Monday, July 14, 2014

Great Rendering Tutorial

I've been corresponding for a few years with Jorge Lopez, an architect who also teaches at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Last week, Jorge sent me a link to an easy-to-follow rending tutorial that he created for his CAD SketchUp class. The rendering application he used is IRender nXt, which has a 30-day, fully functional trial version.

Even if you're not planning to purchase an application like this, it's a great opportunity to learn step-by-step the basic mechanics of how to render a SketchUp model. Once you get the techniques, they can usually be applied to other applications. Give it a try!

The SketchUp model Jorge starts with is an interior pool (nice!) with SketchUp's usual cartoony look.

He starts with a one-click render, without adjusting settings or adding lights, which only takes a couple of minutes and looks pretty good:

The tutorial proceeds to show how to add lights (a table lamp, a floor light, a spotlight above the fireplace, some wall sconces) and how to apply light properties to SketchUp objects (the dome light of a ceiling fan, fire in the fireplace). Pretty stunning so far:

Then you learn about the finishing touches: playing with the reflective properties of the water, making the pool tiles a bit bumpy, making plastic and metal and glass look realistic, making mirrors reflect.

Here's the final rendering, before and after the final adjustments:

The tutorial ends with info on how to adjust the camera view,change the field of view, and create an animation.

If you've ever wanted to try your hand at rendering, Jorge's tutorial is a great way to start!

Anyone can design anything in 3D!

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