IRender nXt Tutorial - Animation
Animation is the filming a sequence of drawings or positions of models to create an illusion of movement. It is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision.
High quality animations of SketchUp models can be made with IRender nXt . In IRender nXt animation is created by rendering scenes, moving the camera, and rendering the next frame. We pass the rendered scenes to QuickTime to create a .AVI movie. (Or as an option, you can create a .JPG image for each frame and assemble them into a movie later.)
The times and delays specified for each page in SketchUp are used to time the animation. You specify the number of frames per second and the image size when you create the movie.
Animations are created by a process separate from SketchUp.
This allows you to exit SketchUp and the animation will continue.
You can also set the Batch Mode to delay starting the animation, which would allow you to start the animation in a different computer.
See: Batch Rendering
It will be best to learn animation with a small model, and 2 view pages with about 20 animation frames between each page.
Step 1 - Set up view pages in SketchUp
Set up your view pages and animation options using SketchUp Animation
In SketchUp you can specify that various items, such a layers, are stored with each scene.
IRender nXt processes Camera Location and Visible Layer changes between scenes. It currently does not process sun position changes, or section plane changes.
Step 2 - Animation settings in IRender nXt
Click the Animation icon on the IRender nXt tool bar (
) to load the Animation Wizard.
Remember: Animations can take a very long time to perform, so you may want to test them first with fewer frames per second or at a lower image quality before creating the final animation.
- Render and Settings - these are set on the Render and Settings tabs. This is a quick review of the length and size of the final animation.
- Animation file to create - choose a folder and file name.
- Choose .avi for movies
- Choose .jpg or .png to create a set of slides - one per frame. The name entered will be used as a base, with a number added for each frame.
- Don't prompt for file overwrite - if this is checked, then you will be not warned if you are overwriting an existing movie.
- Play when finished - will launch you movie when it is created.
- Render Window Size - set the desired size for the render window.
- Note: The animation size is different than the size for normal rendering so that you can remember you desired size for creating animations.
- Stop rendering after - You should do a sample rendering first and decide how many rendering passes you want for each frame of the animation.
- Modify Batch Settings - Animation and general rendering use the same options for batch files. Use this button to review or change the options. See: Batch Rendering Settings
- Page Transitions and Delay - Although similar to the settings stored in SketchUp, the animation values are separate. This is done so that if you set a longer transition time for animations, SketchUp can still use a shorter transition time when switching between animation pages.
- Frame Rate - determines the amount of time between scenes.
- (You can also use flightpath.rb to customize the time between pages.)
- Pages to include - lets you create animations of only certain pages.
- Note: The Reset button is not working properly. You will have to sepcify the first and last scenes manually, (with the drop down arrows).
- Loop back to starting page - will create an extra transition to return to the starting page.
- Compression Quality - The default is 85, 100 is max. Lower quality produces smaller movie files.
- Frames before restarting compression - The default is 10, which will compress sequentially for 10 frames, and then restart. A higher number will make smaller AVI files, but may reduce quality.
- Make separate movie for each key frame - This can be used to save multiple movies from a single SketchUp model.
- Save PNG file for each frame - This can be used to create the animation later with another program.
- Generate separate batch file for each key frame - (not working yet) - When this is working you will be able to generate separate batch files for key frames and process them on separate machines, and then combine all the images into a single movie when done.
- Close rendering window when done - will close the rendering window. This can be used to process multiple animations sequentially from a DOS .bat file. When each animation completes, the next will start.
Step 3 - click OK to start the animation
It may take several minutes, or longer to create the animation.
- The default location for the animation is the IRender sub-folder in your My Documents folder.
- IRender nXt Animation can be used to create .AVI movies of fly throughs of your model, or automatically create still renderings and images of each of the SketchUp view pages.
- If you have changed layers between pages, the layers will be process properly..
Click this link to view a sample animation embedded into a web page.
Please allow 30-60 seconds for the page to load.
Click this link for an animation loaded to YouTube.
Documentation, Help and Forums
Rendering with SketchUp
IRender nXt Videos
Other SketchUp products
AccuRender nXt for Revit
IRender Tutorials - click to see other Tutorials
IRender reference guides
- Reflection Reference - mirrors and shiny surfaces
- Reflection Guidelines - Set reflection higher for textured surfaces
- Sun Settings - intensity and color
- Create Plant - create plant
Forum Support For additional support, visit the IRender nXt Forum
If you have any questions, post them on the Forum, or just visit to see what others have to say.