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IRender nXt for SketchUp

IRender nXt for SketchUp is based on completely new rendering technology, and is a delicate balance of exceptional image realism, easy setup, and quick results for designers that don't have time to be rendering geeks.

Conference Room - EliBjr

New Features

Works properly with Sketchup 8 and later

When SketchUp releases a new version, you will need to reinstall your Render Plus Applications to use the new version. (Or you can copy some files from the old SketchUp plugins folder to the new folder.

SketchUp 8 incorporated a new version of Ruby which requires that you will need to install new versions of most Render Plus applications.

Works properly with Sketchup 8

Integrated Lighting Channels

Lighting Channels is an important new feature of IRender nXt which lets you quickly adjust light sources.

By assigning channels to sun, sky, and groups of lights, you can quickly adjust the intensity of each channel with a slidebar and immediately see the effect on the final rendering.

You can quickly adjust the intensity of each channel with a slide bar and immediately see the effect on the final rendering. This will saves time both in determining the relative intensities to use for light sources and in fine tuning the final image before publication.

In Version 3.5, Lighting Channels are integrated into the Batch Renderer, as well as used separately with the nXt Image Editor.

Adjust Lighting Channels from Batch Renderer

Material Channels

Material Channels are used to adjust the color or luminance of pixels rendered from a material after rendering.

Adjust Material Colors from Batch Renderer

Planar HDRi Backgrounds

You can use a (non panoramic) HDRi image as a background.

If you use a Planar HDRi background with the Path Tracer , you can adjust its brightness as an additional lighting channel after rendering. (This is not working with the standard renderer yet)

Converting standard image to HRDi

Path Tracer

nXt Path Tracer is a new rendering engine for IRender nXt.

You can enable the Path Tracer rendering engine on the Render Setup Tab

Comparison to nXt Packet Mode: nXt Packet Mode processes packets of rays, while nXt Path Tracer processes individual light paths.

Because of some shortcuts, such as Daylight Portals, and other aspects of the rendering process, nXt Packet Mode create a usable image in fewer passes. nXt Path Tracer often requires more passes before the image gets smooth.

Path Tracer image after 1,500 passes

New Features in Version 3.0

nXt Material Library

More than 5,000 materials in library.

Some of these materials are Solid Materials - such as the solid wood materials - which don't repeat and work better with sculpted surfaces.

Solid Wood material sculpted surface

nXt Plant Libraries

About 30 new RpTreeMaker plants.

The are in addition to the more than 500 plants in the old AR3/AR4 plants which also work with IRender nXt.

These are 'fractal' plants - meaning that detail is relative to the resolution of your image. Each plant is generated differently which automatically creates a realistic effect when using multiple instances of the same plant.

Create SketchUp components to represent IRender nXt plants. These are then automatically rendered as 'fractal' plants.

These plants are also available from the 3D Warehouse: IRender Plants

Juniper plant from Plant Library

Arroway Textures

Arroway Textures is a manufacturer of high-res textures, which are used in many areas of digital visualization, e.g. architecture, design and art.

Arroway has made about 100 low-res versions of their textures available to IRender nXt users.

Room with Arroway Textures on walls and floors

Material Wizard

The IRender Material Wizard makes it easy to create and edit materials.

Most common rendering settings for materials can be made quickly in the Material Wizard.

Advanced Settings: Sets multiple settings for a single material - such a setting both transparency and index of refraction for glass materials.

Default Tab of Material Wizard

Transparency settings in Material Wizard

nXt Image Editor

The nXt Image Editor is used for Post-Processing images after the rendering has been completed.

Real Time Haze, Depth Blur , Lighting Channels , save as Piranesi format, save as HDRi..

Real Time Haze adjustment in nXt Image Editor

Panoramic Views

A Panoramic image is created by rotation the camera while rendering to create a full 360 x 360 degree image.

Clients can view the flash movie made from the Panoramic image.

Panoramic image of interior created using IRender nXt. Model courtesy of Boothy

Visible Light Paths

View spot light beams as if shining in a hazy room.

IRender nXt Visible Light Paths

Depth of Field and Depth Blur

Depth of Field and Focal Distance settings create renderings with areas in sharp focus and areas out of focus.

Depth Blur can also be defined as a Post-Processing technique in the nXt Image Editor .

IRender nXt Depth of Field set to 1.0, Focal Distance 100

Real Time Haze

Real Time Haze adds haze and fog effects, after rendering, in a post process.

Haze added to a lighthouse scene

Resume Rendering

Resume Rendering lets you continue a rendering which has been completed - either because the number of passes or rendering time limit has been exceeded, or because you clicked the Stop Rendering button.

You can enter more passes, or more time to let it render longer. (Enter 0 for no limit)

IRender nXt Resume Rendering

More Features

Advanced Reflection Properties

IRender nXt allows additional reflection settings - such as allowing you to set both the reflection and sharpness of the reflection.

Mirror and glossy wood surface - 80% reflective


Animation or your IRender nXt image is created by rendering scenes, moving the camera, and rendering the next frame.

Animation Movie

Auto Reflection

Auto Reflection makes materials with words like metal or plastic in them reflective.

Bathroom with reflective materials

Batch Rendering

Batch Rendering is a rendering mode which exports the model to a file, and then renders the file in a separate process.

It has 3 main uses and benefits.

  1. Large Models - Models which are too large to render directly from SketchUp can be rendered in batch mode.
  2. Animation - Batch mode is used for animation, because animations need to load and reload the model when there are layer changes, and because animations typically take a long time to render.
  3. Network Rendering - The entire folder containing the rendering information and files can be accessed across a network, or copied to a thumb drive or another machine and used to render the model.
Batch Rendering setup dialog


Caustics produces focused light and shadow effects from light passing through a transparent object.

Caustic Refraction through glass

Clay Rendering

Clay Rendering is used to show the details of your model without adding colors or textures. This feature renders the SketchUp model in black and white.

IRender nXt Clay Rendering

Daylight Portals

A special transparent face placed over an exterior opening or window which causes exterior light to be processed better.

The left half image on the left has a normal (non-Daylight Portal) opening. It took hundreds of passes to resolve properly. The right half has openings marked as Daylight Portals. The lighting looked this good after just a few passes.

In IRender nXt, Daylight is a set using the Material Wizard.

IRender nXt Daylight effect through windows

Ground Cover

Ground Cover defines Ground Cover for use on the ground or on topiary bushes.

IRender nXt Ground Cover definition wizard

Edge Highlighting

Edge Highlighting displays the edges of faces while rendering . This is especially valuable with scenes which contain cabinets or furniture where edge highlighting is necessary to bring out the detail of the components.

In IRender nXt edge highlighting is turned on in the Advanced Settings dialog.

IRender nXt Cabinet with edges rendered

Indirect Lighting

Indirect Lighting refers to the IRender nXt feature of processing light reflected from mirrors and other surfaces.

This creates a realistic lighting effect which improves with each successive rendering pass. Indirect should be used with most interiors scenes to soften the lighting effects.

IRender nXt Incorporate the effects of reflected light, such as the reflected cove lighting above this suspended ceiling

Laptop Seat

An additional license for your laptop is included with IRender nXt at no additional charge.

Get a free Laptop Seat with IRender nXt

Object Properties

Object Properties set special lighting, transparency and rendering properties of groups, components and faces.

Object Properties can be used to make any face or object act as a light source, or to set other special properties.

IRender nXt Object Properties Settings dialog

Procedural Bump Maps

can be used to give your material (with or without textures) a different appearance.

IRender nXt Pyramid and Sandpaper bump maps

IRender nXt wrinkle bump map used to emulate water

Rendering Editor

Set options and edit materials directly from the rendering window.

Double click on a material in the rendered image to edit the material.

Reload modified materials back into SketchUp model.

IRender nXt Batch Rendering Material Editor

RPC Objects

Place RPC components in your SketchUp model which automatically render as RPC objects.

RPC People rendered with IRender nXt

Section Planes

You can use SketchUp Section Planes to cut sections through your IRender nXt model.

Section Plane cutout rendering. Front wall is sectioned out, but still used for lighting, shadows and reflections


Watermarks are used to place logos, foregrounds images, or texture maps in front of your rendering.

Foreground image places as a Watermark


Images are automatically anti-aliased during multiple rendering passes.

Zoomed in sample to show Anti-aliasing smoothing

Automatic Bump Maps

AutoBump using SketchUp materials as bump maps as well as color images.

This is not quite correct, but can often create an interesting 3D effect.

IRender nXt allows fine tuning of bump and color intensities.

SketchUp Brick material with auto-bump applied

SketchUp Stone_Flagstone_Ashlar material with Auto Bump

Background Image

Background Images are special images which you can place behind your model.

Use images for background

External Rendering

External Rendering exports the model to a file, and then renders the file in a separate process.

This allows you to make changes to the SketchUp model wihtout having to wait for the rendering to complete

Render to another CPU

Foreground Image

Foreground Images are special images which you can place in front of your model. They can be used for logos and pattern masks, as well as stencils placed in front of the rendering.

Use images for foreground

Fully Integrated into SketchUp

Automatically stores settings in the SketchUp model for re-use with next rendering.

IRender nXt Toolbar for SketchUp

HDRi Skies

HDRi Skies are special images to represent skies which contain extra information about intensities of the colors.

HDRi (high dynamic range imaging)is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range of exposures (the range of values between light and dark areas) than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention of HDRi is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to shadows.

IRender nXt offers support for HDRi Skies - used as visible skies, as sky reflections and for illumination from the Sky.

HDRi skies for background, illumination and/or reflection

IRender Ready Content

Special collection on the Google 3D Warehouse for lights, mirrors and other components which are ready for use with IRender.

IRender Ready content in 3D Warehouse

Lamps and Light Fixtures

Automatic use of SketchUp light fixture components. In addition there are Lamp Wizards to create new lamps and lamp components.

Spotlight component generated at proper size and angle

Lighting Presets Tab

The Presets lets you choose predefined settings for the most common lighting situations.

There are a lot of settings to create special lighting effects. The presets make it easier to get a good rendering without having to make all the setting manually.

IRender nXt Presets tab on Setup Wizard

Reflections and Mirrors

Make any SketchUp material reflective with right click edit.

IRender nXt Adds mirrors and glossy surfaces


Create custom, fractal, trees and plants. The quality of the tree is regenerated when the tree is rendered.

Tree placed in SketchUp and rendered with IRender nXt

Self Glow

Self Glow illuminates a surface as if it had light shining on it, without actually making it a light.

For objects which you want to appear bright, but which don't need to illuminate other objects, this is much faster than making lights out of them.

Television with 10% self-glow with IRender nXt

SketchUp Components

SketchUp components are automatically scaled and rotated properly in IRender.

Place components in your model and render them

SketchUp Materials

SketchUp materials are automatically rendered as materials in IRender nXt.

You can set reflection and other rendering properties by right clicking on a face containing a materiel to set its rendering properties.

SketchUp materials are automatically rendered with colors, textures and transparency

Sun and Shadows

Uses sun and shadow settings from SketchUp, plus Advanced Sun Settings from AccuRender dialogs.

Shadows from lights in IRender nXt


Allows light to pass through non-transparent materials

Translucent lamp shade


Uses SketchUp transparency settings. Includes refraction and lighting effects.

SketchUp transparency selected for entire model

Two Point Perspective

Keep vertical lines parallel while panning the view. Perspective views set in SketchUp are retained while rendering.

Two Point Perspective in SketchUp

Questions & Answers

[Q] What are the differences between IRender nXt and nXt Render for SketchUp?

[A] nXtRender is the rationalised version of IRender nXt. Click here To see a full comparison chart of both renderers.

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SketchUp Pro 2019

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V-Ray for SketchUp

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