Indigo Renderer


Indigo is a realistic rendering engine for 3D model visualisation.

At Massey Spatial Design we use it with Sketchup (and a sketchup plugin Skindigo).

The Indigo renderer enables quick analysis of accurate lighting conditions and materiality from a digital model,  which makes it particularly useful for us as spatial designers.

What they say about it:
“Indigo Renderer is an unbiased, physically based and photorealistic renderer which simulates the physics of light to achieve near-perfect image realism. With an advanced physical camera model, a super-realistic materials system and the ability to simulate complex lighting situations through Metropolis Light Transport, Indigo Renderer is capable of producing the highest levels of realism demanded by architectural and product visualization.”

Indigo Renderer Website:

Tutorial series:

A youtube playlist of video tutorials created by massey spatial design, covering basics, lighting, sections and materials etc (check the playlist to skip to the specific tutorial you’d like)



Questions about Indigo?, maybe it’s already answered on the official indigo forum?
Otherwise feel free to ask on the forum, your classmates or a staff member.


Indigo Network Rendering:

Massey Spatial Design has an Indigo Rendering Network that utilises unused computer processing power in the labs to speed up our renders.

An Indigo Slave starts when nobody is logged in, and stops once a user logs in. Network rendering means indigo will be quicker at getting a nice high quality render. It’s best to only use network rendering when doing a large final I render after you have all the settings setup how you’d like.

Here is a step by step guide explaining how to setup Indigo Network Rendering:

  •  Load up Sketchup and open/create your design.

The “Skindigo” (Sketchup & Indigo) plugin toolbar open in the top left somewhere looking like the image below, if it’s not there:

  • Enable the Skindigo toolbar by selecting “View -> Tool palettes -> Skindigo”
  • Try a render by clicking the first button on the Skindigo toolbar “Render with indigo”

It might take a while to export from sketchup, you can monitor this process via the status bar in the bottom of sketchup.

After the model has exported, Indigo will load up and start rendering the scene

By default, the rendered image dimensions are quite small.

  • Change the dimensions via the “Imaging” options in the “Render Settings” pane on the far right of the window

The larger the dimensions, the longer the render will take.
This is where the Network Rendering comes in handy.

  • Enable Network Rendering by clicking the “Network Rendering”  button on the toolbar.

This will only work after the render has begun already.

It’s a good idea to use network rendering for your final renders, leave it off when you are testing out different views/options.

  • View the “Network Rendering” pane

This shows how many other computers are helping the render.

If they don’t show up straight away, don’t worry, it probably means that all the computers are being used for other renders (or people are logged in using the machines) and it takes some time to re-orient the slaves.

The last button of the Skindigo toolbar (a camera icon) is the render settings.

These settings get saved with the sketchup file.

Here’s a render without network rendering (on an iMac)

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 4.23.25 PM

and the same render with network rendering and the local computer (there were 7-10 slaves helping with this)

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 4.24.09 PM


Last modified: October 4, 2018