Rendering SketchUp Sideboard by Dan Stronge - Top 10 Image Award Winner

Interview with Twilight Render 3D Artist Dan Stronge


Dan Stronge (known around the forums as Dan_ddd) is the creator of this Sideboard model he designed and built in Google SketchUp and rendered with Twilight Render. We recently had the honor of interviewing him regarding the process of creating this image. Dan has created several incredible kitchens and renderings which may be found in the Twilight Render   Showcase Gallery.

If you would like to see the other 9 award winning images, refer to this Twilight Render 2011 Top 10 Images article.



Interview with Dan Stronge, Jones Britain Kitchens (Dan_ddd on the Twilight Render User Forum)

Job position: Managing Director

Contact information:     +44 (0) 1732 463466 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twilight Render (TWL): What was the initial spark of inspiration for the creation of this image?


Dan: The initial model was created to help one of our clients through the design process for their new bespoke sideboard. They had a fairly clear idea of what they wanted to create but needed some guidance on construction, finish and style.  Although the early visuals were of the whole model I felt that I wanted to show some detailed close up shots of the sideboard especially the handle pull and door setup. This lead to me playing (for the first time) with DOF and dramatic angles, rather than straight and less interesting views. 

TWL: What can you tell us about the process you followed to develop this image?· Did you model this all yourself in SketchUp or did you use a 3rd party modeling app. or downloaded models by others?

Dan: The side board itself was completely modeled by myself. The Water bottles were originally pulled from the 3D warehouse although I was not 100% happy with the way they looked so I remodeled them and added extra detail as I knew at some stage there would be a closeup of them. The studio was an adaption model that I created of that used to render the Bauhaus Lamp.

TWL: What render setting did you use to render your preliminary, and final image? Why?

Dan: For this image I used Easy 10 as I wanted the image to be a crisp interior shot. I applied a minimal and fairly wide DOF just to soften the background and furthest away portion of the sideboard. I left it to render overnight with around 250 passes.

TWL: What can you tell us about how you approached lighting this image? Why?

Dan: I very much wanted this image to look like a studio shot so I re-built the studio used for the Bauhaus lamp. It was very important for the gloss white lacquered top of the sideboard to not disappear into the background so the studio was set to a darker grey finish and the lighting intensified. Light emitters were used from the left and right and angled 45 degrees towards the model and then Omni lights within an umbrella to flood the scene from 45 degrees and above the emitters also pointing towards the model. A Spot light was placed up high pointing straight down to the right of the model to generate more background interest and to help your eye move through the image.

TWL: What can you tell us about how you approached the material creation for this image? Were there any specific materials in this scene you are especially proud of/fond of?

Dan: The wood material was from Arroway which I had only recently purchased and was looking forward to using. I specifically didn’t want a texture with this material as it was also to be lacquered in semi-gloss state. I was really happy with the green plastic water bottle as this came out exactly as I had wanted. The brushed steel was a finish I had been working on for some time and with the help of the Twilight team I am really pleased with this as for me it is the centre of the image.

TWL: Did you do any post-production with the raw rendered image? If so, can you tell us what you did? 

Dan: There was no Post Pro done on this image as it captured everything I wanted to achieve.

TWL: What is your background with modeling and rendering and what is your day-to-day profession?

Dan: My day to day profession is kitchen design and sales. I have been using Sketchup on and off for about 4 years but only moved to using it for all my work 3 – 4 months prior to producing this image. I was using dedicated kitchen design programs before January 2011 as all my work was fairly mainstream but as I moved into more and more bespoke work I was finding that the dedicated programs were becoming less and less user friendly. With Sketchup you can produce anything and therefore I made the move to using 100% for all my kitchen design work. I am still learning all the time and slowly but surely building on my plugin list to create more complex models. My clients now get a better model and far better visuals than I was creating before moving to Sketchup/Twilight.

TWL: Did you learn anything in particular about Twilight while working on this image?

Dan: I learnt a huge amount about Twilight when producing this image. DOF, materials, textures to name but a few. Creating this image has certainly helped my understanding of lighting and reflective materials.

TWL: Congratulations for the recognition of your talents from the community, Dan.  We look forward to seeing more of your inspiring work here at Twilight!

Monday, September 27, 2021

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