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3d Architectural Elevations - Help Needed


Junior Member
Hi All,

I am new to 'designforums' so hello to you all.

I am in need of advice and wisdom as to the best approach to creating 3D photorealistic architectural elevations.

I use AutoCAD in 2D on a daily basis and have some, but limited knowledge of AutoCAD 3D and Google Sketchup. I have tried both to create 3D models but experience difficulties with each, especially when trying to render, so maybe time for some tuition.

I am planning on undertaking a training course on Sketchup 8.0 which will help to generate the 3D models better but I am getting hung up on how to best apply renders etc.

I have a copy of Kerkythea (which looks very intimidating) and have also been checking out end results on Google Images for plug ins for SU like Podium 2 or Twilight Render and standalone suites like Vray and Artlantis.

Can anyone point me in the right direction. I just want to be able to produce photorealistic architectural elevations without a nightmare learning curve that will take months on end.

Price is also a due consideration. I note suites such as Kerkythea are free however the likes of Vray and Artlantis can cost anything between £500-£1000. Plug ins seem reasonably priced in comparison at around £50-£100. Do you get what you pay for with these rendering suites or are free versions just as capable?

I am really lost and many trainers I have spoken to have their own preferences and agendas without being able to direct one way or another. :confused:

It would seem the official training courses also only offer main stream render suite training. Where can you get training on plug ins and Kerkythea for example.

Sorry for the essay, any advice would be greatly appreciated. :)