Shaderlight: Its a rendering plugin for Sketchup that's fast like a cheetah with a jetpack, and about as easy to use as a can opener. Don't let its simple toolset lead you to believe this is a toy, this renderer is a serious piece of kit. Its been out for the PC since last year, and its now coming to the Mac on March 1st. Head over to www.Shaderlight.com to reserve your copy! I've had a chance to see it in action and it offers the same great renders that you get on the PC. My seat-of-the-pants speed tests indicate that it renders even faster on the Mac. Read on to hear about my experience with Shaderlight...
In the past if you remember I have been anti rendering for a variety of reasons that I laid out in this article I published. There are no shortage of rendering plugins for Sketchup. I have tried out many of them. Some can produce phenomenal results, but I have always found the learning curve to be way to steep, and the render times to long to make it worth it.
At Google's 3D Basecamp I had the pleasure of meeting some of the team from Shaderlight. These folks are no strangers rendering. They were there to unveil their version 1.0 rendering technology for Sketchup. I met them in the lobby and got to talking to them about rendering. As you know I was a skeptic but still curious. Martin showed me some rather impressive renders with some rather speedy render times. He also showed me how easy it was to use. I still wasn't convinced because he was using all stuff from his hard drive. I issued a challenge: Render one of my drawings and see how it comes out. He accepted, and I loaded a drawing onto his laptop right there. How you may ask? Its a Google gathering, of course I had my flash drive with me!
He loaded my kitchen in, set up a few materials, put in a light and fired up the rendering engine. Within minutes I started to see my kitchen come to life! I was hooked. Since then, I have totally changed my view on rendering. I have turned into quite the rendering geek. Check out some of these renders that I have done:
If you can use Sketchup, you can use Shaderlight with a very short learning curve. The renderings are really impressive, and happen quickly. On March first, it will also be available for the Mac.
I suggest you head on over to www.Shaderlight.com and download a trial today! Its free to try, and cheap to own and I highly recommend it!
(I'd also like to thank the team for featuring my renderings on their home page!)