SketchUp Studio Unpacked: The Go-To Solution for Professionals

In this blog we will introduce you to SketchUp Studio, explain who it’s for and what it’s capable of. We will focus on your workflow in Studio and demonstrate to you some of the most popular features of the SketchUp Studio offering: Rendering, Point Cloud Modelling and Revit Interoperability.

What is SketchUp Studio?

Sketchup Studio is a complete survey, design, visualisation and tech drawing toolset for the modern-day designer and AEC Professional. It is a toolset including everything from SketchUp Pro with the addition of V-Ray, Scan Essentials, and the Revit Importer. Studio also enables interoperability with Revit projects, and is compatible with all other and previous SketchUp versions.

Who is it for?

SketchUp Studio is ideal for Architects, Designers, Landscape Architects, Contractors, Restoration Specialists and Interior Designers. Studio fits well in medium to big sized companies with generalists and specialists who multi-task with an array of tools for different use cases and workflows.

Using SketchUp in your workflows

The most crucial aspect is how you utilise SketchUp—whether as a comprehensive, end-to-end, turnkey toolset or as a component of a broader suite of tools.

“I find SketchUp easy to learn and it enables me to design small details efficiently. This program is great for fast-paced industries as it helps me deliver ideas with ease. Truly, it lives up to its name – SketchUp.”

Mpumi Zwane, Luxury Retail Designer, Klein Concepts

Incorporating Point Clouds

The Studio suite enhances SketchUp Pro’s capabilities by offering import features for .dwg and .dxf files. Additionally, it incorporates the use of a Lidar Scanner to generate point cloud scans of existing building spaces, allowing you to accurately overlay new designs. This method ensures no detail from the existing structure is overlooked, significantly accelerating your workflow. There is no need to manually scan old floorplans, take on-site measurements, or compare these with existing floorplans, as everything is visible in the point cloud.

Seamless Collaboration

Studio enables you to use your iPad to scan with the SketchUp for iPad app, use a handheld scanner or other scanners with millimetre accuracy. Working remotely on a point cloud model allows your Johannesburg team to collaborate on a Cape Town site without requiring everyone to visit the project site in person. Similarly, an ongoing retail client can be supported with point cloud models of every location, providing timely insights that facilitate decision-making wherever and whenever necessary.

When integrated into a broader suite of tools, Studio allows you to sync Revit models and other suppliers’ 2D and 3D information, enhancing both collaboration and efficiency. Using Trimble Connect, you can unite all stakeholders within the same model, facilitating real-time communication and collaboration in a dynamic digital web environment. This streamlines the process, making virtual meetings highly effective and significantly saving time.

These workflows enable you to work effectively from site locations or remotely across the continent, ensuring seamless delivery of your clients’ projects.

SketchUp 2024 Release

Improved Visualisation and performance

With SketchUp 2024, you can sketch your plans and designs, creating stunning visuals. The enhanced graphics engine speeds up your workflow and supports more complex geometries in your models. Additionally, the new Ambient Occlusion setting allows you to present pre-render visualisations to your clients, enhancing depth perception and realism for a more impactful presentation.

No Ambient Occlusion vs Ambient Occlusion

Render with ease

When you’re ready to render your project, you can use V-Ray for SketchUp directly within the software. V-Ray’s rendering toolkit is suitable for both beginners and experts. If you’re starting off, V-Ray Vision provides a one-click solution that delivers real-time rendering feedback, making it an excellent tool for newcomers. You can modify the real-time render using intuitive sliders to adjust lighting, exposure, and camera movement within the scene. This user-friendly approach allows anyone to quickly start rendering and exporting images and animations.

For more experienced users, a more comprehensive render engine with expert features is available. Chaos Cosmos provides a vast library with over 5,000+ assets, including more than 1,000+ materials. After updating your SketchUp concept with V-Ray materials, you can easily add props, characters, and vehicles to create lifelike scenes. With manual controls for camera settings, environment, and render quality, you can fine-tune every detail of your output. Rendering can be started with the batch render tool on your local machine or by using Chaos Cloud, which uses multi-GPU cloud rendering to accelerate your workflow. Final renders can be fine-tuned in the V-Ray Frame Buffer window, which offers layer control for post-processing enhancements such as lens effects, denoisers, sharpen/blur settings, and a light-mix tool that allows you to relight your scene without the need for re-rendering.

“The addition of V-Ray rendering has made my design experience more enjoyable. Being able to bring my sketches to life is empowering and enhances my creativity, which not only benefits me but also my clients.”

Keith Makombora, Visualisation Specialist, Klein Concepts

Diffusion 1

Diffusion 2

The SketchUp Studio offers a comprehensive package solution that is significantly better than the sum of its parts. It is quick to learn, creative, affordable, and offers an end-to-end, point cloud-friendly experience. Fully integrated into the design and building industry, it meets a wide range of professional needs efficiently.

Don’t miss the upcoming SketchUp webinar:

We look forward to demonstrating the Studio workflow in the coming weeks using a real-life scenario showcasing an office renovation project. Subscribe below and make sure you don’t miss out!

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This post was written by Joshua de Bruin an expert in SketchUp for over 10 years who consults in the building, interior and advertising industry. He lives a full life with 5 kids but is always excited to teach someone the joy of working with SketchUp.


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