SketchUp is an amazing tool that can be enhanced with third-party rendering tools and tutorials. Here are some resources we've put together for you.
Tutorials and Learning
Land F/X friend Daniel Tal is a world-class SketchUp educator who has developed wonderful tutorials, geared toward landscape architects, on this powerful 3D modeling software. Check out his website, www.danieltal.com to learn the basics and intricacies of SketchUp.
Third-Party Rendering Engines
Just a few years ago, rendering engines like those listed below commanded tens of thousands of dollars. Now they're available for a few hundred dollars – an incredible price to pay for photorealistic 3D renderings. Why use a third-party rendering engine with SketchUp? Because in the name of faster performance, SketchUp only provides one light source (the sun). It doesn't provide ray tracing or multiple light sources, including nighttime. Third-party rendering engines can add these additional light sources to your models, capturing the true nuances of lighting that can take them to the next level.
- Shaderlight: A great third-party rendering tool for SketchUp.
- Twilight: Another excellent third-party rendering tool for SketchUp.
- Twilight Render resources: Twighlight Render offers a wealth of tutorials for getting to know this rendering tool.
- Fotosketcher: Make a hand-drawn look from a SketchUp design.
- Cinema 4D: Create high0quality graphics with ease using this intuitive, user-friendly tool.
- Lumion: Lumion allows you to bring your 3D model to life with real-time model animation and lighting effects, resulting in lifelike presentation graphics and 3D models. Try using our 3D Connection to import nodes of your plants from CAD into SketchUp and then export those nodes quickly to Lumion to coordinate plants. More information
- Rendering add-ons for SketchUp: Great roundup of rendering options
- Thea Render: Biased, Unbiased and GPU renderer with a powerful material system and its own advanced studio.
- Ensign: A virtual reality (VR) and real-time renderingSketchUp plugin.
- SketchFX Pro (for applying visual filters and effects to images) and SketchFX Ex (includes the ability to apply effects to animations): Extremely fast visualization plugins that allow your to create visually compelling illustrations of your 3D models, choosing from a range of many artistic styles, with a single click. More information about SketchFX
Trees & Content
- How to Make 3-D Trees: Watch our webinar, hosted by Ryan Montgomery, where he outlines all the main techniques for easily creating your own custom 3D trees.
- FormFonts: Great SketchUp content, including extremely high-resolution trees
- Twilight Highlights: Learn how Land F/X and the Twilight Render plugin for SketchUp will streamline the rendering process for your lighting plan. We'll show you how to create realistic renders, using accurate models of landscape lighting manufacturers' light fixtures, in no time. (1 hr 1 min)
- Simplified SketchUp Modeling: Learn about some essential tools and tricks for maximizing the quality of your 3D rendering while minimizing your time spent on it. Opening with a tutorial on creating your base files within SketchUp, directly from the finished CAD plans, we move on to a few pointers on where to focus your time within the model and how to use other post-processing tools to create a realistic representation as efficiently as possible. (1 hr 3 min)
- 3D Modeling a Landscape Design in SketchUp & Lumion: Josh Webb from Stack Rock Group shows you how easy it can be to create an awesome visual for your clients in a surprisingly short time. (54 min)
- 3D Connection Basics for SketchUp: Learn how to use the Land F/X 3D connection tool to integrate your CAD design into a working 3D model. (1 hr 2 min)
- SketchUp Basics: This webinar will introduce you to 3D modeling in SketchUp, giving you a basic understanding of some of the most important tools and concepts you need to use SketchUp for your designs. (1 hr 3 min)
- SketchUp for Intermediate Users: We'll show you some helpful tools from the SketchUp Extension Warehouse and give you some tips on creating and using SketchUp components. (1 hr 1 min)
- SketchUp Basics: Part 2: Learn the proper use of components and when to use groups. We'll also show you some right-click options when dealing with objects in your drawing, line and segment techniques, rotate and copy tools, and how to use the paint and texture options. (1 hr 2 min)
- The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Basics: In this basic workflow, we go over exporting a site and planting plan from AutoCAD to SketchUp. We also show you some basic SketchUp tools, as well as additional features included in our Land F/X SketchUp plugin. (1 hr 17 min)
- The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Intermediate: We'll show you how to create a more complex 3D model using the Connection. We’ll include some simple grading, custom plant components, and a primer on using photos in SketchUp. (1 hr 21 min)
- The Land F/X SketchUp Connection: Advanced: We’ll go through the workflow for a detailed 3D model based on a full grading plan with contextual grading. You’ll then learn how to take the plan to a point at which you can continue with your favorite renderer for a photorealistic image. (1 hr 4 min)
- Using Photoshop in Post-Production Renderings Part 3: The third part of our Photoshop webinar series includes a demonstration of how to set up a scene in SketchUp and then use it as a base for creating an effective perspective rendering with Photoshop. (1 hr 11 min)
- AutoCAD Basics: Create a Base Plan for Your Site: We'll show you how to use SketchUp and AutoCAD to create a base plan for your landscape, irrigation, or hardscape design. (58 min)
- Creating Section Elevations With SketchUp: Do you create your own section elevations strictly in AutoCAD? We'll show you how to use SketchUp to generate elevations during this process while also using Land F/X to confirm the final outcome of your design. (1 hr 2 min)
- Guest webinars: We often produce guest webinars presented by SketchUp experts in the Land F/X community. Here are just a few:
- Turn a 3D Render into a Video with Land F/X, Lumion, and Davinci Resolve: Join Pat Pabich from YTL, Inc. as he outlines his most important considerations for making a 3D video rendering. Pat goes over some helpful tools YTL uses to move from CAD to 3D and even further to a polished, color-corrected professional video. (1 hr 30 min)
- SketchUp and Lumion Rendering Techniques with Mike Brightman: Mike Brightman demonstrates how to create amazing 3D renders with Lumion. He also covers the connection between Land F/X, SketchUp, and Lumion. (1 hr)
- Terrain Modeling In SketchUp: Daniel Tal returns to teach us about terrain modeling in SketchUp. Daniel models a terrain site plan live, carefully reviewing the tools and steps required to achieve a digital elevation model. (1 hr 2 min)
- SketchUp Extensions: Join Land F/X and Daniel Tal for a webinar covering the SketchUp Extension Warehouse. The Extensions comprise a wide range of powerful tools designed to streamline and enhance the modeling process by vastly increasing SketchUp's functionality. (1 hr 2 min)
- SketchUp Introduction to Site Grading: This webinar will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating organic surfaces that represent grades and terrain. Presenter Daniel Tal builds on each step and demonstrates different grading typologies and approaches. (1 hr 2 min)
- Browse our guest webinars.