Photographic Rendering with V-Ray for SketchUp

Photographic Rendering with V-Ray for SketchUp
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Clear, step-by-step instructions that teach you how to use the most important tools needed to create photographic renders in V-Ray
  • Implement the steps effectively with the help of the SketchUp scene files provided
  • Become a better artist by becoming familiar with important lighting and material backgrounds backed up by theory

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 328 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : March 2014
ISBN : 1849693226
ISBN 13 : 9781849693226
Author(s) : Brian Bradley
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Other

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Diving Straight into Photographic Rendering
Chapter 2: Lighting an Interior Daytime Scene
Chapter 3: Lighting an Interior Nighttime Scene Using IES Lights
Chapter 4: Lighting an Exterior Daylight Scene
Chapter 5: Understanding the Principles of Light Behavior
Chapter 6: Creating Believable Materials
Chapter 7: Important Materials Theory
Chapter 8: Composition and Cameras
Chapter 9: Quality Control
Chapter 10: Adding Photographic Touches in Post-production
  • Chapter 1: Diving Straight into Photographic Rendering
    • What this chapter is all about
    • Good composition is the foundation of photographic rendering
      • Improving our opening scene
        • Working with six new views
        • Matching viewport and render aspect ratios
        • Lighting that sets the mood!
        • Stepping through the render process
        • Using V-Ray's physical camera model
        • Global illumination controls
    • Materials that make us believe!
      • Creating the floor material
      • Adding surface properties
      • Final setting tweaks!
  • Render settings for final output
  • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Lighting an Interior Daytime Scene
    • Looking at our SketchUp scene
    • Defining our goals
      • Methods for defining our vision
        • Writing a definition
        • Painting a definition
        • Compiling a definition
        • Artistic exercise
        • My definition for the gallery interior
    • The lighting workflow
    • Sunlight is our key light
      • SketchUp shadow settings – positioning the V-Ray Sun
      • Using a V-Ray spotlight as the key light
    • Skylight is our fill light
      • Using Rectangle lights
      • Testing our shot views
      • The evaluation time
      • Using the GI skylight
      • Trying out the Dome light
      • Adding a High Dynamic Range Image to the mix
      • Bringing the sky back into the view
      • Wrap up
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Lighting an Interior Nighttime Scene Using IES Lights
    • Taking a look at our SketchUp file
    • Defining our goals
      • Observation is crucial
      • My definition for interior nighttime scene lighting
    • The lighting process
      • Contrasting artistic and realistic indoor lighting
      • Do we have a key light?
      • Understanding the IES files
        • Downloading and viewing IES profiles
    • Starting with a blank canvas
      • Setting an initial exposure level
    • Adding some much-needed ambience
      • Using the V-Ray Sky
      • The GI skylight
      • HDRI to the rescue
    • Layering up our IES lights
      • Adding the IES down lighters
      • Creating the IES up lighters
    • Evaluating the render with all lights enabled
    • Previsualizing image corrections using V-Ray FrameBuffer
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Lighting an Exterior Daylight Scene
    • Setting up our SketchUp file
    • Reference and observation
      • The sunlight color
      • The skylight color
      • Shadow properties
      • Ambient occlusion
      • A camera-matched exterior
      • Defining our exterior daylight setup
    • The lighting process
      • Setting a starting exposure level
    • Sunlight is the key
      • The sunlight color
      • The shadow quality
    • Filling in with skylight
      • Using the V-Ray Sky
      • Image-based lighting for exteriors
        • Adding the HDRI
        • Adding direct sunlight to an HDRI setup
        • Creating even stronger occlusion shadows
        • Creating a better sky
    • Tweaking exposure
      • Experimenting with white balancing
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Understanding the Principles of Light Behavior
    • The SketchUp files
    • Defining our goals
    • How light behaves
      • Learning about light – exercise one
      • Learning about light – exercise two
    • Understanding light decay
      • Light decay – exercise one
      • Light decay – exercise two
      • Light decay – exercise three
      • Decay types available in V-Ray for SketchUp
        • The None and Linear decay options
        • Understanding Inverse decay
        • The Inverse Square decay
    • Using color temperature
      • Color temperature – exercise one
      • Color temperature – exercise two
    • The cause of color bleeding
      • Color bleed – exercise one
      • Bringing color bleed under control
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Creating Believable Materials
    • Getting started with our materials
      • Defining our goals
      • Defining the materials
    • Using a SketchUp material to create our diffuse floor coloring
      • Using SketchUp materials with V-Ray
        • Creating the diffuse component for our floor
        • Making a color-mapping choice
    • Using the V-Ray Standard material
      • Knowing your right-click menu commands
      • Adding reflections to our floor material
      • Painting the walls
      • Playing it safe with the ceiling
      • Door materials – the frosted glass
      • Giving the doors an aluminum look
      • Adding chrome to the barriers
      • Painting the skirting board
    • Creating the wall paintings using bitmaps
    • Art sculpts – import vismat
    • Your challenge
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Important Materials Theory
    • Defining our goals
    • Light and material interaction – why objects in the real world have color
      • Light is where it all starts
    • How absorption, reflectance, and transmittance work
    • The importance of R, G, and B in the digital realm
      • Why are we using the HSV color model?
        • The importance of realistic color values
    • Light and material interaction – what is reflectivity?
      • How glossiness controls work
    • Light and material interaction – the transmittance effects
      • Understanding refraction
        • Making use of IOR values
        • A bit more on Fresnel equations
      • Understanding translucency
        • How subsurface scattering is different
    • The importance of energy-conserving materials
    • What we have accomplished?
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8: Composition and Cameras
    • Defining our goals
    • Deciding the shot type
      • The long or wide shot
      • The medium shot
      • The close up shot
      • The high shot
      • The low shot
    • Aspect ratios
      • Choosing our ratio
        • Beware of the difference between the viewport and render
    • The requisite maximum resolution
    • How focal length affects composition
    • Setting up scene views for final shot rendering
      • First up – the wide shot
        • Exercise – review
      • Scene two – close up
        • Exercise – review
      • Exercise – finishing off the scene
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9: Quality Control
    • Defining our goals
    • Fine-tuning scene lighting
      • Tuning up the sunlight
        • Reviewing our sunlight render
      • Adjusting the skylight
        • Reviewing our skylight render
    • Cleaning up our GI solution
      • Reviewing our GI render
    • Working with the Image sampler controls
      • Reviewing the image sampling render
    • Improving our materials
      • Reviewing what we have in the RGB map
      • Reviewing what we have in the Sample Rate map
    • Outputting the final renders
      • Adding extra VFB channels
      • Setting the output format
    • Determining the order of quality control steps
    • Summary
  • Chapter 10: Adding Photographic Touches in Post-production
    • Defining our goals
    • Setting up After Effects
    • Importing our footage
    • Dealing with the lighting hotspots
    • Boosting the floor reflections
    • Adding a subtle DOF to shift focus
    • Adding subtle relighting
    • Boosting the glass reflections a little
    • Final color corrections
    • Adding a subtle vignette effect
    • Summary

Brian Bradley

Brian Bradley is a self-taught 3D artist and Training Author who started experimenting with creative software and 3D applications back in 1993. By the mid 90s, he was running his own small multimedia business working on projects as diverse as corporate logos, graphic design for clothing and vehicles, as well as developing full product and architectural visualization projects.

In 2007, he turned the attention of his family-run studio toward full-time production of CG Training, focusing initially on 3ds Max along with the mental ray and V-Ray render engines. In 2012, he joined the ranks of Training Authors producing course for the online training library, producing (among others) V-Ray-based courses for 3ds Max, Maya, and of course, SketchUp.

Recently, Brian and his team have completed a revamp of the website that they run and they plan to work at slowly but surely expanding both the level and quality of training and content that it houses.

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Sample chapters

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What you will learn from this book

  • Create and control interior sunlight using a V-Ray Spotlight light object
  • Discover how to set up Skylight in a variety of ways, including making use of V-Ray's Rectangle and Dome light types
  • Work with interior nighttime lighting and real-world light energy values using V-Ray's IES lights
  • Produce believable surface properties using V-Ray's material and map system
  • Compose and render a shot correctly with V-Ray's camera and output controls
  • How to make use of V-Ray’s camera and output controls to compose and render a shot correctly
  • Become a better lighting artist in V-Ray by understanding some extremely important lighting theory

In Detail

Every Sketch Up user wants to present their designs in the best possible light. What better way to bring them to life than to present them in a genuinely photographic manner? Although the V-Ray render engine has been available to SketchUp users for a good number of years now, the release of the 2.0 Version takes the production of photographic renders in SketchUp to a whole new level.

Using the V-Ray for SketchUp rendering engine through with clear, step-by-step instructions and companion graphics, this guide will give you everything you need to get started. This book has been designed to progressively introduce you to all the V-Ray tools you will need to produce photographic renders using V-Ray.

The journey begins with basics of camera composition, lighting, texturing, and then rendering an interior scene using the V-Ray engine. Using the scene files provided, we will learn how to set up lighting rigs for both daytime and nighttime interior shots, as well as seeing how we can make good use of V-Ray’s procedural day-lighting system on exteriors.

As a render will only be as believable as the component parts, we will learn the texturing system in V-Ray and how to use a variety of materials, maps, and layers to produce realistic surface properties for our geometry.

Before producing our final output, we will want to see how we can use the variety of quality control settings in V-Ray, including the Global Illumination and Image Sampling settings to produce a high level of quality for our project.

Add the finishing touches with some compositing and post-production techniques to bring out the full potential of the work you have done.


This book is filled with examples explaining the theoretical concepts behind them. Filled with ample screenshots, diagrams, and final rendered images, this book will help readers develop an understanding of photographic rendering with V-Ray.

Who this book is for

If you are a SketchUp user who would love to turn your favourite modelling application into a ‘virtual photography studio’, then this book has been designed and written for you. Existing V-Ray users will also find plenty to enjoy and benefit from in this book.

Some basic experience with SketchUp and familiarity with photography will be helpful, but is not mandatory.

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