Rendering Solid Glass in SU Podium
In this short guide, we'll touch on some tips for setting up curved glass in SU Podium for use on bowls, vases, glasses, etc.
Solid, curved glass objects interact with light differently than flat planar glass, as in a window or door. As such, it is necessary to make a few extra considerations when setting up curved glass.
1. Model your glass vessel with thickness - Solid glass consists of an inner and outer surface enclosing an empty volume; it is necessary to model this accurately to achieve realistic results. If you consider the glass bowl pictured below, you can clearly see how the inner and outer surfaces are constructed.
Tip - Objects like this can be modeled in SketchUp by drawing a profile curve and then revolving it around a circle using the "follow me" tool.
2. Configure the inner and outer materials - Glass as a material has no internal reflections, so we need to use slightly different material settings for the external faces than what we use on the internal faces, inside or "within" the solid glass.
Please note that external face refers to any surface that is exposed to air, or that you could touch with your fingers. "Internal face" refers to the surfaces between the two walls which enclose an empty volume.
Download - We urge you to download and examine the glass bowl if any aspect of its construction is unclear. This item is also in Podium Browser paid content, in the Dining Accessories category. You can of course use the eyedropper to reuse the glass materials for you own models.
3. Consider the environment - Don't forget that glass will not look truly realistic in an empt SketchUp scene, as there will be nothing to reflect/refract. When rendering glass, either place objects around the glass, or render your bowl in one of the Podium Browser studio interiors. The following example was rendered in a simulated photo studio, using off-camera LEM panels for lighting and reflections.
Attention to detail goes a long way in rendering—probably the most important thing here is to make sure you model your solid glass items accurately, with correct inner and outer geometry. Then simply use the above material settings, or copy them directly from the glass bowl in Podium Browser.