Telluride Ski and Golf - Case Study

Carving it up in Telluride with IRender nXt

In this case study we’re in Colorado, USA, and the beautiful mountain town of Telluride. Known for its stunning setting, Telluride is a ski destination in the winter, while festivals and hiking draw visitors during the summer.

Telluride, Colorado: Doing winter right

We talked to Blake Builder, Director of Facilities for Telluride Ski and Golf, who is a user of our IRender nXt SketchUp rendering extension. Blake is a graduate of the University of Colorado (CU Boulder), College of Environmental Design. After college he moved to Arizona and worked in construction, framing houses for 10 years. During this time he started designing at night and taught himself AutoCAD. Once he mastered AutoCAD, Blake went to work for an architectural practice where he designed resorts and high end custom homes, among other building types. BIM was in its infancy and SketchUp appeared on the scene providing an easy to use tool that could be used for design presentations.

Blake moved to Telluride in 2008 and started working for the ski resort where he’s responsible for new build, remodeling, and maintenance projects. He does all of his drawings in-house.

How are you using renderings in your work?

Part of my role involves developing presentation packages to show to various local authorities to get capital spend approval, and for public viewing. It became apparent that I needed to raise the bar on my presentations from the somewhat cartoonish output from SketchUp to photo-real. Having a photorealistic model makes it easier for the town council or review board to relate to whatever project I’m seeking approval for. IRender nXt has enabled me to do this.

Can you share an example of a rendering from a recent project?

Sure. These renderings are from a 30-unit affordable housing development that I modeled in SketchUp and rendered with IRender nxt.

Building 1.png

Building 2.png

Building 3.png

Why did you choose IRender nXt?

When I started looking for a rendering program I searched the internet, identified several I was interested in and then signed up for trials. Several factors influenced my choice of IRender nXt including price, ease of use, and the quality of the photorealistic output. Some of the more expensive rendering software I tried didn’t generate the same quality output as IRender. I’m very happy with your software, and your support is great.

What do you like about IRender nXt?

I like that it’s simple to use, but also gives me a range of controls so I can make adjustments to quickly achieve the look I’m after. I don’t want to spend copious amounts of time messing around to get a great rendering, and I’ve found IRender strikes a great balance between adjustment, speed, and quality.

If you know materials, you know what you want your model to look like. I usually get physical sample materials which I take photos of, or download materials from websites, to create and use my own materials within SketchUp. Then I can render them through IRender and the results are consistent with reality. Having said that, I also appreciate the materials you provide in IRender as they give me added flexibility.

You’ve become quite a proficient user of IRender. Are there any aspects of the software that you’re trying to use more efficiently?

I’ve been experimenting recently with my own photographic background images instead of stock backgrounds. I’ve become pretty good at using photos I take on site as the background to my designs. Here’s a rendering of a monument designed for the ski area using a photo of the actual backdrop where it will be located.
Monument 2.png

Also, my work has mainly been exteriors, but I’m going to be doing more interior remodels and am looking forward to learning how to best leverage IRender for those types of scenes.

Thank you, Blake! We appreciate you sharing about your work and how you’re taking your designs to the next level with IRender nXt.

For more information on Render Plus Software visit

Would you like us to profile one of your projects? Whether you’re a rendering novice or a master, it’s always interesting to see what you’re rendering with any of our renderers (IRender nXt, ArielVision, Allura, nXtRender, AccuRender)! Email Render Plus Support Email and we’ll contact you.