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10 Quick Tips for EXTERIOR RENDERING Using Sketchup Vray

What is happening ladies and gentlemen, this is Minh from Architecture Inspirations. Today I’m gonna show you some quick tips for rendering an exterior view using Sketchup Vray. Let’s get started. This is not an in-depth video of how to use Vray but rather it’s some quick tips that can help improve your renderings. Let’s start with tip number one! If you are doing a quick rendering, just model what you see. In other words, don’t go into detail and model something that you can’t even see in the final rendering.

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For example, for this model, I’ve only modeled the part of the site that is Visible in the view, I’m not gonna waste my time and model something that’s not gonna show up in the final image. Also, you can strategically place entourage like people, cars, and trees to help block the empty spaces in your view. So, What do I mean by that? See this light rail right here? I actually placed it there so it can block the empty space on the right side of the rendering. Sometimes you can’t always hide all of the “empty spaces”, such as this area in my model, but I can always take care of that later in Photoshop. What do you imagine the time of day will be like in your rendering? Is it an Autumn day? Or perhaps a Winter night? A better question is where will the sun be in the final rendering because this will dictate where your shadows will be.

Since the default setting of Vray uses Sketchup’s sun settings to render the model, you can adjust the shadows settings to your liking by using the Shadows toolbar. Which can be accessed through here if you can’t find it. In this rendering, I imagined having the sun on the right side of the image, illuminating my building so that there is more contrast and that will make the picture look better in my opinion. Composing your view is one of the most important things when doing a rendering. If you have no idea where you want to the view to be, consider setting your camera at eye level view. To do that, use the Position Camera tool, which can be accessed through the Large Tool Set or the Camera Toolbar. After you click this button, click on a spot from where you would like to view your building. Now if you look at the right corner of the screen, you will see a measurement for eye height. You can change this by typing in a specific dimension, I usually set mine to 5′ 9″ so I can type in 5 apostrophe 9, enter. This will make it easier to add people later in Photoshop because as you can see in this picture, all of the people’s heads line up along the horizon line. More importantly, from this angle, the viewer will get a better sense of what it will feel like to be in that space. the viewer will get a better sense of what it will feel like to be in that space. When picking a view in sketchup at eye level, if you stand too close to the building, you often have to look up to get the whole object in the frame. However, when you do this, the vertical lines will naturally converge, and the more you look up, the more distorted and unrealistic it looks. You can fix this by placing the camera farther away from the building and set it to “Two-Point Perspective”, this will make sure that the verticals are straight and it will also make it easier to add trees and other entourage later in Photoshop. However, sometimes you really can’t move the camera any farther, like in this case, I have a building right behind me. If that’s the case, then you can try rendering 2 images and merge them later in Photoshop. Once you got the view that you want, make sure to save it. Have you ever rendered something for 30 minutes or even an hour and notice that there’s a mistake, like the lighting, material or an unwanted object in your rendering, and now you have to rerender the whole thing again. This can add up to hours or even take the whole day if you keep doing this over and over again. So before you hit that render button, consider doing many quick test renders to make sure your final render will be what you want. Method #1. Render at smaller resolution Go to the Output rollout in the Vray Options window and set it to a lower resolution, like 800×600 for example. This will reduce the rendering time SIGNIFICANTLY but it will still give an idea of how your rendering will look like. Method #2. Override material In the Global Switches rollout, check the override materials option. This will render the view without the final materials and give you an idea of how lighting will work in your image. Method #3. Track mouse while rendering If there’s a small part of the image you want to see rendered first, you can prioritize this part by using this function in the frame buffer window. Just start the rendering, and the frame buff window will pop up, now click this button and hover the mouse over the part that you want to render first. Method #4. Render by region If you rendered an image at full resolution and then realized that there’s a small part that you want to fix, before you re-render it, try using this region render button to select the region that you want to render,  and now start it. There you go, fixed it. Here are some useful resources that you should bookmark. and are two great sites for vray materials. The Vray website itself has a free collection of materials that you can download. Just google “Free vray material collection” and it should be the first link you see. I will also provide the links in the description box below so you can check them out. doesn’t have vray materials but it has an amazing collection of textures that you use. Check out my last tutorial to see how you can import your own Sketchup materials. And this takes me to number Seven. Sure, Vray materials look a lot better than Sketchup materials once rendered. But they also increase the rendering time. So instead of using vismats or vrmats for everything in your model, you can just use sketchup materials or import your own textures, then add a reflection or a displacement map and it will still look just as good. When you render with Vray, take advantage of the Vray Frame Buffer channels. For example the Z Depth channel let you create a depth of field effect to your image. And the most useful one for me is the Material ID channel. This is very useful because it serves as a selection tool which will help speed up your process in post-production To activate a VFB channel, first, go to the Vray Option window. Then go to the VFB channels rollout, now you can scroll through the list, and select the channels that you want to export. Once the view is rendered, you can find the VFB channels on the upper left side of the Frame Buffer window. Now you can either select the one you want and then save it individually or click this button to save all of the image channels. I’m actually not talking Vray’s built in presets that you can use in the Vray Option Editor window, but rather I’m talking about other users’ presets that you can find online. Aside from having textures, has a collection of 3D models that you can download and study. Also included in the download are the vray settings, which you can load and use it for your rendering. On the same note, you can save your own customized setting using this button here so you can load it for another model in future. The last thing to do before you hit that render button is to set your output size. Vray has some presets that you can use but you can enter in a smaller or bigger width and height if you like. I often use this preset, but most importantly is this button right here. Clicking this button will allow you to match the viewport aspect ratio to the SketchUp aspect ratio. What this means is that the width and height of the image will be proportional to the Sketchup’s viewport so that you can overlay Sketchup line work over the V-Ray rendering, and things will match up perfectly. And that’s all I have for today’s video, Like the video if you find it useful, and hit that subscribe button for more videos in the future. I’ll see you guys, next time

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