Under Construction


This tutorial will create a daytime rendering by exporting images from 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 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


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

    FACE STYLE: Shaded with textures, EDGE STYLE: no edge lines, shadows on

    FACE STYLE: X-ray and Shaded with textures, EDGE STYLE: edge lines on, shadows on


3. Open the first image- Shaded with texture, no edge lines- in Photoshop

    Open the second image-X-ray with edge lines- on a new layer above the first image in the same document. Be sure the images line up over each other exactly.

    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:


4. Create a new layer and move it to the top.

    This layer will be used to create the illusion of fog in the distance and also to hide the edge of the Google map.

    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 and model disappears.

    (NOTE: to avoid painting areas you don't want, use the polygonal lasso too to select areas to only be painted)


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.


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.


In the final image, you will notice I Photoshopped 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 to it compared to the traditional Sketchup look, with out using complicated external rendering programs

Reader Comments (46)

you are master of programs man!! bravo! and thanx.. it helped..

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersatish

hey alex,
Im trying to follow your steps to render in psd.. now I created the model in rhino+gh.. but when i imported to skp as a cad file. it comes as if it was in wireframe view.. and when i export as 3ds. there come many lines across the model. any tips..??

July 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJuan Perez

exporting as a 3ds file has worked best for me. Anytime you export from a NURBS model in Rhino to a mesh model in Sketchup, the surfaces will be triangulated creating all the lines you see. There is a way to clear that up. In Sketchup, you can select the surfaces that have the lines you want to get rid of, right click and choose "soften/smooth edges" and play with the settings until the surface is cleared up.

July 6, 2010 | Registered CommenterALEX HOGREFE

Hey Alex,
Thanks for your response, I noticed you used Rhino+GH as well as Ecotec Analysis. Not sure if you are aware of this yet..
It a link between Gh and Ecotect

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJuan Perez

Wow!!! Really nice works! Been searching for so long for this kind of tutorials, and wow! This is really good stuff! I am tired of rendering all of my perspectives using rendering software alone and find this really refreshing since it does look more like an art rather than technicalities. Its fits our styles as artists.

Good job man!

October 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJames Leo Ng

you can share model for me?
thank you

November 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthong

amazing. again.

April 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

you can share model for me?
thank you



July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDIEGO

Sorry to bother you, this question was already ask but could you send me the model please

July 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDamien

Gosh i wish i can be ur student!! :))

August 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSyahir

Alex, so did you just transfer this from rhino to sketchup (if so... best method?)? Is this what you normally do? I'm curious what your preferred work flow is. I love your graphics and website, thank you so much!

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterColbe

Yeah, the model was saved as a 3ds. file from rhino. Then imported into sketchup. It will come in triangulated, but you just select the geometry, right click, and choose 'soften smooth'. I have been using that method for years, it works great.

February 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe


February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpedro

thanks for the tutorial. it's very helpful and easy to follow.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLIC

hello... can you please teach me how to make a reflective glass ? reflecting the skies.. thank you very much

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdeline Chan

Amazing....!!!!!!!!!!! :)

May 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMana

Wow ~~~ this architectural rendering work is fantastic!

June 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrosisDesign

I enjoyed the tutorial and would love to see the model. Would you mind sending it?



June 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam

i was searching this kind of stuff for a long time.
thanks alex for providing such useful tutorial which works for both professionals and students
great going thanks and best of luck.

June 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersunny gupta

really useful!!! Lots of information in one short video. GREAT JOB!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKangJun

The background/sky and haze you created is masterfully done, great stuff, thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise.

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRussell Thomas

Do you use Sketchup pro or the free version of Sketchup.
I only have the free version and find it extremely hard to achieve the detail that you express in your models.

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean Maher

@Sean Maher,
I use pro, but for this tutorial and most of my others, the free version is more than sufficient. In terms of what you can model, they both do the same thing.

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Hogrefe

you can share model for me? plz plz plz
thanks for this tutorials.

plz help me alex

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermilad ahmadian

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