Twilight Highlights
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Twilight Highlights

Nov 13, 2020
Video Length:  1:01:33
Presented By:  Alex Zahn

You need to render your lighting plan in 3D, but the learning curve of 3D rendering software has you in the dark. Tune in to learn how Land F/X and the Twilight Render plugin for Google SketchUp will help you flip the switch on the rendering process. We'll show you some techniques that will have you creating realistic renders, using accurate models of landscape lighting manufacturers' light fixtures, in no time.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)


  • Intro/TOC
  • Why Render Lighting in 3D?
  • Why Use Twilight Render?
  • Overview: Twilight Tools and Workflow
  • Walkthrough in SketchUp
  • Review

0:00 – 2:41: Intro/TOC

2:42 – 7:42: Why Render Lighting in 3D?

  • Impress your clients with 3D-rendered concept photos to complement your 2D plans.
  • Get a better feel for your design in 3D space.
    • Catch unforeseen dark spots or blocked lights that are easier to miss in 2D.
    • Simulate the actual, measured performance of the light fixtures you've specified (manufacturer-provided IES files).


Example of a plan and corresponding rendering in Twilight (Mills Design Group) (4:25)


IES files (6:23)

For more information about IES files, see our What is an IES file? Power tip.


Use of IES files in CAD and SketchUp (6:58)

7:43 – 9:48: Why Use Twilight Render?

  • Quick and painless to install the plugin to SketchUp.
    • Export your CAD plan to SketchUp with Land F/X, and get rendering with little setup.
  • Has the sufficient/necessary functionality for everything from early concept renders to client-ready final renders.
  • Easy to learn without previous experience.
    • Tooltips, documentation, tutorials, and user forum.
  • Basic version is free! (As of webinar time.)

9:49 – 24:19: Overview: Twilight Tools and Workflow

List of Twilight tools:

  • Environmental Settings (10:02)
  • Lights (Light editor) (10:22)
  • Materials (10:47)
  • Render (11:20)
  • View (11:59)


Twilight demo (12:14)

Environmental Settings (12:35)

Use this tool to select your sun angle, brightness, sky color (day or night), etc.


Light editor (15:18)

Select lighting types such as point lights, spotlights, projector, and IES; configure bulb size, attenuator, beam angle, power multiplier, and color.


Materials (19:06)

Adapt your rendering to configure how the materials, textures, and surfaces used in your SketchUp rendering will interact with light in your Twilight rendering.

24:20 – 57:59: Walkthrough in SketchUp

Bringing a CAD lighting plan into SketchUp (24:20)


Setting up a scene (recommended) (26:04)


Render settings (30:54)


Adding components in CAD and exporting the design back to SketchUp (35:00)


Importing the new components into SketchUp using the Import tool in the Land F/X SketchUp plugin (36:25)


Hiding selected objects to speed up the render (38:30)


Unhiding the hidden objects (40:00)


Creating a preliminary nighttime render (39:00)


Creating a preliminary daytime render with a sky background, increased brightness, sun color and strength, and haziness settings (40:30)


Configuring camera and post-processing settings in Twilight, including exposure, depth of field, warmth, etc. (43:10)


Making adjustments such as rotating the sky and sun viewing angles (45:35)


Customizing the toolbar to add tools (46:35)


Using the Twilight Material Editor to make adjustments to the appearance of the render (48:00)


IOR (index of refraction) and shininess factor settings (53:00)


Reloading low-poly components such as plants to replace them with higher-poly versions (54:50)


Firing another render (56:30)

58:00 – end: Review

Time-saving techniques (59:00):

  • Use scenes.
  • Hide unnecessary objects when doing iterative test renders.
  • Use material templates.


Twilight Render resources on the Twilight Render website (59:40)


For more SketchUp instruction, see our SketchUp webinars. (1:00:15)

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