Thea Render For SketchUp is a plugin that combines the powerful rendering engines of Thea with the simplicity and ease of use of SketchUp. It allows you to create stunning photorealistic images of your models with biased, unbiased, and interactive render modes, including GPU support. You can also enrich your models with highly detailed three-dimensional content, breaking old limitations related to handled model complexity.

In this article, we will show you some of the features and benefits of Thea Render For SketchUp, as well as how to install and activate it on your computer.

Features and Benefits of Thea Render For SketchUp

Here are some of the features and benefits of Thea Render For SketchUp that make it a great choice for rendering your SketchUp models:

  • Interactive Render Overlay: You can run interactive rendering either inside Thea window or directly inside the SketchUp view, a feature that we call interactive render overlay. Additionally, with the use of interactive region rendering, you can select and render a region of the SketchUp view, providing ultra-fast feedback for complex scenery. It is a valuable tool in the workflow as it gives you an immediate visualization of modifications to the geometry, environment, depth of field, reflections, light distribution, material properties and external Thea models[^1^] [^2^].
  • Advanced Material Editor: The advanced Thea material editor has been fully integrated into SketchUp, bringing all the advanced and unique features of Thea materials. You can create any kind of material with the node-based editor or use one of the many presets available. You can also apply different textures, bump maps, displacement maps, and more to your materials[^1^] [^2^].
  • Custom Scene Update: The Custom Scene Update buttons allow you to control the update of materials, geometry, lights, and proxies every time the scene starts rendering. This makes it possible to turn off geometry updates when you only want to edit materials or lighting[^2^].
  • Section Cuts: Section cuts are now supported in SketchUp 2014 (and newer versions). Section cuts allow you to cut through buildings and rooms maintaining the same interior lighting as if the external walls were still in place[^2^].
  • Light Editing Tool: Thea for SketchUp has its own point lights. The Light editing tool not only allows precise light positioning but it can also give live feedback while rendering interactively in the main window[^2^].
  • Advanced Shadow Catcher: Integrate your models into a scene with a background image, introducing realistic shadows produced by IBL, Sun and Thea Point Lights. It can also produce real reflections on the ground-plane[^2^].
  • Photoshop PSB/PSD output: Thea for SketchUp supports Photoshop PSB/PSD files (8, 16 and 32bit). This makes it possible to save multi-layer images in large formats[^2^].
  • Resume Rendering: Any rendered image can be saved as a .img.thea file. This file can be reloaded inside Thea Rendering Window at any time allowing the user to resume a rendering[^2^].
  • Stereoscopic image output: Stereoscopic image output exports two 360-degree images for both eyes, letting you see the model in 3D using simple red-cyan glasses or a VR headset[^1^].
  • Cloud material preset: There is also a Cloud material preset for adding volumetric effects on defined solid groups or components[^1^].

How to Install and Activate Thea Render For SketchUp

To install and activate Thea Render For SketchUp on your computer, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Download the latest version of Thea Render For SketchUp from the official website. Make sure you choose the correct version for your operating system and SketchUp version.
  2. Run the installer and follow the instructions on the screen.

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