July issue of Cadalyst

From the July issue of Cadalyst magazine - 2007 ( *Full Article )

IRender and IRender Plus

New to Cadalyst are IRender and IRender Plus, both fully integrated rendering solutions for SketchUp that allow users to create photorealistic renderings from SketchUp models. For those unfamiliar with Google SketchUp, it's an easy-to-use application that simplifies 3D design. Google SketchUp is available in two versions: a free version, Google SketchUp, and a more feature-rich, professionally supported version, Google SketchUp Pro, which is available for $495.

IRender is a new, fully integrated rendering solution for SketchUp that creates photo-realistic renderings from SketchUp models.

Image courtesy of Haynes Architecture.

Render Plus Systems' IRender installs and integrates into either version of SketchUp to provide photorealistic renderings using the AccuRender rendering engine. All IRender functions are available while running SketchUp, and all settings are saved in your SketchUp model.

After you've created a model in SketchUp, you can create sophisticated renderings with attributes such as glows and spectacular reflections without having to resort to an external program. If you change your SketchUp model, you can render it again without having to redefine lights and materials.

With IRender, you can create lamp fixtures for customized floor lamps, table lamps and outdoor light fixtures. Lamp components can be created easily with any wattage, beam angle or field angle, and the lights glue to the faces in your model. You also have a Create Mirror function that lets you create reflective materials or define existing materials as being reflective. You can quickly render selected items in a model to get just the effect you desire.

The IRender Plus version offers a number of advanced features and capabilities, including the ability to add both plants and materials from material libraries containing more than 5,000 options. You can create SketchUp components from a library of more than 500 AccuRender plants, which will automatically render as fractal plants in IRender Plus. The AccuRender materials automatically render as high-quality materials in IRender Plus. Additionally, you can create flythrough animations of your SketchUp model with IRender Plus, complete with lights, materials, plants and reflections.

The system requirements for IRender and IRender Plus are fairly modest—a system running Windows XP and one of the versions of Google SketchUp. To learn more about IRender, visit Render Plus Systems' Web site at www.renderplus.com/, where you can see examples of renderings created with the company's products and download a trial version. Tutorials are available as downloads, and forums offer a wealth of information. If you don't already have it, you can download Google SketchUp from Downloads Page.

Combined with the easy-to-use and popular SketchUp, IRender and IRender Plus add the ability to create sophisticated renderings easily from SketchUp, extending the application in ways that will make it a capable visualization package that may prove to be the only tool that many users will need.

See also