Economical 3D Render Plugins

I know this has been asked previously but I’d like peoples opinions on an economical 3D Rendering Plugin for Pro.
I’ve been using Thea V2.* (perpetual) for some time and there is a deal to upgrade to a V3.* subscription but no perpetual option.
Thea is a robust plugin but for a ‘hobby’ user it is now not economical.
I’m looking for a Perpetual product, well documented, a wide variety of materials, artificial lights…but does not need to be ‘photorealistic’. I usually import to Photoshop and run a ‘Watercolour Filter’ over the finished render.
It must be a plugin as I want to be able to work on the fly without exporting.

If I remember right, SU Podium is based on the same rendering engine as Thea. The price seems to be $249.
Kerkythea is free, but it is a standalone renderer with a SketchUp export plugin.

Just the first ones that come into my mind.

Simlab Composer Pro is $199 and can produce great results with not a lot of time invested. Here is a simple test I did with 2 SU items and materials and then inserted a desk chair from Simlab. I hit the default render button and I got this in less than 2 minutes (I’ve shared this before).

Thanks Anssi, I’ve looked at this just now and it seems very capable. I need to study up what its custom materials capabilities are like. Look good though. I know Ketkythea and the ‘standalone’ is a problem for me.

Thanks Sean. Interesting. So Simlab Composer Pro is ‘standalone’ and the Sketchup Plugin provides ‘Live’ integration? What I do need to know, if that is the case, is where materials/textures are applied and handled, mindful that Sketchup materials aren’t terribly ‘realistic’.

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You can use either SU’s materials or SimLab’s, which comes with a good bit itself. They also have a free lite version that you can try out for ANY purpose. It will default to a max 1080 render while the pro version isn’t image restricted. Here is a wheel from the 3D warehouse and SimLab materials applied.

Thanks Sean.

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