Idea: Display rendered content directly inside sketchup window

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  • Thea Render offers this feature, and it seems like it would be the perfect thing for Enscape to offer as well. This way, you could be working on objects in sketchup and see them rendered realistically rather than having to look back and forth between the sketchup window and Enscape window.

  • TowerPower  Micha Thanks for your feedback.

    So you want to have the Enscape engine inside SU, replacing the SU visualization with all its functionality?

  • Personally I don't want this feature:

    - my SU window is set up for working with a model - loads of toolbars, dialogues, windows and stuff I use to create and edit the model.

    - my Enscape window is for presentation - un-cluttered, shiny, slick and professional.

    Sure, it would be handy to have a way to edit material finishes live, and to have the interaction with dynamic components on the Enscape screen, but IMHO they serve two different functions and I can't think on what benefit combining them would give you to off-set the drawback of having to set up a 'presentation mode' screen space within SU.

    (Note: until I worked with a second monitor I would have been more leaning to this point of view, but I find that it has made such a difference to my work-flow that I doubt I could go back to one.)

  • You can have it both ways and offer options for both. This is what Thea does.

    The display choices are:

    in Thea Window (what Enscape has currently)

    in Sketchup Window

    in Sketchup with Edges

    Blended with Sketchup

    Multiplied with Sketchup

    As you can see in the attached screenshots, the rendered scene shows up cleanly inside the sketchup viewbox, with all the normal toolbars and controls, the only difference being the model is now rendered. I think it would be an awesome option for our sketchup view to look just like Enscape, giving us immediate feedback on the finished product while we're editing and making changes.

  • TowerPower I tried it with Thea once, when we started working on the SketchUp plugin. After a few minutes I encountered a bug with the live updates and the geometry of Thea and SketchUp was different. These kind of bugs totally destroy the usefulness of such a feature. Suddenly you can't select the things you see anymore and there is no indicator that something is wrong.

    Considering the quality of SketchUp's notification API I dare to say: Every render plugin for SketchUp with live updates has to find a compromise between speed and accuracy, therefore there will always be the risk to be out of sync. And with that risk, rendering inside the SketchUp viewport is a no-go for me.

    What's your opinion?

  • I feel the benefits definitely outwiegh the negatives in this case assuming you can get it to a point where it works ~90% of the time. If the faces turning black issue is already fixed, then I'd say you're most of the way there. I can understand the reservations about adding a feature you know won't work all of the time though, given that users will likely blame Enscape when the problem is inherant to Sketchup. If it's just given as an option and not advertized as a fix-all solution though, I think people will be more forgiving and see it as a positive added feature option.

    Have you worked directly with the Sketchup team at all to see whether they can improve their API to provide better notifications? It seems like it would be a worthwhile investment.