Improve Your SketchUp Rendering With The Right Tools

Learn how to make your Google SketchUp designs look more interesting and lifelike using tools such as Shaderlight to create photorealistic effects.

Google SketchUp is a free 3D modelling tool which can be used for everything from game modelling to interior design and realistic CAD rendering. SketchUp is used by architects, interior designers, artists and hobbyists alike. The biggest issue with rendering realistic images in SketchUp is the difficulty of making your designs look realistic. The user interface can be confusing and achieving exactly the look you want can take a lot of time and effort.

SketchUp is a powerful tool, but typical renders are flat and artificial looking. To make your designs look more realistic you will need to make use of plugins that will refine and improve the final rendered image. One such useful plugin is Shaderlight.

Using Shaderlight For Photo Realism

The Shaderlight plugin allows you to change the effects on your rendered image, allowing you to create effective “moody” indoor images, rustic outdoor scenes and brightly lit, clean interiors quickly and easily. You can work on your desktop or in the cloud and create professional looking images even if you are not an experienced 3D artist.

Using Lighting In Your Renders

What distinguishes amateur renderings from professional ones is the effective use of lighting and interesting textures. Setting up the right spot and ambient lighting, picking the right colours and configuring the scene can be difficult if you are not experienced in the use of 3D software. Shaderlight’s strength is that it comes with a huge range of pre-defined scenes with interesting stock backgrounds.

If you use one of the pre-defined backgrounds in your renders you won’t have to do any complex setup work yourself. Simply pick the background and use it with your 3D models. There is a large selection of backgrounds to choose from, all taken by professional photographers. You can select from desert settings, cityscapes, forest scenes and more. There is a selection of indoor office backgrounds as well.

Stock photography and pre-defined scenes won’t fulfil every need and if you want to work as a professional artist then you will need to learn to set up your own scenes at some point. However, even professional artists appreciate the time-saving benefits of having a good base to work from in their renders. With the right plugin selection, Google Sketchup can become a flexible and powerful tool for producing realistic 3D renders.

[author ]This post was written by Callum Logan on behalf of[/author]

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