IRender FAQ

IRender FAQ - Frequently asked questions about IRender nXt.



How can I Upgrade to SketchUp 8

We have the data in this thread: Installation into SketchUp 8


Go to the Downloads Page and select the latest version of IRender nXt.


The cleanest way to do this is to:
  1. Uninstall the application. This will remove it from the old version of SketchUp.
    To uninstall, download the latest version, and if it offers Reinstall/Uninstall - choose Uninstall. If the only option is install - then skip this step 1.
  2. Re-install it selecting the new SketchUp location.
    If you uninstall and reinstall, then when you install later upgrades, they will install into the proper version of SketchUp. (You will be prompted for the SketchUp version - choose SketchUp 8)

Support Forums

Where can I ask a questions which are not already here in the FAQ

See our Support Forums:


IRender nXt for SketchUp

Which renderer should you use with SketchUp?

The choice is yours to make

There are two paths you can take:

ArielVision is a low cost, easy to use rendering package which makes very good results. It is easy to use because it contains only the features you need for good renderings.

IRender nXt costs just a bit more, but has many, many more rendering features. The additional features can make it seem harder to use - because to use special things like fog, depth of field, caustic glass, etc. you have to decide whether to turn them on and you often have to set values which effect them. These features can make even better renderings, but it may take more time to set them up.

How should I decide which Renderer to try and purchase?


If you want to have all the high-end features available - even if you don't use them right away, then you should choose IRender nXt.

If you want to create better hi-res images from your SketchUp model, but don't want to have to learn how to use advanced rendering features - like Depth-of-Field, Special Reflection Settings, Special Transparency Settings, etc. then ArielVision is the right choice for you.


If you are using SketchUp and rendering as part of your professional offering, and are using it to increase or support your business, then IRender nXt should fit within your budget.

If cost is your primary concern, then ArielVision may be the right choice for you.

How should I get started?

  1. Visit the Getting Started Page .
  2. First watch our getting started videos.
  3. Start with a small model, and learn how to use lighting and reflection before trying to render large, complex models.
  4. Use the Interior Lighting Basics to learn how to place lights.
  5. Use the Reflections Video to learn about reflections.

Getting Started Videos

Getting Started

IRender nXt Videos

IRender nXt Videos

Images I placed in my model do not show up in IRender?

One typical problem with images not appearing:

  1. They are in the same plane as the face behind them and the renderer gets confused (it can only render one item in the same place). either move them out a little, or cut a hole in the face behind them

What is High Dynamic Lighting?

We wanted to supply a lighting model which would work very well for exterior scenes - producing subtle shades and shadows - and would provide good lighting for objects.

High Dynamic Lighting emulates the light in a forest, with the sun filtering through the leaves. It produces a very good rendering without having to modify your SketchUp model with lights and reflection. You probably turned on the Sun in SketchUp to get a better rendering. Turn it off for IRender and use High Dynamic lighting instead.

I'm having a problem rendering a large model

Often new IRender users start with an existing, often quite large, SketchUp model they have to see how well it renders with IRender. You will get much better results if you are able to hide, or turn off, layers of geometry which are not visible.

For instance, if you are rendering the outside of a house, turn off layers which have detail, furniture, etc. on the inside of the house.

Or if you are modeling an interior, turn off layers which have details for the outside which are not visible.

Because of the way a good renderer works, it is possible for geometry which is not visible to effect refections or reflected light. But very often the invisible geometry is not necessary for a good rendering.

If that doesn't help, you may need to reduce the complexity of your model by removing, or simplifying, complex components.

I would like your recommendation for a good rendering software which supports SketchUp

I am an architect and use SketchUp for my design. I would like your recommendation for a good rendering software which supports SketchUp.

We think IRender nXt is the best choice. But of course, we are prejudiced because we are the people who have interfaced the nXt Rendering engine to SketchUp.
Try it out, and I'm sure you will agree that we have created a powerful, and friendly, rendering interface.
It is, or course, difficult to make an interface both powerful and friendly. As we add each new capability or feature to the rendering engine, we have to find places for them in the user interface, which can be a challenge, but we hope you agree that we retain the intuitiveness for which we are known.
One of the things we have worked hard on is a set of 4 lighting presets, (outdoor, indoor, etc.) which make good renderings with little or no modification of the model.
Give it a try, and let us know what you think.

This is a 6-sided cube viewed from the inside. There are no lights. Why is the ceiling brighter than the floor?

( I get the same result with earlier versions, and without textures on the walls.)

The ambient lighting is intentionally non-uniform-- more light is directed upwards.

Is it okay if i turn off SketchUp when the the IRender pops up already doing its tracing?

It is OK to close SketchUp after the extract, and when the Batch Renderer is running.

For all nXtRender Products

What is the purpose of Post Processing

There are three levels of Post Processing.

One is simple changes you can make like Brightness or Burn. These are aplied to the rendered model and shwon in the rendered image witout having to re-render the model.

Another is more complicated changed such as the Light Balancer which let you alter the intensity of groups of lights, again without having to re-render the model.

The last is a set of PhotoShop like filters which make quick changes to the rendered image. These are things like Contrast, Sharpness and other standard image filters.

Using old AR4 Plants

I have hundreds of AR4 plants I created. How can I convert them to nXtRender Plants?

You can import the AR4 plants into nXtRender and use them. But there is currently no way to convert them to nXtRender plants and then modify them as nXtRender plants.

I want to use the same settings for another rendering

Render settings set with the Setup Options dialog can be saved an recovered in a variety of ways. How to save and load options

Can I pause a rendering?

Whenever I hit the red button it stops and I have to restart.

Pause is possible when you let the rendering complete the current pass. If you click the red button once, then it should stop at the end of the current pass.

If you click the red button twice - the rendering will stop immediately, the rendering is stopped, not paused.


To successfully pause a rendering in progress CLICK Stop and allow the program to complete the current pass. Once the pass is completed the rendering is paused and the Resume button will enable.

Please note: Double-Click Stop if you intend to halt the rendering in progress, or Click Stop rendering now (pass will be incomplete) when the dialog displays.


When permitted to complete the current pass, the Rendering Complete dialog displays, and the Resume toolbar function is enabled.

MarchNews RenderComplete.jpg

The Rendering complete dialog includes:

Rendered Image File

  • Save rendered image will save the current image
  • View saved image is typically used when the program option to automatically save an image has been enabled.
  • Edit image in nXtImage editor is used to apply adjustments and filters as well as balance lighting. If a nXtImage file has not been saved the program will offer to save one.

Resume Rendering / Stop Rendering After

  • Double Up to double the number of specified passes and/or minutes
  • No limit - render until stopped if unchecked can be checked during pauseClick OK to continue processing the rendering that has been paused.
  • Resume Rendering will continue to process the rendering, picking up from the last completed pass.



Click Resume, update rendering options then Click OK to resume the rendering, starting at the last completed pass.

What are the strange dots or speckles in my reflections

Bright spot, or speckle artifacts sometime occur during the rendering process.
See: Speckle Artifacts

What is the difference between a View and a Scene

SketchUp scenes store the camera and layer settings, IRender nXt views store only the camera settings.

Where can I get more HDRi Skies

There are three sets of HDRi Skies on the HDRi Setup Tab

More Skies are available here: Free HDRI Skies:

Not free HDRI files:

What is the difference between a true HDRi and the conversion you provide in IRender?

In order to make a "true HDRi" you take three pictures of the same scene - One normal, one under exposed and one over exposed. The normal, under exposed and over exposed versions are then used to determine which parts of these scene create the light. This light intensity factor is stored in the .HDR file, along with the RGB (red, blue and green) values for each pixel. We are able to use that factor to provide illumination for the rendered scene.

When we do the conversion ourselves, we "guess", based on whether you tell us we are looking at a daytime image or a nighttime image which pixels are the light source.

Here is a scene captured with three levels of exposure. The routine which combines these three scenes into a .HDR file is able to determine that the sky and some of the windows are illuminating the scene.


Common Rendering Questions

Highlights and Reflections

I've been using IRender for sometime but have never been able to figure out Highlights and reflection settings.
I've started a ring model and would like to render a shiny metallic gold surface.


How can I make my walls appear white?

My walls appear white in SketchUp, but when I render them they are grey White Walls and White Backgrounds are often a challenge.

You can make walls whiter in IRender nXt using a combination of Self Glow and the Brightness Slider .


How can I balance the sun, sky and artificial lights?

There are a few good methods:

  1. Use Lighting Channels to quickly balance the sun, sky and lights after rendering.
  2. Use the Lighting Balance slider to set the desired balance.

My Transparent Curtain is rendering like glass

Recently a user on our forum asked: "I placed a semi-transparent shower curtain in my model, but it rendered like glass. What can I do to fix this?"

This is because IRender nXt, by default, treats all transparent objects in SketchUp as glass which reflects light and distorts objects behind the glass.

Most transparent objects in SketchUp models are glass, so the default is to render them as if they were glass.

You can reduce or eliminate this effect by lowering the Index of Refraction to 1.0


Reflections in multiple mirrors

I just noticed that IRender nXt doesn't seem to know what to do when you are looking at a mirror that points back to a mirror, which looks back to the original mirror. By default, we only process a couple of levels of multiple reflection. You need to change the setting for Reflective Bounces.


How can I Render Water and Waterfalls?

I am trying to render an image with a pool in it. Can you suggest anything like a preset, download (like with the grass) or tutorial to help me create realistic looking water? Thanks! Also I'd there a way to make the water look like it is falling? Like a waterfall or water feature.


Low Resolution Renderings

I just downloaded your free trial and rendered a quick design and it turned out looking good but the file size is 98kb and is really fuzzy when I zoom into picture. I didn’t find any help with this and I am used to most renderings being mb’s so I just wanted to see what I am doing wrong. You can set the desired resolution on the Render Setup Tab.

Render Tab-c.jpg

How to backlite a box on wall



I have speckled lines of light leaking through my walls

A user was getting speckled lines in his rendering at the edges of walls.

Speckle 1c.jpg

Can I reduce the amount of aliasing at edges?

Angled lines between two materials can produce a jagged effect. By using Anti-aliasing, IRender nXt reduces the amount of this effect.


How can I render a PhotoMatch image


Are there limits to the size, resolution, etc.


Computers and Operating Systems

How can I increase Rendering Speed

  1. Use the small or medium render preview size while working on your model. Smaller resolutions render much faster, and you can switch to the larger resolution when you are ready for the final rendering.
  2. Only model what you need in your scene. Items which are not visible just slow down the rendering process. You can organize different parts of your model by layer, or just simply hide items which are not needed.
  3. Try to simplify the components you are using. If you can use fewer sides for circles and arcs, or if you can use square, but smoothed, edges, then you can increase rendering speed significantly.
  4. See if you can replace some complex components with images. SketchUp and IRender both do a great job of rendering images, so for detail which is in the background using images instead of complex components will simplify the model and speed up rendering.
  5. Reflective surfaces, and lights tend to slow down the rendering process. See if you can get the result desired with fewer lights and fewer reflective surfaces.
  6. Eventually you may want to try a faster processor. IRender nXt utilizes dual and quad core processors, so get the fastest process possible when multiplyig the processor speed by the number of cores. (e.g. 4 X 2.66 = 10.64)

What is the best processor for rendering - i5 or i7

The answer depends on the number of cores and the processing speed.

Here is a recent comment from a client:

I thought I had remembered that processor speed was everything from a prior email. So, good to verify - as an FYI - so far I’ve tried 2 Dells one with a 6 core 2.8 and the other with a quad core 2.6 – that first one REALLY was noticeably faster.

Here are 6 processor/speed combinations currently available for a Dell Precision T1500.
(Speed is determined by # cores X core speed.)
{Prices may have changed since I grabbed this image.)

Speed vs processors.

The fastest I7 quad would be almost twice as fast for rendering than the slowest dual I5. (The column labelled Render Speed should have said Rendering Time)

However, it would not be faster when running SketchUp, and would not be faster when extracting the data for rendering, etc.

Also, the video card does not effect rendering speed for IRender nXt.

Does IRender nXt work with Vista and Windows 7

Yes. we are not aware of any problems with either Vista or Windows 7

Does IRender nxt work on 64 bit processors

32 bit apps, such as IRender nXt, run fine on 64 bit systems -- without noticeable performance degradation. We are not aware of any compatibility issues.

How can I create a High Resolution Rendering?

To Create High Resolution images from SketchUp, use a rendering engine such as IRender nXt and choose the resolution desired. See SketchUp High Resolution Images .

Downloads and Purchase

How to Purchase

How can I purchase a Product?

Visit: Purchase Page

Shipping Method

How is IRender nXt shipped?

We send your license by email immediately after you place the order.


Can I receive an invoice at the delivery address which includes VAT and the price in Euros please? Thank you in advance.

I can send you an invoice, either by email or by letter (snail mail). We do not collect or report any VAT.

Upgrades to new version

I just purchased an educational license of IRender nXt a few weeks ago and just saw that the software was very recently updated to a new version. Will the 2.0 software that I purchased still be able to use the websites provided downloadable content, such as the Arrowway materials and vegetation creator? Thanks.

You are entitled to upgrade to any new versions of IRender nXt for 12 months after your purchase date. The release of the 3.0 version does not change this, you can upgrade to it from 2.0.
If you purchased IRender nXt more than 12 months ago, then you need to purchase an upgrade. There is a special discount for upgrades for the first 30 days of the 3.0 release. See: Upgrades

Do I need 3D PDF and RpTools for Rendering

Hello, If I purchase the IRender nXt, is it still necessary to purchase the 3d pdf, and RP Tools? I'm a design professional if that helps. Thank you!

IRender is just the renderer.
RPS 3D PDF is a separate application for creating Adobe PDF documents where the client can spin the model around in the PDF display.
RpTools is a set of handy tools for SketchUp.
If you just want the renderer, then just purchase IRender nXt.
If you want the other features, then purchase the 3D Design Studio .

Delayed Order Processing

The order states that it was shipped last Jul 29 but until now I have not received it... Is it normal that 20 days after shipping it still has not arrived?

Sometimes the email we send you gets lost in your Spam filter. If you have not received a response from us after 12 hours, check your spam filter, and/or send an email to Render Plus Support Email
Also, some clients tell Google Checkout not to send us their email address, and the relay of emails though Google Checkout gets lost. If you have not received a response from us after 12 hours, please send an email to Render Plus Support Email using your own email address.


I just learned IRender nXt is available for download after I pay the software price online via Google Checkout. I want to know how do I download it? Regards, s

Go to our download page: Downloads Page to download the latest version.
We will be sending you a license and further instructions when we process your order.
After downloading the ZIP file, open it and click on the phrase: Click here to install IRender nXt'
After installing the Software, start SketchUp, it should appear under the Plugins menu.
Note: The trial version and the full version are the same download. If you have already downloaded the latest version, you do not need to download it again

Educational and Student Discounts

I was hoping you guys could release a student version at a discounted price. In any event, I love your software, and when I'm pulling in the big bucks plan to purchase it in the future. I just wish the future was now.

We offer discounts for students, teachers, schools and classroom lab licenses.
Students and teachers must provide school name and id.

Laptop License

I would like to use IRender nXt on my laptop. Can I get a laptop license.

We include a free laptop license for IRender nXt and other products. If you are registering on-line, just register from your main machine, and register again from your laptop. If you have any problems, send us an email to register from the laptop.
For other products, you can purchase a Laptop license for use on your laptop.
See: Laptop License.

Laptop Seat

Get a free Laptop Seat with IRender nXt.

An additional license for your laptop is included with IRender nXt at no additional charge.

Getting Started with new Purchase

Dear Representative, Is it possible for you to send the program that I purchased yesterday. It is really urgent for me to get it today in order to continue my work. Cordially...

You can download the software from our Downloads Page and start working immediately.
We will process your order as soon as we can.
After you download a IRender nXt, see the Getting Started page for ideas on how to learn to use it.

License and Authorization

Where can I find my License Number

When you purchased a product from Render Plux, we sent you an email with your license number.

If you have not received the email, check your order with Google Checkout. You license number should be stored in the Shipping Information in the order.

If you still cannot find it, send an email to Render Plus Support Email and we will help you find it.

License Number

I have not yet received the license number as of yet - please let me know.

We process all the orders by hand. There are two things which can cause a delay:
  1. We have to wait for the order to be cleared by Google. This can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  2. We generally do not process orders at night in the U.S., or if there are other reasons why we cannot access our order system.
If you do not receive an email from us with your license number, send an email to Render Plus Support Email. Do not just respond to the Google email, because if you send us an email directly we will have your proper email address.


I have no idea, how to authorize it.. I do not understand this phrase: Use your email program to send this email to

After you receive your license number from us on-line (for some products) or by email.
If you do not receive an email from us with your license number, send an email to Render Plus Support Email. Do not just respond to the Google email, because if you send us an email directly we will have your proper email address.

New Computer

I plan on getting a better PC, and I will want to move my IRender nXt from my current one to the new one. With a single CPU license how will I do this?

When you get a new computer, just send us a manual authcode request (using the Advanced button the license dialog), and remind us that it is for a new computer.
Note: You are also entitled to a Laptop license which is included automatically in the full version of IRender nXt,

License for Batch Rendering

One of my users has asked me to install IRender nXt on a second machine to use for batch rendering. The EULA clearly states that the software is licensed for one (1) machine. Am I correct in assuming that a second license needs to be purchased for the machine to be used for batch rendering?

No, you do not need a license for the Batch Rendering machine.
You need a license for each machine which is running SketchUp and wants to access IRender nXt or nXtRender from within SketchUp.
You do not need a license for machines which are used only to perform the renderings using the Batch Rendering process. As long as these machines do not need to access IRender nXt from within SketchUp, they do not need a license.

See: End User License Agreement


Who are your competitors?

We have some competitors, and we compete well with them - High Quality, Photorealistic rendering and a powerful, easy-to use, User Interface fully integrated into SketchUp.

We spend a lot of our time listening to our own clients and responding to their needs in order to make IRender nXt and ArielVision better than the competitive products.

Here are several rendering add-ons for SketchUp. For more information, visit: Rendering Add-ons for SketchUp]

ArielVision , Bloom Unit , Caravaggio , IDX Rendentioner , Indigo

IRender nXt , LightUp , LumenRT , Maxwell , Podium

Raylectron , Renderin , RENDERLights , ShaderLight , Thea

Twilight , Vray

What makes you better than your competition?

We're not better than them in all cases.
But we have greate products, and continue to work to make them better.

Why should I do business with you?

Because the products we're have now are better than the products we had six months ago. And in six more months they will be even better than they are today.
We wake up every day with a sense of why we come to work. We come to work to be inspired by our customers to make our products do the things that inspire them. We check our forums for ideas from our customers – and then add most of them to the products. That makes our products better for everyone.

Are you better than your competition?

If you believe that the things we do can help you, then we're better. If you don't the things we can do will help you, then we're not better.
Our goal is to find customers who believe what we believe, like what we do, and want to work together so that we can all have better products. We're looking for people to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us in pursuit of the same goal.

Foreign Languages

bonjour, j'ai commande hier le logiciel irender pour sketchup. J'ai recu aujourd'hui un mail qui dit que ma commande... Vais-je devoir attendre encore longtemps? merci de me repondre rapidement.


wann kommt der link zum download und alle weiteren angaben wie z.B. Seriennummer usw. ?? Besten Dank

On-line translation works very well these days. Go ahead and send questions in the language you prefer. We will translate them using Google Translate, and respond as best we can.
On-line Übersetzung funktioniert sehr gut in diesen Tagen. Gehen Sie vor und senden Sie Fragen in der Sprache, die Sie bevorzugen. Wir übersetzen sie mit Hilfe von Google Translate und reagieren so gut wir können.
On-line de traducción funciona muy bien en estos días. Vaya por delante y enviar sus preguntas en el idioma que prefiera. Vamos a traducir usando Google Translate, y responder de la mejor manera posible.
On-line traduzione funziona molto bene in questi giorni. Vai avanti e inviare le vostre domande nella lingua che preferite. Noi tradurre con l'utilizzo di Google Translate, e di rispondere nel miglior modo possibile.
Le traduction en ligne fonctionne très bien ces jours-ci. Allez-y et envoyer des questions dans la langue que vous préférez. Nous allons traduire à l'aide de Google Translate, et de répondre du mieux que nous le pouvons.