Sketchup for virtual walkthrough

Hi, we are a small community group tasked with recreating a historical industrial site as a virtual 3D model. The buildings etc will have to be rebuilt in virtual 3D and we are looking at walk-through concepts etc. We have looked at Sketchup and are very impressed especially as it will be quite easy for our members to learn, however we are not quite sure what addons etc we would need. Any advice appreciated.



Hey there! If you’re looking for more or less photo-realistic walkthrough animations, I’d suggest using V-Ray and batch rendering but it’ll take days if not weeks, to render every frame. Here are some alternatives.

  1. Lumion 3D
    Official website:
    Example video: Lumion 6 Launch Trailer

  2. Podium Walker
    Official website:
    Example video on YouTube: Podium Walker in Action

  3. LightUp for SketchUp
    Official website:
    Example video on YouTube: LightUp Explained

  4. And lastly the best one on the market (IMO) - Unreal Engine.
    Official website:
    It’s currently free but it’s a separate software and has a bit of a learning curve, although once mastered, it produces astonishing results. Here are 2 example videos showing what it’s capable of:

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Just thought I would mention that I looked at the Unreal Engine examples you provided and agree that they are fantastic. I don’t think I will ever get a chance to use them because it would probably take me 20 years to create the unbelievable models. Thank you for letting me see what can be done with lots of time and skill.

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You’re welcome! :slight_smile: Always glad to share inspirational stuff with others. But hey, 20 years is too much for learning Unreal Engine, don’t you think? I believe 1-2 years with hard work will be enough to learn that software. It only requires a very powerful computer and patience. If they could produce something like that, I’m sure we’ll be able too. :thumbsup:

@VahePaulman, can you recommend a good starting point for preparing SU models for export to Unreal? And maybe a good primer for using Unreal for Architectural views? Not to put you on the spot, just wondering. There is a course for Unreal for Architecture, but it focuses on 3DS and Maya models.

Hey @jesse_s, no worries. If memory serves me right the latest version of Unreal Engine supports direct import of SketchUp files. I can’t say for sure though, since I’ve used UE only once or twice (it almost killed my notebook). My advice will sound pretty dull but the first place I’d check, would be YouTube. I once came across a channel that had some SketchUp - UE video courses. They weren’t anything that exciting but at least, I believe they can provide some basis.

Besides YouTube you can also check into the Unreal Engine Forums. Best of luck if you’ve decided to learn UE. I wish I could give it a go as well but unfortunately with my current notebook it would be impractical.

P.S. Here’s an interesting video back from 2011 - Designing Uncharted 2 with SketchUp. Apparently the game was made with Unreal Engine. Cheers!