Watch How to Create Thai Temple Model in SketchUp Pro 2015

Building architectural models from the ground up takes imagination, an eye for detail, and a solid understanding of your tools. In this video, we see a Thai Temple developed in SketchUp 2015 with the addition all the shapes, dimensions, spacing, materials and textures shown.

The video, from JMsketch04’s YouTube channel. It’s longer than most of the videos we share (38:03), but it’s worth the time.

I especially like the order of the modeling with a good use of library assets and a consistent workflow. If you’ve ever tried building a complex models or ones with lots of assets, then you know that you need an efficient process to make sure everything comes together and avoid having to redo work later.

If you’re new to SketchUp modeling or want to learn how to build models more efficiently, then checkout this video.

Cool Video on the Merits of HDRI for 3D Rendering

The images you use as sources and output have a big impact on the realism of your renders. This video from dimensiont on YouTube looks at the value of using HDRI images when doing renderings. I think the video could use a different soundtrack, but the examples given are convincing.


In the video, you’ll see the difference in colors, shadows, lighting and reflections between high dynamic range images and formats like jpeg and png. The video does a great job of making the difference in contrast and detail obvious. It also gives you some hints to the value for different lighting environments though I’d say the video could use more lighting examples.

Watch this video if you’re working on placing made objects and people into real-world environments or struggling to fine-tune a render.

How to Use Normal Mapping to Add Surface Detail to Materials

FluidRay RT tutorial on how to apply surface perturbation in real-time using normal mapping.

Real surfaces are almost never perfectly flat, but present small variation on the surface orientation. To add small scale surface detail, normal maps can be used. This video will cover:

  • Import a normal map image into FluidRay RT
  • Apply Normal Mapping to an existing material
  • Change the amount of surface detail

For more tutorials, check out the Tutorial Page.

How to Mix Complex Materials for Photo-Realistic Renderings

FluidRay RT Tutorial on how to mix the scattering properties of different materials, based on a texture.

In real-life, materials change scattering properties depending on the point on the surface. In FluidRay RT you can mix different scattering properties and select between them based on a texture. This video will cover:

  • Use the “Mix Scattering” node to mix different scattering types
  • Use a checker texture to select between them over the surface

For more tutorials, check out the Tutorial Page.

How to Edit FluidRay RT Materials for Complex Transparency

FluidRay RT Tutorial on how to use an alpha mask texture to make an arbitrary material (in this case metallic paint) transparent in certain areas.

To create a highly detailed scene, sometimes it is necessary to make a particular material transparent in certain areas, to obtain effects such as holes or wear due to rust. In FluidRay RT you can create arbitrary complex transparent materials using a combination of “Mix Scattering”, “Null Scattering” and a texture mask. This video will cover:

  • Use the Material Testbench to create custom materials
  • Use a combination of “Mix Scattering”, “Null Scattering” and a texture mask to achieve transparency

For more tutorials, check out the Tutorial Page.

How to Edit FluidRay RT Material Scattering for Real-Life Look

FluidRay RT tutorial on how to change material appearance by changing the scattering properties.

In real-life, one of the biggest difference between materials is how they scatter light in all directions. A diffuse surface scatters the incoming light uniformly in all directions, a glossy surface scatters incoming light in only a small cone of directions, and a perfectly specular surface (such as a mirror) scatters incoming light in only one direction. Every material in FluidRay RT can choose from a large set of scattering types. This video will cover:

  • Change material scattering types
  • Apply a texture image to the scattering type to make the color change over the surface

For more tutorials, check out the Tutorial Page.

How to Import Materials into FluidRay RT Asset Library for Material Reuse

FluidRay RT tutorial on how to add custom materials to the asset library with a nice image preview.

Creating your custom materials and having them easily available is crucial to speed up your workflow and achieve the desired rendering style. FluidRay RT makes it easy to create custom materials and add them to the the asset library for later reuse. This video will cover:

  • Using the Material Testbench to quickly create new materials
  • Add materials to the asset library
  • Quickly create a preview image of your material
  • Apply materials using drag & drop

For more tutorials, check out the Tutorial Page.

How to Make FluidRay RT Materials Emit Light to Create Luminaries

FluidRay RT Tutorial on how to make a material emit light to create luminaries.

Besides environments, another way to create realistic looking lighting is by creating luminaries. In FluidRay RT, every surface can emit light. To make a lamp for example, just import a model representing the lamp and assign an emissive material to the light bulb. This video will cover:

  • Make a material emit light
  • Adjust emission intensity
  • Quickly apply emissive materials from the library using drag & drop

For more tutorials, check out the Tutorial Page.

How to Edit FluidRay RT Materials to Make Them Transparent

FluidRay RT tutorial on how to use a texture mask to create transparent materials like leaves or billboards.

Complex organic objects such as leaves and plants require certain areas of the model to be transparent. In FluidRay RT a quick way to add transparency to materials is by using the “Obj Scattering” node and connecting an image texture to the “Opaqueness” attribute. This video will cover:

  • Use the Material Testbench to create custom materials
  • Change the scattering property to “Obj Scattering” that supports transparency
  • Assign textures to the proper attributes to create a leaf material

For more tutorials, check out the Tutorial Page.

Bump Mapping Tutorial

And yet another tutorial video on bump mapping.

Edit: this tutorial is outdated, please check the Normal Mapping Tutorial instead.

For more tutorials, check out the Tutorial Page.