Watercolor - Really Quick, Really Cool

I’ve been using sketchup for a while. I needed to produce nice renderings for my presentations, but I didn’t want to spend the time to create a photo-realistic rendering, so I tried a watercolor version:

  Sketchup + Twilight Render (5 minutes) + Photoshop (1 hr) = Watercolor Rendering




Nice. If you want to speed things up, you might try Fotosketcher with or without the Twilight render.

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Yes, I do use Fotosketcher, I forgot to mention it. I combine the render from Twilight and Fotosketcher in Photoshop.

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I think in many ways that your renderings look better than most photo realistic ones. Great work!..Mick C

Thank you. I think it’s a very thin line between creating a good photo-realistic rendering and something that looks “academic”. I rather go very simple and quick with my “watercolors”. It’s obvious that I’m not trying to make it photo realistic.

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Adding more samples…


I particularly like the elevation. Is it Fotosketcher that’s creating the watercolor effects or brushwork in Photoshop?

I tried both (Fotosketcher and Photoshop) and I decided that the best watercolor effect is Fotosketcher. Here’s the trick, I made the compostion in Photoshop (sky, ground line, and vegetation), and I have two rendering images,
1) A rendering using Twilight Render and …
2) the Twilight Render with watercolor effect in Fotosketcher.

The water color layer in Photoshop is 60% in opacity, so what you see is a mix of two renderings, not 100% fotosketcher, not 100% rendering in Twilight.

Theres are the images (renderings) that I used in photoshop

  1. Lines
  2. Extension lines for the hand drawn effect
  3. Render (Twilight Render)
  4. Render adjusted in Fotosketcher



Awesome, looks great!

I’ve been working on creating watercolor completely in Sketch Up! using different styles materials and component made from watercolor images.


completely in Sketchup?? impressive!!

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Thanks, I’ve been working on my library of components, material and styles for a while. I have it at the point where once I build the model I can have a rendering in minutes


What are you doing for reflections in glass? Is that hand done, or produced by a rendering engine?

I do it by hand in photoshop. I quick select all glass material or color and then add a layer in photoshop to show a city or landscape as reflection. I mix that layer with the rest by having it 50% transparent.


I take the image I used for the background as a material in SketchUp. You can do the same with a city or landscape image. Then in the Material Editor I fade in a little blue and set the transparency around 80% so you see some interior lines from the shell (sometimes I have interior). What I haven’t figured out is how to keep similar window components from having the same pattern in the glass. For now I move the material around in each window to avoid this especially windows that are close to each other take around 20 min. on a typical model. I need to find a way for the material to use the model origin vs. the component origin.This one you can see I didn’t adjust the glass yet so the reflection is the same in similar components


The main reason I do everything in SketchUp is, once I’m done I can snap unlimited views from all angles and distances in minutes with no post production. I’ve even done a few videos as watercolor.

Yes, that’s the problem. You have to create different glass materials for different windows.