You may remember awhile ago I did a video talking about the 20 reasons you might want to consider switching from SketchUp to Blender ( Why switch from SketchUp to Blender - YouTube ).
Since then, I’ve been very busy. In particular, I’ve been working on workflows and pipelines to be able to quickly move your models from SketchUp to the Free Blender 2.8, which has realtime rendering. This means you can continue to model in SketchUp, but you can render and animate in Blender.
Blender 2.8 is a major update, and now is focused on ease-of-use for new users. It’s very much like existing apps, with left button select, way fewer key commands and most everything in menus or buttons.
Consider this comparison:
On the left is the original reference picture. On the right is Blender 2.8’s unbiased renderer, CYCLES. (ignore the glass material as I was using a metal). CYCLES is like Thea or other path tracing renderer. It renders faster with GPU cards but it’s still minutes (if not hours) per render. Still, it gives fabulous results (and it’s free). IIRC, this rendering took around 15 minutes and I have a pretty fast system with 2 GPU cards (1080 and 960Ti).
Now, let’s look at Blender 2.8’s other renderer: EEVEE. EEVEE is like a game engine, only optimized for modeling and animation and NOT realtime play. Here’s the same comparison with EEVEE.
You can see, they are very similar-- and the EEVEE one took less than 4 seconds to render! In fact I can render at 4K resolution a single frame in under 10 seconds. This means creating animations is just ridiculously fast (check out some animations at the end of this video: Great EEVEE Glass Shader - YouTube )
So, why am I here? Well, I’ve created a course which goes into great detail how to use Blender 2.8 to render and animate your SketchUp models. I specifically want to enable SU users to be able to quickly move their designs into Blender, add materials and light the scene and render.
One of the really cool things, is you don’t have to do ANY UV MAPPING! I’ve put together some shaders and materials, with clear instructions on how to do it all.
Here’s what I’m calling it:
The tutorial style is video, with no video lasting more than 10 minutes. It’s incredibly dense in that I’ve tried to remove any rambling, umms, errrs, and instead focused on getting TO THE POINT very quickly. It will also include a number of materials and objects you can use/reuse.
AND…here’s where you come in. I’m looking for 10 users to help me test this course. Of course you will receive all the objects, materials and videos for free, and in return I’m asking your frank appraisal of what works and what doesn’t. I’m only looking for serious users, experienced SketchUp designers and hopefully with some rendering history.
I’ve got 9 of 15 videos completed (the hard stuff) and I’m currently embarking on the SketchUp for Blenders part where I go over how to setup and use Blender 2.8. I’ve already completed the sections on creating your own materials, light leaks, reflection and irrandiance probes and overall lighting.
If you are interested, please contact me at chippATchipp.com (replace the AT with @) and I’ll let you know. I expect the finished series to be out sometime soon.