Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Release of nXtRender for AutoCAD

We have released a new version of nXtRender for AutoCAD - version 0343-NI04

This release include both some core engine changes and some User Interface changes.
Version Numbers
343 is the nXT engine version number like we have been using in the past. NI04 is the release date (N=2014, I=September 04=day of month). This longer version number lets us have several UI change releases per base engine release and still keep track of them.

Licensing and Renewals
Everyone who purchased or renewed nXtRender in 2013 or 2014 will be able to use this, and all new releases in 2014 without having to renew their license. (Normally you need to renew you license after 12 months to use new versions).

People who have not upgraded to nXtRender from AccuRender nXt will need to renew their license to use this version. See: Renewals

New Features
- A few core changes have been made since the last version, such as a fix where the Hybrid engine interior simulation direct sunlight soft shadows was not resolving properly.
- You can now drag and drop materials from File Explorer into the nXt Material Pallet

- Lighting Channel was added as a column for the Lights list.

- And you can now sort the Light list by clicking on any column header.

- You can now sort the Layer Material list by clicking on any column header.


Additional new Features
We are working on the list of requested features and changes in this post:

Wishlist & Interface Updates

If there are other things you would like, add them to that post.

Downloads and Trials

You can download the latest version from:

Friday, August 15, 2014

3D Design Studio

Render Plus has combined all of their SketchUp plugin and add-ons into a single package - the 3D Design Studio.

This is a comprehensive package of plugins and add-ons for SketchUp to provide the tools you need for creation of 3D scenes, renderings, reporting and client presentations.
The 3D Design Studio includes:
  • 3D Tools - for placement and editing of components and other objects into your 3D model.
  • Photorealistic Renderings - using our IRender/nXtRender rendering engine
  • Attributes and Custom Reports - on items placed in your 3D model.
  • Interactive 3D PDFs - for viewing your model on your website and PDF files.
  • Non-Photorealistic Rendering - Sketchy, Soft, Shadows, and more
If you are creating 3D models - Buildings, Landscapes, 3D structures, Products, for sale, etc., - then the 3D Design Studio has the tools you need to work productively and to present your designs to your clients.


Friday, July 4, 2014

IRender nXt Interior Pool Tutorial

View Tutorial

Figure 21.jpg

This is a great tutorial for learning many different aspects of IRender nXt

This Tutorial, basic room model and some of the components were built by Jorge López. Jorge López is an architect that has been teaching at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids,Iowa since 1991. This IRender nXt tutorial was created for his students in the CAD SketchUp class.

Upon completing this Tutorial, you will be able to
a. create light fixtures
b. add light emitters to existing components
c. modify light properties
d. use channels to adjust light levels
e. modify material properties
f. render a 360° panoramic view
g. create a rendered animation

For other videos and tutorials for IRender nXt, visit IRender nXt Tutorials

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Balancing Rendering Quality and Rendering Speed.

Balancing Rendering Quality and Rendering Speed.

A complex, high-resolution image takes time to render. Every 3D designer has to live with this in-escapable truth. But that doesn't mean you have to wait hours every time you want to render an image. Adapt your workflow to include faster, lower-resolution renders at intermediate stages of your design. This is a faster way to fine-tune your settings before you commit to larger, high-resolution render.

Rendering Quality

When you first create a rendering we recommend that you start with a small rendering, 600px width, and just a few passes, start with 20. This will be enough for you to evaluate your lights, shadows, reflections and special effects without spending too much time watching a progress bar. When you are getting the results you want with a 20-pass render, increase the rendering size and add more passes.
Rendering Quality vs Speed
Rendering quality is largely determined by two things:
  • Image resolution - how many pixels wide and tall
  • Number of passes - the number of times the rendering engine processes the image
Speed is the inverse of quality. Meaning the bigger the image and more passes you make, the longer it will take to render.
Special Effects may require more rendering passes
Blurry reflection, like the lights in the wet concrete in this image, require more rendering passes. So, plan this into your workflow and know that additional time will be needed to evaluate design with special effects. See: Blurry Reflection for an example.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

SketchUp Rendering Group on LinkedIn

We have started a new group for all users of SketchUp Rendering on LinkedIn: SketchUp Rendering Group.

This is for anyone interested in SketchUp Rendering and for users of all rendering products to share the ideas and participate in discussions.

Take a look, join the group, and join in on the discussions: : SketchUp Rendering Group.

Monday, June 2, 2014

IRender nXt - Bug Fixes and New Features

Here is a list of bug fixes and new features from the past year.

Rather than put out annual versions, we post new releases whenever we add a new feature or bug fix. Here is what one reviewer on the SketchUp extensions page had to say about our responsiveness:

  • "In addition to the great software, the help desk at IRender nXt is the best I have ever come across, in any aspect of computing. Rich and Al Hart are the most responsive and helpful people you could wish for. As an example I asked if it was possible to do a certain thing I needed to do using the software, it wasn't possible, I was astounded when 24 hours later an update of the software was posted with the function I needed included !!"

Here are some new bug fixes and new features:

One reason there seem to be more bug fixes than features, is that we have more features now than most people know about or use. See:

--- Bug fixes related to SketchUp 2014 ---

(These are in addition to the Ruby changes we had to make to go from Ruby 1.8 to Ruby 2.0)

- Fixed the Sample File download links that had broken when the 2014 Warehouse was updated

- Fixed a problem with material textures with non-ascii texture file names which appeared in SketchUp 2014

- Fixed a problem editing materils in the rendering windows, when the materials had special characters in the material name

- Found a workaround for users with an apostrophe in their name. This broke as part of SU 2014 and will be fixed in the next SU release. But, in the meantime, we had several users who were having a problem.

--- New Features and Improvements ---

- Added a new template for creating Ornamental Grasses in the Tree Editor.

- Added a new View Wizard to load and save views for rendering. See:

- We now allow you to change the name of a material in the model by right-clicking on it in the Select Material to Place or Edit dialog.

- Add a new toolbar function to load and save Material Styles.

- Add the Replace Material option to the Select material to Place or Edit dialog, for quickly changing materials in the model.

--- Bug Fixes ---

-  Fixed ArchVison RPCs, which were were not working at all anymore after a new ArchVision Dashboard was updated.

- Fixed the slider bars for Dispersion and Attenuation on the Material Editor dialog.

- Fixed "No material was selected to place" error when loading the Arroway Texture Set

- Fixed a new bug where too many material files were being saved for a rendering with textured materials, slowing down the rendering.

- Fixed a regression in the last release where the AccuRender plants were no longer working.

- Fixed a ruby bug that was keeping models containing Images from rendering.

- Fixed a bug in Export to 3D PDF, where textures on some materials were upside-down in the 3D PDF model.

-  Fixed a bug where textures on materials were not working in 3D PDF files saved from the rendering window Save dialog.

- Fixed the Lights Edit/Query dialog to get the list of lights in a model without having to click on Refresh.

- Fixed thumbnail image display for the current selection on the Warehouse tab on the Render Ready Components dialog.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rendering Features - Clay Rendering

Clay Rendering is created by treating all the materials as white, and ignoring textures.

It highlights the quality of the actual model, rather than colors and textures.

This is a "clay rendering" with the addition of lights, highlighting, reflection, and sketchy edge lines.

Rendered with IRender nXt using the Clay Rendering option and the Edge Line overlay option

For more information see: Clay Rendering