IRender Tutorials - Basic Concepts
Overview and expectations
Ray Trace is a rendering technique in which each object in the model is traced along a ray until it reaches the eye.
If you simply take a SketchUp model and run it through a Ray Trace engine to get better renderings, you will not get a rendering better than what SketchUp does already. You need to enable some of the Ray Trace, photorealistic features in order to get a better looking rendering.
This Tutorial will show you how to implement some of these features into IRender.
SketchUp uses an OpenGL rendering engine. Through the use of textures, edge highlighting, smoothing, sun shadows, etc., SketchUp can achieve good renderings of your 3D model.
OpenGL's development is driven by the computer gaming industry to create realistic scenes for computer games and continues to improve at a rapid pace because of the interest in, and money being spent on computer gaming. The important things to this industry are speed of rendering and realistic scenes.
IRender utilizes interior light sources, multiple shadows, reflection, and other features to create higher quality renderings.
See the Wiki article on
for more information.
Materials: Mirrors and Reflection
IRender uses the materials defined in SketchUp, and also offers additional material and texture options.
The Ray Trace image at the top of this article demonstrates Ray Trace mirrors on two walls.
Mirrors and Specular Reflection are set in IRender by adding a reflection property to a mirror definition. This can be done by right clicking on a face containing the material and clicking IRender: Edit Material.
Shadows and Lights
Shadows from the sun, and shadows from lights can greatly improve the quality of a rendering.
Shadows in SketchUp
IRender reads these shadow settings and automatically uses them as part of the Ray Trace process.
IRender also casts shadows from other light sources to create a more realistic effect for interiors or night scenes.
IRender automatically casts light and shadows from the lighting components in the SketchUp Architecture and Landscape libraries. Select one of these lights and place it in your drawing.
Note: In the image on the right, the Spotlight is visible. This is an option in IRender, you can suppress the display of the light bulb itself.
More on Lights
Setting Up the Environment
In addition to setting up items in SketchUp there are settings you can make during the Ray Trace process.
There is no "right" answer to how bright a room should look with a given set of lights. It often depends on other factors, like the brightness where the observer is standing. So Ray Trace programs often have settings which effect the overall brightness of the scene.
If a scene is too bright, use the Brightness Slider on the Render Window.
IRender provides a dialog to balance Ambient Light and light from lamps and light fixtures. If the scene is the right brightness, but the shadows are not visible enough, try lowering the Ambient light and raising the Lamp light factor with he slider bar on the Light Setup tab
Antialiasing makes edge lines look smoother by blending in the colors at the edges.
Many Ray Trace programs include settings for automatically performing antialiasing during the rendering process.
This Tutorial discussed Antialiasing, Lights, Shadows and Reflection. These few features will make much more stunning renderings of your Ray Trace models.
You will find that you need to experiment with amount of reflection, intensity of lights, position of lights, etc. to get the best image.
Rendering with SketchUp
IRender nXt Videos
Other SketchUp products
AccuRender nXt for Revit