Thea for sketchup video tutorials



Hi mates!
I have been doing rendering for almost a decade and recently I come up with the idea of preparing video tutorials on Thea4Su (Thea render plugin for Sketchup) and you know there is no carefully set, step-by-step yet informative enough for wide range of users from noob to pro courses or information out there in the market. Also I’ve tried to go after a photographic approach. I’ve tried to think loudly while working, so the audience will be familiar with the rendering mindset. It covers: Composition, Camera, Light, Material, engine setup and post-production tools embedded in Thea render pluginand finally puts all together in several “in-action” projects.
I will release it hopefully late January and one/some free lessons also would be available.
Here is the render right from the free lecture:


I think a step by step course on Thea would be wonderful. I have grasped the basics of SU and want to develop my rendering skills and I haven’t found it easy anywhere to find a course that is aimed at a total beginner and progresses steadily. They all seem to start half way down the road and by then I am already lost!


I appreciate your interest in this topic and to clarify: I’ve tried to do my best producing such a course. The premise of course is that the audience has the less amount of rendering knowledge and experience of any render engine if not at all. Then it builds up information on “What is a good composition?”, description on Thea toolbar and panels, material creation process, lighting, camera set-up, render engines… etc respectively and finally some real projects puts all the gained knowledge together from scratch to the final output render. I have tried to convey my knowledge and experience in the simplest way I was capable of and hope user find it helpful.
The fact that I am not native speaker has it’s own cons and pros: The speaking pace is moderate and I guess it helps following the topics and steps.
Also as a bundle it includes the exercise files and some other candy too.


It’s a good idea as there isn’t much available from the developers in the way of a step by step course.

I always think its good to assume people know nothing and to be clear with the training. Providing you are moving along a quick pace, those that do know what you are talking about will be OK with it.

As there has recently been a change from V1 to V2, which version will your tutorial cover?

I see you are on Chipp’s Blender focus group too. Thankfully,Thea isn’t as complex as Blender !!!


The good news about the Thea for Sketchup plugin is the fact that it is almost the same as v1.5 BUT a brand new user interface and also reinforces by V2 engine in background PLUS almost all the material creation capacity of Thea material lab. Tomasz (plugin developer) has done a great job in simplifying the Thea studio material lab right inside Sketchup, so in some cased (such as lights) I’ve review both V1.5 and V2 interface and also have done some comparisons between basic concepts of “material creation” inside the Studio and plugin.
But mainly I am focused on V2.
And you are totally right, I am so lucky to be included in Chipp’s Blender eevee group too.
Hopefully Thea4Su plugin has tried to balance simplicity yet being powerful!


This is a great idea Majid. I look forward to learning Thea through your tutorials…!


I got a bit lost in the new interface so reverted back to 1.5. on my SU2018.
I put v2 on SU2017 so I could keep learning it and hope to transition it to SU2018 later.

It might be a good idea to always keep v1.5 on an earlier version of SU in case one ever had the need to go back to the original Thea material editor…assuming all its functionality is not in V2?


Sane decision, mate.
The course is focused on V2 but in some lessons it has some back and fort to studio and V1.5 and I hope it helps.


I am also sharing the release news here:


This would be good, however I would like to also see SU-PRO-2019 have some form of in-house basic photo rendering tool. It seems of late, SU is being left behind with these types of power tools. Even some free programmes like BLENDER are know starting to be widley noticed is this regard.

Over & out,


I wish so. But seems they have no such a plan. By the way there are plenty of render engines out there and for those who are seeking the ultimate photo realism, Thea is one of best choices.
Here is an old model based on my friend’s design (Richard Jeffrey). An interior shot remodeled using Sketchup (Vase is done in Blender3D) and rendered using Thea render.


Your renders look very nice!
I would definitely attend to your course.
I work with SU2018 Pro for 2 years and this year goal is to gain some rendering skills.
All renderers are the same new for me, so a good tutorial would be perhaps a decision point.
But I do not have twitter and other social site accounts. WIll it be a problem?


Dear Greglll
Nice resolution for new year.
There are too many factors that may help you deciding the right choice and in my opinion Thea is really one of those unique, most powerful rendering tools available on this planet.
I also have tried to simplify, arrange and convey a wide variety of information on rendering in general and Thea specifically so that they even are applicable in other rendering engines. As you are able to know “How and what about does a veteran think, while doing the rendering process?”. So it includes basic concepts and also covers some advanced tips and I guess folk hopefully might find it handy.
So the course has a normal pace and it is wise to watch the videos and then experience over the included files regularly and buildup your skill on your pace.
There is no need to have a social account, my account is just to update the news on the course release and it would be for sale via several platforms.
I hope you find it helpful.


I would like to start rendering models as well. I have just started looking into different programs for this. A lot of people I know use Lumion but that’s just way outside my budget and Lumen RT doesn’t seem to reply to emails so I’m looking for a program that I can jump into.


Best of luck for you.
Let me clarify the rendering engines available in industry a bit more:
There are two main approaches including real-time renders such as Lumion, LumenRT etc… and non-realtime ones such a V-Ray, Thea-render, etc…
The first category cheats the reality and is trying to approach the realism to the possible degree limited by their approach and the second category mainly benefits ray-tracing that needs more complicated computation and so more accurate realistic results in expense of time. This is why leading companies in ArchViz are inclined to the second category. By the way it is a personal choice. I have both of them included in my toolbox.


To echo Majid’s notes. There are so many renderers available now, and just like modelling tools, they can all produce decent renders, but the approach is a little different in each, particularly the interface, so it’s best to find the one that suits you. Most have a free trial period so that’s the best way to determine which fits your style best and ease of use for you, and look through their respective site’s galleries to see how the renders look. The price range varies too, by example, from $0 (kykerthyhea) t0 $700 (vray). Also what is the end result needed for?, if it’s for fun then you may not wish to spend a fortune, but if its for professional presentation then you might need the functionality of a higher spec render. The other major distinction is “biased” and “unbiased” renderes, and those that can use your cpu vs gpu or both. Unbiased renderes are true raytracing and as the name suggests will produce physically accurate renders. Biased renderers are using software to approximate lighting behaviours to speed up the render times, the settings for this can radically speed up the renders but compromise true accuracy, however, some of this is subtle and may not be noticeable.
Lumion, twinmotion and LumenRT are biased renderers that utilize game engine technology, so while producing “real time” renders, they are highly optimized and may not appear as real, but their strength is mainly for animation and movement where they can efficiently render thousands of frames instantly, which is the trade off, they will not produce as good a still frame render IMO as other renderers. The newest addition to this which is free is the new EEVEE renderer in Blender, which is a real time renderer but takes a fair amount of learning.
In all renderers, there is a lot more to learn to produce good renders, most won’t do it at the push of a button as you need to carefully apply textures (not necessarily the sketchup ones) and add lighting. The lighting aspect, much like photography requires a sound understanding of lighting types, placement and quality to make a properly textured model appear real and it can be very satisfying when all of this comes together.


Thanks for detailed comment.
I was trying not to use technical words such as Biased/unbiased/cpu/gpu etc as much as possible , but thanks again fro your detailed description.
I myself started from Kerkythea (or KT), and my free (and paid version) e-book called “KT fast start 4 architects” is still out there. Later on I moved to Twilight (free and pro, Thea, V-ray (for SketchUp obviously :grin: )… and recently was honored to be include in Chipp’s eevee course as beta tester.
Preventing a beginner to be lost I suggest a similar approach if interested to learn the rendering by themselves. i.e one may start from Twilight render, that generates quality renders using a simple interface, then if necessary might migrate to more advanced ones.
By the way, I’ve arranged my Thea course so that one may start Thea instantly and using exercise files builds up his/her experiences to a fair level.
It is so similar to all other practical process, such as driving or football… it need attention ,being enthusiastic and spending some time practicing.
I hope it helps.


Thank you Majid & WR. Very helpful. I got the idea for rendering software from Nick Sonder’s book on SketchUp. He said he just emails a LumenRT cube off to his customers and they get to view the design at their leisure on their computer. The only reason I am even considering rendering software is to make things easier for the customer to visualize, in the hope of reducing the “I didn’t think it would look like that” moments. Now I’m just curious to see what’s out there.


There are plenty of opportunities…
I tried Lumen RT several times and at that era it was time consuming to create a mid-quality realistic render to walk in virtually.
Have you ever tried VR?
Lumion, V-ray, KT (kerkythea), Twilight, and Thea are capable of creating such images, directly or via additional apps. Twilight pro “bakes textures” to your model, so that you may walk trough the model appearing as it is built.


I just downloaded your book on KT. I’ll try that for about a month then V-Ray, or Thea (Lumion is way beyond my budget).
I never considered VR. Thought it was still in it’s early stages but I’m starting to hear about it more and more. Thanks for your suggestions. Probably saved me a lot of time.