Although the IRender nXt Render Ready Components includes a variety
of light fixtures, it's frequently necessary to create your own Render
Ready Component for your SketchUp model. There are so many lamp designs
already available from the 3D Warehouse that looking there first is a
good place to start.
This fixture is not IRender Ready, but making it so is not difficult.
First, I'm going to hide the lamp shade to make it easier to add an IRender nXt bulb.
The lamp does include a component for the bulb, but this component is not a light source, so I'm going to remove it.
nXt includes several bulb types including Point (an omni directional
light source), Spot, and Beam. For this fixture, a Point light is
adding a bulb to the model, review and set the options to match the
actual lamp you're modeling. When you CLICK "Create/Place" and add the
bulb to the model, take a little time to adjust the position.
lampshade is a burlap style and I want to make a few changes so that it
will render properly. "Right-Click" on the shade and select "IRender
nXt" > "Edit Material..."
The Presets tab on the Edit Material dialog includes "Shade" - render settings that are intended for lamp shades.
The preset values for Shade are available on the Trans tab.
Transparency is set to 50, so 50% of the light produced by the bulb will get through this material.
Transluscency is set to 1, so anything behind the material will not be clearly visible.
For a detailed description with a few examples on the rendering
behavior of Transparency and Translucency, read this Render Plus Article
Here's the new light fixture included in a rendering:
most efficient way to make a new light fixture, or to make a component
downloaded from the 3D Warehouse IRender Ready, is to modify the
component and add a bulb or bulbs from the IRender nXt library.
I just published a brief introduction to IES Lighting support, now available with IRender nXt 7.0. As with all things IRender nXt the interface is easy to understand and use and the completed renderings are impressive.
IRender nXt 7.0 includes 30 IES profiles. This makes it easy for architects and interior designers to match their lighting design even before a specific fixture from a manufacturer is selected.
In this video you'll also learn how to download and use an IES profile from a lighting manufacturers online catalog.
IRender nXt 7.0 has just become available for download. Even if you're long past a 30-Day FREE trial of IRender nXt, everyone is invited to download and try IRender nXt 7.0 for 30-Days. If you're in the middle of a 30-Day trial with the previous version, installing 7.0 will restart your 30-Day trial, giving you a great opportunity to thoroughly test this new version.
New Features in 7.0
IRender nXt 7.0 includes new features that are focused on enhancing realism, improving workflow, and making this rendering extension for SketchUp even easier to learn and use.
IES Light Profiles
Lighting solutions are enhanced with the support of IES Light Profiles. While many IES profiles are available directly from fixture manufacturers, 30 profiles are included with IRender nXt 7.0. Download a file from the website of a lighting manufacturer or select from the included profiles.
The 30 IES profiles included in IRender nXt 7.0 can be viewed here: IES Examples
A new feature that is focused on improving workflow during design, Material Styles makes it easy to explore design options and present these options to clients with ease. This is an easy to learn feature that will be appreciated by anyone who uses SketchUp as a design tool.
In the following image, 3 material styles have been stored and recalled to modify Lisanne's wardrobe.
Reflection is an important material setting for anyone striving for realism in the rendered image of their SketchUp model. Using Auto Reflection, the reflection values for intensity, sharpness, index of
refraction, and bump are preset, so reflection values for materials do
not have to be individually set. The interface to add and modify Auto Reflection for materials is easy to manage and preset values are easy to modify.
are quite a few very useful features in IRender nXt with advantages
that aren't necessarily obvious. One such feature is
"Auto-Reflection". Auto-Reflection uses material name pattern matching
to preset reflection intensity and sharpness. Many of the materials in
the SketchUp library are included in the standard list.
matching means that any material assignment in the SketchUp model that
includes "wood" in the name will be rendered with a reflection intensity
of .3 and sharpness of 1.00. All of the preset values can be adjusted
and it's easy to add to the list. So rather than remembering,
reworking, or experimenting with realistic reflection values for
materials that you use frequently, try Auto-Reflections. You'll save a
lot of time and get consistently realistic reflections in your rendered
As an example, the following image was processed with Auto-Reflection
set to "Off". When I put this little model together, all I did was
assign SketchUp materials.
Then I turned Auto-Reflection "On" and processed a new rendering.
Styles are a fast and efficient way to explore design options for
colors, textures, and materials. Using styles to present designs can be
effective in helping clients to understand options for their project.
The Material Styles method makes it easy to explore design options, save
them, then recall them later for review or client presentations.
For this tutorial we'll use the SketchUp Untitled model featuring Lisanne. We'll use the IRender nXt dialog Select Material to Place or Edit to manage material assignments.
Open the Select Material to Place or Edit dialog from the IRender nXt toolbar:
The material names used in this model are descriptive, making it very easy to assign materials to the model.
Sometimes you may find it necessary to rename a material. That's easy to do with this dialog. Right-Click on a material and a pop-up menu will appear:
Select Rename, fill out the new name on the input dialog, then ClickOK
Save Material Style
Material Styles is used to store and recall options for material
assignments. There is no practical limit to the number or variations of
Material Styles that can be saved with each SketchUp model. To save
the current material assignments for your model as a Material Style:
CLICKSave Current Style
Type a name for the style folder, the model name for example
Name the current style
Modify Material Assignments
To change the material assigned to Lisanne's overalls:
CLICKSelect and Edit Materials
CLICKSketchUp for access to SketchUp materials
Select a SketchUp material, a color for example
To change the material assigned to Lisanne's bandana and shirt with one edit:
Select a material, for example from the Tonal Patterns collection
Select a pattern, for example, Black Dots 3
Press the keyboard Cntrl key and CLICKLisanne_Shirt_Blue
Once materials are set, use Material Styles to save the new assignments. Set and save as many styles as you want or need for your model.
Load Materials Styles
The Material Styles dialog includes Save Current Style and Load Selected Style functions. To load a saved style:
Did you know that you can use the Light Balance interface while your rendering is processing?
You don't have to stop a rendering to adjust lighting. Instead, use
Light Balance to change image brightness and make other lighting
adjustments. You can do this even while your rendering is processing.
Use the IRender nXt Light Balance dialog to improve the lighting for
your rendered scene and complete more renderings for your client
presentations, in-house design reviews, and proposals.