Looking for a Rendering Plug-In recommendation


I am looking add a rendering plug-in to my Skp Pro 18 for presentation/schematic drawings…
(Using a MacBook Pro…)

Any opinions? Recommendations?

Thanks! Heather

Does it have to be a plugin?


Vray is popular as is Thea. I find Kerkythea suits my needs well enough for renders.

What sort of thing are you thinking of for schematics? Is there a style you have in mind?

Thank you - I appreciate the short list… Simple is good, meaning not time consuming, unnecessarily complicated…

Lumion has been recommended to be previously… but I am looking for second options. Thanks for some leads!

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Give Twilight Render a shot. It’s doesn’t have a steep learning curve, and while not feature packed, does have both options for quick renders as well as longer, progressive high quality renders. It all supports lighting, which at a hundred bucks is a good performance to cost ratio.


Your graphics chip can have an impact on which rendering software you use. Do you have discrete graphics in your Mac Book Pro?

For one of the simplest interfaces for rendering software, I recommend Raylectron. Has a free trial like most options.

Everyone is going to recommend only the plugins they know or have experience with. That said, some other questions to ask yourself are:

  1. Do you want to do more than just still images: ie, VR, realtime rendering, animation, etc?
  2. Price. As you can see there are some free to low price points on up?

I personally use VRAY so of course recommend what I know. VRAY also has plugins for Rhino, 3D Studio Max, Maya, Unreal, etc…so if you were to change modeling/rendering programs some day you wouldn’t lose your assets or knowlege.

Also, I prefer Enscape over Lumion as it’s less expensive and integrates directly with SU so no need to export or anything like that. Both Lumion and Enscape are PC only so be prepared to run in Bootcamp if you go in that direction.

I find Keyshot very helpful now that you can import native SketchUp without a Plugin. There is also a Plugin you can use I believe. I find it good for workflow but less for speed ( I prefer GPU based Octane and Thea for that).

Give Simlab Composer Pro 9 a try. If you like it it’s only $149. There is a plugin but it can import native SU files with no issue as well.

The functional limited Lite version (mainly rendering up to FullHD) is available for free even for commercial purposes!

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Depending on your work purpose, this plugin might be the exact one you are looking for!

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Oh good choice. I always forget about this plugin.

I’ve used both VRAY and Indigo Renderer and decided in the end to use Indigo. The newest version 4 is incredible and I rarely have any problems that I didn’t cause. I use a render farm for final renders - I use Ranch Computing and their rates are excellent and turn around time is excellent. I wish there were a way to sell the VRAY license.

Eric S - thank you! Your reply was the most useful as yes, I now have a long list of possibilities but less clarity! Still images are fine as I am just getting started.

I do not want to run bootcamp because I just want to keep this as simple as possible as I get started.

Do you have an option about this SketchFX plugin?

Or Kerkythea or Thea?

Thank you kindly!!!

Thank you GSTUDIOs!

How do I know if i have a discrete graphics card? (I am a sole practitioner and managing the computer itself is not my strong suit!.. thank you,

So this seems to be my short list of options:

SketchFX plugin
Simlab Composer Pro 9
Twilight Render

I do not want to run bootcamp. I would like a short learning curve.
I do not need something fancy as I am just getting started with rendering on my own which is why I want something simple, sufficient.

Is one of the above most suited to my situation?

Thank you ALL for contributing!!!

why not just ‘learn walking’ with Twilight Render Hobby version plugin which is free even for commercial purposes and switch to something more capable when required.


If you search for your specific laptop model on this site - you should get the details you are after. (the fastest way is to go to your device manager in your operating system - this is an important tool to learn about if you are managing your own laptop, etc.).

Having had some interface design experience, and having tested most rendering apps, Raylectron was the quickest for initial leavering curve and reasonable professional image quality/price.

There are lots of variables though, such as the range of work you do.

Acquiring a few HDR environment images (spherical images) to “light” your scenes can also be a significant advantage.

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