This tutorial will create an artistic night rendering by exporting images from Sketchup to Photoshop. This means no external rendering programs are needed saving a lot of time.
1: First, a view should be saved because multiple images will be exported and overlayed in Photoshop. Accidentally moving the view will make it almost impossible to get the images to line up later. This can be done by going to View>animation>add scene
2. Next export 3 images with the following face styles and edge styles :
FACE STYLE: Shaded with textures, EDGE STYLE: Shadows on, NO edge lines
FACE STYLE: X-ray on, Shaded with textures, EDGE STYLE: Shadows on, Edge lins on
FACE STYLE: Hidden line, EDGE STYLE: Shadows on, NO edge lines
3. In Photoshop, open the image with shaded texture but no edge lines.
Desaturate the image (image>adjustments>desaturate)
Adjust the levels so that the grey tones are a little more dramatic (image<adjustments<levels)
4. Open the image - x-ray mode with edge lines- in a new layer above the previous layer
Set the blend mode to OVERLAY (blend modes are found in the layers palate on the top left)
5. Next, duplicate the top layer (xray with edge lines)
Change the Blend mode of the layer to DIFFERENCE
6. Open the image -hidden line with only shadows- set it as the top layer
First, the shadows need to be darkened to black. To do this, go into levels (image, adjustments, levels) and move the left triangle adjustment to the right until the shadows are pure black.
Next, set the blend mode of that same layer to DARKEN
(NOTE: This step will darken shadows in the overall image giving the rendering more depth. Howere, in some areas you may not want pure black shadows in which case you can erase or lower the opacity of the layer)
7. Finally, create a new layer and move it to the top.
With a paint brush (set to round soft, opacity set to 50%, and color set to black) paint edges in the background where the ground plane ends, as well as around the boarder creating emphasis to the center of the rendering.
I also made minor tweaks to the towers and other areas by erasing sections of certain layers and adjusting the levels of others. Since this was more image specific, I didn't include it in this tutorial
The final rendering is achieved in a pretty short amount of time with no external rendering engines needed, just photoshop.
(NOTE: exporting the sketchup images at higher resolutions will dramatically increase the quality of the rendering. I usually try to export at twice the screen resolution or higher. Line work is usually much cleaner when this is done)