How To Create a Backlit LED Effect

Laying out a sign concept which includes 3D extruded letters with LED lights mounted on the backsides of the letters. The light glows, bounces off the wall and creates a halo effect around each of the letters.

Is there an out-of-the-box way to do that?

What about a plugin, and which one?

Thanks for any help.

I’m pretty sure any render package would do that with ease. You’d simply need to paint the back of the letters with an emitter. This is a very quick example with Brighter3D.
Twilight, Podium,Thea, V-Ray or just about anything else would do the same.

Alan, what’s a “render package”? I’m guessing that Sketchup is not a render package in itself??

That’s right, SketchUp is just a modeller. As modellers go, it can produce a wide range of graphical output styles…but they will all be kind of “flat”. By itself it can’t really simulate either illumination of reflections. You’d need to purchase a renderer to do that.
The rendering packages for SketchUp come in a bewildering variety of capabilities and price-points.
This is a sample of just a few of them.
http://www.cadsoftwaredirect.com/renderers/renderers-for-sketchup/?p=1

As this area seems completely new to you, I’d suggest you don’t go for one of the more expensive ones. Podium, Twilight and Brighter are reasonably cheap and can produce very effective results. Some even come with free versions…although the size of the output image is likely to be rather limited and/or it will be watermarked in some way.
http://www.brighter3d.com/

Got it. Is it correct to say that renderers are for adding lighting effects only? Or what else do they bring to the party?

They will turn the simple SketchUp native style into something that is indistinguishable from a photograph. Not just lighting, but textures, depth of field…even animation. Scroll up and take a look at the rendered images on this thread.

If you are looking for a pretty good rendering package for no money, you could try Kerkythea Echo. It does a great job, and it’s FREE! I have been using it for several years, and it does a really nice job.

It’s also fairly simple to drive, and has a plug-in for SketchUp.