July 16, by Alex Quickly creating 3D-models and doing sketchy renderings is clearly the strength of SketchUp. One feature that is missing in SketchUp, though, is photo-realistic rendering. Look at this post for an overviewI vray render sketchup free download you take a look at the freeware Kerkythea. For completeness, it should be mentioned that there are also the free renderers with export plugins Indigo and POVRAYbut I currently prefer Kerkythea due to its great user interface, fast and great results as well as multiprocessor support.
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Sketchup has become quite popular in our industry and Pia shares some interesting insights and useful tips for cg architects. As a CG artist, I work with plenty of software during a normal day, but for now I am going to focus on Sketchup. You may say: Sketchup vs. Although, there are two huge problems for beginners: Its price: Face it. Unless you take a course at an academy where they teach you the proper way of modelling, lighting, texturing and rendering, you will find yourself at the very same place I was the first time I opened 3ds Max.
For me, video tutorials were my teachers. With Sketchup, both of this problems are non-existent. Previous versions of Sketchup Google Sketchup were for free; and its friendly workspace invites users to try and test as many shapes as you can make in a short while. Perhaps today, Sketchup is both the gate and bridge for those beginners in the industry for familiarizing not only with the method of work but also with the criteria, terms managed by professional artists as well as a way of exercising your creativity to bring your dreams into 3D realm.
Taking a step away from what could be the reasons for working with Sketchup, my aim here is to teach you how to work with Sketchup for architectural visualization. Starting from the very core of the architectural project itself, to making your renders look photorealistic enough to convince people there are actually pictures of what could be that place if your building was built there. For starting with your project, those who are familiar with the methods and criteria for architectural projects at University may start playing with common 3D shapes as spheres, prisms, etc.
It is a very plastic way of creating architecture, and more likely the approach of a sculptor for creating art. In Sketchup is the very same. Unless you have previously created a 2D drawing of your idea, or an architectural plan of your building, then you are going to start working this way to create your 3D Model. If your situation is the second case I mentioned, then it is just working your way out with the Pencil Tool, recreating the paths you already had drawn, and extruding for creating your 3D geometry.
Sketchup can be customized to increase your efficiency with many plugins. For me, the best rendering engine for Sketchup. Photorealistic results can be achieved with proper settings and good quality textures Maxwell For Sketchup — My second choice of rendering engine. Perhaps with Maxwell you may find an easier workflow but not so many tutorials as with V-Ray.
Kerkythea — A fantastic free rendering engine, which with very few adjustments you can create great effects Shaderlight — Creates results nearly as photorealistic as V-Ray, with less parameters. Vray vs. Image by: Yes, you may say there are older versions of the software, but as for this purpose it suits well enough. First of all, look at the differences with the lighting. A noticeable thing is the rendering time spent: With common desktop pcs or laptops that are not high-end gaming, rendering time is something that really matters, because of the stress given to your video card Your pc can even shut down because of high temperature.
Trust me, it happens when you less expect it. As for my personal experience, I started working with Maxwell, and I was extremely satisfied with the results. I only switched to V-Ray after growing accustomed to it while working in 3ds Max; mostly because it was over there where I learnt how the proper parameters can make work shine.
Parameters are simpler than V-Ray, but also that gives you less control of what can happen with your rendering. With V-Ray or Maxwell you may be needing to play with adjustments such as Ambient Occulsion for achieving the same results, but with Shaderlight it only takes a click to select the style of rendering. Also notice that Ambient Occlusion renders may take longer rendering times than a Chalk Render made with Shaderlight. Kerkythea is a bit far from getting photorealistic results.
Maybe because it is a new rendering engine, and will be enhanced with new features later on. Still you can manage to make more than acceptable results. Please check http: V-Ray for Sketchup Render options; Below: Shaderlight Render options Image by: Using Textures Sketchup Textures on the other hand, can be tricky. As a word of advice, while working with huge scenes such as a cityscape for urban projects or a house with many furniture inside textures should not be over 2 mb each.
Why is that? Well, when you overload your scene with different geometry, everything needs to be textured. Imagine you have a house scene… a living room. Your PC will most likely run out of RAM while trying to make the calculations needed for rendering your scene.
Smaller size textures will not increase your scene file as much as higher size texture will; and the results are the same. You will only need to use textures above 2mb when you are texturing a large area and trying to avoid a mosaic effect in the texture without losing the scale factor. In order of importance, I will list them below. A good sky texture is always a must. Because you are going to open your file in Photoshop and use the Alpha Channel as a Clipping Mask for the Sky Texture you load as a layer for your render.
The Clipping Mask will cut out all the geometry you created in your rendering and only cover the sky area. But please make sure you set the sky texture to Multiply as your Layer Mode, otherwise things will not work. Even though V-Ray gives you the chance of making those adjustments prior saving your rendered file, some render engines does not, or you want to adjust something that does not look appealing to your sight.
Curves and Levels can change the overall feeling of your image, making your textures look brighter or darker, more saturated or desaturated. It just depends of what you want to reach. For making your background plane filled with buildings not as noticeable as your main focus area.
It is best for scenes with tall skyscrapers as the surrounding area. Motion Blur: People, cars, animals. Whatever you want to give a bit of action at your rendering. Just mask the area you want to blur and apply a Motion Blur filter with a soft value around with its direction parallel to the direction of travel at your scene. Lens Flare: For light sources as sunlight or artificial lights. Brings warmth to the image depending on the lighting source position or it works well for blurring too much noticeable lighting sources.
Realistic Vegetation: Such as trees, realistic grass or many other plants that takes loads of time for rendering. Just be sure to add shadows to them especially trees or they may look as something added rather than part of your scene. Light trails: They are the very core of every urban nightscape rendered scene.
The reason? Well, they represent cars moving through the scene captured by the camera. I hope this tips were as useful for you as there were for me. There are certainly no magical tricks with architectural visualization. It just takes tons of hours of practice and a great deal of patience. Perhaps your first renderings are not good, or perhaps you will look at them after months or years of making them and say: Please spread the love if you like it
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