Looking for a good free Architecture rendering plugin!

Hey guys,

I am looking for a decent architecture rendering plugin that will allow me to export an a4+ sized image that i can then put into photoshop! I downloaded the free version of maxwell render but unfortunately the image it exports is tiny and would look awful printed and pinned up.

Are there any other recommendations?! i need one asap as my deadline is tomorrow and i need to create two visualizations! It doesn’t need to be amazing as ill put the image into photshop and add light and shadow etc.

Many thanks, Jed.

This is a topic that has been covered several times… check out some of the threads using “Rendering” the search command.

As for the low quality from Maxwell, most demo versions only output small renders. You will likely need to purchase to get a high quality render.

Thanks for the helpful reply mate, ill have a look through them in a minute! Do you have any experience with visualizer? i remember being told last year that you can increase the image size it exports, do you know if this is true or not?

Just for a bit of variety in the answers, you can create a 3D layer in Photoshop from a Collada file, and then do a Maxwell like render on it. Would be interesting to see how it compares to the plugins.

I do use Visualizer. I can say that it is quick and easy, but you will be limited by lighting settings and quality. It is good to get a quick, low quality render, but if you are hoping for something large and high quality, you may want to look for something in addition to Visualizer.

Since you can run Visualizer for free, I would recommend giving it a shot and seeing f you like what comes out!

I have given visualizer a quick go and the render quality is good enough for me but i have one problem, is it possible to get more materials into sketchup? i need a few materials that aren’t currently on my sketchup materials list!

but of course!

Check out the knowledge base article below:


I started out using Visualizer which is quick and simple to use, but limited in quality and features.

Then I switched to Twilight Hobby (free version) which is much more capable — including material, environment and light editing — and doesn’t seem to have any size limit (or if it does I haven’t bumped into it yet).

The bonus is that it’s also quicker than Visualizer. And if you do need to migrate to the full version, it’s only $99.

Kerkythea is free and very capable.

I almost went with Kerkythea, but when I was researching it the consensus seemed to be that it was both more flexible, and more complex to learn than Twilight… but that they both use the same render engine.

So my thinking was that at this stage (as a rendering novice) I wanted to get asap to usable results, so the simpler option won out. Maybe as my skills and needs grow, I’ll migrate to a different tool.

Not having used Kerkythea, maybe the learning curve would have been similar anyway. But I’m happy with Twilight so far… lots to learn, but nothing too brain-breaking.

I’m in no position to make comparisons. I only use Kerkythea. I didn’t find it terribly difficult to learn and I really like the SU2KT extension for it. I don’t use much of KT’s capabilities but I manage to get what I want from it.

You won’t be able to learn to use a Renderer in one day and get convincing architectural renderings, so the suggested Visualizer should be a good compromise…