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SketchUp Rendering Using Twilight
Illustration by Richard Downs
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Setting up a depth render


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SketchUp Rendering Using Twilight

with Brian Bradley

Video: Setting up a depth render

Along with alpha masks, another commonly required compositing element is the depth or Z-Depth pass. This element can be utilized to create a number of depth-based effects inside a compositing application. A very common one is to add a fake depth-of-field or lens effect to our final shot. We're actually going to be adding a little bit of haze to our scene interior by of course creating a depth pass render for it. Now once again we may need to perform a little bit of scene setup if we want our depth pass render to work in a specific way--that is, if we want it to take into account our exterior environment.
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  1. 4m 1s
    1. Welcome
      1m 5s
    2. What you should know
      2m 10s
    3. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 6m 53s
    1. Installing the Twilight renderer
      2m 52s
    2. Locating Twilight tools and features
      4m 1s
  3. 50m 22s
    1. Adding the Physical Sun and Sky
      6m 17s
    2. Employing the Point light type
      6m 35s
    3. Using the Spot and Projector light types
      7m 7s
    4. Adding the IES light type
      3m 48s
    5. Using light-emitting materials
      6m 59s
    6. Creating image-based lighting using High Dynamic Range Images (HDRIs)
      6m 12s
    7. Using Sky Portals for interior global illumination (GI)
      6m 43s
    8. Understanding the importance of reflectance in materials
      6m 41s
  4. 21m 54s
    1. Exploring Light Transport options in Twilight
      9m 18s
    2. Managing the Quality presets
      5m 57s
    3. Editing and saving presets
      6m 39s
  5. 22m 8s
    1. Positioning your scene view
      3m 23s
    2. Altering projection types
      5m 12s
    3. Working with depth of field
      3m 59s
    4. Working with focal length
      2m 44s
    5. Harnessing tone mapping, exposure, and gamma
      3m 59s
    6. Using two-point perspective correction
      2m 51s
  6. 38m 13s
    1. Introduction to Twilight materials
      8m 23s
    2. Creating diffuse surfaces
      6m 53s
    3. Creating reflective surfaces
      6m 53s
    4. Creating glassy refractive surfaces
      9m 28s
    5. Creating watery refractive surfaces
      6m 36s
  7. 31m 28s
    1. Rendering for animation
      8m 55s
    2. Rendering out an alpha mask
      3m 44s
    3. Setting up a depth render
      4m 3s
    4. Creating an RGB mask using the Diffuse Texture Pass preset
      5m 45s
    5. Working with a composite
      9m 1s
  8. 1m 13s
    1. What's next?
      1m 13s

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SketchUp Rendering Using Twilight
2h 56m Intermediate Oct 10, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Installing Twilight
  • Adding the Physical Sun and Sky
  • Employing Point, Spot, and Projector light types
  • Using light emitting materials
  • Managing the Quality Presets
  • Positioning your scene view
  • Working with the camera's Focal Length setting
  • Creating diffuse, reflective, and refractive surfaces
  • Rendering out an alpha mask
  • Setting up a depth render
Subjects:
Architecture Rendering CAD
Software:
SketchUp Twilight Render
Author:
Brian Bradley

Setting up a depth render

Along with alpha masks, another commonly required compositing element is the depth or Z-Depth pass. This element can be utilized to create a number of depth-based effects inside a compositing application. A very common one is to add a fake depth-of-field or lens effect to our final shot. We're actually going to be adding a little bit of haze to our scene interior by of course creating a depth pass render for it. Now once again we may need to perform a little bit of scene setup if we want our depth pass render to work in a specific way--that is, if we want it to take into account our exterior environment.

This will mean we need to once again hide our sky portal and glass layers. Now you may wonder, with the glass objects having transparent material applied to them, why is this so? Because in our Beauty render we can clearly see through to the outside environment. But when creating a depth render, Twilight doesn't look at the material definitions assigned to a piece of geometry; it will just see the geometry in the scene and so terminate the depth render at that point. So let's do that. Let's open up our Layers dialog. Again we just need to make Layer0 the default so that we can turn off our Sky Portals layer, our Patio Glass layer, and of course our Skylight Glass layer.

Now we can actually go and set up Twilight for a depth render. So let's open up the Render dialog, and again in the Presets we're going to skip past the Easy options and work instead inside the Advanced group. Here, as you can see, we have a Depth Render option. Using this preset, Twilight can now output a render that really measures depth in the scene. So points closes to our camera will be represented by a black color; points farthest away from the camera in the environment will be represented by a pure white color; and anything in between will receive a grayscale gradient that essentially represents the changing distance.

To see this in action, let's go and take a render for ourselves. If we just come into our Render window and right-click and fit the image to screen, you can see what we have actually doesn't look every interesting. In fact, we don't appear to have much variation in terms of depth in our scene. This is because, if we just come over to our Camera tab, we will see that the Twilight's Tone Mapping filters do affect how our depth pass render works. So if we just switch over from Simple to None, you can see we get a much better representation of depth in our scene.

In fact, if we want to control how our depth render is working inside of Twilight, we can use the Tone Mapping filters to do just that. Now generally speaking, the None filter type would be my preferred option. From here I would save out to a floating-point image, so that would be a HDR or EXR file from Twilight. And then I could use tools in my image editing application to affect how the depth render is working. In this instance though, just to demonstrate how it does work, we're going to switch over to the Simple option and we're going to make some changes in here.

We're going to set our Exposure Level to a value of 1, and we're going to set our Gamma Adjustment level all the way down to .1. This will really crunch the grayscale gradient of our depth render and mean that really, we're just pushing all of our depth information down to the far end of our room. This means that when we add our Haze effect inside of Photoshop, everything close up to the camera will appear a bit clear, but everything further away will receive our Haze effect. Now of course I do need to save this out, so I'm going to click on the Save current render icon, and I'm just going to overwrite our existing HDR file.

Using a floating-point file format means that I will still have lots of control over my depth render once I start to work with it inside of my image editing application. So in a very short space of time, we have created a very useful depth pass compositing element. Not that we finished just yet with Twilight's compositing presets. In the next video, we'll show you how we can use the Diffuse Texture Pass preset in Twilight's Tech options to essentially create a three-in-one mask render for ourselves.

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