SketchUp Plug-ins Spirituality

Short story of Thea light

Here I share a short story how Thea works with SketchUp models. It is not intended only as a marketing, rather as an insight how Thea works in general.

We do not have native lights in SketchUp. There is no native rendering engine in SketchUp, apart for very simple OpenGL display.

We’ve got Thea touch which creates miracles – beautiful images from models. Even the most elaborate SketchUp display styles do not give them justice.

SketchUp component cannot give light on its own. There must be Thea present and the component has to take a name of a light. It has to have “_lighttype” somewhere in its’ name. It must be saying “I want to be a light!”. Thea will make it emit light, but as most of us understand, not by component’s own means. Thea is the source of light. It is what brings life to any SketchUp model.

Interestingly every component can be turned into a light. ‘Marc’, ‘Susan’ or ‘Heather’ may be converted into an emitter. Try it! Every single light matters in rendering and is taken into account when calculating the global illumination.

There is Thea online manual, few books and a lot of tutorials on Thea, but the most important is to have hands-on experience.

Happy rendering!


SketchUp Plug-ins

Thea for SketchUp 3.0

Altair has recently released my connection between Thea Engine and Trimble SketchUp:

Thea for Sketchup v3

It is a big challenge for a classic “offline” render engine to compete with real-time “online” engines, but I believe we are getting very close now. The interactive denoising combined with continuous hardware improvements will soon lead to convergence of Thea with real-time performance. We still have some important tasks to do to close the gap close or almost close. The good thing is that the superior quality is on our side, while online engines may struggle to deliver the precision of the desired output, especially in more complex scenes.

I have a lot ideas for the future. Thanks to Altair and plugin users, I am constantly challenged to meet their expectations. It is not always easy, but I always put myself in user’s skin and try thinking their way. I also use from time to time Thea to visualize my own and my wife’s concepts. With the help of Thea it makes conveying the ideas to our clients and audience much easier.

I highly recommend checking the newest version. Interactive denoising combined with improved interactive updates made a lot of difference, not to mention other features like Relight or Adaptive Tracing which sets GPU output quality even higher then before.

SketchUp Plug-ins

Bring My View Back

I created this SketchUp extension long time ago. It draws a plane perpendicular to the camera direction, which fills whole current view.

SketchUp Plug-ins

Thea for SketchUp 2.1

Altair has just released a new version of my SketchUp extension:

Just to prevent possible confusion, I am the author of the connection between Thae Render and SketchUp, not the rendering engine itself.