Rendering in SketchUp: From Modeling to Presentation for Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Interior Design
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More About This Title Rendering in SketchUp: From Modeling to Presentation for Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Interior Design


The sure way for design professionals to learn SketchUp modeling and rendering techniques

Rendering In SketchUp provides instructions for creating 3D photoreal graphics for SketchUp models using integrated rendering programs. The book serves as a beginner rendering manual and reference guide to further develop rendering skills. With an emphasis on step-by-step process, SketchUp users learn a universal approach to rendering varied SketchUp projects, including architecture, interiors, and site design models.

The book focuses on tasks and principles at the core of photorealistic rendering, including:

  • Rendering process: Learn a step-by-step process focused on workflow within SketchUp’s familiar workspace.
  • Universal method: Understand how the process can be used to work with a variety of different integrated rendering programs, including Shaderlight, SU Podium and Twilight Render**. These programs are easy to learn and function in SketchUp.
  • >
  • Textures and materials: Discover how to obtain, apply and edit texture images representing surfaces.
  • Component details: Learn how to acquire and organize model details to allow for rich, expressive settings while maintaining computer and SketchUp performance.
  • Exterior and simulated lighting: Learn to set exterior lighting with the SketchUp’s Shadow menu or illuminate a scene with simulated lights, lamps, and bulbs.
  • Render settings: Use specific settings for various rendering programs to quickly set texture character, image quality, and graphic output.
  • Computer specifications: Find out how computers produce renders and the type of computer hardware required to streamline the process.
  • Photoshop post-processing: Learn how to further refine rendered images in Photoshop.
  • **Free online chapters: The book reviews specific settings for SketchUp and the rendering plug-in Shaderlight. Given the ever-changing nature of technology, free, online accompanying chapters detail settings for additional integrated rendering programs including SU Podium, Twilight Render, and more.



DANIEL TAL, RLA, is a licensed landscape architect who has been working in the architecture and site design industry since 1998. He freelances on a range of projects and consults on technology education and software development. As a SketchUp specialist, he conducts workshops and seminars on 3D modeling, consults on SketchUp-related tools, and beta tests future software releases to ensure that new developments meet the needs of professionals. He is also the author of SketchUp for Site Design and on occasion writes articles for Landscape Architecture magazine.


Acknowledgments ix

Part 1 Overview and Concepts

Chapter 1: Introduction to Rendering in SketchUp 2

Integrated Rendering Programs 3

Studio Rendering Programs 4

Digital Rendering and Photorealism 5

Using This Book 8

The Software 10

Chapter 2: Contents and Extended Features 14

Companion IRP Chapters 14

Method and Reference Guide 18

Chapter 3: The Rendering Process 23

Create the SketchUp Model 24

The Iterative Rendering Process 28

The Post-Rendering Process 33

Chapter 4: How Rendering Works 35

IRP Render Processing 35

Computer Hardware and Rendering 37

Other Rendering Options 40

Computer Specifications 42

Chapter 5: Learning to Look 45

Rendering as an Art Form 45

Becoming a Student of Light and Color 53

Part 2 Textures

Chapter 6: Textures Overview 56

Textures in SketchUp 58

The Texturing Process 63

General Considerations 65

Texture Image Formats 68

Chapter 7: The Texture Library 69

SketchUp Native Textures 70

Web Sources 70

Choosing and Downloading Textures 72

Saving a Texture Library 76

Searching CG Textures 77

Linking the Texture Library 79

Chapter 8: The SketchUp Texture Tools 81

Macintosh Texture Tools 81

PC Texture Tools 82

The Paint Bucket Tool 83

The Styles Menu 95

The Right-Click Texture Menu 98

Chapter 9: Apply, Assess, and Adjust 109

The Three As 109

Apply 111

Assess and Adjust 121

Texture Tips 141

Chapter 10: Editing Textures in an External Photo Editor 146

Linking an Editor to SketchUp 146

Launching, Editing, and Saving 147

Typical Alterations 150

Part 3 Modeling Detail

Chapter 11: An Overview of Modeling Detail 168

What Is Detail Modeling? 170

Methods 173

Chapter 12: The Detailing Tools 176

The Component Library 176

The Component Browser 178

Using Layers 181

SketchUp Scenes 186

The Camera Tools 188

Chapter 13: Component Details 193

What Is Component Detail? 193

Premade Components and Textures 197

Premade Component Websites 201

Chapter 14: Organizing the Model 219

What Is a Large Model? 220

Layering Strategy 223

Layer Conventions by Model Typology 226

Cleaning Up Layers 231

Controlling Layers with Scenes 234

Toggling Layers 237

Warning! 241

Chapter 15: Camera Scenes, Composition, and Backdrops 242

Camera Scenes 242

Composition 244

Backdrops 251

Chapter 16: Advanced Detailing 261

Texture Modeling 262

Ruby Scripts for Detailing 276

Part 4 Setting Light with Shadows

Chapter 17: The Shadow Menu 290

The SketchUp Shadow Menu 290

Solar North 296

Working with Shadows 297

Troubleshooting Shadows 298

Chapter 18: Composing Light 300

Composing Light Tools 303

Composing Light Strategies 308

Composing the Light 314

Part 5 The Iterative Rendering Process

Chapter 19: A Rendering Overview 320

IRP Universal Features 321

Custom Features 325

Chapter 20: Steps of the Iterative Rendering Process 331

Add Initial Values 332

Draft to Final Render 334

Simulated Light Drafts-to-Final Process 343

Chapter 21: Texture Values 351

IRPs and Texture Values 351

Bump Values 354

Surface Condition and Surface Reflection 358

Transparency 364

Texture Categories 365

Troubleshooting Textures 366

Chapter 22: Image Resolution 368

What Is Resolution? 368

Determining DPI 374

Large Resolutions 374

Chapter 23: Exterior Light 375

First Lighting Steps 375

SketchUp Shadows 376

Image-Based Lighting 376

Exposure/Gamma/Intensity 381

Chapter 24: Simulated Lighting 383

Types of Lighting 385

Placing and Editing Lights 394

Render Times 398

General Simulated Light Strategies 399

Part 6 Shaderlight by ArtVPS

Chapter 25: Introduction to Shaderlight 412

Menu Overview 414

Secondary Menu 415

Special Features 415

Chapter 26: Shaderlight Iterative Rendering Settings 418

The Render Settings Menu 418

Dynamic Preview and Saving 422

Draft-to-Final Settings 424

Chapter 27: Shaderlight Texture Settings 430

Apply Texture Values 430

Texture Value Descriptions 432

Texture Settings Categories 437

Glass and Water Material Values 442

Chapter 28: Shaderlight Exterior Lighting and Backdrops 449

SketchUp Dark Slider 450

Physical Sky 451

HDRI Lighting 452

Background and Backdrops 458

Chapter 29: Shaderlight Simulated Lighting 461

Shaderlight Lighting Options 462

Light Editor 468

Shaderlight Render Settings 469

Quality Settings 470

Lighting Settings 470

Postproduction 478

Chapter 30: Shaderlight Special Features 481

Batch Rendering 481

ReplaceMe 487

Chalk Rendering 490

Part 7 The Photoshop Postproduction Process

Chapter 31: Postproduction Effects 496

Methods 498

Light and Color 500

Effects 511

Chapter 32: Detailed Postproduction 519

Realistic Vegetation 519

Architecture Photo Placement 524

Backgrounds/Backdrops 526

Part 8 Anatomy of a Rendering

Chapter 33: Building the Base Model 536

Chapter Relationships 537

The Base Model 538

Solid Color to Surfaces 539

Base Model Extrusion 541

Solid Colors Swapped with Textures 542

Chapter 34: Building Detail 545

Chapter 35: Interior Detail 552

Interior Base Model 552

Interior Detailing 557

Chapter 36: Site Detail 565

Chapter 37: Scenes 573

Cleaning Up the Layer List 573

Off/On Scenes 574

Specific Control Scenes 575

Camera View Scenes 578

Chapter 38: Setting Light with Shadows 581

Chapter 39: The Iterative Rendering Process for Exterior Scenes 587

Chapter 40: The Iterative Rendering Process for Interior Scenes 605

Chapter 41: Postproduction of Exterior Scene 620

Index 624