Installation / Activation


Download and execute the Thea for SketchUp installer from the Thea Render downloads page or the Altair One Marketplace

The installer will detect any SketchUp installation supported by the current version of the plugin. The option 'Legacy OptiX 5 Denoiser' should be ticked when your system has NVIDIA GPUs with compute capability 3.x (e.g. GTX 650, GTX 780, etc). When asked to set the path to the 'Thea Data' folder, you need to make sure that the path has full read/write access. If the path does not, the plugin will not work properly.

  • Nvidia OptiX denoiser only works with NVIDIA graphics cards.
  • The 'Thea Data' folder is where the plugin look for assets such as materials, models and other files (e.g. LUTs and assets from the online repository).

Installing on Windows

Make sure that SketchUp was been executed at least once before running the installer; otherwise it won't appear in the list. The installer will guide you through the necessary steps. It automatically recognizes previously installed SketchUp versions and offers the corresponding plug‐in installation.

Thea Data is written to: Home/Library/Application Support/Thea Render

Installing on macOS


If Thea for SketchUp v3.5 is installed over v2, then a 'Thea Switch' option will be visible in the main menu allowing you to switch between the two versions (v2 & v3.5). Go to 'Extensions > Thea Switch' and select the version that you would like to switch to. Restart SketchUp to apply the change.
It doesn't matter which version is installed first. 'Thea Switch' will appear in either case.


License management on Altair One
Your licenses are managed in Altair One. The first time you buy a license, a new account is created for you in Altair One which of course needs to be activated first. To activate your account, please follow the instructions of the welcome email that you received shortly after the purchase was complete.

If you haven't received the welcome email, make sure that you check your spam/junk folder too. In any case, you may also use the following link to manually unlock/activate your account:
With your Altair One setup properly, open the license setup window from the main menu: Extensions > Thea Render > License Setup.

Lease licenses
If you have a lease license, switch to the lease tab and use the Altair One credentials (username & password) to get a license from the server.


Educational 1 year licenses are free from the Altair University.

1. Create your Altair One account

  • Create an Altair One account
  • Register using the email assigned to you by your educational institution (e.g.,
  • Select either 'Students' or 'Faculty'

2. Apply for a student license

  • Login to Altair One and go to the Marketplace
  • Click on the 'Student Edition License' card
  • Click on 'Get License'

Your unique license activation key will appear.

3. Activating with the activation key

  • Open the License Setup window: Extensions > Thea Render > License Setup
  • Switch to the Educational tab
  • Paste the license key and click on Activate

Educational tab
Click on the "Register" button to navigate to the registration page of the Altair University

Educational Licenses (Legacy)
If you have an legacy node-locked license, select the "License File (.dat)" option and browse for the license file in .dat format that was provided to you.


Q: I haven't received the welcome email yet. What can I do?
A: Please check your email's junk / spam folder. If you cannot find the email, please send a support request at

Q: Why am I getting watermarks on the rendered images?
A: This can happen when your machine has no access to the internet. Please make sure that your machine has an active connection. Another reason for this is that your license is already in use on another machine. Please make sure that SketchUp is closed before running Thea on another machine.

Q: How do I know when does my license expire?
A: You will receive a notification in the Console tab of the Thea Rendering window 14 days before the license expiration.

Q: How can I renew my license?
A: Your license can be renewed by placing a new order in the Thea Render eshop. Please make sure that you are using the same email address that you have in Altair One while placing the order. In this way, the license will be added to your Altair One account.

Q: What are the restrictions when there is no license active?
A: If you don't activate your license, you will remain in demo mode with certain limitations. Maximum resolution set to 1920x1080 and watermarks displayed in the rendered images