Lake Lugano House - Vray for Sketchup

You might recognise this house from a previous post on this blog, Lake Lugano House by Jame Pickford. This one is different in that it was all modelled, assembled and rendered within Skethcup using Vray for Sketchup. There is a really excellent tutorial on Ronen Bekerman dot com which I encourage you to go and read.

Interesting to see how he uses HDRi Skies (1957 Dusk Clear) in Vray for Sketchup and uses proxies to handle complex geometry and to see all of the other ways in which Vray for Sketchup has developed since I last used it several years ago.

Great work by David Santos of LAB Visualizacion

Sketchup Extensions

With the recent release of Sketchup 2013 and its brand new extension warehouse it seems like a good time to do a round up of my favourite extensions (or as I used to refer to them, plugins). There are hundreds of extensions available but these are the ones I actually use regularly. I'm looking forward to discovering new ones through the extension warehouse as it makes extensions more accessible and easier to use. RoundCorner

RoundCorner is great for adding bevels and fillets to geometry, in fact I prefer the workflow to how you would normally do it in 3dsmax.

As sketchup doesnt have any kind of modifier stack though, I like to 'hide' the non modified version of the object inside the component. As it is hidden it won't be exported as geometry and it allows you to go back easily and make changes. In the image above, I have a hidden copy of the window frame 2m to the right that I can move back into place and redo the bevel/fillet if needed.


A great plugin for doors and windows, you can take a group and stretch it but retain the width of the frame. In the image below, the original door is on the left, the fredoscale stretch version next, and the scaled one on the right. It can do a LOT more but I just use it for this one function.


Push pull non planar surfaces! Occasionally a god-send, for example extruding terrain surfaces (pavements, roads etc). Can work according to the surface normals or on an axis.


Right click a component, 'select all instances'. Very handy.


A whole set of curvy line drawing tools. Can also divide up splines into equal length segments which is useful when making contours.


Good for simple lofts between two lines.


For copying components along splines. Useful for stairs, balustrades, fences etc.


I recently had to make some curved windows, this plugin made the process very simple. Make your component as usual, then draw a curve to bend it, easy!

I haven't had a chance to see which of these extensions are available on the new extension warehouse yet, but will update this article with new links once they are online. Might also add new handy extensions to this list so feel free to let me know which ones you find handy!

Finally, if you are new to Sketchup, Ronen's blog post from 2009 9 Sketchup tips.. is still essential reading to get you off to a good start.