Make your SketchUp models more realistic with Shaderlight

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”:

Boat Interior


Villa Interior


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.

The Year 2010 in Google Earth

Google Earth had another fantastic year in 2010 in terms of new features along with an amazing amount of content! The amount of new content Google has added in a single year is almost too large to comprehend. We wish we had detailed statistics on just how big it is, but Google doesn’t usually release their content statistics. New imagery released during the year covered millions of square miles across all seven continents. And, not just current imagery, but in some cases multiple instances for different years going back several decades.

Also in 2010 we saw the release of Google Earth 6 and it’s many great new features, tons of new 3D buildings released covering nearly every major city in the world, Street View was greatly expanded world-wide, SketchUp got some excellent new features, and dozens of applications using the Google Earth plugin were released.

Read the full entry to see our most popular posts and tips on Google Earth from each month in 2010.