to render in SketchUp, Maxwell is the perfect complement to this program, because it offers the advantages of advanced rendering in an easy-to-use software.

3. ShaderLight

ShaderLight is a photorealistic and interactive rendering extension for SketchUp. This is one of the most useful Google SketchUp plugins, in case you want to know how to render in SketchUp, because it allows the generation of images with a high level of photorealism. you should know that it perfectly complements Google SketchUp 7 and Google SketchUp 8

According to an analysis by Architecture and Design, within architecture and 3D design, the rendering process allows the visualization of the digital project from a photorealism perspective. In this way, it is possible to estimate, when rendering in SketchUp, what the result of the work will be when it is finished.

ShaderLight para SketchUp

Source: ShaderLight

Moving forward in our guide on how to render in SketchUp, like the rest of the rendering engines for SketchUp, it has a free version and a paid version. The variation between both versions does not reside exclusively in the money to be paid, but rather in the resolution obtained.

In fact, it is considered that in the free version the rendered images have a maximum resolution of 640 x 480 px; while in the paid version, the rendered files have a resolution of 16000 x 16000 px. As you can see, the difference is abysmal. And for this reason, many users opt for the full version of this SketchUp add-on.

Some recommendations for downloading a render for SketchUp

Thus, when you make different types of mockups in the program, the design will always appear in a lower resolution than the final SketchUp image. This happens because the software seeks to speed up the modeling process and not burden the processor with tasks that are not necessary in the early stages of the design.

Then, when you want to see the final result of the project, it will be necessary to learn how to render in SketchUp to get the photorealistic images you need .

SketchUp cannot render any kind of architectural mockups on its own, so you will always need other tools, plugins or add-ons to achieve this.

With the above context in mind, in addition to having certain features that will make it easier for you to render in SketchUp, we will give you some tips before downloading the render:

how much time do you want to spend learning how to use the tool for SketchUp: there are very complex rendering programs that require a lot of learning time and others are very easy to use.
how much do you want to invest in a rendering program for SketchUp? there are free software that do a good job.
Rendering speed is important, if you have to work daily on several architectural designs in SketchUp.
what is the resolution of the rendered images you want to get?

In conclusion, if you want to render in SketchUp, this software for rendering in SketchUp allows you to create high quality images on the computer or in the cloud; and in addition, it has different rendering modes and intuitive tools to optimize the workflow.

4. Thea Render

Thea Render is a powerful extension for rendering in SketchUp, since it renders all the architectural materials of this program.

On the other hand, this program for rendering in SketchUp allows the use of different light editing tools, in order to position the light intensity precisely.

Besides, Thea Render has an advanced shadow catcher, which will let you incorporate realistic shadows in the background images of your projects.

It is available for Windows and Mac systems; and it is an excellent alternative for rendering in SketchUp, because it includes different modes and rendering styles in SketchUp and incorporates real-time rendering.

Thea Render página web para hacer renderizados

Source: Thea Render

5. Indigo

If you want to become an expert in 3D animation, you can download Indigo Renderer and use it as a component for SketchUp. It is based on physics and photographic realism, which simulates natural light to achieve a near-perfect real image.

By rendering in SketchUp with this render engine, you can take advantage of an advanced physical camera model, a super-realistic materials system and the ability to create complex lighting situations through Metropolis Light Transport.

how to render in SketchUp using Indigo? Here’s the step-by-step:

Download Indigo: you have at your disposal a free version for Windows and Mac, with limited features or you can download it in its paid version and take full advantage of 100% of its features to render in SketchUp.
Install the renderer: to do so, click on the Indigo installer icon. It will then be available in SketchUp.
Choose the document you want to render: in the SketchUp menu, click on “File” and then on “Open” .
Perform the render settings: go to “Plugins” and then to “Render Settings”. Note that you will be able to determine the default settings you want in this instance. However, you will be able to make other modifications to your file after rendering is complete.
Render: from the menu, click on “Add-ons ” and start rendering your file by clicking on “Render Scene”. and that’s it! you now know how to render in SketchUp using Indigo!

IDX Renditioner para SketchUp

Source: Software Informer

7. LightUp

In this analysis on how to render in SketchUp, we cannot fail to highlight the LightUp rendering add-on. Indeed, knowing how to render in SketchUp is possible using LightUp for SketchUp. Rendering through this plugin for SketchUp will be simple, if you keep in mind these steps:

Perform the download of the LightUp render engine: remember that you will be able to do this, whether you have devices with Windows or Mac systems. As in the previous cases, you can take advantage of the free version for 30 days, with limited features; or purchase the paid version with full functionality.
Access the installer icon of this SketchUpadd-on so that you can use it without any problems.
Choose the document you want to render in SketchUp: click on “File” in the SketchUp menu. Then click on “Open” .
Render your image: go to the SketchUp menu and click on “Lighting ” to configure this aspect of your file. Then, when you close the preferences and settings menu, click on the green “Lighting” button. And just like that, your image will start rendering in SketchUp!

When you create a modeling and use the render for SketchUp, you usually get a simple drawing with colored shadows and textures on the materials. But if you want to get a photorealistic representation of your project, when rendering in SketchUp, you will need to process reflections, manage natural or artificial lighting and so on.

As we have seen, by clicking on any section of the design, you can add different lighting effects and spotlights. However, in case you want to know and take advantage of all the tools provided by this rendering program, you will need some extra training .

In a few words, by means of this add-on, you will be able to render in SketchUp successfully, since it is a rendering engine that is very easy to learn and use.

LightUp hacer renderizados de alta resolución

Source: LightUp

8. Vray

To learn how to render in SketchUp with Vray, first, you need to know what this well-known 3D rendering software is all about.

Vray for SketchUp is one of the most popular rendering engines for implementing the fundamentals of architecture and interior design from a digital look.

According to a study by Forbes, when it comes to 3D design, technological development makes it possible to combine the typical processes of artistic creation with the most efficient digital advances .

Thus, when rendering in SketchUp with Vray, you will be able to work within the SketchUp interface. and that means you’ll be able to make any 3D changes and visualize them in real time.

what are the features of Vray for SketchUp?

Learn what the main features of rendering using Vray for SketchUp are and take advantage of the free trial to experiment with the program. In this review on how to render in SketchUp, we present them to you:

Rendering real-time: visualize in real time your architectural projects in SketchUp.
CPU, GPU and hybrid rendering: Vray has two powerful engines for rendering in SketchUp.
Smart 3D Assets: find and add render-ready objects and HDRI skies.
Denoiser: eliminates noise and reduces rendering time in SketchUp.
Proxy geometry: add more details to your project such as tree design for rendering.
Interactive rendering: interactively reduce as you design, adjust lights and natural materials for the construction of your project.

When you install the
Vrayprogram in SketchUp, several buttons will appear. We introduce you to the following:

V-ray for SketchUp: this button is used to make settings for materials, lights, objects or geometry and render options. The important thing is that you play with each of the buttons to recognize their functions.
V-ray lights: allows you to determine in the file to be rendered, the light focus settings, i.e., flat light, studio light, etc.

To learn how to render in SketchUp with Vray, you must keep in mind that the modeling must always be detailed and must not have elements that are not from the scene.
The frame you are going to render has to attract attention, so it is important that you play with all the elements of the scene to design an attractive composition.
Always check the light effect before rendering in SketchUp.
Set up all the textures in the scene.
When you have all the scene elements and render engine settings, you should export the project to Photoshop for post-production.

arquitecta renderiza un diseño en su ordenador

Source: Pexels

how to make a high quality render with Vray for SketchUp?

To let you know even more about how to render in SketchUp, we will tell you how to make a high-quality render with Vray for SketchUp:
Finally, download Vray for SketchUp for free with a 30-day trial for Mac or Windows operating system. Make sure you meet all the requirements this tool needs before installing it on your computer.

cómo renderizar con Vray para SketchUp

Source: Chaos Group

As you can see, knowing how to render in SketchUp is simple, if you remember these recommendations we have given you throughout this guide. SketchUp is one of the most widely used rendering programs because of its wide range of advantages when it comes to all kinds of 3D modeling projects .

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