Frequently Asked Questions
Twilight Render is a plugin for Trimble SketchUp that allows you to render photo-realistic images of your scene, completely within the SketchUp interface.
What operating systems does Twilight Render support?
Currently Twilight Render supports Vista / Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. Twilight Render supports Apple OSX version 10.8 and higher (Intel CPU only).
What versions of Sketchup does Twilight Render support?
Twilight Render will always support the latest version of SketchUp, as well as at least the last 3 releases, both free and Pro. Currently, Twilight Render supports all the way back to SketchUp 7 but versions of SketchUp prior to v6 are not supported. Twilight Render supports both Google SketchUp and Trimble SketchUp. On Mac OSX, the Twilight Render install requires use of the Install Extension feature available only on SketchUp 8 or later. Refer to our user forum post here for help on installing Twilight Render on OSX.
What are the minimum system specs for running Twilight Render?
Any machine matching the minimum requirements for running SketchUp can render with Twilight Render.
Minimum requirements are not the same as recommended specifications for running Twilight Render. For a decent "starter" rendering machine, we recommend 4GB of RAM, a quad-core/4 thread CPU, and a 1GB RAM GPU independent of the CPU (combination CPU/GPU are common for most entry laptops). For a professional working on 3D graphics we recommend 8GB (or more) of RAM, 4 core/8 thread CPU (or better), 2GB RAM GPU (or more), and SSD hard drives. Twilight Render does not render using GPU, but uses the GPU for hardware acceleration in the post-process function of rendered images such as tone mapping, bloom, vignette, etc.
Is Twilight Render the same as Kerkythea?
No, Twilight Render is not the same as Kerkythea. Kerkythea is a standalone studio that has been continuously developed for many years. Twilight Render is built on the same render engine, Kerkythea Echo 2008, as the current version of Kerkythea, and Twilight Render has a working relationship with it's developers. However, the two products are not the same.
However, because of the shared render engine, Twilight Render is able to use the same material libraries that are available in Kerkythea, and Twilight Render can export to Kerkythea XML format.
What render methods does Twilight Render support?
Twilight Render provides biased and unbiased rendering using the following methods:
- Photon Mapping + Final Gathering - biased render method that automatically supports direct and indirect lighting, and Physical Sun & Sky Directly controlled by SketchUp Sun and Shadow Settings
- Path Tracing, both fixed and progressive - unbiased render method that automatically supports direct and indirect lighting, and Physical Sun & Sky Directly controlled by SketchUp Sun and Shadow Settings, works best with exterior scenes lit only with Sun and Sky
- Bidirectional Path Tracing - unbiased render method that automatically supports direct and indirect lighting, and Physical Sun & Sky Directly controlled by SketchUp Sun and Shadow Settings, works best with interior scenes
- Metropolis Light Transport (MLT) - high-powered, physically advanced unbiased render method that calculates hundreds of light bounces giving you highest quality and accuracy, automatically supports direct and indirect lighting, and Physical Sun & Sky Directly controlled by SketchUp Sun and Shadow Settings, works best with interior scenes, but great for studios and exteriors as well
- MLT/BiPT - combines both unbiased render methods while automatically supporting direct and indirect lighting, and Physical Sun & Sky Directly controlled by SketchUp Sun and Shadow Settings, this render method can solve extremely complex and technical lighting such as splitting of light throu prisms, or lighting a space by only indirect light through as much as a keyhole.
- Many other specialized pass-oriented methods, like Diffuse, Ambient Occlusion, Depth, Alpha Mask, Clay and more.
Does Twilight Render support animation?
Yes, Twilight renders native SketchUp animation as a sequence of images. This means that other plugins for animation will work seamlessly in Twilight. It even supports rendering with SketchyPhysics!
Does Twilight Render support Photometric (IES) lights?
Yes, Twilight supports Photometric (IES) lights, both as Light objects and as Light Emitting materials. Not only will Twilight render your IES lights accurately, it will convert your light's geometry into a 3D representation of the IES data!
Does Twilight Render support Network Rendering?
Currently, Twilight does not make network rendering available. Twilight Render scenes may be exported via .XML and rendered with Kerkythea free render studio's network rendering capability.
Does Twilight Render support Image Based Lighting?
Yes, Twilight Render supports Image Based Lighting using both HDR and standard (jpg, png, etc) images. Environmental lighting is available as spherical and hemispherical images, physical sky, and solid color, among others.
Does Twilight Render support Light Emitting Surfaces?
Yes, Twilight Render supports Light Emitting Surfaces using a quickly and easily applied Material Template you can cause any material, even textures conaining .png images with transparency, to become Light Emitting Surfaces... great for getting the most realistic lighting in the most complex situations. From rendering a TV screen to creating illusions of fire flames.
How do I install Twilight Render Plugin for SketchUp?
Once you have downloaded the Twilight Render installer, run it. Use next to move through the options, accepting the license when prompted. The Version 2 installer will automatically detect all your SketchUp versions. You can choose to install Twilight Render to 1 or all of the listed versions.
If this is the first time you are installing Twilight Render, you may be asked to install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 runtime libraries. These are the dependencies provided by Microsoft and are required by Twilight Render.
You may, but are not required to, uninstall any previous version of Twilight Render using the uninstaller located in the previously installed location, or use the Windows Control Panel to Uninstall a Program.
Apple OSX (SketchUp 8 and newer)
Once you have downloaded the installer, launch SketchUp. Open the Preferences window and select Extensions. At the bottom, click on the Install Extension button. Select the downloaded .rbz installer and follow the prompts.
SketchUp 7 does not provide the Install Extension feature. To install Twilight Render, rename the installer as a .zip file. Extract the contents of the zip file into the SketchUp Plugins folder.
You may uninstall Twilight Render by navigating to the Plugins folder for your specific version of SketchUp and deleting the TwilightV2 folder and the twilight2.rb file.
Where is Twilight Render installed?
On Windows, Twilight Render V2 is installed to the Program Directory, typically C:\Program Files (x86)\Twilight Render 2. A ruby file is installed into the plugins folder of each selected SketchUp version to launch Twilight Render.
On OSX, SketchUp will install the .rbz installer to the system plugin folder at /Library/Application Support/SketchUp 2014/SketchUp/Plugins.
How do I get a pro license for Twilight Render?
- Proceed to the online store and follow the directions there to place your purchase order.
- You email will have a Product Code. Keep this code in a safe place! You will need it to activate Twilight Render now and in the future.
- Then, launch SketchUp and from the main menu, select Plugins -> Twilight V2 -> Options.
- Go to the 'License' section.
- Click the 'Copy' button under Computer ID.
- Click the link under Activation, www.TwilightRender.com/activation.php
- The Twilight Render Activation webpage will open.
- Under Computer ID, paste the number you copied from the Options window.
- Under Product ID, copy and paste the Product ID you received from your purchase email.
- Click the Activate button. If successful, an email will be sent to you with the Activation Code.
- When you receive the Activation Code, return to the Options window and copy and paste the code under Activation Code and click the Activate button.
- If successful, your copy of Twilight Render will now be fully activated. We recommend restarting SketchUp.
Why doesn't my license work anymore?
Twilight Render uses your computer's operating system to identify and validate your license. If you replace your computer, or install a new operating system, you will need to get a new Activation Code. Just follow the activation procedure above (How do I get a pro license for Twilight Render?) to reactivate Twilight Render.