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Renditioner compatible with sketchup 2014 available in the general discussion thread - SKETCHUP 2014.

Interior Rendering Too Dark
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* October 13, 2009, 12:35:19 PM
I started using Sketchup a month ago and recenly discovered IDX Renditioner.  This kitchen is my second practice project and the renderings keep coming out too dark.   Here's a run down of images below:
 
Image 01 - The sample photo I used to create my SU model from
Image 02 - The SU scene
Image 03 - A rendering with natural light only (no artificial lights), shadows on, and a bright background image
Image 04 - A rendering with natural and artificial lights (about 30 lights on the ceiling), shadows on, and a SU modeled landscape background
 
I've done at least 30 renderings trying to get just one that's evenly lit.  I've tried adding several different light types of various lumens in strategic and evenly spaced locations, but there are still several areas that come out almost black.  I've tried rendering with just natural light and it still comes out very dark. I've tried changing the IDX material properties of almost every surface but still too dark. Ultimately, I'd like to get a rendering that looks similar to Image 01 sample photo, nice and evenly lit all over. Any advice?

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« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 02:56:11 PM by wmanning »

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* October 13, 2009, 02:40:36 PM
#1
Wow.  You've tried a lot of renders.  This is a common problem so you're not alone.  Let me start by explaining some of the Renditioner issues that cause it and then maybe the concept for getting a solution might be easier to grasp.

Renditioner has a built-in "tone mapper."  It is a bit like an autoexposure on a digital camera.  It looks for the brightest spots, like a glowing light against a wall, and then adjust the tone of all the colors, brightness, and contrast according to that bright spot.  It tries to keep an area from "burning out" or just becoming a white blob.  For most tastes, myself included, this adjust things too dark.

The consequences of the tone mapping are that if a render is too dark, and you choose to increase the brightness of a light to compensate, you could have the opposite effect:  you can make it darker still.  What happens is that the brighter light causes everything to be adjusted down in tone mapping, making the contrast between light and dark areas even more concentrated.  So the dark areas become darker...

The key, therefore, to getting a more even lighting is to ensure that you don't have too many lights of extremely bright levels, and to adjust the settings so that the Natural Light slider isn't too far in one area or another.  If it is only natural light and the slider is 100% to the left, then the sunlight is brighter, but the contrast is stronger.  If the render is all artificial, then it depends a lot of how powerful each light is.

In some situations it is easiest to get a balanced look by making sure there are no lights that are really strong, then try one or two quick, small, preview renders (set to Lighting Preview) and see if adjusting the Natural Light slider can balance out the natural and artificial effectively.  Maybe have the slider in the middle, then try with it one or two ticks to the left.  You might also like trying a different lighting condition like Cloudy, but then moving the lighting slider one or two more ticks to the left.

If you can get a rather balanced light, it may still be too dark.  Often the fastest way to get the light levels right are to then use a bit of quick post processing.  I find that I can brighten the image in Photoshop or The GIMP quickly by using the LEVELS command (rather than brightness/contrast).

-- William

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* October 13, 2009, 02:54:36 PM
#2
This problem with Tone Mapping that I keep mentioning seems to be much worse on the PC than on the Mac version.  So I'm hoping you are using a PC, in which case let me invite you, and any other users to download something we built in the labs.  It is not a fully tested released version, but I believe it is solid, and might provide relief for some of the dark render issues.

The build includes a Brightness and Contrast control on the Image Controls dialog.  That is the toolbar menu item that has the height and width arrows.  It is where you set the render window size.

The Brightness and Constrast controls found here are used BEFORE rendering.  They are not for post-processing, but instead set the levels used by the Tone Mapping engine.  (We can't just turn it off.)

The default position for each slider is right in the middle.  To make a brighter render I actually recommend trying to move the slider a bit to the right, not a lot.  If 0 is all the way to the left, 50 is default, and 100 is 100% to the right I would say start by setting the Brightness at about 60-70% and the Contrast at 50-60%.  Then see what works for you.

To install this build you need to first (1) download the zipped folder, (2) unzip the folder, (3) open the folder and double-click on the file Setup.exe -- a message will come up saying there is another version of Renditioner on the computer and it will prompt you to uninstall the file.  Click YES to let the application uninstall the file, and then it will proceed with the installation.  The installer should read the Serial Number you are currently using, whether a trial number of full license.  If it does not, for some reason, just enter the serial number that you have in your download email.

The file -- FOR pc only -- can be downloaded here:
http://downloads.idx-design.com/RenditionerBeta/Renditioner-1-15-B78.zip

I hope this helps.  Let me know what you think.  This is version 1.15 rather than 1.1, so if you post further questions please be sure to state which version of Renditioner you are using!

Good luck,
William

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« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 03:11:27 PM by wmanning »

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* October 14, 2009, 12:10:17 PM
#3
BDesigns, Go HERE to see how to light your ceiling. Example of IDX Render with balanced lighting below SU image:



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« Last Edit: October 15, 2009, 12:44:46 AM by honoluludesktop »

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* October 14, 2009, 02:54:52 PM
#4
Another possible solution is if the ceiling or walls happen to include a unique texture.  You can set that texture to Glow, then because a standard Glow material finish would be too bright, use the Reflectance Slider to reduce the amount of Glow.  Because Glow doesn't include reflectance we made the reflectance slider adjust the intensity of the glow.  Move the slider 1/3 of the way to the left and you will see a brighter wall and ceiling without it appearing to be neon or anything.

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* November 30, 2009, 07:10:31 AM
#5
The update worked..i cant speak for the Original poster...but it really works for me.


thanks 2 the update...i am currently seeing a great render develop

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* December 03, 2009, 05:38:23 PM
#6

To install this build you need to first (1) download the zipped folder, (2) unzip the folder, (3) open the folder and double-click on the file Setup.exe -- a message will come up saying there is another version of Renditioner on the computer and it will prompt you to uninstall the file.  Click YES to let the application uninstall the file, and then it will proceed with the installation.  The installer should read the Serial Number you are currently using, whether a trial number of full license.  If it does not, for some reason, just enter the serial number that you have in your download email.

The file -- FOR pc only -- can be downloaded here:
http://downloads.idx-design.com/RenditionerBeta/Renditioner-1-15-B78.zip

I hope this helps.  Let me know what you think.  This is version 1.15 rather than 1.1, so if you post further questions please be sure to state which version of Renditioner you are using!

Good luck,
William

Hey all! I was looking for an answer to my problem about the lighting of
interior rooms, and came across this thread - very helpful :) I thought
I'd give that link a shot, however when I download it, and uninstall my
previous version, it gives me an error that my serial code is incorrect. I
know I'm putting it in correctly so that isn't the problem - wondering if
anyone might know what the problem is. Thanks :)

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* December 04, 2009, 07:23:47 AM
#7
ah, this is the full version rather than the Express version.  So if you register for the full version trial on the IDX Website it will send you an email with the trial serial number.  If you have a purchased version, that serial number would work too. 

Unfortunately I don't have a similar version of the Express product, or Mac versions...

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* May 11, 2010, 12:48:11 PM
#8
ah, this is the full version rather than the Express version.  So if you register for the full version trial on the IDX Website it will send you an email with the trial serial number.  If you have a purchased version, that serial number would work too. 

Unfortunately I don't have a similar version of the Express product, or Mac versions...

tX 4 THE TIPS. IT CHANGES ALOT

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* May 12, 2010, 08:40:09 AM
#9
Thank you wmanning...  :)

looking trough the forum I see you give a lot of very detailed advice, this one here was very urgent for me, and with this patch I got my work into a very acceptable range...

I do interior design, so I tried to work this out by myself without much luck and avoiding sketchup/IDX in production, but this week I had a real necessity to have it straight, I like the results now although I am looking forward for a V2.0 version that might be in the pipe-line ( since I add about 6 months later on the thread)

I miss the settings being memorized, and an even better indoor lighting, it stays hard to get bright results...

once more thanks, this helped me out quite a bit

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* May 30, 2010, 04:19:57 AM
#10
Hi William.

I downloaded the link you posted. Unfortunately, after I uninstalled the old version of IDX, and i tried to install the version you posted, I could not use my old serial number. What should I do? Should I redownload the 1.1 version and use its new serial number?

Appreciate the help.

Thanks.
Neko

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* May 30, 2010, 04:35:08 AM
#11
I am on Windows XP, using Google Sketchup 7 and was previously using the IDX renditioner express free before I uninstalled it.

Thanks.

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* May 30, 2010, 12:13:52 PM
#12
ah, the IDX Renditioner Express Free version doesn't have a 1.15 equivalent.  So with this one you'd need to use either the Full version trial s/n -- go to the www.idx-design.com and sign up for the trial, use this build but the SN that comes with the trial email.  Or, a full purchased SN. 

Sorry about that.

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* May 30, 2010, 11:26:07 PM
#13
Thanks. Not a problem.

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* July 11, 2010, 08:28:28 PM
#14
The file -- FOR pc only -- can be downloaded here:
http://downloads.idx-design.com/RenditionerBeta/Renditioner-1-15-B78.zip

I just purchased the full (Mac) version - I was impressed by the easy and quality of the free version.
Since your post is already several months old; will this option be available for the Mac as well?
How do I find out if there are updates available?
My version says 1.1.02 ... seems somewhat outdated since you're already talking about 1.15 ... and that was last year October ...?!

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