Improve your performance with Shaderlight 2.4

If you haven’t already heard the news – users of Shaderlight can now render faster and more efficiently, thanks to the release of version 2.4 of the leading interactive and intuitive rendering plug-in to SketchUp.

Available to download for free if you’re an existing v2 customer, this latest update to Shaderlight delivers dramatically improved export and rendering performance to users when rendering complex components such as trees from 3D Warehouse or using Replace Me functionality.  In tests, Shaderlight 2.4 has reduced memory usage up to 90%.

Excited about the capabilities of the latest release 3d artist Duane Kemp posted on Facebook:

“Friends, I have to share this news. Shaderlight… the new version 2.4!!!!! This version is the first one that has been able to open my complete (330+ meg, 6’528’171 Edges, 3’040’774 Faces, 28’098 component instances, 7’991 Groups, 796 Materials) Rivendell model WITH TREES! ALLELUIA! Finally… for the first time, I get to see what I built… rendered. I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting for two years for these images to come! Thank you ArtVPS so much for the investment of time for this new and IMPROVED Shaderlight! Renders and fun to come!”

Rivendell Mill. Rendered by Kemp Productions

Shaderlight Cloud Rendering, the first and only SketchUp rendering plug-in to harness the power of cloud computing, also benefits from this latest release with vastly improved export and render times.

Head to our website to get hold of the latest software.  New users can purchase the new release as a full or timed access license from our webstore.

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New Year – new way to render with Shaderlight

  • Your deadline is looming and you need more rendering power. It’s hard to justify the cost of more licenses when not every project is this big.
  •  You use SketchUp day in, day out, but only render your models when a client requests. It’s important that your software choice delivers value for money.
  • You’re just starting out in 3D and have a limited budget for everything upfront. It’s vital to choose a tool that will deliver great results from the start.

We know that these scenarios are common in visualisation studios around the world which is why we’ve introduced some new ways to render with Shaderlight.

Shaderlight’s Timed Access Licenses let you pay for the rendering time you need – whether its to boost rendering capacity for a large project, render a one off image or simply spread the cost of rendering your SketchUp models.


Starting at $50USD for 30 days, 3 or 6 month licences are also available.

Perpetual Shaderlight licenses are still available to give you full access to Shaderlight’s Pro features whenever you need it.

Visit our new web shop to purchase Shaderlight Timed Access licenses for your next project.

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Shaderlight’s 2012

This gallery contains 12 photos.

As we come to the end of 2012, we thought it would be a great opportunity to look back at the last 12 months and highlight some of the exciting things that we’ve been up to. We started the year … Continue reading

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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.’


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The SketchUp community are an amazing bunch and to get this many experts and enthusiasts in one place should be quite a challenge – but Basecamp doesn’t disappoint.  With over 300 attendees we sent Graham and Martin over to Boulder to represent Shaderlight and we knew they were in for a good week.  Here’s a quick round up.


We launched Shaderlight at the 2010 Basecamp in Boulder, so were looking forward to meeting old friends and customers as well as recruiting some new Shaderlight fans!  SketchUcation had organised a get together on the Sunday evening and straight away, we were inundated with stories from users telling us about Shaderlight had made a difference for them and excited to see what we were planning for Basecamp.

As part of the ‘Rendering Round-up’ held on Monday morning, we gave 5 minute summary of just why Shaderlight is the No1 renderer for SketchUp.  Obviously our presentation beat the rest hands down, even Aidan Chropra’s old version of SketchUp couldn’t disrupt the demo!

Aside from Shaderlight, the other highlight of the day was an impressive keynote presentation from Bre Pettis the CEO of Makerbot which then caused many Christmas lists to be changed including the MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printing machine.

Tuesday we got to head over to Rembrandt Yard Art Gallery for day two. After spending some time showing people Shaderlight the unconference started with an impressive list of subjects raised by Basecamp attendees. We presented Shaderlight to a packed room, and were also able to introduce the new Android App for Shaderlight that can be downloaded for free from the Google play store.  Apple version coming soon!.


Wednesday came round all too quickly, but SketchUp had organised a day for people to really get their teeth in to with projects designing classroom environments in association with a charity. The presentations were amazing, it showed what you can do when you get this many SketchUp experts and architects in teams working together. The day ended in a SketchUp competition to win a Makerbot, unfortunately, we didn’t win but I’m not sure how we would have got the prize though customs anyhow!  Mike Tadros, from Igloo Studios was the overall winner with his general knowledge of SketchUp.

We are VERY excited by the news of SketchUp 2013, and the prospect of a Basecamp every year. We look forward to being there and catching up with everyone again.

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:::Warning::: this post contains some amazing renders!

In July we gave you the chance to show us what you can do with Shaderlight with the launch of our latest render contest. We had hundreds of entries from all over the world so thanks to everyone who took part.

After lots of head scratching and discussion, the judges who included Mike Lucey from SketchUcation and Lynette Clee from 3d Artist, have chosen their top three images which we proudly announced today.

First prize went to David Harris for this fantastic render.Image

Second prize was awarded to Carrie Barker, architect at Overcash Demmitt Architects in North Carolina.Image

Finally, third prize went to Duane Kemp of Kemp Productions for this image.Image

I think you’ll agree – all worthy winners however as we had so many great renders, we wanted to share some of the other entries short-listed by the judges.

ImageAbdallah Alayan

ImageAndrew Hiscocks


Besim Cafer

ImageMartin Vasquez

ImageRandy Shingler

ImageRichard ThurlowImageSukrit Srisakulchawla

All these images and more will appear in our gallery over the next few days so you can enjoy them every time you visit the Shaderlight website.  Don’t forget, if you want to share your work with us, you don’t have to wait for the next render contest, just email me – and we can help showcase your latest project.

Happy rendering!

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Create your own Replace Me components

Many of you tell us how you couldn’t live without Replace Me and how much you love using the trees and people that we have in our collection on 3D Warehouse however did you know you can create your own Replace Me components?

Why not follow this quick tutorial and give it a go!

  • Create a simple SketchUp model to become your Replace Me component.

  • Select Plugins->Shaderlight for SketchUp->Replace Me Creator to launch the Replace Me Creator tool. The name of the selected component will show in the Replace Me Creator window.

  • Click the Browse button and select a SketchUp model file (.skp) that will replace the component when rendered.  Alternatively you can choose to render a model from 3D Warehouse by pasting the model’s url in to the source box.

  • Click Start Render. The contents of the SketchUp model file will render in the place of your Replace Me component.

It’s as simple as that.

For more information take a look at one of our Replace Me video tutorials or our online help.


To ensure your detailed model renders as the correct size and position, you must be careful about how you save the detailed component SketchUp file and be careful about the position of the Replace Me component axis.

Models from 3D warehouse may also have unrealistic scale or have the axis in a strange location

Posted in Tutorials | 2 Comments

Shaderlight grows a tree[d] forest!

Since the release of Shaderlight v2 you guys have downloaded our Replace Me components thousands of times! We’re very glad you like the new feature.

The original set of trees were provided by our good friends at DynaSCAPE and since you like them so much we’ve created some ourselves and have just uploaded 20 new trees!

As always you can download them FOR FREE from here:

A special thanks need to go out to Mikkel Fredborg from Frecle for allowing us to use tree[d] to create the trees.

Get Rendering!


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Shaderlight lights up SketchUp

It’s now even easier to render real world lighting from SketchUp thanks to the launch of Shaderlight 2.1.

Headlining this update is our ‘light fixture library’ – a useful new addition that gives you access to a bunch of models from Visa lighting but with the added bonus that the IES files are already embedded.  So, next time you need to shine some light on your scene, simply import your chosen fixture and hit render – Shaderlight will add render the correct light and shadow detail for that fixture without you doing a thing.

Check out Martin’s latest lighting tutorial video for a quick overview

The changes we’ve made to the software also now mean that you can embed IES files in to your own SketchUp models so that they’re always ready to render in Shaderlight.

As you can see from the above images, we’ve also made some significant improvements to the quality of interior renders particularly when using portal lights.  As well as reducing the amount of noise generated from the light source, you can shine sunlight directly though portals to achieve that dramatic look we’ve all been looking for.

Read about all the new additions in Shaderlight 2.1 on our website and make sure you download the update to try them for yourself!

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Shaderlight lighting webinar

We had a great turn out for the first Shaderlight webinar of 2012 so thank you to everyone who logged in to join us.  Being able to create the perfect lighting effect in your scene is something we know is important to all of our users as it can be the difference between ‘just another render’ and ‘an amazing image’.

Hopefully this webinar provides some useful hints for lighting both exterior and interior scenes as well as giving you an insight in to what’s coming with Shaderlight v2.1!

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