Best quality renderer that won't bankrupt me


I am totally new to 3D design and started using Sketchup over the weekend. I have been trying a bunch of renderers but get really mixed results. Many give me really poor looking images and some give me better looking images. I want to be able to render a photo realistic image but not have to pay $800 for the software. In this image I used Maxwell for the top one, and Ariel for the bottom one. Using Maxwell, it looks like of fuzzy and distorted. Using Ariel it seems a bit better. However Maxwell is like $90 and Ariel is like $25 a month. Is there something better that I could try than these renderers? I tried visualizer but it just gives me a very grainy unrealistic looking image.

How do we import from ArchiCAD without weird blocks slowing SketchUp?

I use bright3d. It by far the easiest and there is a free version absolutely no grainy images and it take seconds to render. I have do so


One note about renderers such as Maxwell, they improve over time. If you stop rendering too soon the image will looked speckled. Do an experiment where you check back in on the render every ten minutes, you should be able to tell what sort of render time to allow it to have. Like, when two 10 minute apart visits look identical.


This image is fuzzy, as its out of focus. You need to set the focus like a camera.

I have only used Maxwell so my experience is very limited but I believe it’s a very good rendering program, however I found it not to be very user-friendly at the start.


This is correct. The Maxwell Render approach to rendering is quite different from that of other rendering engines. Because of its physically correct behavior and spectral calculations of light, there is no concept of a “finished” render. The render will keep calculating until you stop it, progressively getting cleaner and cleaner.


Thanks, I wondered about that. I’ve been rendering fairly simple scenes and noticed that it doesn’t seem to stop rendering. I thought maybe it was a bug.


Have you looked at Kerkythea? It’s very capable and does a nice job. As denisroy wrote, it takes work and learning how to use any renderer to get good results. I’m certainly no power user of rendering applications but I manage to get what I want out of KT. This was rendered in KT. Render time maybe 5 or 6 minutes. Kerkythea is a stand alone renderer so you can continue working in SketchUp while the render is running.



Yeah I’ve tried KT a little bit. I haven’t gotten great results with it, but I definitely need to learn it better. I’ve gotten the best results so far from ArielVision and Indigo.


BTW, would you mind emailing me that file so I can test rendering it? That kind of photo realistic render is what I am after,


Sorry. The SKP file for that image isn’t available.

It doesn’t really matter what file you use. Just start with a simple scene. One or two objects and a simple “set” for them.


That is not so. just requires you to put a light source in and you can render straight away.
see my video to prove it


But @denisroy was pointing out and even in your demo video you need to add textures and make adjustments, you won’t get Photo realistic by opening a model and turning a light on. Everything takes some degree of tweaking, and the more experience you have the better your renders become.
So there is no One click render engine out there.

By the way, in your video once you have done the first radius corner you only need to double click near the other corners to repeat the radius, and the move tool would be an easier way to spin the top layer on it’s center.


Just want to throw Twilight Render in the mix.

I don’t go for photorealistic renderings so I needed something that was quick and easy to use, Twilight Render did the trick. Although you can take it to the photorealistic level if you want to, you don’t need hours of experience to get reasonable looking images. Cheap too at $99


Twilight also has quite a powerful free version too.


Which of the renderers allow you to place lights or allow you to make existing objects a light source? I’ve been trying to figure this out as my research indicates that SU doesn’t do any artificial lights and only uses sunlight. I want to make some rooms with a single desk lamp light source for ambience. I am currently testing Indigo (my favorite so far), Visualizer, KT, LightUp, Brighter, and iRender. I’ve read good things about Vray but it seems that it doesn’t work with SU 2016. Is that true?


Kerkythea is free, it will let you insert multiple light sources and create reflections and transparency in glass. All the things you’ve asked for. But like anything, you have to invest the time in learning how to use the tools.


Every render engine allows you to insert lights. Pick one and make the effort to learn how it works.
Better still, spend some time learning how to model before you even venture into the black abyss that is rendering.
Start with the basic Modelling videos and go from there.


Thanks for that. I did learn that radius method, just forgot about. That is
the thing about sketchup there are so may ways of doing it.
My point about the rendering is, I have tried all the other rendering
plug-ins and all have a steep learning curve. I don’t want to put their
names up here. But as you can see in the video once your model is finished
you can get a usable image in about 30 seconds with no grainy look. All
that is need is a light source and apply a few reflections. I have tried
visualiser and I have never had a good image always grainy.
But having said that render plugin are improving am maybe I might review
them again


I hear you. That is why I use brighter3d. its simple and never get grainy
image. 30sec to get a usable image if I want a better image a couple of
minutes at most. Thanks for the tips. I have used render farms total
useless also.
What do you think of sketchup 2016

Sketchup 8's Addons

What are render farms? I’ve just started hearing about that. Is that a hosted service where you upload your model and they have power to render them fast?