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Twilight is a very popular and inexpensive third-party renderer for SketchUp. This course shows how to create highly realistic 3D architectural drawings (including interior/exterior elements) with the lights, materials, camera, and render options in Twilight. Author Brian Bradley explains the importance of reflectance in materials, and shows how to manage and save rendering presets, how to correct for perspective, tone, and exposure in the camera, and how to create a variety of material types. The final chapter covers rendering your complete arch-viz scene for a couple types of output, including animation and composites.
As Twilight is a plug-in render engine for the SketchUp application and not a part of the SketchUp installation process itself, we thought it would be a good idea to start this course by quickly walking you through the installation of Twilight. The first thing we need to do of course is download the Twilight install application from twilightrender.com. Once we are at the website, if we go to the Downloads menu, you can see there is a The Latest Version option. If we click on this, we get a link to download the latest install. To save time, I have already downloaded the Twilight 1.5 for SketchUp installer application to my desktop.
In this instance, I will be installing the PC version of Twilight on a Windows 7 machine. If you were installing to a different flavor of Windows, or indeed to Mac OS, there will be some slight differences regarding file paths used and the onscreen dialogs that will appear during the installation process. In fact, during the course itself, you may encounter one or two such differences as we work through the exercises. These will not affect the benefit you can get from the course, and should be easy to work around.
To get things rolling, all we need to do is click or double-click on the executable and the installation process will begin. Firstly, I need to just confirm that I want this installer to execute by clicking Run in the pop-up window. We can confirm we want to install this application by clicking Next in the Setup window. Now of course we need to read and accept our end user license agreement. We do want to read through this before a check in the I accept radio button. Once we click Next then, we know exactly what we have agreed to.
Next, we want to locate the root folder for our SketchUp installation. If it is not the default and we know the address, we may want to type it in, or we could just use the Browse button to locate it on our hard drives. Once that is in place, we can once again click Next. Now we have one last chance to check that our installation details are correct and that we do want to go ahead. Once we're certain, we can click Install. And then we're off and running with the installation process. Once it's done, we can click Finish on the End screen, and that completes our Twilight installation.
We're now set up and ready to use the Twilight demo inside of SketchUp. Of course if we've purchased the full license of Twilight then we need to make certain that it is fully activated. To do that, we can go into Twilight's Options dialog and then just click on the Request License button, enter the email address we used to set up our account on twilightrender.com, save the generated request file to disk, and then email it to the folks at twilight.com. Once we receive our activation information back, we can again come into the Options dialog and click on the appropriate button.
Here we need to enter our license details, and once we've done that, our Twilight engine is ready for production work.
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