Friday, December 5, 2014

Soft and harsh Sun Shadows

Most clients are looking for softer shadows - especially for exterior scenes.

Today a client want to know how to make the shadows more defined.

Both of these conditions are determined by the amount of sky used to illuminate things, and by the amount of cloudiness.

Soft Sun Shadows

There are several things which effect the softness of shadows from the sun.


If the Sky is turned on, or turned on for illumination even when off, then light from the sky will soften the shadows from the sun.


Even with no sky, the Cloudiness Setting will make the shadows software by adding a cloudy effect.
Sun, Sky and Cloudiness settings

Default for Sun, Sky and Cloudiness

Sky turned off - Cloudiness still at 20

No sky or clouds

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Soft Shadows

We had an enquiry from a client:

Do you have an example of the "soft" render to check out?"
Are you referring to Sketchy Shadows or Soft Shadows?

Soft Shadows is done entire from SketchUp by merging SketchUp images with the sun in different positions

Sketchy Shadows places a SketchUp texture on all surfaces and then grabs the shadows on these surfaces

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Warning when stopping or closing rendering

A user sent us a suggestion:

I have a suggestion for a program modification if its possible.  When I am rendering and I hit the change settings button it brings up an error message.  On the other hand, if I hit the stop button once, there is sometimes a lag before the computer will acknowledge that you have asked it to stop after the current pass is complete.  I often make the mistake of assuming my first click didn’t register and hit it again, stopping mid pass.  Likewise, I just spent 2 hours rendering 2 passes on a model and accidently clicked the X on the wrong window and closed my IRender program, losing all my work. 

It would be nice if there was a “Are you sure you want to Close/Stop Rendering?” prompt before completing these commands.

 So we added this feature for the next version:


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Using ArielVision for Kitchen Renderings

We received a query from a client who wanted to us ArielVision to render Kitchens,

 We pointed out that ArielVision should be perfect for simple renderings of Kitchens.

One of our partners, Mozaik, specializes in using ArielVision for the kitchen renderings.

Take a look:


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Here are a couple of comments on the 64bit version of SketchUp 2015 from the SketchUcation forum:

by hellnbak » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:21 pm
Was going to wait till some of the inevitable bugs were worked out till I tried 2015, but after reading some of the comments here I decided to give it a shot.

My needs are very basic, I don't use many plugins, so I wasn't sure what the new 64bit SU would do for me.

WOW! I loaded one of my largest models (not in size, only 4.87MB, but over 3 million edges, 30,000 component instances, etc) and was immediately impressed with how quickly the shadows regenerated when moving the model. Only a second or two, and with R8 I usually took a nap while waiting for the shadows to eventually reappear. And as Krisidious pointed out, without it going into wire mode, no matter how much I played with the model.

by numerobis » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:58 pm
Ok i have installed it now in tried a 212MB file with 3.2M edges and 4500 components and i can see a big improvement in load and save times
v8: loading 1min31sec / saving 5min28sec
v2015: loading 21sec / saving 54sec
(without scene thumbs)
Duplicating the geometry (3M edges) is slower for me in v2015 : ~52sec vs ~40sec in v8
Shadow rendering is much faster. Navigation without shadows is not noticeable faster, but runs fluently in both versions.

So thank you for this update!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

SketchUp 2015 Released

SketchUp 2015 was released in October 2014. 

This has lots of exciting new features.

The biggest of these is support for 64 bit processors.
If you have been running into problems because your models are just to large to process with the old 32-bit versions of SketchUp, the 64 bit version may work better for you.

SketchUp 2015.jpg 
To use Render Plus products with SketchUp 2015 you will need to download the latest version.
(Changes made in SketchUp for this version required that we make several basic changes to our applications to be compatible with it)
If your license is current, (purchased withing the past 12 months), it will work with SketchUp 2015.
If your license is more than 12 months old you will need to renew your license.

SketchUp 2015: Overview

64 bit support

Most computers you have purchased in the past 3 years or so have 64 bit processors - which allow large programs to run faster and larger programs to be able to run at all.
SketchUp 2015 for Windows has been built allow 64-bit memory usage which allows SketchUp to use more than 4 Gb of RAM.

New Tools

  • Rotated Rectangle Tool - SketchUp 2015 features an official Rotated Rectangle tool, so you can now draw precise rectangles unbound by default axes.
  • 3-point Arc tool - which defines bulges by choosing three points -- there are now four different ways to draw arc’ed edges.
For more information on SketchUp 2015 see the SketchUp Announcement

New Versions of Render Plus Apps

SketchUp 2015 includes a new libraries for Ruby, and required that we update all of our Apps.
You will need to download the latest version of our Apps to use them with SketchUp 2015, and if you license is over 12 months old, you will need to renew your license to use it with SketchUp 2015.

There Apps are currently working with SketchUp 2015:
Other Apps will be released as soon as they are tested - probably later this week.

Download new Version

IRender nXt and ArielVision have new versions and new downloads for use with SketchUp 2015.


If your license is current, (purchased within the past 12 months - purchased during or after November 2013), it will work with SketchUp 2015.
(The second two letters of your license must be 'MK or later to work with SketchUp 2015. e.g. IRMKxxxxx, IRMK, ... IRMK, etc.)
If your license is more than 12 months old you will need to renew your license.

You can renew it here: Renewals

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Release of nXtRender for AutoCAD

We have released a new version of nXtRender for AutoCAD - version 0343-NI04

This release include both some core engine changes and some User Interface changes.
Version Numbers
343 is the nXT engine version number like we have been using in the past. NI04 is the release date (N=2014, I=September 04=day of month). This longer version number lets us have several UI change releases per base engine release and still keep track of them.

Licensing and Renewals
Everyone who purchased or renewed nXtRender in 2013 or 2014 will be able to use this, and all new releases in 2014 without having to renew their license. (Normally you need to renew you license after 12 months to use new versions).

People who have not upgraded to nXtRender from AccuRender nXt will need to renew their license to use this version. See: Renewals

New Features
- A few core changes have been made since the last version, such as a fix where the Hybrid engine interior simulation direct sunlight soft shadows was not resolving properly.
- You can now drag and drop materials from File Explorer into the nXt Material Pallet

- Lighting Channel was added as a column for the Lights list.

- And you can now sort the Light list by clicking on any column header.

- You can now sort the Layer Material list by clicking on any column header.


Additional new Features
We are working on the list of requested features and changes in this post:

Wishlist & Interface Updates

If there are other things you would like, add them to that post.

Downloads and Trials

You can download the latest version from: