FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jason_maranto » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:58 pm

There is a brand new FREE plugin just released by Next Limit (makers of Maxwell Render) that will allow you to render with realtime feedback within the regular free version of Sketchup (versions 6,7,8).

Check it out here: http://www.maxwellrender.com/index.php/home/maxwell_for_sketchup

Edit - There are now tutorial videos showing the basics of using the new plugin available at the link above.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby Rich O Brien » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:31 pm

Interested to see what Brodie and Davidh make of this. They're the only members I know that are maxwell users.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jason_maranto » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:37 pm

I know for a long time one of the big roadblocks to getting Maxwell for alot of users was the fact that Maxwell required Sketchup Pro -- that is no longer true, as the plugin now supports a Ruby exporter in addition to it's C++ exporter (which is faster in Sketchup Pro and supports a few additional features).

Also a nice touch to this new version of the plugin is there is no need to have the Maxwell Render Suite so it's pretty easy to use and learn.

I still run the full version of Maxwell and Sketchup Pro and have no intention of changing that because I definitely fall under the heading of "power-user" and I would miss the advanced features of the full version... but I can definitely see a large market segment who don't want to spend any money (or very little) for SketchUp rendering but want a top quality engine and this new plugin delivers in spades on those counts.

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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jeff hammond » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:42 pm

Rich O'Brien wrote:Interested to see what Brodie and Davidh make of this. They're the only members I know that are maxwell users.


nope, i'm a maxwell user too.. see :D

oo1.jpg
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jeff hammond » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:45 pm

dunno, it might be ok for quickie jobs like that.. it might be especially nice for clay renders as you'd just have a file set up with all the clay setting and push GO...

one thing i didn't like is that i couldn't draw in another sketchup file while rendering.. :thumbd:
and i had to install some other software in order to use this one :thumbd:
but the free version watermarks didn't show up :thumb:


i don't think i'll be using it but i can see where this might become popular..
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jason_maranto » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:54 pm

Jeff Hammond wrote:dunno, it might be ok for quickie jobs like that.. it might be especially nice for clay renders as you'd just have a file set up with all the clay setting and push GO...


There's a material override option that will allow quick clay renders without losing your material assignments.

Jeff Hammond wrote:one thing i didn't like is that i couldn't draw in another sketchup file while rendering.. :thumbd:
and i had to install some other software in order to use this one :thumbd:
but the free version watermarks didn't show up :thumb:


You can set the number of cores you want the engine to use in order to keep the machine responsive to other applications if need be.

No watermarks because this isn't a demo -- no expiration and full usage rights free of charge into perpetuity... can't get a better deal than that.

I'm wrapping up a short free tutorial video series for the new plugin which should be posted soon, let me know what you think if you watch it.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby numerobis » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:57 pm

Rich O'Brien wrote:... They're the only members I know that are maxwell users.


I'm on maxwell since v1 alpha - anno 2005 :mrgreen:
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby Rich O Brien » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:03 pm

Well, looks like my remark is bringing the aficionados out of the woodwork. Maybe I should pay more attention to the gallery :oops:

It does look pretty sweet for a plugin. Gonna give it a whirl.

@Jeff

Thought you were Indigo only
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jeff hammond » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:24 pm

Rich O'Brien wrote:@Jeff

Thought you were Indigo only


yes, i am.. my ' nope, i'm a maxwell user too ' comment was meant as a joke.. i just made this one render with the new SU plugin so i wouldn't really consider myself a maxwell user ;)

from the quick go i had with it, it seems pretty neat..



jason_maranto wrote:There's a material override option that will allow quick clay renders without losing your material assignments.


nice :thumb:

You can set the number of cores you want the engine to use in order to keep the machine responsive to other applications if need be.

ahh.. ok... that makes sense.
mine was set to 4 on a dual-core i7

No watermarks because this isn't a demo -- no expiration and full usage rights free of charge into perpetuity... can't get a better deal than that.

ok.. that is a good deal :thumb:

I'm wrapping up a short free tutorial video series for the new plugin which should be posted soon, let me know what you think if you watch it.

cool.. i'll look out for it.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby JD Hill » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:27 pm

Jeff Hammond wrote:but the free version watermarks didn't show up :thumb:

Just to clarify, the download page originally indicated that there would be a watermark, but that was never the case, and the web people have since corrected this.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jeff hammond » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:38 pm

JD Hill wrote:
Jeff Hammond wrote:but the free version watermarks didn't show up :thumb:

Just to clarify, the download page originally indicated that there would be a watermark, but that was never the case, and the web people have since corrected this.


ok.. thanks for that.. i pretty much thought i lost my mind when i went back to the d/l page to show jason about the watermark.. :D
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby xrok1 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:23 am

I really like the tone and ambient occlusion!
MAX:
erosion.png

TWI:
Twi1.png
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jason_maranto » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:49 am

Here's a clay render I did with it from a recent thread in the gallery section (viewtopic.php?f=81&t=40998)
FORD 427 SOHC.jpg


This is one of those models where it was really useful to be using a 64-bit operating system since SketchUp 8 supports more RAM under those circumstances :ecstatic: I've run the most high-poly models I can through this new plugin and it can handle them all (including the "eye candy" models from Silvershadow).

Best,
Jason.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby srx » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:47 pm

Great news! It's really working very good. Thank you Next Limit.
And now It's your turn Thea render...Just what Thea needs to be perfect :)...it's already has faster IR...
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby gilles » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:51 pm

when I try to save the render I get < " is not a valid type. Do you wish to choose another? >
Is this normal ?
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jason_maranto » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:30 pm

Edit: Opps, My bad... sorry. (see JD's correct explanation below)

Best,
Jason.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby tfdesign » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:34 pm

png files are good. I like png. They can always be converted to TIFF at a later date.

Unless of course you happen to be IE5! :lol:
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby tfdesign » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:36 pm

Resolution limit 800 pixels


Hmm.... not so good. :knockout:
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jeff hammond » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:41 pm

gilles wrote:when I try to save the render I get < " is not a valid type. Do you wish to choose another? >
Is this normal ?


on mac, the save as dialog is blank (there's no file extension pre-selected so you have to include it in the save as name)..

for instance, naming the file " my_render.jpg " will save properly
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jason_maranto » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:42 pm

Yep, the $95 version is capable of output up to 1920 pixels -- but the free version is limited to 800 pixels. The idea being this limit is perfectly usable for people looking to just put Sketchup renders on the web, but for professional production you would want to move up to the $95 license (or the full Maxwell Render Suite which has unlimited resolution and many advanced features).

This is certainly only intended to be something that will give regular Sketchup users who are looking into rendering a excellent free option to use while they hone their skills and see if it is really their "thing"... I would find it hard to believe somebody selling their renders would want to limit themselves in any way since it will impact their ability to compete.

I started out years ago with the free version of IDX renditioner and this plugin has many times more power... I wish something like this was available when I was learning.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby Gaieus » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:44 pm

Well, Jason beat me but his opinion is similar...

tfdesign wrote:
Resolution limit 800 pixels


Hmm.... not so good. :knockout:

Well, a free product. They also need something to "encourage" sales of the pay version. Actually, 800 pixels is quite enough for most web presentations (i.e. websites) so hobbyists, bloggers and such can be happy with it.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby JD Hill » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:41 pm

jason_maranto wrote:You can only save out as .png -- no other file types are supported.


I don't want to get into providing support via this forum (we have a forum for that already), but to clarify this point, you can actually save using any of the following formats:


  • .bmp
  • .tga|.targa
  • .jpg|.jpeg
  • .png
  • .tif|.tiff
  • .jp2
  • .ppm
  • .pbm
  • .pgm

This is why you need to specify the output extension in the save file dialog (I see from gilles post that I need to provide a more informative message when no extension has been given). The underlying limitation to which Jason was referring above is that the output color depth of the standalone plugin is limited to 8 bits per channel; naturally this is not the case with a full Maxwell Render Suite license.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby gilles » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:54 pm

thanks for precisions.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby tfdesign » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:05 pm

It doesn't matter. It's free! 800 is fine just as a free demonstration for someone who wants to learn basic rendering. I really like the rsults from Maxwell. At $95 for the pro version, it's a bargain. :)
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jeff hammond » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:11 pm

JD Hill wrote:This is why you need to specify the output extension in the save file dialog (I see from gilles post that I need to provide a more informative message when no extension has been given).


yeah, i ran into the same problem as gilles so i tried adding the extension manually and it worked..

it's definitely weird in that i've never used an app before which required you to manually enter the file extension in the save as dialog.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby MrMikeEsq » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:32 pm

This really is a great move by Maxwell! I'll get to giving it a go :thumb:
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby derei » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:23 pm

JD Hill wrote:
I don't want to get into providing support via this forum (we have a forum for that already)

Could you provide a link for that forum, please?
And, as this plugin is specially made for SU users and this is the "home" of SU users... I'd expect to get support here from time to time ;) . Also, if this plugin will become popular, maybe a section should be created for it.
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby solo » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:52 am

I see there has been an good update to the full version:

http://www.maxwellrender.com/pdf/Full_N ... f#zoom=100
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby jason_maranto » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:26 pm

Yes, the newest free update for Maxwell (2.6) was released on the same day as this new free SketchUp plugin.

There's quite alot to love about the full Maxwell Render Suite and I'm a big fan, but I didn't mention it because I figured this new free plugin was the big news for most non-Maxwell users.

The main support forum for Maxwell is at: http://www.maxwellrender.com/forum/index.php

There is a SketchUp subforum where JD deals with bugs (specific to the plugin) and takes feature requests. The forum is readable by anybody, but you will only have posting privileges if you hold a Maxwell license (either the $95 "pro" version of the new plugin or the full Maxwell Render Suite).

The information for how to unlock posting priveledges is in this thread: http://www.maxwellrender.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=97&t=32637


Best,
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Re: FREE Maxwell Render for Sketchup (free version).

Postby frv » Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:24 am

great news of course. Have been doing paid SU-Maxwell work for a few years now and NextLimit even put a few of my images on their site.
Anyhow, Maxwellrender is great for SKetchup since JDHill has been on it, writing the current plugins. The current plugins for Sketchup are fantastic.

But I have seen the Adventures of TinTin in the cinema a few hours ago, I wonder how they do all that while I am struggling on an 8-core Mac to get decent simple buildings look realistic.

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