What-s new - February 2008

February 2008 Render Plus Newsletter

Announcing IRender nXt - the new rendering engine for IRender

This is a model downloaded from the 3D Warehouse and rendered in IRender nXt with no modifications made to lighting (and no lighting in the model). IRender nXt's default High Dynamic lightning mode creates excellent renderings with a single click. We call it Design with the lights on™ ! (We did use the IRender Material wizard to mark materials as plastic or metallic for reflection.)

IRender nXt is a new version of IRender based on the AccuRender nXt engine.

We are really excited about this new engine from the original developers of AccuRender (the underlying engine for IRender.) It does a much better job of lighting, shadows, and reflection then the current IRender version, and it makes it much easier to make quality renderings from a SketchUp model.

If you haven't tried IRender yet, or if you tried it out and were hoping for more features, try out the new IRender nXt version. (See download information at the end of this newsletter)



This is a sample interior rendering - again made without the sun, using the default lighting and Indirect Lighting which processes the effect of reflected light.

Sponza with HDRI lighting and indirect lighting


When we first introduced IRender, we used to apologize that it didn't improve renderings of exteriors over SketchUp unless you used reflective elements like ponds or wet concrete. However, the new High Dynamic mode works very well for exteriors providing subtle lighting effects for overhangs, etc. For instance, this rendering was made for a 3D Warehouse model with High Dynamic lighting:


See: IRender nXt Samples for higher resolution samples and other samples.

See: *nXtRender Image Gallery for the Gallery of IRender nXt renderings.

New technology

  • Optimized core engine runs 4-5 faster
    • handles models on large sites much better
    • better thread scheduling for multi-core machines
  • Better image quality
    • images are continually refined and updated until halted
    • trade processing time for quality
    • much better anti-aliasing
    • better tone reproduction, more saturated colors
  • Indirect lighting without radiosity
    • can handle complex models with many polygons
    • fewer artifacts
    • no specialized modeling required
  • New HDRI sky source algorithm
    • better analytical sky source
    • Better interior day-lighting
    • possible to do without special "daylight sources"
    • new material editor w/lighting and anti-aliasing

Try it out

IRender Next is ready for testing.

To test it: Download IRender 2.0 Install the latest version of IRender 2.0. Load IRender 2.0 from the Plugins menu. Load the Setup Dialog Select IRender nXt as the renderer. Additional Settings are available on the Sky and Nxt tabs which appear after you select IRender nXt

Lighting Presets


Presets for Exterior, Interior and High Dynamic make it easy to create renderings from your SketchUp models. (Try High Dynamic for exteriors and light from Windows. It often works better than using the Sun.)

IRender nXt Forum

See: IRender nXt Forum for more examples, comments from other users, etc.

See: IRender_nXt for more information on how to use it.