Creating With SketchUp – Interview With Tim Danaher

contributing_authors_mainCreating With SketchUp – Interview With Tim Danaher

This article is part of the presentation of the authors of the joint book “Créer avec SketchUp – 16 projets, de l’architecture au théâtre” published in French.


Click on the picture below to display an excerpt of Tim Danaher’s case study published in the book

Extrait de l'étude de Tim Danaher dans le livre "Créer avec SketchUp"


Tim Danaher is a British architect practicing in Germany. He currently provides services in architectural visualization.
Laurent Brixius says about Tim “I did not hesitate for a second before accepting Tim’s nomination to participate in the book “Créer avec SketchUp” (Creating with SketchUp). Just take a look on his website, , Viz • arch if you need any proof of his thorough mastery of SketchUp”.

Who said SketchUp is limited in its modeling possibilities ?

In his case study, Tim Danaher finally shares with you how he modeled one of architectural design firm Coop Himmelb(l)au’s most complex structures : the canopy roof of the meeting room of a lawyer’s chambers situated in Falkestrasse, in the historic district of Vienna. He’ll also show you how to get around some missing functionality in SketchUp. This is just one of the many SketchUp challenges Tim Danaher has set himself. You can find more pictures of his projects at the end of his interview.
Here is the interview I conducted with him:
What did you get from your participation in this book ?
I’ve been asked so many time ‘How the *** did you do that?’, that I decided it was time to spill the beans! The Book gave me an opportunity to focus my thoughts and put everything down in a structured manner. It also gave me the opportunity to correct some errors in the original model that have been bugging me for a long time.
What are the changes that SketchUp brought to your workflow ?
What other tips can you give that are missing in your case study in the book ?
I’ve been working lately with an absolutely amazing plug-in called LightUp ( that uses game-rendering technology to automatically render and ‘bake’ UV maps onto a SketchUp model. Basically, you get HDRI rendering and soft shadows plus real-time reflections on your SketchUp model. The rendered model can be navigated in real time, animations can be output and also the fully rendered and ‘baked’ model can be exported for use in other programs. Oh, and no more of the dreaded ’shadow flicker’ in animations!
Is there anything else you would like to say about SketchUp, the book or your work ?
I wish Google would push a few more resources into its development. The momentum seems to have waned since AtLast sold the program to Google. Also, some way of managing all the Ruby plug-in palettes is long overdue. The interface is becoming a mess.

A few achievements :

Animations of the Falkenstrasse modeling rendered…

Tour Turning Torso de Santiago Calatrava
Projet Umbrella - Eric Owen Moss
Projet Umbrella - Eric Owen Moss

3 Responses to “Creating With SketchUp – Interview With Tim Danaher”

  1. make on January 11th, 2010 11:17 pm


    Are you still working with Light-Up. How does it compare to teh new VRay plugin for Mac Sketchup?


  2. Tim Danaher on January 13th, 2010 11:38 pm

    Wm —

    Not recently, but that’ was more due to time pressure at my end — I’ve started teaching at the Design school here in Cologne and had to get my course materials sorted out. I must get back in touch with Adam.

    I think LightUp is simply amazing.

  3. admin on January 14th, 2010 12:08 pm

    Good to hear from you again Tim and look forward to more of your excellent design work and projects.

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