i’ve been using vray but its terribly difficult to fix the settings to get really good renders and it sometimes causes sketchup to crash. does anyone have any recommendations for simple rendering software i can use to replace vray other than lumion? im looking for one thats fast, high quality, and with a simpler ui than vray.
Are you on Windows machine? If so take a look at Enscape.
Enscape is versatile, very quick and easy to use straight up and can be tweaked, but I find some issues with certain texturing. SU Podium is a little more hard core, and versatile in different ways, and can produce great results if you are into some post processing. TwinMotion is a product of UE4 and has a pbr leaning, with an endless array of tweaking available. All three do a good job and are reasonably priced (TwinMotion is free at the moment), and each produce a different “feel” to images. I use all three - it depends on which suits the project best.
Check out this render test, pay special attention to the speed compared to Vray and Thea. Enscape sacrifices the last couple percent of realism compared to Vray for a much better speed and a really smooth experience. I especially like the way it connects live to Sketchup and delivers a seamless workflow. Uploaded a speedmodeling session (with timelapse) with Sketchup and Enscape, that you can have a look at here.