One feature that is missing in SketchUp, though, is photo-realistic rendering. Look at this post for an overview , I suggest 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 POVRAY , but I currently prefer Kerkythea due to its great user interface, fast and great results as well as multiprocessor support. Kerkythea installs as a separate program and SketchUp models are converted to its XML-based scene description language with a very seamless exporter plug-in a Ruby-plugin. The rendering engine then provides various rendering methods such as ray tracing, photon mapping, path tracing, BiPT, MLT and also presets for clay and ambient occlusion renderings.

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Tuesday, February 22, SketchUp to Kerkythea Tutorial Rendering SketchUp models in Kerkythea requires a few additional steps in the way you construct a SketchUp model in order to fully utilize the power of the Kerkythea rendering engine.

This brief tutorial will go over the major factors you must consider when modeling in SketchUp as well as a detailed instructions for rendering your model in Kerkythea.

SketchUp Modeling guidelines: 1. For instance, windows and doors should be separate components from walls; walls should be grouped separately from the site etc.

This is important when exporting to other programs for the simple fact that if you need to move or delete an object and it is connected to another object in the model, the later object will also be moved or deleted as well. Ungrouped items can potentially cause issues in Kerkythea. Side Note Ungrouped items are unusable in 3DsMax. The grouping of items makes it easier to manipulate the model especially if multiple people will work on the file.

Faces need to be properly oriented towards the viewer. If Faces are reversed they will render blank in Kerkythea as well as any other rendering program. Everything needs a thickness even glass! SketchUp is unique in its ability to display both side of a face, however Kerkythea and many other programs cannot.

Therefore every object must have a thickness. For instance, walls should not be paper thin. If they are and you have a window looking into the space you will not be able to see the inner face of the walls, they will render clear or black.

Carefully analyze models download from the internet Google Warehouse before using it in your model. User submitted models online often break some if not all of the guidelines listed above.

The biggest culprit is faces being oriented in the wrong direction. I often quarantine models by opening them in a separate file and then I make any necessary corrections before moving it to my host model. File size is important, maintaining a moderate file size is important for successfully exporting a model for render.

It is also essential for reducing render times. A few ways to reduce the file size is to model only the information that will be seen. For instance you may consider not adding plumbing fixtures to the restrooms of a model if they will never be seen. Side Note people and trees are file hogs and will drastically reduce computer performance, make sure they are on a separate layer so that you can turn them off the layer to improve performance in SketchUp while you are working on a different part of the model.

JPEG materials will export correctly to Kerkythea. Materials that are. PSD will not export at all! Stick with. Model and material names should not contain any special characters. This causes issues within Kerkythea.

Set up your scenes cameras and daylight system in SketchUp and Kerkythea will import them. You can set up the camera and lights in Kerkythea but the setup is much more intuitive in SketchUp. Exporting and rendering in Kerkythea: 1. Make sure you have properly installed Kerkythea and the Kerkythea export plug-in on your machine.

Notice that it is a two part step which involves installing a plug-in directly into SketchUp as well as installing the Kerkythea program. This will give you a pop-up with a few different settings you can choose.

Set the rest of the values to no. Side Note if you set Clay to yes your model will export without materials. Photomatched should be used only if you have your model matched to a photo in SketchUp. Default UVs will reset the scale of all of your materials to their default settings. For instance, if you scaled an object that has a material on it by twice the size, the material size will double as well, and any new materials added to the object will double as well. Hit OK and save the file with the same name as the SketchUp file.

Once the file has exported which will take a few second to several minutes depending on file size, open up the model in the Kerkythea software. Now that you can see the materials you can edit or replace them by clicking on them. The corresponding name appears on the left-hand column with a star. Right click on the name and you will have several options. To simplify this tutorial we will only focus on applying a new material. By default you will only have the basic pack of materials.

This is because the glass material from SketchUp does not reflect. I also replace any metal material with a Kerkythea material. The rest remain as native SketchUp materials. Select the view that you would like to render.

The list of views is located under cameras on the left hand column on the screen. Click the green render button located at the top of the screen to see the render options.

Camera- Leave set to current view Resolution- choose desired resolution, you can use a preset resolution or type in your own Side Note the higher the resolution you use the longer it will take to render.

Settings- This is where you set the quality and type of the rendering. Side Note for the sake of simplifying this tutorial I will not go over the various other rendering choices. Threads- Choose the highest number that is listed. The number will vary depending on how many cores you have in your PC.

The more cores you have the faster your image will render. If you have a dual-core pc but only select one core, your pc is rendering at half of its capable speed. Please refer to the Kerkythea. A render window will appear that shows the rendering taking place, this could vary from minutes to hours depending on settings, size and complexity of the model.

After the rendering has completed, hit the save button in the upper right hand corner of the floating window to save the image. This completes the basic steps for rendering a single image. To render an animation: 1.

Make sure you have at least two scenes cameras set up in SketchUp. Kerkythea will render an animation that transition from one camera to the other. Once you have set your animation settings you must export an animation script. This script contains the instructions that Kerkythea will use to execute the rendering.

Frames per second- Basically this controls the smoothness of the video. As a bench mark, 30fps is what broadcast television uses actually The higher the frame rate, the smoother the video will play. However high fps increases render time. From my experience 20fps, is a nice balance between speed and quality for architectural animations. Loops to camera- this controls whether or not the animation returns to its original starting point.

This is essential if you intend for the animation to play continuously without interruption. Animated Lights and Sun- Each scene camera can save a different sunlight setting. If this is turn on your animation will update to the corresponding time of day as the animation plays. Face-Me Components- This controls whether or face-me components always face the camera in Kerkythea as it does in SketchUp.

Resolution- This controls the image quality for the intended playback format. Side Note Some computers are not powerful enough to play HD video which will result in choppy video. Once you export the animation path save it with the same name as the SketchUp and Kerkythea file in the same folder as your Kerkythea model that you previously exported Very Important.

Now with the model opened in Kerkythea. Expect the animation to take several hours to complete. Your animation frames will be saved here as they are completed. Each frame will be uniquely numbered sequentially. Kerkythea will alert you once all of the frames have been rendered. Now that all of your frames have rendered you must use video editing program to stitch the images together into a single animation clip.

Adobe Premiere is a great choice.


SketchUp and Kerkythea

This tutorial takes you through the basics assuming that you can already use SketchUp to some degree , which should be enough for you to try out a few things of your own. Get downloading Obviously first you need to download and install the latest version of Kerkythea from their website here. Kerkythea Toolbar So, first create your model — time spent here is definately worth it, your render will never look good without a good model behind it. Some fine detail is always good — I like to add in some funky furniture from the Google SketchUp online component library found at the 3D Warehouse.


Rendering SketchUp models with Kerkythea

Kerkythea is simple to get started with, but has sophisticated settings to produce very professional final outcomes. The Plugin can be found under Integration along with easy install instructions If used correctly, Kerkythea can be quick. However, as you fine tune the rendering settings, add more lights, soften the shadows, give the material textures and bumpmaps, you will quickly find out that the rendering times exponentially grow. I will most often do the bare minimum, to get my rendering times down, then put more effort in post processing. However, there are times when spending the extra effort to add nice textures and lights outweigh the time it takes to post process in photoshop. Things that extend rendering times: Multiple lights.


Architectural Rendering with SketchUp and Kerkythea

Downloads SketchUp and Kerkythea SketchUp and Kerkythea based tutorials sometimes additional software depending on tutorial. Learn how to perfect your modeling with new post-processing skills, techniques and easy to follow step by step instructions provided by highly talented professional contributors. Click on image to view tutorial Making an Environment concept from a 3D Base by Samuli Lautjarvi This tutorial teaches you a fast way to set up masks in Photoshop from Kerkythea renders with red, green, blue and black doing away with the slow tedious work of tracing them by eye with the Paint Brush or Lasso tool. Software used SketchUp, Kerkythea and Photoshop.

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