Favorite Extensions and Rendering Software

Greetings Sketchers,

I am new to the forums, but an old hand to Sketchup. I know there are a wide variety of different people who use Sketchup, from 3D Artists to Professionals, but I would like to ask a general question or two:

No matter what level of Sketchup user you are, there are countless extensions available and being created every day. Which extensions make your job easier, and which would you like most to see?

Also, for those who render, which is your favorite rendering program and why?

I just want to learn a bit more about the community, and I’m always on the look out for things to add to my toolbox. I’m interested in discussing with others in the world of Sketchup, Professionals and amateurs alike.

Thanks for the indulgence (as I’m certain the subject has been raised before),


My extensions are 1001 bit tools and i’m diving into sketchyphysics. As far as rendering I love lumion and really would like to try LuminRT 2015. They have 3d components that you can add after you insert your sketchup model or you can combine many sketchup models into one and not have a problem with making your sketchup model to big.

There is one sketchup model(UV disinfection flume) and the rest is done in lumion


You must be a Fallout fan @Drew29. When is Fallout 4 coming!?

CleanUp³ is a must-have plugin. Chris Fullmer’s tools are great too for designing imperfection, i.e., Scale and Rotate Multiple.

As for a renderer… I WISH I had the time (and $) to really learn and use Lumion and E-on Vue and V-ray but Shaderlight is quick and easy and does the trick. Their replaceme components are lightweight and effective. Photorealistic rendering is tricky business and I think Shaderlight has found the best minimally-effective settings for quick and nice renders.

SketchUp is a regular part of my job as an exhibit designer. I have many extensions loaded but use Chris Fullmers and Fredo6 collections most often. I like 1001bit tools if I’m doing any architectural drawing. I also create drawings for CNC milling and the Phlatboyz plugin is great for that work. I only render occasionally and seldom need high detail images. Though it is capable for high resolution rendering, Twilight Render is easy to use, produces nice results and works within SketchUp which is perfect for me.

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@chamberz Fallout 4 may actually be in the works. Beyond the rumors, I actually have a friend that works for Bethesda who says they are hiring new programmers for a ‘big, hush-hush, franchise MMO’. He hinted at Fallout 4, but there is yet to be any confirmation.

I personally use V-Ray (though it was a bit pricey), and along with some extensions from LibFredo6, my favorite new tool set has to be Artisan. http://artisan4sketchup.com/gallery/artisan-gallery/. Think of combining some of the elements of 3DS Max and Z-Brush, with a bit of a Maya feel…all in the awesomely friendly Sketchup interface.

I will try to post pictures of some projects later. I am actually on a computer without any of my Sketchup work, sadly.

I do mostly architectural drafting and use Housebuilder, Construction Grid and the 1001bit tools. I have used Podium some, but have downloaded a trial of Twilight, So far, Twilight seems easier to use. When I get some downtime, I am looking forward to using prerendered components to see how that works. Most of my clients, however, are happy with the rendering directly from SU. I also prepare cutting diagrams for a model maker in the model railroad field. We do asbuilts of existing railroad structures, then turn them into parts layouts for lasercutting at HO scale. interesting sideline.

Continuing the discussion from Show me your SketchUp!:

I’m currently the Lead 3D Designer at an exhibit house, Clean up is definitely a must have plugin in sketchup, isolate/reveal is also a must have as well as escalate displace. The work I do involves a lot of architectural thinking along with balancing it out with design work. I often have to create build sheets, architectural drawings as well as renders of the final product along with any files for CNC, sometimes even the actual graphics for the booth have to be made on our end. Being able to export pdf files of the model and bring it right into illustrator is a godsend. For the rendering I use the VRay plugin for sketchup. Using it’s rt engine helps a lot by allowing us to see changes in material and light in real time while setting all our parameters for the final render. With our tight deadlines and dishing out a tradeshow design and render almost every daycan be really hectic. Sketchup along with these plugins is definitely a must on my list. You can check out some of the work I’ve created using this process at https://www.behance.net/rivera3d21a5

Artisan, Upright extruder, Shape bender, Erode, MakeFur, Twilight, Joint Push Pull, Round Corner, Bezier Curves, Taper Maker, MS Physics, Soap Skin & Bubble, Curve Maker