The SU Podium plugin is an amazing rendering solution. SU Podium is actually a true plugin and does not require another program to be running in order to render. And this is the only renderer, other than Kerkythea that allows you to render for free! But their free service does come with one caveat, you can only render up to 500×500 pixel image. But for those that are not looking for professional renderings and just want a free solutions that works well, this is it. But to get the higher resolution images the software needs to be purchased, but this is more than reasonable for this quality plugin.
The rendering program works very well and is very simple to use. The materials from SketchUp come out perfectly and creating lighting is easy as just selecting a surface and boosting up the lights. But you should note that objects need to be grouped (even if it is a single face) in order to become a light source, otherwise it just displays light but doesn’t emit it. Other than it is fairly simple to use and SU Podium has great video tutorials on their site. They also have a light fixture, plant and texture library available to their users. There were really no drawbacks to this renderer other than it being almost too simple, but so far in our experience the simplicity is the best part!
An issue that we ran into was that when rendering components the Podium tended to leave out aspects of the object. But to be fair, we had this issue with many other renderers out there. A way to fix this is to explode the objects, then their components should now be visible in the rendering.
Overall, the SU Podium plugin is a great renderer and is worth the buy/download. At the time of this review this plugin is $179 for the commercial version or $79 for the student teacher version and is available at SUPlugins.com. I give this plugin 5 out 5 stars.