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Putting It All Together / Photo-Realistic Rendering Preview

5.5 Putting it All Together-Photo-Realistic Rendering Preview

0:03 Let’s now combine several of the key techniques to see how they work together as a complete workflow.

0:10 So back in our park model, we know that we have three different tree types: a small park tree, a medium-size street tree, and a large existing tree that’s being preserved.

0:26 We need to find both 2D and 3D components that will work for each.

0:30 For the 2D trees, let’s keep using the two simple FaceMe trees from our previous exercises and then add a third found online to represent the large existing tree.

0:45 For the 3D trees, choose anything you think will work best for your individual needs.

0:52 Since I’ll be demonstrating some rendering techniques in this lesson, the Laubwerk proxy trees will work the best for me here.

0:59 I also like clearly seeing the canopy size and shape as I use that as a design element while I’m choosing and laying out my tress.

1:09 And again, while the cost of purchasing plant libraries might seem high at first, when compared to the time it takes to find good free plants and convert them to proxies in order to keep the model geometry down…

1:21 …it actually ends up costing me more NOT to use these trees.

1:28 That said, since this park is in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve chosen two different types of maples for the street and existing trees and a ginko for the interior tree.

1:41 Here’s a preview of what thes look like rendered.

1:48 And again, a detailed look when zoomed in close.

2:01 Now since our park only has so many trees planned for it and given the fact we already have them laid out in CAD, we’ll use the ‘swap and drop’ technique again versus placing them manually or using an extension like 'Skatter'.

2:18 Let’s copy the 2D trees one at a time and then go into the CAD tree block and place them inside...

2:27 …aligning the trunk to the component’s center.

2:42 Then we’ll create and assign the tree to a new 2D [tree] layer for toggling on and off as needed.

2:50 Then we can do the same step with the 3D or render trees.

2:55 If you’re following along at home and don’t have a render engine or Laubwerk downloaded and installed, go ahead use one of the low poly PNG texture trees from the tree review exercise file.

3:28 Now we can use Chris Fullmer’s ‘Scale and Rotate’ extension to break up the uniformity just a bit.

3:36 With all the trees selected, find ‘Scale and Rotate Multiple’ from the extensions dropdown.

3:44 Let's use the same settings as before: ‘0.8’ for minimum scale and ‘1.2’ for maximum.

3:52 Then ’30’ for minimum rotation and ‘300’ for maximum...and enter.

3:58 Hopefully now the repetition of using the same tree[s] over and over is reduced some.

4:06 Don’t forget that Laubwerk also comes with 3 different varieties and ages for each species...

4:12 I could make some of these trees unique and swap that out if I felt it needed more variation.

4:23 Next, we can drop our trees onto our park surface.

4:28 I’ll first turn off the ‘L-Trees’ CAD layer asince we don’t really need so show it at the moment.

4:34 Then select all the trees and right-click, and choose ‘Drop at intersection’.

4:46 Let’s now utilize 'Skatter', but this time, in a slightly different way than we did previously since our trees are already laid out for us from the CAD base.

4:55 Let’s instead skatter some grass on the planting areas as this model is an early concept and we’re not quite ready to show individual shrubs and their spacing.

5:07 Adding grass with Skatter is super easy.

5:10 This does however require that you bypass SketchUp and send the grass itself to render engine.

5:16 To emphasize this point, check out this one grass patch component that’s been loaded as full geometry into the model.

5:24 It’s made up of over 60,000 polygons in just this 1 foot by 1 foot little area.

5:30 Imaging trying to load 10,000 square feet or more of this grass component.

5:37 That said, let’s add some grass to our planting areas now.

5:41 Instead of starting with the main Skatter dialog box, we can start in the Skatter library and choose the type of grass we want.

5:49 Let’s use the ‘Short Grass’ for the main interior areas and the borders.

5:54 For the low interior grass, make sure to choose ‘proxies’ and ‘render only’ and then ‘load’…

6:03 And then select the planting group and wait while it loads the settings.

6:11 We can see the red preview boxes but this time, since we’re using the ‘render only’ setting, when we exit out of Skatter the red preview disappears.

6:23 It’s a bit tricky as you have to remember that the grass really still is there even though we can’t see it.

6:32 You can always go and check to see if there are any Skatter setups in a given model by clicking on render list.

6:41 You can also turn off setups here if you for some reason want to keep them in your model but don’t want them to show or render.

6:52 Let’s make sure we’ve saved any changes and then exit out of Skatter to then jump back into the library again.

6:60 Let’s make sure we’ve saved any changes and then exit out of Skatter to then jump back into the library again.

6:60 This time, find ‘Short Grass 01 Border’ from the library assets and check ‘proxies’ and ‘render only’ again and then ‘load’.

7:11 Again, we'll select our same planting areas as the skatter base.

7:16 Using these two setups ensures a full and even coverage of our grass areas.

7:27 We’ve done a lot of work on faith up to this point given the fact that our efficient and optimized rendering process has required us to load assets from outside of SketchUp.

7:37 If you’re new to rendering, then don’t expect everything to work perfectly the first time.

7:42 This whole process has taken a lot of trial and error to work the kinks out…which is why I’m confident we’ll get a nice result from our initial render pass.

7:54 The rendering engine used for this demo is 'VRAY' using the default settings.

7:60 I’ve done no additional work to the materials, lighting, environment or camera settings for this model.

8:07 And as you can see, we’ve got a pretty good-looking render started. Of course aided mostly by our vegetation choices.

8:22 That’s it for this preview lesson on how vegetation components, placing or Skattering objects throughout the model...

8:29 ...and sending high-quality assets straight to the rendering engine, all work together to create an efficient process with a nice result.

8:37 It’s also nice to know that rendering photo-realistic views is option available to us at any point in the process but isn’t required.

8:46 The work that we’ve done up to this point utilizing proper modeling techniques, choosing good materials, and locating and creating the right furnishings and entourage, ensures even views exported straight from SketchUp look good as well.

9:08 Let’s wrap this lesson up by checking our current geometry count in the ‘Model Info’ window under 'Statistics'.

9:16 It’s showing about 100,000 polygons total which is pretty low given the quality of our initial render pass.

9:24 This also means that we can continue to add more detail with little concern for losing performance at this point.