Under Construction


This tutorial explains a technique I used a lot in grad school to get really fast renderings for studying building forms. Materials are not necessary in the 3-D model which is the case many times early on in the design process.

If the video does not appear or has been banned CLICK HERE


KERKYTHEA INFO: This tutorial uses a program call Kerkythea which can be downloaded for free from http://www.kerkythea.net/joomla/ . I have used Kerkythea throughout Grad and undergrad architecture school and is still my rendering program of choice.

A plug-in for Sketchup can also be downloaded from the website. This allows you to export SU model seamlessly into Kerkythea.

Reader Comments (44)

I love this, but I must wonder, are you modeling in Rhino and then exporting to Sketchup? Or is all your modeling done in Sketchup? Looks fantastic either way.

June 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFarkus

Nice call Farkus. I did model the more organic parts in Rhino and then imported them into Sketchup. I typically have my master models built in Sketchup through which I import geometry from other programs that can't be modeled in SU. Its easier for me to visualize, navigate, make adjustments, and render the design if done this way.

June 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterALEX HOGREFE

Hey the topic sounds great but "Sony entertainment" put the video down :( Could you please upload it again?Thanks and greets from Berlin

June 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Just discovered your website...great stuff...u young guys r keeping us old guys from sitting back and do the same thing over n over...
On the subject of importing rhino into su, do u have any advice on cleaning up the geometry?...maybe u can share what ur presets r?


December 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Hi Philip,
Thanks for visiting my site. I typically export my rhino files as .3ds files. The interface will give you an option of fewer or more polygons. I will leave it somewhere in the middle. The file will import into SU all triangulated. I will then highlight the geometry and "soften and smooth" it leaving a perfect looking surface in sketchup in a matter of seconds.

December 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

Nice tutorials dude! You`re really good

This helped me a lot

Cheers from Brazil and Belgrade!

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

I have exported the model from su to kerkythea,but there was nothing can be seen.Can the materials of su ,such as glass and wood,appear in the kerkythea?if cannot,what should I do?

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterzhao

very well,All things in their being are good for something.Experience without learning is better than learning without experience.-GF FERRE Swiss watch replicas

muy buenos tutoriales, felicitaciones y adelante

August 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhector1965

Hi Alex.

Love your blog:)

Just wondering, if there's any chance you know how to do a Clay render for Vray for SketchUp ?? I can't seem to find any tutorials on the net that gives me a good enough result! So hoping you might know?

Cheers! Louise.

September 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLouise

Im not sure. I don't use Vray as much as Kerkythea. One way is to just remove materials from the sketchup model and replace them with a light gray material.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

hi alex,

great post. just wondering when you have the time, if you could do a tutorial on how to create large, smooth organic curves using sketchup? like the one shown in the video above. thanks!

October 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterT

Great work mate. I too look to PSD Tutes as I have tutored and lectured on Architectural Presentation work. I always tell my students to push the research to outside the architecture field. This is a great simple method and blog that I have introduced to my students as well. (I get nothing but clay models now hahaha). Thanks mate. Keep it coming.

December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSok

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December 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfght

Thanks a lot Alex!!!!! This kind of tutorials helps so much...

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersi

hi alex,,

firstly your work is incredible! and i really enjoy visiting your website,,
i am currently in my 3rd of the architecture degree in the UK, and attempting to design an organic shaped building... unfortunately im reluctent because i struggle in SU to acheve the accuracy with the shapes that i want!!
do u believe rhino can been learnt to a basic level with a few months practice?? as i have my final degree show soon

and advice would be much appreciated

many thanks

January 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersteve.h

I would say that Rhino is the second easiest modeler to learn after Sketchup. You shouldn't have a problem learning it in a few months. Its something that is really nice to have in your skill set. Good Luck with your final presentation.

January 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

cheers alex appreciate that!

also when i am trying to render soft shadows in kerkythea they become very pix-elated and spots appear!! i have my settings similar to yours and the more increase the fuzzy tracing the more it seems to happen...

have you had this problem?? because your clay renders look awesome but without the shadows looking right in my renders a just cant use them!

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersteve.h

Hello Alex.
First of all congratulations about your great site! This is so much helpful for all of us exploring visualization!
I am studying architecture and I am trying to learn Rhino too. I would like to ask you if there is any way to import/export a model from Rhino to sketch up without it being somewhat corrupted. I export it in .3ds format and it comes up with too many triangles and many gaps instead of planes. Is there something I can do about the gaps or its just that these two programms do not collaborate with each other?
Thanks again

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina.N.

Hi Christina,
Im not sure why you would be getting gaps in the geometry. For the triangulation, you will always get that when exporting from Rhino to Sketchup. Rhino is Nurbs based, Sketchup is mesh based. However, selecting the imported geometry and choosing "Soft and Smooth" in Sketchup should get rid of all the triangulation. Maybe choose a higher mesh density when exporting from Rhino as a 3ds file to solve the gap problem.

February 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterALEX HOGREFE

Hey Alex,

Me and few fellow architecture students have been following your blog for a while now. We are interested in many of the techniques you present however our specialty lies in Rhino not Sketchup. We can successfully import the Rhino files without issue however they come in as a un-editable group. We were wondering if there is a way to edit once the model has been imported.

Thanks for all you do!

UB Students of Architecture

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDylan

Hi Dylan,
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Im not sure why it would be un-editable. Is it locked? You can usually tell if it is locked by the geometry turning red when you click on it. If so, then right-click on the geometry, and select "unlock" in the drop down menu.

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

Thanks Alex. I will make the presentation on it and show to my students, all are students of mine are architect, This may benefited to them.
Architecture Colleges

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHenry Gomez

hey alex...
great work...

just a simple question...the tutorial viedeo is turned down for germany...could you upload it again???
would be very helpful...


March 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterliene

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