nXtRender is a low-cost renderer for Google SketchUp which uses the nXt Rendering Engine, sun, sky, shadows, lights, transparency and reflection to create Photorealistic renderings from SketchUp models at an affordable price.
AccuRender nXt is an all-new renderer designed to make it easy to create quality rendering without having to worry about lighting and other complicated settings.
nXtRender is a special, low-end in integration of the nXt engine into SketchUp. Although nXtRender contains a simple dialog so that the user can add lights and reflections. Many good renderings can be created with a single button click and no changes to the model at all.
New Features sine 4.0
- Added Blurry Reflection to Material Wizard
- Added IOR (Index of Refraction to Material Wizard
New Features in Version 4.0
nXtRender 4.0 added these new features:
One Click Renderings
The rendering below was made from a 3D warehouse model of a 3D Challenge winner (2nd place). The model was changed to turn off the sun and turn on the ground plane, and then rendered without making any rendering settings or changes (rendered with one-click, default settings).
These one-click renderings, with subtle reflection and shading, are created by using an HDRi lighting model based on a 360 degree photograph of a forest, with light filtering through the trees. This effect can be quite effective for exterior models, or when creating a rendering from a single object.
One of the things which make ArielVision easy to use is that a single, simple Wizard is used to place ArielVision material and texture settings directly on the SketchUp Materials. Once you set these values they are saved in your SketchUp model and automatically used for all renderings.
Textures, colors and transparency settings are automatically read from the SketchUp model. Additional settings are added to the material in SketchUp to create more realistic renderings
This Dialog is loaded by right clicking on any surface containing the material and setting the amount of reflection. The reflection is automatically applied to all other surfaces which use the same material.
- Reflections - percentage reflection for mirrors, metals, or reflective surfaces.
- Self glow - for signs, monitors or other items which ned additional brightness.
- Self Glow brightens up a material as if it had additional lighting on it.
- See: Self Glow
- Illumination - treats this material as a light source. Set a value from 0 to 200 in watts.
- Transparency - shows and sets the transparency - matching the SketchUp Opacity setting.
- Index of Refraction (IOR) - sets special properties for glass and other transparent materials.
- Use Auto Bump - check to turn on Auto Bump for materials with texture images.
- See: Auto Bump
- Use Blurry Reflection - turns on blur for reflective surfaces. Otherwise reflection is sharp - as for a mirror.
- See: Blurry Reflection
For Interior Scenes, and nighttime scenes is is easy to add lights.
There are three ways to set lights in nXtRender:
- Point light, spot light, and ceiling lights can be added to the drawing using the Light Wizard. These light components can be created at any size or wattage desired.
- Any material can be set to glow and become a light using the same Material Properties dialog used for reflection. (This turns all surfaces using the same material into lights)
- Any object can be set to glow and be a light bulb by right clicking on it and selecting: Set Object Illumination. This is useful for models which already have a light bulb in the model.
Fully Integrated into SketchUp
All renderings settings - reflection, lights, etc. - are stored in you SketchUp model and the rendering is created with a single click on the nXtRender Toolbar - which starts the rendering. You can return to the model and re-render it without having to define materials and lights or make make other renderings settings - everything is remembered and stored in the model.
This interior scene was create by downloading a vanity, mirror and shower stall from the 3D Warehouse, right clicking on materials to set reflection and placing ceiling lights in the ceiling. This rendering took less than 1 minute to complete.
- Downloads - you can download a copy from: Downloads Page - Select nXtRender/IRender.
- Trial Version - nXtRender should automatically run in trial version, and if you have previously tested our rendering products, you should get a new trial version for nXtRender.
If you have a registered version of IRender nXt, then you can either switch to trial mode, or select a test mode for nXtRender. See: Trial Version below.
- Forum - Report any problems either on the IRender nXt Forum or on the SketchUcation Forum
How it works
nXtRender gets its rendering information from SketchUp materials. colors, transparency and textures are set normally in SketchUp and used for rendering. Reflection and Glow settings are assigned to materials by right clicking on any surface which already contains the material, and setting the properties. (You do not have to drill into groups and components. nXtRender will automatically find the proper material for you.
nXtRender can render the scene using as many rendering passes as desired. (Rendering passes use additional lighting samples from the sun, sky, and lights to make smoother shadows and more realistic effects. Initially, while you are learning, a limit of 40 passes is used. Later you can increase the number of passes as desired.
You can render at any resolution or render quality desired. Higher resolutions and higher render quality takes more time per pass and more time for the complete rendering. Initially, nXtRender is set to use a medium resolution so you can preview your model quickly and increase the resolution later if desired.
nXtRender uses one of 4 sets of presets for lighting, based on the type of model you are rendering.
nXtRender defines material properties and rendering settings inside of SketchUp and saves them in you SketchUp model. One button click is all that is necessary to create and view the rendering.
There are additional settings for HDRi skies (360 degree, images which enhanced illunination and brightness information stored in the image), and for other background images.
A quick first rendering
1. After installation, load a SketchUp model and select 'Load IRender nXt' from the plugins menu.
(I always beg people to start with a small model first to see how the renderer works. But I know you will probably start with your largest model first anyway.)
2. Right click on a material in you model - and select nXtRender Edit Material, (or nXtRender Create Material) to set the reflection and glow properties for the material.
- There are just two settings: Reflection and Glow.
- Reflection is set to a value between 0 and 100. Use 50 for wood floors, 90 for metals, and 100 for mirrors.
- Glow is set a value between 0 and 200 to make the surface emit light. These values are all relative. Use 50 or 75 for most lights, so that you can use higher values for special cases.
- The values will be applied to all surfaces which use the same material. If the surface did not have a material, a new material will be created.
- Other material properties, such as color, texture and transparency are automatically read from SketchUp materials.
3. Load the Setup Menu from the nXtRender Toolbar, and select the lighting preset which best matches your model:
|High Dynamic||(default) Uses an HDRi sky for reflection and illumination which is very effective for many renderings without using the sun or any exterior lights. This provides a nice lighting effect for viewing individual items.||- exterior scenes or isolated objects when you want to create an interesting, subtle, lighting effect, inst4ead of using the sun or interior lights.|
|Exterior||turns on the sun and the sky, and high ambient lighting.||- exterior scenes when the effects of sunlight are desired.|
|Interior w/sun||turns on the sun and the sky, and lowers the ambient light so interior lights will be effective as well.||- interior scenes with windows and interior lights. If you do not have interior artificial lights, then use Exterior instead.|
|Interior - no sun||turns off the sun and sky, with lowered ambient lighting.||- interior scenes with windows, or scenes with windows when the effect of light coming in through the windows is not desired.|
|HDRi sky||Adds an HDRi sky with sky, clouds and background trees.||- Exterior Scenes with window reflections, or which would benefit form a sky and trees background.|
- See Preset Details
4. Click the green render button on the toolbar and watch your scene render.
Options: - see: nXtRender Setup Options
nXtRender has a new 30-day trial version.
If you are a licensed IRender user, you can load the support dialog (Plugins/nXtRender-IRender/Support) and check use nXtRender mode. Then exit and restart SketchUp and it should run in nXtRender mode.