Top 18 Rendering Plugins for SketchUp

Top 18 Rendering Plugins for SketchUpSketchUp rendering plugins are some of the most discussed topics in digital modeling. Because of SketchUp’s intuitive and open design, a number of plugins have been created to help enhance the software and to open any hidden potential.

Rendering plugins are one of the reasons why SketchUp is used by architects and interior designers so frequently. These may help with creating photorealistic images, introducing a more comprehensive material library, or even employ tools that aren’t available in the basic SketchUp.

Top 18 Rendering Plugins for SketchUp

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Below, we’ve listed SketchUp rendering plugins that help both beginners and professionals alike. We’ve put down as diverse as a selection as possible, taking into account budget, skill level, and computer requirements. Best of luck-and enjoy!


Thea is a SketchUp rendering plugin best used for the effects it provides for material design and effects.

The renderer has fog and cloud presets, allows Sketchup to run an interactive render via Interactive Region Rendering. This allows designers to easily select and render a desired part of the design while getting automatic response from Sketchup.

Additionally, Thea provides broad material libraries for your different needs. Be it layering, tone-mapping, displacement, or procedural textures. These libraries can be accessed in SketchUp’s Paint Bucket tool and inside the Content Browser.

In addition, additional libraries can be downloaded in either SketchUp or Thea format, giving you more options in effectively doing your Sketchup rendering plugins.

Twilight Render

Twilight Render is like the training wheels of all SketchUp rendering plugins. Although it provides a materials library, its resources may not incorporate all textures. However, if you’re getting used to SketchUp and learning to create photorealistic models, Twilight Render is a great place to start learning the ins and outs of materials.

Twilight Rendering plugins allows you to work on your renders inside the SketchUp app. This gives you zero distorted geometry or lost textures. To highlight how beginner-friendly Twilight Render is, they have a render setting called “Easy”.

It’s often noted as the best free SketchUp rendering plugins as it already gives so much to users. However, Twilight Render has also upped their game and can now be a useful tool for professional designers via Twilight Render V2 Professional.

SU Podium

Although it’s not necessarily free, SU Podium is a useful Sketchup rendering plugins. It allows users to create beautiful and photorealistic models.

SU Podium’s library provides realistic materials, sun and sky effects, and artificial lights. One of the pros of using this sketchup plugin is its simple-yet efficient-UI. Rendering your SketchUp models with SU Podium won’t be much of a hassle.

Some of SU Podium’s features require all of your computer’s processors. This allows one to create high quality images quickly.

SU Podium has also introduced panorama rendering. They refer to this as Podium Panoramas, which can be viewed in virtual reality (VR) in a spherical environment-perfect for creating that special edge for your model.


Vray for SketchUp is one of the most popular rendering plugins in the digital modeling industry. Most profession digital modelers use it for its ability to bring SketchUp to its full potential.

Aside from its wide array of textures to choose from (thanks to their material editor), and their powerful render engine, VRay’s UI is user-friendly. This makes it easier to adapt to the plug-in, allowing users to create photorealistic images faster.

VRay isn’t the cheapest software out there. But considering all the tools and resources available at your fingerprints, it’s a very good investment.

Read : 5 Best Free V-Ray Plugins Alternative

Brighter 3D

Brighter 3D is one of the most unique SketchUp rendering plugins in the industry. The software renders noiselessly-a feat as it does a lot of heavy work.

Brighter 3D supports a variety of lighting work and has different modes to choose from. Users have the option to render in an unbiased setting via progressive unbiased mode, giving a previews or complete images quickly. Users can also get the most out of Brighter 3D’s Regular Mode- which guarantees that the renders are created in a very fine scale-leaving them undetectable to the human eye.

Brighter 3D also has a materials library containing 100 materials, and doesn’t require a fancy graphics card since they fully utilize CPU power via multitasking and optimization of processors. A trial version is available, where users can test out the software for free for seven days.

IRender nXt

IRender nXt claims that it’s the only SketchUp plugin you’ll ever need. Aside from photorealistic image renders and output quality, IRender nXt provides features that help productivity. It integrates into SketchUps UI easily, making it more user-friendly. Time-saving features such as post-render processing and saving of 3D model settings are also available.

The plug-in allows beginners and veterans alike to make the most out of SketchUp. Extensive object libraries gives users a number of material and plant choices. Lighting scenarios are also taken into account.

IRender nXt gives image previews readily, and even allows users to adjust the rendering time to fit their convenience. To try it out first-hand, a 30 day free trial is available.


Maxwell is a plug-in that caters to nearly every major modeling software-including SketchUp. Installation is easy, and Maxwell seamlessly integrates with SketchUp. This gives users the best of both SketchUp and Maxwell.

With the Maxwell plug-in, users get to experience their interactive preview engine, real camera model, and Maxwell’s Production Engine. Bonus features are access to Maxwell’s intensive materials editor and network tools, Multilight (an exclusive Maxwell feature that allows users to save an image in different lighting conditions with one render), and Post-Production.

Interested users can try Maxwell by contacting them online.


LightUp is one of the simplest SketchUp rendering plugins available. The plugin focuses on lighting scenarios. It’s dedication to this area of rendering allows it to create realistic lighting scenarios. This is because LightUp uses object-based rendering, which allows results to be instantly viewed inside the SketchUp Window.

Previews and effects are immediately applied to the work at hand, making it a perfect addition to designers. LightUp also allows fly-through movies (perfect for model presentations), and even has file exports that can be played in web browsers.

If you’re looking for a simple but effective SketchUp rendering plugins that doesn’t sacrifice speed and quality, LightUp is something that you should try. Interested users can avail LightUp for free for 30 days.


LumenRT provides a robust and easy to understand toolset that works best for designers and artists who rely heavily on landscape and terrain to improve the realism of their rendered scenes. LumenRT doesn’t actually have a specific plugin for SketchUp, but the models you build in Google’s modeling software can be easily imported into Lumen, where it can be set up with the material libraries, lighting and entourage capabilities of LumenRT.


Named after one of the most well-known Italian Baroque painters, Caravaggio 3D is a simple, lean rendering plugins that is definitely worth a look. They offer a free trial (200 renderings) to see if it’s something that might add value to your work. The plugin works directly with your SketchUp model and has material and lighting editors for fine tweaking and final production.

Indigo Renderer

Indigo boasts one of the most impressive real-world lighting physics models, even when pitted against some of the bigger names on this list. The plugin for SketchUp works just as you’d hope, and will transform your models from blocky lines and shapes into magnificent works of art. Yes, it is that good. If you’re looking for a product to do most of the work for you and make you look like a seasoned professional, jump now and give Indigo Renderer a try.


ArielVision is an easy to use SketchUp plugin that creates photorealistic rendering plugins of your models, from inside SketchUp. It’s made for designers who want to create beautifully rendered images without the hassle of complex settings. Powerful and simple to use. 30 Day Free Trial


This fully featured SketchUp renderer easily creates photorealistic images. It’s fast, powerful and affordable.

Read : SketchUp 2020 Pro Download Free


Shaderlight is an interactive, photorealistic rendering extension for SketchUp. Whether for work or fun, Shaderlight enables you to create high quality images on your desktop or in the cloud. Shaderlight has a choice of rendering modes, and intuitive tools to optimize your workflow that will bring your designs to life.


RenderLights is powerful virtual reality software providing a simple user interface that enables you to import models from SketchUp and construct an impressive visualization. Features include real time global illumination, real time radiosity, stereoscopic 3D, lightmaps, emissive materials, real time DOF (Depth of Field), and more.

Bloom Unit

Bloom Unit, an Interactive Cloud Based rendering plugins for SketchUp, enables you to create photo-real scenes using the power of cloud computing. Bloom Unit generates physically accurate images quickly and easily as there are no complex settings or parameters to configure.


Render[in] is a fully integrated, real-time radiosity engine for SketchUp Make and Pro users. It’s powered by Artlantis 6.5’s rendering engine to give SketchUp users high-definition, photorealistic renderings in an easy-to-use application. Render[in]’s global illumination engine improves images for a better perception of colors, textures, and materials, and with both the ISO and Shutter parameters, it’s easy to fine-tune a scene’s lighting.


AmbientOcclusion is a fast, easy to use rendering extension for SketchUp. You can create visually compelling previews of 3D models, highlighting space and relations with other objects.

Whatever SketchUp rendering plugins you choose, the only limit you really have is your creativity and skill. Each plugin we’ve mentioned above carries into different needs for different designers-the best SketchUp render plugin may vary from one person to another. So, get to practicing and exploring-who knows what you’ll create.

So the information we can convey, hopefully useful about Top 18 Rendering Plugins for SketchUp above.

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