Kemp Productions gets animated with Shaderlight for SketchUp

Duane Kemp, director and owner of Kemp Productions /, has been using SketchUp since 2008.  He’s been rendering for a couple of years and tried most renderers on the market, but was never satisfied with the results. What Duane needed though was an affordable render plugin that could deliver high quality images and render animations.

In 2011, Duane started rendering with Shaderlight and was impressed with the image quality he could achieve. Luckily the team were in the midst of developing v2, which included an animation feature so Duane helped them put the new release through its paces.

The project

Kemp Productions was asked to develop a series of promotional materials to publicise a new development of luxury apartments.  In addition to a logo, high resolution images and documentation, a new iPad compatible website would feature two 30 second films – one showing the exterior of the building within its village environment and the second, a virtual tour of the apartment revealing an amazing view of Mont Blanc and the French Alps.

In order to achieve the desired result for the setting of this new apartment complex, Kemp Productions set about modelling the actual buildings in the small town of Luins, Switzerland, entirely in SketchUp.  The ‘Residence Michelange’ model had over 2,600,000 faces and took several months to complete.

Duane said: “With the price-tag between 2 – 3’000’000 – CHF for each apartment , we wanted to communicate the concept of “home” in the promotional imagery we produced so that potential buyers could imagine themselves living there.  The fact that all apartments sold in less than 4 1/2 months speaks volumes.”


When preparing the model to render, Duane relied heavily on creating realistic surface textures and setting the right lighting to achieve the desired result.

He explained: “The lighting tools available in Shaderlight provide a simple way to achieve the natural, warm and inviting finish we wanted on both exterior and interior scenes. Using a combination of artificial and image-based lighting we were able to bring each scene to life.”

With familiarity comes speed and, after using Shaderlight for a short time, Duane found he could fine-tune each render setup with ease to produce the level of photorealism he wanted.

Duane said “Compared to some of the more complex renderers, Shaderlight makes rendering a scene in a real life environment possible with little effort.  From its simple toolset of user-friendly options that made rapid work of setting surface reflectivity and bump mapping, to the clever feature that maintains render settings as you move through edits, the software has a number of time saving features that proved indispensible for Kemp Productions”

He continued “I’m sure we could have got to the end of the project with other renderers but not, in our opinion, with the same quality and ease of use as Shaderlight.”

The images rendered by Kemp Productions for this project are available to view here.

Highlighting the quality Duane has managed to achieve with his Shaderlight renders, one of the images won third place in the Shaderlight render contest we held earlier this year and four other images have been selected by Daniel Tal for his upcoming publication “Rendering in SketchUp.

Anatomy of a 3D Build

Kemp Productions delivered a selection of 3D images, graphics and video content to its client – the results of one year of modelling, collaboration with the architects and rendering animations for Residence Michelange’.

To offer a step-by-step progressive tour that traverses the enormity of the job, Kemp Productions has created the following video that dissects the project taking SketchUp users through ‘The anatomy of a 3D build.’


About Kate

Commercial Director at Shaderlight Ltd
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