The Shaderlight renderer created by Art VPS is a new beta rendering engine for SketchUp and many other 3D design programs. The renderer is actually its own separate program that integrates with SketchUp. Once installed it is automatically picked up by SketchUp.
This product works really well considering it is completely FREE. You can render high and HD resolution renderings and is simple and easy to use. The program comes built in with all the base SketchUp materials with added functions to create the glossy, plastic, transparent and other affects to the material and automatically detects and chooses the style to help to create the most realistic rendering. Shaderlight also allows you to place dynamic backgrounds and lighting attributes to the entire model. The render comes with a great support community via their website, their forums and tutorials. Another feature of the plugin is the ability for it to automatically update the rendering as you change items, this is a double edge sword as it does not allow you to work while rendering but does give you the flexibility to change things real time. UPDATED* The auto update feature can be turned off in the settings menu to stop this feature.
Since this product is still in the beta version there are some drawbacks that need to be noted. When rendering complicated objects the rendering time takes quite some time and memory as expected. But, there is no progress bar to display the full progress of the rendering from start to finish, only sub progresses of all the actions being taken as the renderer works. Not knowing the time left to render can be frustrating. Another major downfall is that it is not easy to create lighting points or objects and change lighting colors. This missing feature alone is a deal breaker for this particular rendering engine. Another major drawback that we found is that some flat jpg images, such as an image on a tv set, will not come up in the rendering, we assume that there is a way to make them come up. But could not find a solution to this.
Overall, the Shaderlight renderer created by Art VPS is an up and coming rendering engine that will rival the leading rendering programs out there. But is not quite there yet. At the time of this review this rendering engine is free and is available at www.artvps.com. I give this renderer 3 out 5 stars.