1. Not bad. If you’ve got SketchUp 7 or 8 there is a really sweet tool by which you take Google Earth coordinates and create an accurate topography in sketchup to place your building on. You can then create it as a mesh and add your own grading, landscaping, etc. Couple that with the site photos you’ve already used and you’ve got one hell of a rendering.
    I’ll try to find the link tutorial for you.

  2. Still on the free version of 8. I’ll check but I think that is only do-able in Sketchup pro. This was super quick and totally winging it. I didn’t even mesh the photos in Photoshop first. I would love to do higher end renderings but with my typical project budget there is no $ for fluff and most clients seem to think renderings are fluff nowadays. (sigh)

  3. To do photorealistic renderings in sketchup pro it would be an investment of about $600-700. SketchUp Pro, obviously, plus a plug in called IDX Renditioner (about $199 I think). Go check out my blog for examples of renderings that I’ve done with IDX. It’s an awesome plug in. There is always Kerkythea as well, which is free, but it’s more on par with 3D Studio Max and requires a little more modeling knowledge than your average Joe. Trust me when I say sketchup and IDX will more than pay for themselves when you see how easily you can render something that looks amazing in almost no time.
    Not to mention, you could do schematics in Sketchup, then export to cad and start on DD without skipping a beat.

  4. I had also heard that Podium ($200) was good. I have those in my If-I-catch-up-with-bills-and-upgrades-and-taxes ideal budget.

  5. I’ve heard of Podium. Never played with it. Will have to give it a shot. Really any of the renderers that work inside sketchup are most ideal. Exporting out of Sketchup to render materials and add lighting can be cumbersome and tedious. I prefer to stay in one platform, personally.


  6. I was digging around in my bookmarks and came across a tutorial link for SketchUp and Kerkythea. If you want to stay the “lets keep it free” route, this would be beneficial.



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