Recommendations for rendering software that works well with SketchUp

I have been using Sketchup for a number of years and have become fairly proficient with it. I am considering getting a rendering software (such as Lumion), but am looking for recommendations from you all on which ones are compatible with sketchup models, are relatively straight forward to use and learn, and are reasonably priced.


You will get many opinions as to the favorite.

Please define, free, under $100. USD, …or how much a month.

Lumion is very easy to learn and use but frankly horrible for interior spaces and very expensive. It is ideal for fast and decent exterior renderings.
Vray is the best in quality no matter what you render (and it comes free with the pro subscription) but it’s no ‘single click’ renderer.
Enscape is cheap, fast (real time), and works within sketchup. I find it has a very appealing color pallete and creates aesthetically very pleasing images. It lacks functionality compared to Lumion in many aspects but imho it is the best solution if you want decent renders in real time without having to sell a land plot

No - V-Ray is part of the SketchUp Studio bundle that comes with SketchUp, Scan Essentials ( a point cloud extension) and V-ray. SketchUp and other parts of the bundle can be subscribed separately. The Studio price only makes sense if you need all three.

We don’t know what the system of the OP is like. Enscape is Windows only at the moment. Twinmotion is a fairly similar application that is also available for Macs.

Yes, thanks for the correction!

As far as cost, if an annual cost is $150 or so, it’s worth considering.

Indigo RT is a very good renderer, and cheap. It’s definitely worth a try.

Vray has more libraries of materials and stuff…so thats handy. And it has more forums/support for learning. But its more complex to get started with.

There are some good threads in this forum already coverign the diffrences between main renderers.

There’s no easy choice because they all have strengths & weakenesses, and everybody’s sketchup worfklow & output varies so much. You’ll have to explain a lot more about what you do and what you want to acheive for people to provide useful specific advice…otherwise you’ll mostly get “My favourite renderer is X” responses :slight_smile:

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If you look at Thea render, the 3 year package works out to $125/year.