SketchUp pro render software for MacBook Pro

Same here, I’ve got Blender on my machine, I like the idea of it, I’m encouraged by the Apple engineering investment, I haven’t had time to honestly assess the time and effort to integrate it into my workflow.

In the back of my head, the little voice keeps whispering in my ear ‘UE5’ & tbh that has been my plan for a couple of years now (for reasons). I’ve been so pleased with Twinmotion once you work out tricks to get OK results from it (the vegetation system was a revelation) even without the ability to use the new path tracing capability and it works well on my M1 Max (even under Rosetta).
I do very little post-processing, I just have a simple Camera Raw workflow in Photoshop that takes maybe 1 minute per image.
So I can see that direct workflow path through TM to UE once I’ve sorted my last couple of software (looking at you Skalp :disappointed:) and hardware hurdles.

That said, I do genuinely love learning new DCC software if I believe its going to get me where I want to be, so I always hedge.

I’ve used SU Podium on Mac for years but never produced results as good as I’ve seen others do. It’s certainly fairly easy to use and affordable. I’ve been wanting more control, so my current path is learning V-Ray for Mac, but I’m on the trailing edge of hardware not the bleeding edge; a new M1 isn’t in the near future for me.

I just sat on a webinar on Utilizing VR for Construction with almost all Enscape personnel. Regarding a Mac version, they gave this link to sign up for a newsletter on it’s progress. Sounds like an open beta for that is close.

Just out of curiosity, I looked up Electric Image Animation System and it still seems to be a going product:

I haven’t heard anyone mention it in a long time, but that’s what my (at the time and now ex-) brother in law, and his BFF in all things Macintosh, Ron Cobb, were demonstrating in a booth at SIGGRAPH in 1989. Today it lists ArchiCAD and Form-Z as having specific exporters for it. Anyone else have any knowledge or experience with it?

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Chaos Group (v-ray) recently bought enscape.

Trying to figure out if that’s a good thing (collaboration) or bad thing (less competition), what will happen as a result, etc. It seems that Enscape continues in development as a separate product offering, and a Mac version comes about.

Twinmotion was originally developed by Abvent (producer of ArtLantis) and purchased by Epic Games so it is a totally separate competitor to Enscape.

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Doh!, right, I’m too sleepy this afternoon to think strait. I think I was confusing Twinmotion with Chaos/V-Ray’s addition of real time rendering in their product. You wonder whether Enscape and V-Ray end up melding in some way, or stay separate and improve each other somehow.

I didn’t know that. I had a copy of ArtLantis years ago with ArchiCAD, but didn’t know the connection.

My guess is that yes, that’s the plan, or at least to compete with TM. I’m not sure the current real-time offering from Vray (vision) has much future. Enscape is far more mature and capable, intégration with Vray as the offline final render kind of makes sens. I think there is a market for that immediacy that real-time offers and is ‘good enough’ for look development etc and then being able to push the same project though the pipeline to high-end offline render is attractive.

There is a kind of parallel with Twinmotion /UE5 with path tracing, and remember Vray is also available within UE.

Vray is not a available for UE5, that’s why Epic are developing thier own Path Tracer.

good to know (not that I was going to use it), makes sense though.

Tossing in my two cents: I’ve been using a Mac for rendering and TBH there are a LOT of inexpensive programs out there.

Twilight, IMHO, is not one of them. Even on a 3.2 GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon W its amazingly slow. I really cannot emphasize enough at how slow it is.

Cheetah 3D is an inexpensive program that is a little quirky, but can give really good results.

Blender which also gives good results with a retro PITA user interface.

My copy of Maya just outdated recently but I don’t recommend it unless you’re a AAA studio.

Twinmotion worked, quite literally out of the box, for me and is VERY fast — and if you are not doing commercial work, it’s free and VERY convenient. One cool aspect is that anything defined as water literally acts like water. Pretty spiffy. However, if you are a commercial outfit (as I am), you’re looking at $499 plus taxes. I did the trial, went, “Spiffy” and let it lapse.

There are a LOT of options.

Really? I’m not sure that the interface can be considered retro today. I’m not very out of place between Vray and Blender on the rendering part (settings). The interface has evolved over the past two years and is still evolving. There are two ways to work with shaders, by setting, or by node interface. In the next release there is improved support for caustics and groups of lights.

Concretely, I only spend a few minutes to get a rendering from an OBJ import between SketchUp and Blender. The imported file does not require any corrections and arrives with all textures.

No doubt the keyboard interface appeals to programmers, but as someone who started out in art, it leaves a lot to be desired. Even Maya has a better, more consistent, UI than Blender.

Whether you consider retro to be better or not I suspect depends on your background and age. I’ve been there, done that, it wasn’t fun the first time.

I use the HeavyPoly UI overhaul, very good for artists, I could not use stoick Blender UI etiher


I had heard there was a Maya-Like add-on for Blender but since I had Maya, well, didn’t care :sweat_smile: I’ll have to try it out and see if it is any better.

Ive only used it, here was my progress from only using SketchUp and then my first 8 weeks in Blender:

I will keep using SU but for me just on the Pad.

There are two uses of Blender, as a modeler or as a rendering solution. For rendering, nothing to say about the interface, it’s not complicated, you have to know a few principles and then you can practice easily. Me, I enjoy using it daily coming from SketchUp.

For architectural modeling, it is something else. I hear it said that the principle is nice when you really adopt the methods. I prefer to develop tools close to what we know with SketchUp. Another very interesting point, it is possible to develop almost anything there.

Just want to add a comment to this thread- I use SU on an Intel Macbook Pro (8 core i9 2.4 GHz, 64GB RAM, 8T SSD) the last one before the M1 was released. I have a large file (35,000 s.f. museum with lots of detailed objects and mapped textures- about a 2 GB file. Moving around in it slows to a crawl. I just use it for planning so I don’t make ray traced renderings with it, but I was curious how much faster the file would work on M1 native SU.

A friend who bought one of the first laptops with the M1 chip did me the favor of loading SU and my museum file to let me test drive it. It was dramatically faster—still get the dreaded rotating color wheel when doing certain operations, but it’s enough of an improvement to get me to make the jump. Will report.

Question: I have read that SU only runs on a single core- i.e. is not optimized for multi-core. Is this still true of the M1 Native version of SU?

Yes, SketchUp like most software we tend to use is heavily weighted towards single threaded operation.
However most CPUs went towards having lots of cores, because typically your computer is running lots of programs all doing lots of different things simultaneously (checking your email, running a virus scan, playing a sound, indexing files, reading a file all at the same time), so having processors that were made of lots of separate processors made a lot of sense.

Fortunately there has been a bit of a paradigm shift over the last few years about this and we are seeing chips that generally function better for Single threaded operations.

The Mac Arm chips have been designed to be better at their single threaded performance, this is mostly where the improvement comes from over the previous generation Macs.
These had processors that were not so good at that, or had to be held back to stop the Mac from melting itself as it got hot :smiley:

For the rendering part (Blender, Vray, Cinema4D, etc…), it seems that all cores are used. In any case, this is what we see in the tests of the Apple sillicon M1 and M2