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Rendering SketchUp models with Kerkythea

Kitchen Rendering

Kitchen rendering

Quickly creating 3D-models and doing sketchy renderings is clearly the strength of Google SketchUp. The full modeling feature set is even available in the free version and with downloadable Ruby plugins, anything is possible.

One feature that is missing in SketchUp, though, is photo-realistic rendering. But don’t let that stop you… You can add high-quality rendering to the free SketchUp software even if you don’t have any of the full-featured commercial rendering programs like 3ds max, VRay, maxwell etc. Although there are some commercial rendering solutions available for SketchUp (namely Twilight, Podium, VRay for SketchUp, LightUp, IDX Renditioner – all of these integrate nicely into SketchUp and offer “one-click” rendering. Look at this post for an overview), I suggest you take a look at the freeware Kerkythea. For completeness, it should be mentioned that there are also the free renderers (with export plugins) Indigo and POVRAY, but I (currently) prefer Kerkythea due to its great user interface, fast and great results as well as multiprocessor support.

By the way: Check out my new book, “Architectural Design with SketchUp: Component-Based Modeling, Plugins, Rendering, and Scripting.” In chapter 5, I describe rendering with Kerkythea (and other rendering software) in more detail.

Kerkythea installs as a separate program and SketchUp models are converted to its XML-based scene description language with a very seamless exporter plug-in (a Ruby-plugin). The rendering engine then provides various rendering methods such as ray tracing, photon mapping, path tracing, BiPT, MLT and also presets for clay and ambient occlusion renderings. It includes a full-featured material editor and additional high-quality materials can be downloaded from the web.


This is a sample image of a SketchUp model rendered in Kerkythea (two light emitting planes, MLT render)


  1. Download the Kerkythea installer here.
  2. Download the SketchUp exporter plugin and the SketchUp light components here.
  3. Optional: Download Kerkythea sample materials and models (trees etc.) here.
  4. Install Kerkythea.
  5. Close SketchUp. Then install the SketchUp exporter by putting the files into the SketchUp plugin folder (usually C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp\Plugins on Windows). Important: Make sure that you install the plugin files so that the main Ruby file (su2kt.rb) is in SketchUp’s main plugin folder and not in a subdirectory.
  6. Install the light components into SketchUp’s component folder (usually C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp\Components)
  7. Optional: Start Kerkythea and under the File menu, select “Install Library…” to install the material libraries.


The SketchUp exporter download includes a sample file that is very illustrative. It will guide you through scene setup, light creation, modification, animation setup, export and rendering. Go through it and you’ll be up to speed very fast. More tutorials are available here and in their wiki. A very basic workflow goes like this:

  1. Create your SketchUp model. Apply materials and position textures. Textures will be exported and you can refine these materials in Kerkythea’s material editor.
  2. Turn shadows on if you like and/or add Kerkythea light components.
  3. Create animation (formerly tourguide) tabs/views. On export, these will be used to create cameras.
  4. Go to the plugins menu and export the scene. This will create an XML-file and a sub-folder with all the textures. The exporter gives you options to export the selected object only, export the lights or export for a clay render (no textures). Choose as you please.
  5. You can then directly open the model in Kerkythea by clicking OK one more time. If that doesn’t work, revisit the plugin installer documentation. In any case you will be able to open Kerkythea and load the file.
  6. Select a render preset and watch the magic happen. Start with a quick “Photon Map – Quick” preview and work your way up. Also start with a smaller size (800×600 or less). If you have multiple processors in your machine, make sure you use them all as this will speed up rendering.

These are some rendering types that can be done with this software:

Global Illumination:

I used quite “bland” materials here to speed up rendering time. You can set reflectivity or bump in Kerkythea’s material editor.

Global Illumination Rendering

Ambient Occlusion:

Set the sky color to white or grey, disable the sun and see what happens. Always looks nice.

Ambient Occlusion Rendering

Image-based lighting (HDRI):

Load a spherical HDR image as a sky image in Kerkythea and you’ll get very realistic lighting conditions.


For far more impressive renderings, check out their gallery.

Tips & Tricks

  • There are two issues with the exporter (SU2KT) that you should be aware of (brought to my attention by “notareal”):
    1. SU2KT sets sun power always to 3.0. After you have opened exported scene go to Settings > Sun and sky > Adjust Sun > Adjust Sky (use physical sky for optimal lighting)
    2. SU2KT uses the so called 0.85 rule with diffuse color because before KT2007 this was needed. Now you can use any color you want, pure white as well, there is no problem in KT with this (look for automatic energy conservation in Patrick’s Material Editor Guide).
  • “Watch your back!” – All faces in SketchUp have front and back sides. Make sure you clean these up (switch all visible sides to front) in SketchUp before you export.
  • SketchUp objects usually have a very low polygon count, which may lead to spheres looking a bit “edgy”. To fix this, highlight the object in Kerkhythea, right click on the material/object in the list, under “Modelling” click on “Weld Vertices” and then let it subdivide the mesh (“Loop Subdivision”) for you.
  • Objects are exported from SketchUp “By Material”. I.e. separate objects in SketchUp by assigning different materials to them. These can simply be different colors, of course.
  • As with any renderer, a large number of reflective and refractive materials (glass, metal, etc.) significantly increase rendering time. Sometimes it may be enough to just use one of SketchUp’s “corrugated metal” textures and rather postprocess the image in Photoshop. Also, depth of field increases rendering time significantly. If you need to have blurred backgrounds, render a depth map in Kerkythea (one of the last settings) and add DOF in Photoshop.
  • Keep light emitting objects simple (i.e. use rectangles only). The higher polygon count of more complex objects will slow down any render.
  • One great tip for Kerkythea materials that I found on the forums: To create a good-looking material, apply one of the basic plastic materials (with the desired reflectivity) and then apply your texture to the diffuse channel.


Written by Alex
Read more of my AEC CAD/BIM, SketchUp, , , , , posts...

  • Maria

    thanks for the tutorial
    i was going to download the sketchup exporter plugin, but it asked me for username and password
    i already tried my username and password for my kerkythea account, but it was wrong
    please help me

    • Alexander Schreyer

      They were having problems with their server. Is it working now?

  • verity

    hi, i have opened my model in kerky and it doesn’t want to bring the graphics I’ve placed on the walls? how do i send the graphics? im working with sketchup thanks

    • Alexander Schreyer

      Did you make sure you didn’t check “Clay Model” in the exporter? That would have removed all textures.

  • Guest

    I’m having a hard time downloading the zip files into my program folder/sketchup/plugins – it keeps saying I don’t have access, but I was able to download Kerkythea just fine… does anything know whats wrong?

    • Alexander Schreyer

      It’s likely a Windows permissions problem. As long as you have the latest SU version, go to the Properties Window, click on “Install Extension” and load the ZIP file from there. If you run into trouble, first rename the ZIP file so that it has an RBZ file extension.

  • sam

    I am a long-time POV-Ray user and just cannot get it to work with Sketchup, which is a shame because I’ve got all the techniques down.

    • Alexander Schreyer

      Are you using the SU2POV plugin?

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  • Anuj

    I’m using V-ray for sketch up right now. So is this same like V-Ray??? Or this is more good than V-ray?? plz suggest me. Thanks

    • Alexander Schreyer

      V-Ray is considered the “gold standard” by many. However, Kerkythea (or Thea or Twilight or Podium) is a very capable renderer with great quality.

  • M Mitchell

    I am a residential designer in Albuquerque, NM and recently became a finalist in the Dwell Magazine/James Hardie Playhaus competition to design a green backyard playhouse for kids. I used Kerkythea to render my entry. Check out my entry. It is the third project on the top. If you like it please help me out and vote. I need all the support I can get. share this with other like minded folk.

    I am very excited because all five projects will be built and auctioned for charity. The other 4 projects are nice as well, so I definitely will need some help. Thank you.

  • Julie

    Have you tried for SketchUp?

  • Christinacolumbo

    hi, can you tell me how to run my animation sequence of file son KT? do i need a separate program? is there one for a mac?

  • Vr2vne

    Does this work with the free Sketchup?

    • Alexander Schreyer


  • Anonymous

    I am having trouble inserting point lights/ spot lights into my model on SU. I can click on the button but then when i click on the face it doesn’t give me the control bar to set your lighting. Does anyone know what my problem is??

    Please Help. . . 

  • mike

    i am having trouble with a concrete material. i am able to edit all other materials but the concrete doesnt show up. i can change it to whatever id like and it appears, my faces are all oriented the correct way , but i cannot get the sketchup material to show in kerkythea, it comes in grey. suggestions?

    • Alexander Schreyer

      If it’s one of SketchUp’s materials, then it should work fine (image size is not too big). Alternatively, you could open the XML file in Kerkythea and then manually edit the material to have the concrete texture. The texture image file is in the same location where you exported the XML file.

  • Isaiah Olson

    looks very nice, glad I found this to render my final model.

  • Papuliga

    I don’t know why it renders the glass as solid!!.
    does anyone know?

    • Alexander Schreyer

      Make sure you are using the correct glass material in Kerky. Are you using “thin glass”?

  • Christian

    thanks a lot,.,ur so nice

  • cheryl

    i tried to dwnld the new version then the old version, but it said both files were corrupt..i tried in several browsers

  • jim

    Great work. Thank you very much.
    It works really nice.

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  • Mike

    where does the render image go once completed? I cant seem to get any sort of finished product other than in the "quick view" window.

    • Fox Williamson

      clink the image button beside the render start button. there you can view & save said resulting render

  • Cro

    Hi, only a few of my materials from sketchup are coming in on kerk and the rest of them are black. if you could help that be great :)

    • david

      you are probably seeing the "back" face in your sketch-up model. turn on the monochrome view mode in sketchup and make sure all your faces have the "front" facing outward, or toward the camera. you can reverse faces by right clicking on the face and select "reverse faces" from the context click menu.

  • Juan

    I am trying to create a forest scene in which spotlights are beaming through the trees. I am using sketchup to create the model. I tried using 3D trees but this produced no rendering since kerkythea could not handle the complexity (there are a lot of trees). I tried using 2D trees but I am not getting the results I need. Any advice?

    • alexschreyer

      Make sure you use components for the trees and that you make copies of those rather than work with groups. Kerkythea can handle instancing and I believe component instances export as such.

  • Juan

    (there are a lot of trees). I tried using 2D trees but I am not getting the results I need. Any advice?

  • AlexDS

    hi, i'm using Kerky echo 2008, SU 8 on Win7x64 . But my Kerkythea application doesn't start when i click "Open with kerkythea" button in Sketchup, eventhough i have put the correct path to the kerky applicationmwhen it asked me, so, i have to do it manually, meaning open kerkythea program, opne file etc..
    Any advices? Does yours work ? Please reply me!

    • Ricardo.

      Kerky does that a lot, i have the same programs and have the same problem. The solution?: open kerky, then open your file, and it will work perfectly.

  • AlexDS

    awesome post !!!

  • joe

    Thanks for the tips. I foloow successfully till the last stage of rendering, Kerkythea do buff the render but then there is no file saved after the render is finish. Where can i find the rendered ile pls

    • Ethan

      you have to save it manually. the save button can be found in the "Rendered Image" window. (click the icon with the grass, sky and tree)

    • Ricardo

      Joe, after the render finifs, you have to SAVE your image in the folder u want.
      You may save the scene's settings as well.

  • hesam

    i want to know that does it mix with maya and render the animation?

  • hsimply

    thank you very much I use it ti's very good

  • hsimply

    thank you very much I use it ti's very good

  • amin

    i cant renderin the sketch up like the this work?

  • joshua

    alset thanks for the help.

    i saved it on my desktop and then i went into its properties and changed the program it opens with. then you just open the program and open your file and your alset.

  • joshua

    i put filenam.xml at the end. saved it when it asked me if i wated to open with the program i click yes.. an thats where the problem starts it dosent open at all.

    so i open the program and try to open the file trhought it and it still wont open.

    does the xml have to capital or something ?

    thanks again for any help


  • joshua


    i just got the program and when i try to export my model or anything it doesent say what type of file it will save as. when i click the drop down arrow theirs not one file type to chose from.

    any help be great



    • alexschreyer

      Make sure it has the .XML ending.

      • joshua

        i put filenam.xml at the end. saved it when it asked me if i wated to open with the program i click yes.. an thats where the problem starts it dosent open at all.

        so i open the program and try to open the file trhought it and it still wont open.

        does the xml have to capital or something ?

        thanks again for any help


        • alexschreyer

          Should be just working like that…

          Cheers, Alex

  • Dan


    Every time I try to open a .XML file imported from Sketchup, Kerkythea crashes, how can I solve this problem?


    • alexschreyer

      Sounds like you have a corrupt file there. Did you check that you are running the latest version of SU2KT and KT?

      • Dan

        Yes, because I downloaded them yesterday from KT website, I also followed your instructions by the letter.
        I will uninstall and install it again from scratch.

        Thank you very much Alex for your answer.

    • Yori

      I have the exact same problem and I had just downloaded the program.

  • Dan


    My problem is that when I try to open a XML file made in Sketchup, Kerkythea crashes and appears this message
    "We are sorry for the inconvenience the latest changes have been saved with the name recovered.xml" if the crash happened during rendering please consider send the scene to"

    How can I solve this problem?


  • http://adf dbdo


  • martyn

    can anyone tell me how to enable the exporter tool in sketchup to work with windows 7 as this will not work but the package itself will

    • alexschreyer

      Check the Kerky forum for this. Link is above.

  • Guest

    Ive found a big problem wich is when im using a sds plugin i cant really reverse single faces and most often i get 2 diffrent faces visible wich interupts with the kerkythea, any idea how to solve this`?

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  • marco

    dear mr. Schreyer,
    thanks for your work and patience.
    I have a question about light pluginsfor SU.
    They don't work neither in SU6 nor 7, even if I followed your instructions.
    When I import in a new file in SU as components or files they are simple objects without emitting light even if there is a template to modify intensity and so on, but without results.
    It only can be seen sun light.
    Can you kindly answer me?
    Thank you very much.

    • JGA

      You would be better to go to the Kerkythea forums, rather than this one.
      The light output of SKUP lamp components (KT-Lights) does not show in SketchUP, only in the rendered output from KT2008.
      The Kerkythea forum has manuals available, plus very helpful members who can help with other items not covered.

  • Steve

    Great software- nice job, seems a lot of the Qs here can be resolved by following the installation instructions- one thing I can't figure is how to import the KT materials into Sketchup – I use the icon- follow the path to the xml material files in KT – but no luck?

  • JGA

    Can you please add Twilight Render to your article?
    It is a more direct link between sketchup & the kerkythea render engine.
    Well worth a look & trial at

  • Val


    I'm really at the beginning of the process, but i followed the steps as indicated, and the .rb file is really in the pluggins folder. When i click on "Export Model", i cannot save it, even if if type .xml, nothing happens. Can someone helps me??? Thanks a lot! :)

    • Konstantinos

      I had the same problem, tried to save the exported .xml file in a folder somewhwre in my PC and nothing happened. Then I found out that you must save the exported .xml file INSIDE the Kerkythea root folder. I made a folder named PROJECTS inside the folder of Kerkythea in Programm Files, beside the rest of the folders of Kerkythea (Examples, Globals, etc), and then saved the exported .xml file inside PROJECTS. It worked! Took the time it needed to export the file and then I was asked automatically if I wanted to open the file with KT. And, presto, I started the rendering process! I don't know if this is the way it must be done, but it's ok with me. Try it!

  • bringFire


    Any suggestions on a "better" open source rendering engine?


  • bringFire

    For Mac Users, the "plugins" folder and "Components" are located in:

    /Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp7/

    Put the SU2KT folder and .rb script in the "plugins" folder, and the Light Components in the "Components" folder. ;-)

  • ras

    Thanks, I found this article very helpful. I've render my first sketch up model, hohoho

  • wahyudi

    I have Sketchup 7,so sould be to copy plugin rendering sketchup…. ???

  • sean

    please help.. i have the plug in folders but not tho option to export

  • danny

    i try to render a sketchup model but the ray tracing takes too much time- about an hour for 1 % – what can i do

    • alexschreyer

      Render time is affected by quality settings and image size. Also, the following increase render time: reflective/SSS/very complex materials, number of lights, volume lighting, number of polygons etc. Try adjusting any of these.

      • danny

        thank you alex

  • indra

    I'm Indra. When edit material using material editor, i cannot find confirmation dialogue ( button : undo chages, apply changes,close editor ).
    Any suggestion please.

    • alexschreyer

      Yep, that behaviour is missing. Once you click apply, the changes are saved. Then just close the editor and you are all set.

  • aaron

    I downloaded kerkythea and I am using SU7 but everytime i try to export my SU7 model it sends me to save documents menu. Then exports materials from the model to a tz file but can open it in kerkythea

  • Ashley

    I cant get a .png file to render in Kerkythea – will it recognize this type of file?

  • marko

    thanks for a great guide! best wishes from Holland.

  • Henry

    Alex thank you for your description about Kerkythea, it was great thank you so much , I have a question is possible make animation with photorealistic finish from skechtup with Kerkythea?

  • sarah

    i've installed kerkythea but i don't have the option of exporting my file from sketchup as xml because i don't see the plugins menu. can someone please tell me what i could be doing wrong?

  • doug pott

    i cant seem to import material libraries (zipped or extracted) into kt when i try it tells me:
    the following archives had problems in installation
    could not import archive library
    Im downloading the files and placing them in my kt folder under the libraries section and thats it.
    What am i doing wrong?

    • Incredulous

      there is an "import Library" button (or something to that effect) in the top toolbar. From there you can browse to the .zip library. Be sure the library is zipped and that they are for materials.

  • mahan

    thank you.your Informations is very good for me.

  • akulavolk

    Also, if you have QuickTime Pro, you can choose "Open Image Sequence…" and it will open sequentially-numbered images as a movie. You can adjust frame rate on import.

  • akulavolk

    alex/ethan: thanks for the replies and sorry for the delayed response. I've been traveling a lot and didn't have access to my SU/K machine.

    I was able to get this to work with your suggestion of SU File>Import>(JPG use as texture). Previously, I'd applied textures by:

    1) selecting the face of the object that I wanted to apply a texture to in SU
    2) dragging a JPG from the Finder directly onto that face.

    It's fast and easy if the object and image are the same ratio. Especially if you're using hundreds of different textures. I can do the menu import thing, I guess, but was hoping I could figure out why the SU drag-n-drop method wasn't working. I have models with hundreds of textures applied, so it'll be a hassle to run through the menu process for each of them. But at least it's working, now. Thanks!

  • alexschreyer

    Were you able to open the recovery file? Try opening it from within the application, not just by double-clicking.

  • Taufiq

    Hi, alex….
    after installing I found problem when open kerkythea, the models cannot be open…… (…your latest changes have been saved with the name "recovered xml" in the current directory…) can U help me…. Thank You Very Much

  • novaash

    I have installed the exporter and kerkythea on my imac but i cannot find a 'components' folder to put the kt lights folder in. where do i put it?

  • akula

    So no one’s been able to render surfaces with JPEGs image maps applied?

    • alexschreyer

      Did you make sure that image map export was enabled when you exported to KT?

      • akula


        • alexschreyer

          Just tried it and it worked fine. I applied an image to a surface as an image map, exported and then rendered it. How did you apply your image?

    • ethan

      Did you ever get it working? If not, the solution is not to apply images in SU as an image object. Create a material with the image you want as your texture, and apply it as a material to the face(s) you want. From there, you can click on the face(s) and edit the texture's position, scale, rotation and even flip it – and when it imports to KT all those edits will hold. It will look exactly as it does in SU.

  • rene

    ive already installed the kerkythea and exporter by following the intructions above but when i open my sketchup there is no plugin menu.. how do i deal with this

  • Alex

    @Shawn: When you exported from SU, did you by any chance export it as a “Clay Render” (see dialog box)? That suppresses textures/colors.

    @Chalfin: Once you have all the images, you need to stitch them together into an AVI movie with programs like VirtualDub. Worked fine for me in the past.

  • Chalfin

    Hi want to know how i can make an animation with kerkythea i started and i only get many photos but not a film…

  • Shawn Walker

    When i export my sketchup model into kerkythea and then render the colors do not show up! Please help!

  • Dee Randall

    Does Kerkythea work with Sketchup 7?

    • Alex

      Hi Dee, yes it does. Just copy all your plugin files and components (like the lighting ones) from the respective SketchUp 6 folder to the SketchUp 7 folder and restart SU7.

    • kevlar

      yes. perfectly.

  • ibrahim j.

    i need kerkythea software and tutorial please.

  • Krem

    Great blog :) Thanks for the help :)

  • akula

    Anyone successfully exported to Kerkythea from Sketchup with JPEG image maps applied? My models import to Kerkythea just fine, but the JPEGs that had been applied to faces of objects in the Sketchup doc don’t get imported properly. If my Sketchup objects are exploded, the JPEGs show up as objects, but are not visible. And if objects are not exploded, the JPEGs don’t import at all.

    I noticed a lot of questions on the Kerkythea forms where people had the same problem as me. The only fix seems to be to make sure that there are no strange characters in the path, which mine don’t have…

  • anto


  • maneshraju

    thank u for a forum like this

  • dante gagno


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  • Kathy

    Hi, I installed the kerkythea following all directions mentioned… however, once I open my sketchup I cant see the buttoms for exporting… Ive read this problem has occur but I just cant find a way to fix it…
    Even though I pasted the exporter into the plugin and installed it… also, clicking the view menu for toolbar, doesnt appear the kerkythea icon….
    any suggestions?

  • Alex

    @Gip. Sounds a bit odd but it is hard to figure out the problem without the actual files. Can you post this on the Kerkythea forum?

  • Gip

    I have a sketchup floor plan that is approx 50,000 square ft. When I load it into Kerkythear I get the walls and some of the components but many objects are missing. What can I do?

  • Ehoe

    Thank you very much . I downloaded SU2KT programe a few days ago but I just could not get it working until I stumbled into this blog. After days of frustration I am now one happy guy. Cheers.

  • Alex

    If you have SU6 and SU7 installed then you’ll have to put all of your plugins into both of the plugin folders. Otherwise you won’t see them.

  • PJ

    I don’t get a plugins menu and I’m not sure if this is because
    I have Sketchup 7.

    Please Help,

  • DAR

    I don’t get a plugins menu and I’m not sure if this is because
    I have Sketchup 7.

  • Alex

    Yes, I kept getting this issue, too. It happens with any curved shapes since SketchUp triangulates everything into polygons. Try this: In Kerky, highlight the shape and then select in the menu first “Weld faces”, then do a subdivision and then make sure it renders “smooth”. That usually gets better results.

  • spela

    Hello Alex,

    Thank you for this blog, it’s great.
    I’ ve started to do some renders with Kerkythea (exporting models from sketchup). The render looks great, the texture of the material is perfect but the lines are jagged. Even if the object is not in sphere shape. Please help!

  • Alex

    Hi Jim: Since the kitchen windows are on the north side, I actually didn’t use the sun for lighting. I applied a self-emitting material to all the window panes and lit the room that way. With the recent Kerky version you can now turn the window into a sky portal and get better results from that.
    The only other lights are the undercounter lights which were simple spot lights. Now I would use IES lights there for a more realistic effect.
    Everything was then rendered just using the Photon mapping preset.
    I find using area lights is a nice way to fake neutral lighting. However, be careful to assign these materials to as few polygons as possible.

  • JimW

    Alex, your beautiful kitchen render above inspired me to start rendering Sketchup models. I have not however been able to reproduce anything like it. Is the kitchen in a box to control sunlight? Are there lights other than the sun? Can you make the SketchUp model available for download? I don’t understand Globle Illumination. Do I have to download something additional for Kerky? What were your settings in Kerky? Were the materials changed in Kerky or are they SketchUp materials?


  • Alex

    @StanL3Y: Their materials are your best bet. After that you’ll have to make your own.

    @Dan: Hmm. That’s odd. Check for file extension issues (Windows not showing the correct file extension). If that doesn’t work, then post to the Kerkythea forum.

  • Dan

    Ok, sorry again i wrote myfile.xml as you said, now it does appear in the desktop, but still, when i try to open it in Kerkythea it says that the given 3d format

  • Dan

    Hi, I just keep trying to save mi model in xml so the open it in Kerkythea but it does not seem to be saved. Everytime I try to save it in my desktop i see the desktop and does not appear. I click ok in the export model menu and still it does not work could you help me? thanks

  • StanL3Y

    i’ve been using this kerkythea for long time…
    how can i get some new materials..? i’ve already downloaded the materials from…

  • Alex

    @Mark: You can get many more materials from the Kerkythea website ( Just go to the downloads section there.

    @Jim: You should see a Kerky export option in the Plugins menu. If it isn’t there, then check that the exporter files are in the plugins directory, not in a subdirectory in there.

    @Anita: Make sure you have the latest version of the exporter. It should work. If you still have problems, write them to the Kerkythea forums.

  • MARK


  • jim

    I appreciate your blog and all the directions but I can’t seem to see the exporter plugin when I am in Sketchup. I installed the plugin in the sketchup/plugins menu. Any suggestions?

  • Anita


    i’m new to kerkythea too. I believe I installed the plugin correctly, but when I open my .xml file in kerkythea, it says it is not a valid 3d file. what should i do?

  • Alex

    Hi B?a?ej,
    You don’t have to have the pro version to make this work. It is very straightforward if the plugin is installed correctly. In your file save dialog, you can just write myfile.xml as the file name. The file type drop down menu doesn’t show xml as an option.

  • B?a?ej

    I have not a “pro” version of sketchup. Is it important?

  • B?a?ej

    Hi, I have a problem with exporting sketchup model to kerkythea.
    I am abeginner in this programs.
    I take: Plugins>Export model>Ok, next in the window i can’t take the XML file from a list. The list is clear. I have windows vista and i installed everything plugins ok.
    I don’t know english verry vell so please forgive me for a my mistakes in this post. Please help me!

  • Alex

    Hi Eugene,
    You could do that. Better: After installing the plugin, look for a plugin menu item and click on Export in there.
    Cheers, Alex

  • Eugene

    Hi guys. I’m new with kerkythea. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!

    Where do i begin? Do i export my sketchup model in sketchup using “export” and then using filetype “3ds”. Open kerkythea and open the “3ds” file? and then i’m struggling. :)

  • Alex

    This should work: First, render the scene using the preset you like. Then re-render it using the “Depth render” setting. Then import both images into Photoshop, Gimp etc. and apply the depth render as a mask for blurriness. Search for this on the KT forums, there was a discussion of this technique a while back.

  • QKarmark

    I’d like to know if you have some examples or workflow steps for using the depth of field maps in Kerkythea from SketchUp. I’ve tried building a DOF mask from SketchUp which works not too bad, but it doesn’t matchup with the Kerkythea render. I’m on a Mac BTW.

  • steve mai

    Hi Alex, your website is great. Thank you very much.

  • Alex

    Sounds like a download issue. I haven’t had problems with their official version. Try downloading again.

    After installing the plugin, go to SketchUp and look for the Plugin menu. There will now be a Kerkythea Export item for you to use.

  • Nicole

    Thank you for this helpful post.
    I tried down loading kerkythea but found out it contained a virus/ was incomplete. Have you had this problem? If so, how did you clear it, if not, where did you download it?
    Thanks Nicole

  • http://none arber vane


  • dizzyHARSH

    Im confused! What is a plugin? :S… Is it in sketchup?.. Ive downloaded the exporter into the plugins folder and I dont know what I do with it.
    Also, how do I export? Do I export from sketchup?

  • Alex

    Kerkythea lets you render camera animation (walkthroughs) but no object animations (at least not easily). See the K forum for more on this.

  • diksha

    The results of kerkythea which i hv seen r really good….i m sure going to try it out….but can u just help me out…we get realistic images in kerkythea of sketchup…..can we also get realistic animatoin of sketchup through kerkythea……
    thank u…..

  • rei

    hi!!!!! thnkz for everyone here, you’re a great help!!!!!! thankz

  • Jason

    I chose the …./plugins folder as directed, but the Kerkythea exporter and lighting package installer created another plugins folder and put all of it’s stuff in there. Once I moved all the Kerkythea files one folder back and restarted Sketchup it worked! I would suggest changing the above tutorial to suggest leaving off “plugins” from the destination folder. thanks!

    • inkboy

      Just the answer I was looking for, thanks for the help, as you wrote, all the new files have to be cut n pasted into the very first sketchup plugins folder,then it works.

      • alexschreyer

        Yes, the main exporter Ruby file (rb-extension) must be right in the main plugin folder. Otherwise SketchUp won't load it on startup. I'll change the above to reflect this.

  • Scott

    It works, I installed it into the sketch6 folder and it worked. Before I was installing it into the plugins folder. Thanks for your help.

  • Scott

    Hi, I got the plugins menu to show up by clicking some options in the preferences menu. But the Keykythea Exporter still won’t show up. I tried uninstalling everything and starting from scratch with no luck. I guess SketchUp doesn’t like me.

  • Alex

    If everything is installed correctly, then you’ll find a “Plugins” menu on the SketchUp menu bar (at least on Windows). Go to “Kerkythea Exporter > Export Model” and okay the dialog box. It will then export the model as an XML file. You are right, there is no added XML export option in SketchUp’s File dialog, you must go through the exporter plugin. Hope this helps…

  • Scott

    Hi Have the same problem as Lesley, I have no XML option when I try to export. I know the plugin is installed because its in the list of plugins in the help menu. In your section on use you say go to the plugin menu and export the file. Can you tell me where the Plugin Menu is? Do you need sketchup pro for this?

  • http://none JC


    Don’t be so lazy man, take a f****ng dictionary and translate it.

  • ariel

    how can i install this software?

  • http://N/A Lee

    When I import my models from sketchup to Kerkythea the material scales don’t come through correctly, is there a way to reset or change them?


  • rabia

    ?m rabia ?m student a un?vers?ty ?n turkey. ? have o home work.must use google sketchup. but ? dont know, how can ? do a animation in th?s program ,? do everyth?ng but
    noth?ng move. teacher want make video me,? dont know.maybe you cant understand me ,but please help

  • bill

    A while back I had read something about testing this software on macs.
    Are you still looking for ginnie pigs?


  • Matias2112

    [quote comment=”5459″]HELLO:


    Yo te puedo mandar una versión traducida, mándame un email a

  • L_Verio

    Now it works.. But there is no OSX release .. :(
    Anybody knows the easyest solution for me ?
    (not to change os :D )

  • Alex

    [quote comment=”18972″]Hi, I’m a sketchup user, tried to go on kerkythea-s website, but my browser said “forbidden site” .. tried from several other machines, all the same .. :S
    Any idea ?
    Yes, quite odd, isn’t it? They must have screwed up their server settings. I’ll send an email.

  • L_Verio

    Hi, I’m a sketchup user, tried to go on kerkythea-s website, but my browser said “forbidden site” .. tried from several other machines, all the same .. :S

    Any idea ?


  • Alex

    [quote comment=”18792″]hi, i’ve downloaded materials from kerkythea website, but i couldnti import it to kerkythea library because its not a zip, its just file folder. Do you have any ideas about this?
    Hi Olly, when you download the file, it should save it with a filename like If yours only shows the .mat extension, then you might have not changed the (awfully bad) Windows standard setting, which suppresses display of file extensions. You can change that in Explorer. You should still be able to import the material as mentioned above, though.

  • olly

    hi, i’ve downloaded materials from kerkythea website, but i couldnti import it to kerkythea library because its not a zip, its just file folder. Do you have any ideas about this?

  • Alex

    If you have any technical questions or problems with Kerkythea and/or the exporter, then take a look at the KT forum (link is above). A search there will typically come up with an answer to your issue.

  • Sherwin Primo

    when i render metal or reflective and even glaass like material, the image tends to be noisy (dots on reflective or glass surface)

  • Turner

    I was wondering if you can help me! I downloaded and installed the exporter, but when I tried to export I don’t have the option to export XML in Animation, 2D or 3D. I put the exporter into the plugin folder as suggested and uninstalled and installed a couple of times and still nothing. Do you have any ideas what I could be doing wrong. Thank you!

  • lesley

    never mind, I figured it out. Thanks for your other helpful information.

  • lesley

    Hi there-
    I am new to sketchup rendering and I’ve downloaded the SU exporter plugin into the prescribed folder, however when I attempt to export as an XML-file, I don’t see the plugin….I have SU 5. Any suggestions? Thank you!

  • Alex

    Take a look at the Kerkythea forums (see link above). There is a wealth of information there.



  • RemR

    wooorales excelente plugins para mi SketchUp

  • Alex

    @Pierre: You should voice this request on the Kerkythea forum

    @ raduke: Faces in SketchUp have a front and a back. The front is light colored, the back is dark. Switch your model to monochrome view mode and see that all faces that you see are light colored).

  • raduke

    Hi, What do you mean by ‘switching all visible faces to front’? How do you do that in Sketchup. Thanx.

    • emi

      white is front, blue is back

      • carpe_

        Right click the face and select reverse