vRay For SketchUp: Why Architects Love it
vRay For SketchUp: Why Architects Love it

Architects are always looking for new tools, techniques, or legs up that might help them streamline their design process and produce better work. Efficiency equals time well spent, which means your fees are spent on the design and not falling through the cracks of an unorganized work flow.

SketchUp has been a revelation for how architects (especially in small offices) are able to design, critique, and then design again. Before SketchUp, 3D modeling software was nothing new, but had never been presented in a way that was fast enough to offer approachability and an almost instantaneous feedback loop. It quickly became installed on every architect’s and designer’s machines across the globe, imbuing offices with the power of speed.

But, for however great a design tool SketchUp is, it doesn’t stand up on its own as a great presentation or visualization tool. When creating hero images and animations to show your clients, and the public, the merits of your design, the cartoony, blocky, heavy and sometimes confusing nature of such a stripped down piece of software can leave an uneasy taste in people’s minds who don’t understand SketchUp’s other strengths.

In steps vRay.

By pairing SketchUp with one of the most capable, well-known renderers the industry has ever seen, a once lonely design tool instantly becomes a 3D visualization powerhouse, and gives architects the ability to design, render, and print their most jaw-dropping scenes in a single, easy to use and understand package.

This is why architects love vRay for SketchUp.

Architects are control freaks. You’d be hard pressed to find one that would tell you otherwise. It’s not so much a personality disorder as it is a necessity of the job. When you’re the head of the design and execution of a complex new building, being able to get your fingers on every aspect of the process is an absolute imperative. Quickly though, allow me to revise my previous statement:

Good architects are control freaks.

So it comes as no surprise that a pairing of two pieces of software that allow architects to not only design more efficiently, but produce high-quality visualizations in-house goes a long way towards putting an ear to ear grin on their face (and believe me, few things do).

And vRay for SketchUp doesn’t just help on the visualization, marketing, and promotion side of the equation. Even architects and designers don’t see the world in the unbuilt. They are mostly visual learners who don’t necessarily believe until they see. vRay infuses the design process with the ability to quickly assess the merits of a design in real-world conditions. If they were relying on SketchUp alone, the information they are basing design decisions on is muddied, watered down, and prevents them from seeing the entire picture before making important decisions about space, materiality, light, and movement.

But, in the end, it’s all about control.

If the architect doesn’t have the most clear picture of the direction of a building design, how exactly is a client, or a builder supposed to? You don’t have to answer that now, but consider how hard it is to tell someone why your design matters. It’s why your professors in design school were such emotionally abusive dictators. They were trying to teach you how to show and not tell - and if you can’t show someone why your design matters, you might as well hand in your T-square and become a politician.

vRay gives the architect the control over what they show. This goes for employees, consultants, clients, builders, subcontractors, and the general public. None of those people have your eyes, so being able to give them a window into how you see the design and why it works, you must be able to produce tangible proof that it does.

For small firms who are using SketchUp for most of their design work, vRay allows them to quickly and easily show themselves and the world what works and what doesn’t. The feedback loop is strengthened, control is maintained, and the end results are all the better for it. Architects love vRay for SketchUp because it takes the guesswork out of steering the ship on the correct bearing. It’s a digital design auto-pilot that allows them to worry about making the design better and not how best to present it to people.

Few software pairings do as much for architects and architectural visualization as vRay and SketchUp. It takes the best from the design world and the best from the rendering industry and mashes them together in a package that even the impatient architect can digest and utilize effectively. It gives the architect control over design, presentation, and execution, and lends a touch of peace of mind to a profession that garners very little.