Showcasing the New Ambient Occlusion Feature in SketchUp Pro 2024

Hello SketchUp Community!
Below is my first model with the newly released SketchUp Pro 2024, I’m exploring the innovative Ambient Occlusion feature that has just been introduced.

Final Render made in SketchUp & Photoshop

Images Exported from SketchUp to use in Photoshop

The first image includes ambient occlusion but the distance parameter is less than in the second image. I think is useful to have different distance settings for ambient occlusion to blend them in PS.

I drew over the character hair, eyes, and added the SketchUp logo to the right arm. For the pine trees I added some cuts and added some highlight.

Just in case let me clarify that I am not using external render engines. I am only using SketchUp Pro 2024 and Photoshop.

Also, I modeled everything in SketchUp only with the help of SketchUp Extensions. I share some of my modeling process in the following forum post: SketchUp Quad Modeling Gallery by Rafael Rivera

I hope this walkthrough of my first model using SketchUp Pro 2024’s Ambient Occlusion feature, enhanced further with Photoshop, sparks inspiration and opens up new avenues for your own creative projects. I’m keen to hear your thoughts, experiences, and any tips you might want to share about using these tools in your workflow. Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions, or share your own experiences below. Thank you for taking the time to see my SketchUp render!


yeah, I do the same with shadows when working on photo insertion.
I’ll export 2 images, one with faces, one with shadows over white, and multiply in photoshop.
I guess now we have to export 3 images and blend that a bit more
(more work, but better result)

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It would be interesting if the ambient occlusion color (black) could be adjusted to other colors

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Is this Ambient Occlusion style an AI generated style? it looks a bit like it to me

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Quick test in Photoshop to change the AO color. I’ve also wanted control over shadow color for awhile now. We shall see if either comes to fruition some day.


Nice - your video on shadow colors made me think of AO colors


Well, in photoshop, you could create a plain colour layer, and use the AO or shadow export as a mask.
that requires to invert black and white on the AO/shadow export first, but that way, you get the AO/shadows calculated by SU + a complete colour choice.

that’s the normal stack + multiply, it allows a better control than in SU and I can better adjust to the actual photo

and this is a stack of plain colour layers (as multiply layers off course) but I also inverted the AO and shadows images, and used them as mask. it gives more freedom than just painting on a layer, more reversibility as well.


I did not use any AI to generate my SketchUp render. Only used Photoshop to paint over the details I wanted.

However, just fo fun I played with SketchUp Diffusion…Below are some renders generated with AI.

Without AI or Photoshop ( SketchUp View Only)

With AI ( SketchUp Extension: Stable Diffusion )

The prompt was to make the material look like clay and use pastel colors.

This one I added to include dramatic lighting.

Here is a “fail” attempt when I included the character, the AI doesn’t yet handle people well I guess.


It would be nice if SketchUp let you have multiple shadow and ambient occlusion settings right on SketchUp without the need to use Photoshop. Maybe also have blending modes in SketchUp like in Photoshop.

I am very hopeful that modifying AO color will be added some day in the future (fingers crossed). For now at least we can modify the color on Photoshop.

Hi Folks.

Cassidy here PM of Graphics. The team is very pleased to see this conversation starting. We are so glad you are enjoy some of the new features.

Please let us know any other great ideas you might have on AO. For example, color’d shadows. By the way we love that idea.

I look forward to hearing back.

Graphics Team


Are you bringing AO to Sketchup GO (subscription version)?

that’s a very odd way to put it. :sweat_smile: problems reaching user retention goals ? :smiley:
you can’t really “keep us longer” in SU and out of photoshop (or any other image tool), we go there do do the next and often final step

However, what you can work on is the ease of transfer :

If you scroll up, I briefly show the process to extract both the 3d and the shadows (and now the AO) to then combine them with a high degree of freedom on both opacity and colour, and it’s not even touching the “incrustation within context” aspect where you end up tweaking colours and alpha again and again. This work requires extracting 3-4-5 “layers” from the 3d model.

If you watch the last video Eric does the same, he prepares and exports :

  • a very colourful version for easy select
  • shadows
  • the actual model
  • (I would add AO in 24)

In the end, being able to prepare these styles once and for all, and then export scenes in 4 styles at once could ease the transition to photoshop.
Right now, we have to prepare the styles, then make a scene in one style, export, change style, export, change style + add shadow, export, change style and tags and shadows parameters, export.
if you have 2-3 scenes to extract, you then start again.

and in this idea, the status of shadow (on or off) would need to be part of the styles. right now you can’t create a style with white background, no lines, no faces, just shadows. SU will register everything in the style but the fact that shadows are turned on.
Shadow status could be like section fill status, or AO status, or colour by tag…

Adjustable depth cue?

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@indie3d very pleasant pastel palette :heart_eyes:

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Its on its way.


Thank you! love what I’ve seen with it so far.