3D ModelingHitchhiker's Guide to Rendering

The 8 best rendering software and plugins for SketchUp

No matter your skill level as a 3D artist creating renderings, SketchUp has something to offer you. SketchUp software is agile and perfect for situations that require a lot of design. Its intuitive nature and excellent user interface makes SketchUp the perfect software, especially for beginners.

The 8 best rendering software and plugins for SketchUp chosen by GoPillar Academy

Anyone who has set foot in a design studio knows what V-RAY is. What many of us design enthusiasts don’t know is that V-RAY is also fully compatible with Google SketchUp features, thanks to a simple plugin. If you’re looking to get photo realistic renderings from SketchUp, V-RAY is definitely the first place you’ll want to look. It comes complete with a materials editor and all the other useful tools you would need to produce professional-quality images and animations.

JointPushPull is a 3D modeling plugin that features 6 specific tools to transform your model into a digital masterpiece. Mastering this plugin will save you several hours of modeling time; time that you can devote to learning about architectural software with GoPillar Academy’s courses.

There are many who consider SketchUp a simple children’s drawing tool used to create straight cubes; but this notion couldn’t be further from the truth! With CurviLoft, you’ll have everything you need to start building curvilinear models that you thought were reserved for programs like Maya and Rhino. Curviloft is a practical software consisting of 3 tools: loft for splines, loft along the path and skinning. Curviloft operates similarly to the “follow me” tool, but instead of a simple extrude along a path, CurviLoft connects two different shapes along a path.

Podium is another rendering plugin with a reputation that is slowly increasing. Podium possesses an extensive library of materials and, like V-RAY, offers a free trial that allows you to start uncovering the secrets of this SketchUp plugin without breaking the bank. Podium is an incredibly powerful alternative to V-RAY and fits SketchUp like a glove.

Keeping your model clean and organized in SketchUp can be a daunting and exasperating task. Purge All is a simple, but essential, SketchUp plugin that is true to its name.

Twilight Render is a free SketchUp plugin that will give you a decent image output and a respectable material library. Twilight Render is a capable, honest software program that runs well with SketchUp and allows people to get familiar with a rendering tool for free. However, if you are a professional rendering artist, this is not the program for you.

Created by Frank Wiesner, then perfected by TIG in version 3.1, Mirror is the first software you should add to SketchUp after starting it. It’s a simple program: select an object to mirror, then select the surface or line for which to mirror.

Brighter3D is quickly becoming a rendering engine of choice for thousands of 3D professionals, a plugin for SketchUp that can’t be missing from your toolbox. Brighter offers seamless integration with SketchUp.

Learn how to model and render a project through the famous software of the Autodesk suite, 3D Studio Max, in association with the most used 3D render engine, V-Ray.

Follow GoPillar’s Academy 3DS Max + V-Ray complete course at only 79USD instead of 349USD.

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