We’ve been big fans of Google SketchUp, since before they purchased it (and made it free) back in 2006. Every year we’ve seen improvements made to the product and last September saw the release of SketchUp 8, with a handful of excellent new features.
One of the great features of SketchUp is the many plugins that it supports. One of the newer plugins on the block is called Shaderlight and it’s quite amazing. It’s one of a variety of products that help turn your SketchUp rendering into a very photorealistic image. For some examples, check out the images below which were both created by “Sully114”:
Those photos are very impressive, and the Shaderlight folks have put together a video to show you how it works. It’s a great demo of the system, showing how powerful it is and yet how easy it is to use.
As with most products like this, you can try out a free version of it to see how well you like it, and then upgrade to the Pro version ($199) if you’re wanting more out of it.