Suitable rendering application advice appreciated

I wonder if anyone might be able to point me towards a suitable rendering application that suits my needs and does not require me to take out another mortgage, such as V-Ray.

I am specialising in recreating street scenes with historical street furniture from the 1950s such as street lighting, utility poles and road signs. All those elements I have created in Sketchup. Assuming my computer is powerful enough to create large street layouts in SU where I can place my models, I then want to render the scene to make it look realistic. The principal materials in my models are wood, metal, concrete, ceramic/earthenware and glass but obviously street scenes will include vegetation and buildings, roads and pavements.

I’ve tried out Twinmotion and Fluidray but there seems be such a steep learning curve for the former and not much in the way of online tutorials for the latter. Twinmotion also hardly functions at all only 2015 iMac: so terribly slow.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

My thanks as ever to John McLenahan, without whose help and tutelage over the past two and a half years I would be nowhere.



The programs I have explored in depth are V-Ray, TwinMotion, and Enscape. I used these programs as presentations for my architectural projects, not as a principal service of producing renderings. Also, it has been a while since I used V-Ray, and I have seen huge progress in the ease of use since I used it in my practice.

For me, the ease of use versus the quality of output, Enscape is the best. Since I only pick up the program during the design phase, rendering software for me is for intermittent use only. When I used V-Ray I managed quality renderings but only after a long study. Then when I picked it up again after a month or so, I was almost starting over again.

For me, Twinmotion has an odd workflow and connection to SketchUp. Enscape has immediate updates that can be turned on or off, and switching between SU, and Enscape is seamless. But V-Ray is a more powerful render.

A little late with this but it can’t hurt…. I see you’re on a Mac so that puts you a bit behind the eight ball as it were. I’ve yet to hear of any of the popular render programs that allow access to the gpu when rendering on a Mac computer The gpu sharing the load is where the speed comes from. If you’re not under a time crunch there are a lot of good render engines to choose from. Just be aware you’re not going to have the same speed as the folks on windows machines. As a fellow Mac user I’m in the same boat. I’m a Twilight user myself , perfectly happy with it but render times can be a bit long depending on what I’m doing. The cross us Mac user got to bare.

You can try Thea, it’s good and cheaper than Vray, twinmotion is great but it doesn’t generate so realistic images without the path tracer feature, and it’s not available for mac, blender has two great rendering engines, eevee for real time rendering and cycles for realistic rendering, it is an open source software but the learning curve is way steeper than twinmotion’s. Enscape is also available for Macs but only with the 2021 version of skp.

Many thanks for your responses. In terms of Enscape, presumably, if I decide to try that, I have to downgrade my SU 2022 to 2021 in perpetuity. Which features in 2022 don’t exist in 2021? Also, are my 2022-created models compatible with the 2021 version? Can I run both on my computer?

Interesting about what you say regarding the Mac problem. I love my computer, especially the monitor quality; but I am seriously considering abandoning it and return, after thirteen years, to a Windows-based computer. The number of times SU crashes is irritating to say the least.

While writing, might I upload a file for you to look at. This - seemingly innocuous - file is causing my rainbow wheel to whir around endlessly when I try to do anything in it. Is there anything in the file t
Roofs.skp (15.6 MB)
hat might be causing this?

Many thanks.


top of my head, you don’t have a lot of geometry here, yet 15mb.

you have two textures. and I agree, the texture picker is slow on your file. The main greyish roof texture is 7500 x 6700 px, 10,8 mb
I reduced it to 2000px wide, and now the file is less than half. so yeah, i’d say you have a fat textures problem.
Roofs.skp (6,7 Mo)

Many thanks. ‘Fat textures’! I’ve never heard of that expression.

I’ll load it back into my SU and se the difference.

Kind regards.