SketchUp Style Renders in Blender [VIDEO]

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It’s looks more complicated than it is to render a Scene or set of Objects in Blender so the resulting images looks like they’ve been rendered in SketchUp.

Download: Katsbits – SketchUp Render Example (c. 100 KB | *.blend, *.tga).

As this is a ‘render’ and not a screen-grab of the 3DView, it means the scene and objects therein need to be properly lit and materials correctly set up (see below for written details) to get the right results.

Scene Lighting & Material Setup

As with most scenes that are to be rendered make sure they are properly (well) lit;

Design note: The simplest way to light objects is to use a "3-point light" set-up of some description, where three lamps are placed into the scene in such a way as to evenly illuminate the objects within. For best results it’s recommended that lamps are either placed unevenly around the scene – both in terms of the distance and height differential from objects, or either/or/both their "Energy:" and/or "Distance:" values are changed in the lamps "Object Data" properties to prevent washing or whiting out the scene with lamps of equal strength.

SketchUp defaults to using/rendering default materials as ‘white’, in Blender this means changing a materials "Diffuse" colour to use "R:", "G:" "B:" values set to "1.000" (click the colour sample box and type the required values or LBM+hold, sliding each input field to the right) in "Material" properties. If "Texture" properties are assigned ensure "Type:" is set to "None". Then finally make sure all Objects to be rendered have similarly treated materials assigned.

Design note: although the above will generally produce a render similar to SketchUp, colour can be added by appropriately amending the Diffuse colour of assigned materials.

Next. in "Render" properties, scroll down to "Post Processing" and enable "Edge" (click the arrow to the left of the sub-sections heading to access the options), click the sample box below to change the colour ascribed to the render by altering the "RGB" values in the colour-picker – ‘black’ is typical of SketchUp renders.

Then in "World" properties, scroll down to "Ambient Occlusion" and click the checkbox to activate (click the triangle to the left to access the properties options). Leave the settings at their defaults.

Finally, use "F12" to render the scene.

Misc. Scene Information

Depending on how much of the scene is being rendered the background colour may be visible. This can be changed by altering the "Horizon" colour ascribed to the "World" sub-section of "World" properties, or if this shouldn’t be seen, by extending the plain upon which Objects are rendered, or removing said plain completely (this may have an adverse effect on the resulting render as Ambient Occlusion relies on the way light is ‘bounced’ around the scene).

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