Making of Hotel Room

hotel_roomBy Mateo Soletic

Do you want to create the right mood in your interior design presentations? SketchUp can do some things but if you want to investigate further and create a real life photo-realistic environment you will have to use real life materials, light sources or simply you will have to post process it with a renderer.

In this tutorial  I will explain in a step by step process on how set your scene in SketchUp, prepare it for export, add all those materials and lights that make the difference. Finally I will show you how to get a real life photo-real look.


1 - Making of Hotel Room - Model in SketchUp

Step 1. Basically the first thing is to model a layout area of a room and populating it with furniture and stuff. Your scene should look something like the one above, like a film or theater set. Now the important thing you should bear in mind with photo-realistic  images is always to pay attention to details. Spend some more time on choosing and adjusting the right props like I did here with the wind blown curtain. Not paying attention to details is something that can bring your final  image down more  than anything else.


2 - Making of Hotel Room - Adjusting the right angle

Step 2. Another important detail is to set the right final view/camera angle.  I will move around the scene  and  will finally adjust the camera angle with the help of the zoom tool and by adding value in the measurement box.


3 - Making of Hotel Room - Saving the scenes

Step 3. When I am satisfied with my views/camera angles that capture those scenes I will save them for export .


4 - Making of Hotel Room - Adjusting what the final scene will look like in Maxwell

Step 4. Since there is a slight difference between the camera angles from SketchUp to one  in Maxwell Render I  go to Plugins>Maxwell Export>Camera . After filling in the size of the image,  Height and Width values in the dialog box I then tick , Show Render Area box.


5 - Making of Hotel Room - Adjusting the final scene in Maxwell

Step 5. This is how my final render output will look like. Note that  the  grey transparency on each side that covers the image will not be included in the final rendered image.


6 - Making of Hotel Room - Selecting materials for replacement in Studio

Step 6. I find it much easier to apply/replace SketchUp materials in Maxwell Studio. I don’t replace every single material because that usually takes me too long but I only replace the key ones that will eventually make the difference. Those that I will be replacing I will label 00 see (1). Light sources If I decide to change I  will label 11 see (2).


7 - Making of Hotel Room - Adding light sources in SketchUp

Step 7. In order to get the right mood I will add various light sources in intensity and direction. Here are some examples of this set up:

(1) Indirect strip lighting behind curtain (2) Indirect strip lighting behind ceiling moldings (3) Indirect strip lighting behind wall moldings (4) Bed mounted lights (5) Indirect strip lighting behind the bed (6) Recessed ceiling lights (7) Table lamp (8) Environment.


8 - Making of Hotel Room - Activating the material panel in order to add lights

Step 8. Now I will activate the Maxwell material panel to set up lights in SketchUp. Go to Plugins>Maxwell Export and activate the Material Panel.


9 - Making of Hotel Room - Adding light intensity value

Step 9. Since the material panel is activated now, every time I add a new material the fly out window of the material panel will open automatically. I will now select a color write  a color write in 00_halogen_ceiling and in the fly out  I will tick Emitter and write a Value – Watts = 1000. This is an average Value and  I can at this point more or less add similar values to all my light sources.


10 - Making of Hotel Room - Placing light material - example

Step 10. I will repeat the same procedure with all the light groups and I will create in this case, eight all together.


11 - Making of Hotel Room - Setting focal distance

Step 11. I will now set the focal distance by going  to Plugins>Maxwell Export>Camera  and I will click on the Pick Focal Distance.


12 - Making of Hotel Room - Setting focal distance

Step 12. Clicking on desired spot on the screen I will set my focal distance.


13 - Making of Hotel Room - Setting the Environment

Step 13. Finally I will fill in the  Environment settings. In this case by setting it to Physical Sky.


14 - Making of Hotel Room - Preparing for Export

Step 14. I have set all the parameters and will now export my model to Maxwell Render. Go to File>Export>3D Model.


15 - Making of Hotel Room - Preparing for Export

Step 15. In Export Type, I will select Maxwell Render and select the target folder I want my model and final render output to be exported to.


16 - Making of Hotel Room - Maxwell exporter options

Step 16. Before continuing further I have to fill some more parameters in the Maxwell Exporter Options  Box. The most important ones being Image Type, in this case it will be JPEG and for render time I will write 600 (that is overnight). Two more fields I will tick is Alpha since I will be probably replacing the outdoor image with my own in Photoshop and also the most important one, as you will see later in this tutorial, is Multilight.


17 - Making of Hotel Room - Selecting the target folder

Step 17. Now I will finally export my model for render.


18 - Making of Hotel Room - Export progress

Step 18. I could have unmarked the first box, Render in Maxwell after Export, and all my geometry complete with all my settings would been saved without starting the rendering process. I found out that if there are any problems with the geometry or texture it is better to know right away before I continue any further work in Studio.


19 - Making of Hotel Room - Inside Maxwell Render

Step 19. When I am assured that all is ok,  I will stop the render process and start replacing SketchUp materials with Maxwell materials in Studio.


20 - Making of Hotel Room - Importing the scene into Maxwell Render

Step 20. This is the basic layout in Studio.


21 - Making of Hotel Room - Replacing SketchUp Materials into Maxwell Materials

Step 21. I am in so I will go to Window>Layout>Apply Materials.


22 - Making of Hotel Room - Replacing SketchUp Materials into Maxwell Materials

Step 22. The easiest way is to navigate to your Maxwell material folders and search for desired materials and one by one replacing the SketchUp ones I have labeled for replacement.


23 - Making of Hotel Room - Exporting for Render

Step 23. When all the materials have been replaced I will check my settings once again and export for render.


24 - Making of Hotel Room - Rendered scene with lights

Step 24. This is how my final image looks like.


25 - Making of Hotel Room - Rendered scene daylight

Step 25. Or like this without lights.


26 - Making of Hotel Room - Rendered scene with lights

Step 26. Once again a larger image with lights on.


27 - Making of Hotel Room -

Step 27. In Preview/MXI Dialog You can adjust all the values like Film ISO, Shutter, Burn, Monitor Gamma … during the render itself or after the render has been completed. The changes will be visible immediately on the smaller screen and 0 pressing the refresh button on the main screen.


28 - Making of Hotel Room -

Step 28. This is the Multilight Panel. Multilight is a great feature. On this slider all the swithches of all the light groups I created are positioned. I can add new Values, switch off certain lights and test almost any combination of lights. Further I can save my MXI file and present it to the client and making all possible day and night light simulations in an instance. You can also create a movie out of it. But that is for another tutorial.


29 - Making of Hotel Room - Final rendered scene daylight

Step 29. MXI file set with only daylight and a table lamp light.


30 - Making of Hotel Room - Final rendered scene with lights

Step 30. MXI file set with Environment  at dusk and all lights active.


31 - Making of Hotel Room - Final rendered scene with lights

Step 31. MXI file set with Environment  at night and all lights active. The final image.

Thanks for reading this tutorial and I hope you found it useful in your daily work process.

Mateo Soletic

6 Responses to “Making of Hotel Room”

  1. andrea on October 13th, 2009 10:45 pm

    i go to erie county vo-tech of erie pa and want to know more about this program.

  2. Coen Naninck on October 23rd, 2009 2:20 pm

    This is a great tutorial Mateo! And the rendered image is really nice.
    I’m glad to see this web site is picking up steam!
    Keep up the great work!

  3. admin on October 25th, 2009 1:04 pm

    Thanks Coen for your kind comment much appreciated.

  4. Kerry Jackson on November 30th, 2009 10:01 pm


    Having recently started to use Vray for my rendering, I find your work a real inspiration, it is your finished image that keeps the flames burning, stunning.

    Kerry Jackson

  5. DEVIN on March 7th, 2012 8:52 am

    Woow…cool…I’ll try it

  6. Firman on April 23rd, 2012 8:35 am

    This is Crazy verry great master piece…I give you applause,

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