Chapter 18

Composing Light

Light in a rendering sets the mood and focus. It helps accentuate the appearance of materials and contrast surfaces. Exterior light achieving good focus and contrast produces better renderings (Fig. 18.1). Compose light before you render so that your lighting is deliberate and well-directed.

Most IRPs use a setting called Physical Sky that references the SketchUp Shadow menu to generate daylight/exterior lighting (Fig. 18.1, Fig.18.2, Fig. 18.3). For many IRPs, using the Shadow menu is the default and only option for day lighting.

Fig. 18.1: Twilight Render (v1) Lighting menu with the Physical Sky option


Fig. 18.2: Shaderlight Lighting menu with the Physical Sky option


Fig. 18.3: SU Podium (v2) Lighting menu with Physical Sky option


This chapter has three sections covering the overall process of setting light:

  • Composing Light Tools: Tools and suggestions for adjusting light
  • Composing Light Strategies: Guides for setting light based on model types
  • Composing the Light: A step-by-step outline of the process

Using the SketchUp Shadow menu to set lighting is essential for most exterior renderings (Fig. 18.4). Although some IRPs have image-based lighting ...

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