Daytime Rendering – SketchUp to Photoshop

By Alex Hogrefe

This tutorial will create a daytime rendering by exporting images from Google SketchUp to Photoshop. This means no external rendering programs are needed. This rendering is not meant to be realistic, but instead, provide an option for quick artistic renderings without the ‘SketchUp’ look.

Note: I have inserted a Google Earth map image on the ground plane. This adds a little more interest and texture to the final rendering.

1. First, a view should be saved because multiple images will be exported (2  images) and overlayed in Photoshop. Accidentally moving the view will make it almost impossible to get the images to line up later. This can be done by going to View>Animation>Add Scene and then we will export our images as a 2D Graphic.

Adding Scene

2. Export two images from SketchUp with the following settings:

Image 1. Face Style: Shaded using Textures, Edge Style: Edges off, Shadows on.

Image 1 Settings with Shadows On

Image 2. Face Style: X-ray and Shaded with Textures, Edge Style: Edges on, Shadows on.

Image 2 Settings with Shadows On

Images with Settings

3. Open the first image – Shaded with Texture, Edges off  in Photoshop. Open the second image-X-ray with Edges on a new layer above the first image in the same document. Be sure the images line up over each other exactly (Tip: Copy the second image where you have it saved and Paste it directly on top of the other image in Photoshop and it will be perfectly lined up then). Next, set the Blend Mode of the X-ray layer (the top layer) to Overlay. Blending modes are found in a drop-down menu in the top left corner of the Layers Palette. The composition should look similar to the image below:

Setting Blend Mode

4. Create a new layer and move it to the top of the pile. This layer will be used to create the illusion of fog in the distance and also to hide the edge of the Google map base image. Select the Paint Brush Tool and use the following settings: Soft Brush size 250, Opacity set to 35%. Slowly paint the background so that the edge of the Google map image and the model begins to disappears (Note: to avoid painting areas you don’t want, use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to select areas to only be painted).

Create Fog Effect

5. Next, a new layer is created and a sky inserted. As the clouds get closer to the horizon, I erased them more as well as around the building In this rendering, I really toned down the sky by desaturating it and lowering the opacity. I don’t want to draw attention away from the building by using bright colors and well-defined clouds.

Desaturate and Lower Opacity

6. Create one more layer and move it again to the top. Select the Paint Brush Tool and use similar settings as: Soft Brush size 1000, Opacity set to 35%. With the color set to black, paint around the edge of the rendering until you get a similar effect as the image below. Because it is on a different layer, you can play with the opacity to get the right amount of shadow. I typically apply this step to many of my renderings. It makes the rendering a little more dramatic and draws the focus to the building.

Add Shadow to Edge

In the final image, you will notice I ‘Photo-shopped’ an image of water into the river and adjusted a few other areas which is more rendering specific. What I like about this rendering is that it is very quick to produce, but also that it has more of an artistic look  compared to the traditional SketchUp output, with out using complicated external rendering programs on the process.

Final Image

I hope you found this tutorial useful and a new quick way of achieving a daytime render without having to actually render it using a separate rendering application.

Alex Hogrefe

Check out Alex’s other tutorials here at SketchUpArtists:

SketchUp to Photoshop – lighting

Exterior Night Render: SketchUp to Photoshop

Check out Alex’s own website for more of his  great workAlex Hogrefe Architectural Blog

8 Responses to “Daytime Rendering – SketchUp to Photoshop”

  1. Andy Smith on March 15th, 2011 2:04 pm

    That is quality.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. waqarkhan on March 17th, 2011 1:21 pm

    want to learn it from u really m reaally to much creasy to learn these things in sketchup

  3. kinoz on April 1st, 2011 2:23 am

    Superb, i never though i could do such thing in photoshop…

  4. Diondra on May 9th, 2011 2:28 am

    Thanks great tips and help!

  5. Nate on May 12th, 2011 4:20 am

    this is phenomenal

  6. Miguel on October 8th, 2011 11:23 am

    Thanks. It’s wonderful !

  7. M Blake Powers on May 3rd, 2013 11:21 pm

    This tutorial saved my M. Arch final project… thanks a ton.

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