Mirrored Surfaces


I think after quite a few months I have started to get to grips with the basics in sketch up (with everyones help! thank you).

To make the models look more realistic I know I will need to use a render programme. I have been recommend Twinmotion which can be free and pretty sraightforward and I think for basic theatre design images probably is a good tool.

However, out of interest how realstic can I get just using Sketch up??

For example, Id like a gloss finish on my floor to reflect various components I add to a scene. Can you use the paint tool to add a reflective surface. In Skill Builder I have seen solutions with a copy of a compnent of the room mirrored below with an opaque floor but this seems complicated. ( although relativley straightforward I was hoping for a texture instead).

Also, lighting, I think, Sketch up only has the sun for light and anything else needs to be rendered using an external programme.

Just thoughts and ideas on this would be nice. Thanks you wonderful people.

You can’t do real gloss or lighting in sketchup, you can do remarkable things with textures and such but it is quite complex and time consuming. Some amazing pure su images.
For theatre work I would look at Enscape, it has some good lighting tools and it changes live so you can see how the light moves.
This was my very first enscape attempt. Quite rough but it gives you the idea.

That looks cool. Will check it out. and signed up for SketchUcation…that looks great too. Wow this SU is pretty awesome. Am I allowed to ask if your a theatre designer too?

I wouldn’t make that as the solution, there are many other options and that is just one man’s opinion.
No not a theatre designer as such, spent many years both sides of the curtain in many capacities, so I sort of know my way around the dark corners and hot spots. That image was from a rough model I made for a local theatre that wanted a frame in which they could play with remodelling, new rigs etc. A vary bare space in a school. A quick freeby. The Render was just for me as a test of enscape when it was new to me.


Where did you get that idea? There was a period that it was free, but not anymore.

With the right rendering software, and the application/use of high quality textures, materials and maps, and lighting in that software, you can create incredibly realistic renderings with SketchUp. V-Ray is an incredibly powerful software package that can get you amazing results pretty quickly, but it has a steep learning curve and hefty price tag.

Theres a very good trial version which is pretty good enough for me with no time limit…

I am a theater designer, and I use Twinmotion. If you are looking for more realism, mirroring and reflections, or lighting sources for example, you will soon run into the limits of SketchUp’s rendering (although it’s surprising what one can do with a little effort, and realism is not always the best approach). To be fair thats not what SketchUp is designed to do and it would be a bloated limiting mess if it were incorporated. Different users have different rendering needs and focuses so it makes sence for rendering to be handled by outside applications so each can choose their own according to their needs. Options range from free to thousands of $ yearly subscription. Ask 5 designers what the best rendering engine is and you’ll get 5 answers. I say just pick one and go. They can have difficult learning curves and often a lot of specific systems to learn so it’s best to stick with one for while to get good at it, there is both an art and a science to getting good renders.
Twinmotion is a good engine, it does have it’s bugs and quirks: There are still issues with materials and UV mapping reverting in the update process, and particularly for theater design the auto-exposure “feature” can make getting stark lighting contrast very difficult. But it’s certainly one worth considering, although for a similar price point there are others.

There is a free trial of Twinmotion available, it’s limited to sub 2k resolution output and as part of the EULA it may not be used for any commercial work, so non-profe$$ional hobby use only.