LightUp is a new photo-realistic rendering plugin for Google’s SketchUp application. The good news for Mac users is that unlike many other options for rendering this plugin works cross-platform (see image below, courtesy of Assoc. Editor, Tim Danaher). The developer’s website has a small gallery of samples and many of them look very good.
LightUp for SketchUp plugin adds realistic real time lighting (sun, lights, et cetera) to your SketchUp models featuring ambient occlusion, fresnel reflections, and skybox backdrops. Specular maps and normal maps are supported along with point and area light sources.
Tim noted that LightUp 1.2 does something special that both Podium for the Mac and other SketchUp renders don’t, it bakes and wraps HDRI (high-definition render images) textures and shaders onto a SketchUp model so that you can rotate the model in real time complete with photo-realistic lighting. (see image below).
There are several YouTube hosted videos here of LightUp in action and the image above is a QuickTime demonstrating LightUp’s ability to produce real time photorealistic to interactive SketchUp models.
The current version according to the website is LightUp v1.2a and is the first retail shipping version available also for demo download. A license copy of LightUp is 149.USD.