This tutorial will teach you what software to install and the steps required to create your first photorealistic rendering!
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Modeling a Sphere Tutorial – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IHFsEBU3pE
Twilight Render Download – https://www.twilightrender.com/index.php/downloads/upgrade
I’m going to start trying something new in my Sunday videos – one of the things I’ve always been interested in is creating photorealistic renderings from my SketchUp models.
What this means, is there are softwares out there that can take your model, apply materials to them, then apply lighting to those materials to generate an image that is very realistic.
On Sundays, as long as people keep watching them, I will be creating videos teaching the basics of photorealistic renderings.
Please note that while I do have some experience with this, I by no means consider myself an expert on this topic. There are many experts out there such as Ronan Beckerman, Daniel Tal, and Alex Hogrefe that are very very good at photorealistic rendering, and I recommend you go check all of them out.
However, I feel like there is a lack of very basic information for beginners about rendering, so I’m hoping to help teach you the basics, then we can learn the rest together along the way.
Let’s go ahead and just jump into it.
The first question is what rendering software should you use? I could spend hours talking about this topic – there is a forum topic over on SketchUcation that lists 44 different rendering softwares. These range in cost from free all the way to thousands of dollars.
The application I’m going to start with is called Twilight Render.
The reason I’m selecting Twilight Render is that the hobby version of twilight render is free, it allows access to the light and material editing tools, it doesn’t limit your render size, and it doesn’t add a watermark to your renderings.
This will give us the basic tools that we need to start rendering objects.
I will link to the download page in the notes below. Remember to select and install the Hobby Version of Twilight render.
Now what we’re going to do is just run through a quick first render.
We’re going to start with these six spheres. It’s a simple model – just a face on the ground with some stacked spheres. Check the show notes below for a link to a video teaching you how to model spheres if you don’t know how to do that.
Go through with the materials tool and color them whatever color you’d like.
Now we’re going to go up to our extensions menu, and go down to Twilight Render and select “Render”.
You’ll notice there’s a few different options, but for right now, we’re just going to use a present render. Make sure the render pre-set is set to “Low” and click the green play button.
You can see this gives us a preliminary render that shows shadows on our ground face.
That’s fine, but we want this to look a little more interesting, so we’re going to mess with our materials a bit.
Go up to extensions and select “Material Editor.” Use the eyedropper to select your red material.
If you click the red “x” below the preview window, Twilight will show you a preview of what this material will look like when rendered.
Click on “Templates” and select “Glass, Common.” This will tell twilight to apply the properties of a common glass to the material “Color A05” in SketchUp. You can see this adjusts your preview.
Now, let’s go back to our render page and hit the green play arrow. This renders your scene again, now with glass spheres!
Congratulations, you’ve created your first rendering!
That’s where I’m going to end today’s video. Leave a comment below and let me know if you’d like to see more rendering tutorial videos!
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