How to Create a Beautiful Line Rendering with Sketchup and Vray

Featured image_How to Create a Beautiful Line Rendering with Sketchup and Vray

In this article, we’re going to be tackling how to create a line rendering from Sketchup and Vray. Taivan7doloo asks:

“How do I do a line showing render? I’ve been trying out Sketchup for a few months now and people have been doing some renders that have only black lines on white background. Can you guys please help me?”

We’ve imported a model from the 3D Warehouse to show you what steps you need to take. There are two major steps to approach this question. First, we’re going to show you what you’ll need to do in Sketchup.

Create a Line Rendering with Sketchup

Window > Default Tray > Show Tray. Open the default tray by navigating to “window” > “default tray” and select “show tray.” You also want to make sure “styles” are checked.

Edit Style. Go to the “edit” tab of the “styles” dropdown in the default tray. Select the “faces” thumbnail so you can edit the model faces. Then, under the “style” section, select “display shaded using all same.”

You may notice that some of the faces appear white and some of them appear gray. This is because Sketchup recognizes both the front and backside of faces. To get a consistent look, you’ll want to make sure all the faces are oriented the same way.

incorrect line rendering faces

To fix this, double click into the model and then right-click on the incorrect faces. Select “reverse faces.” In some areas, you may have to manually select each face and reverse them individually.

manually select faces of line rendering

Select Camera View. Once you have all of the faces correct, you’ll want to save a new scene. Hit the “+” button at the bottom of the default tray. There will now be a tab at the top left of your screen that says “scene 1.” Don’t forget to save your model!

add line rendering scene

Styles > Model Settings. Go back to the “styles” tab of the default tray to edit the line rendering settings. Under the “edit” section, select “modeling settings.” Uncheck “hidden geometry,” “model axes,” “section cuts,” “section fills,” and “guides.”

Update Style. Click on the thumbnail image directly underneath the “styles” tab to update the style.

update line rendering style

Edge. Click on the “edge” thumbnail under the “style” tab. From here you can decide what settings you want to include. “Edges” are essentially the outline of your model. “Back edges” include a ghosted image of the back side of your model. “Profiles” thicken the lines. For now, we just selected “edges” and “profiles.”

File > Export > 2D Graphic. Once you have all of the settings selected, you can export your file. Go to “file” > “export” and select “2D Graphic.” Type in the name of your file and click “export.”

Create a Line Rendering with Vray

If you want to take your file to the next level, you can use Vray (or really any other rendering software) and Photoshop to overlay the linework on top of a rendering. Click on the “render interactive” button in Sketchup to open Vray.

Settings > Material Override. To get rid of the default materials, go to “settings” and click on “material override.” Click the slider so that “material override” is turned on and re-render the image.

open Vray to complete line rendering

Open in Photoshop. Click on the thumbnail image that reads “copy current channel to clipboard.” Open Photoshop and then open your PNG file.

Create New File. Create a new file in Photoshop and paste your Vray image (that was copied to your clipboard) into the file.

Copy. Hit “ctrl” + “A” to copy all of your line drawing. Then go to the Vray rendering and hit “ctrl” + “V” to paste.

Multiply. Change the blending option of the line drawing layer to “multiply.” This will get rid of the white and allow the black lines to sit on top of the render.

transform line rendering in Photoshop

Transform. Hit “ctrl” + “T” to transform the layer and align it with the rendering. If you want, you can play around the with opacities of your two layers to get the look you’re after.

final line rendering

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out the rest of our tutorials! What other types of renderings do you make with Sketchup and Vray? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Hacking!


  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

    Great tips. I’m bookmarking this page. Its a great resource to keep. Thanks for sharing.

  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

  4. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

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  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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