I still cann’t believe that this extension for SketchUp is free. Simple but very useful, its allowing you to perform a basic rendering in record time. It is fully integrated into the program using the configuration of sunlight, shadows and materials of SketchUp. Obviously it has a lot of limitations such as the inability to add additional lights. But best serves to get an idea of how the model’s lighting behaves and even for acceptable renderings in case you don’t require too much graphic power.
You can start to download it here while I explain how it works.
A icon with the shape of circle with a V inside will appear within the SketchUp environment. Clicking on it will open a small window that starts to render the visible area in the main window. From here you can make a series of actions:
1. This button gives you the option to keep Visualizer window always above all others.
2. Here we define the image resolution that corresponds to the size of the window. Deploying the second button give us 5 options:
- The first matches the height / width with SketchUp view
- The following 3 are predefined resolutions that can be defined as favorites
- The latter allows us to redefine the 3 favorite resolutions
3. Force window update.
4. Enhanced materials is one of the most interesting aspects of the application. If the function is activated Visualizer apply certain properties to materials based on words contained in the material name. The words recognized are as follows:
- granite, marble
In addition adjectives can be added:
5. These two arrow buttons allow you to set noise reduction or “dots” that can be generated by reflections in the model. For instance, in the picture above the toy car with the mirror, the High speckle supression was activated.
6. Here you can define 3 image qualities. Choosing each option basically define how much it will render before stopping. A little note: if you set the highest it will continue to render even after the stipulated time and will inform you with a plus sign the time that has elapsed.
7. Locks the image so it won’t restart the rendering if you move the view in SketchUp.
8. Save the current image in a folder (by default: My Pictures)
9. Opens the folder where the images are saved. The little tab next to the icon allows you to save the image in a different place.
10. This bar allows you to define the focus that is applied to a selected point of the image.
11. Last but not least, this item lets you set the focus point and exposure. If we want to separate the two elements just double click on them.