Creating a line-overlay for your Podium render

Superimposing a line-overlay from SketchUp over a rendered image is a fast and effective method to add stronger edges to your model or create an artistic/stylized final image. This is a simple procedure, requiring just three steps.

  1. Create a render with SU Podium.
  2. Export a line-overlay from SketchUp using exactly the same resolution as the Podium render.
  3. Superimpose the line-overlay on the Podium render using Podium Image Editor or Photoshop.

Tip —  Create a SketchUp Scene for the camera view you want to render. The line overlay must have exactly the same angle and resolution as your render, so creating a scene gives you a way to return to a specific camera angle if you accidently move the camera.

SU Podium options interface

1. Create a render with SU Podium

Use SU Podium to render an image, and make note of the image size you choose.

The easiest method is to choose the viewport option to render exactly what you see in the SketchUp viewport.

Any custom resolution can be used, but it is very important that the image size of the line-overlay matches the image size of the render.

Here is the SU Podium image, rendered at viewport resolution:

Image size: 1519 x 831.

2. Switch to Hidden Line style in SketchUp

Switch to a white SketchUp background without sky, ground, or shadows. A fast way to accomplish this is to go to SketchUp Styles and in the Select tab choose Default SketchUp styles. Then choose the “Hidden Line” style.

SketchUp hidden line style

Use the Edit tab in the styles palette to turn off Sky and Ground. You can also edit line thickness and profiles to your liking. Make sure shadows are disabled.

Here is the line-overlay export from SketchUp

3. Export the image from SketchUp

To export your SketchUp viewport as a 2D image, use the following command:

File   Export   2D Graphic

Choose JPG or PNG and click the options button to bring up the image export options. SketchUp hidden line style

Make sure anti-alias is checked. Check the "use view size" option to match the line-overlay to the size of the render. (See below for further information about image size).

Here is what the 2D "hidden line" export from SketchUp looks like:

SketchUp hidden line style

Tip — SketchUp's image exporter produces much cleaner anti-aliasing at high resolutions. Our recommendation to get a high quality line-overlay is to export the line-overlay much larger than you need and then scale it down to match the render.

For example instead of checking "use view size" I would uncheck that option and export the line-overlay at 4000 x 2188. Then I can resize the line overlay to 1519 x 831 to match the Podium render.

4. Overlay the lines with Podium image editor

Open your render in Podium Image Editor. If OOPR is still open, just click edit. If not, open PIE manually from Extensions > SU Podium V2.6 Plus > Tools > Image Editor.

SketchUp hidden line style

To create the final line-overlay composite in PIE:

  1. Switch to the background tab (pictured above)
  2. Click Load and navigate to the 2D line overlay. The overlay is loaded at 50% opacity—note the "washed out" effect in the white portions of the overaly.
  3. Mask - Click Mask to filter out the white portions of the overlay, and restore the render to its original tone/brightness.
  4. Fade - This is an opacity slider for the overlayed image—adjust the intensity of the line-overlay to your desired value.
  5. Darken and Smooth - These sliders allow users to fine-tune the overlay. Smooth applies a slight gaussian blur to the line overlay to counteract any jagged artifacts present in the mask. Darken multiplies the line-overlay effect for more emphasis.

Here's the finished render with a subtle line overlay:

SketchUp hidden line style

Related pages and articles:

SU Podium written tutorials

Tutorials Page - Written Podium tutorials and other documentation.

SU Podium video tutorials

Additional videos - Videos that aren't part of the getting started series.

Upgrade to SU Podium V2.6

Upgrading to V2.6 - What's new in V2.6? Download the update here.

Exterior residential render

Intro to Rendering - A written introduction to Podium rendering, with step by step images.

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