Content Browser

Thea content browser is an asset management window for local and online materials, models and skies. It can also be used as a scene management tool with options to find missing assets from the active scene and create an archive file that contains the SketchUp file along with all the external dependencies (textures, models, environment maps).

Content browser window

Content browser options

  • Refresh browser: Use this to refresh the displayed content
  • Install Thea library: Use a .lib.thea file to install one of the official Thea Render libraries. More info below...
  • Save SketchUp model with dependencies: Creates an archive of the active SketchUp scene (.skp) along with any external dependencies
  • Show in explorer: Opens the folder of the active selection
  • Materials - models - skies: Each category displays the local assets from the 'Thea Data' folder
  • Substance 3D: Substance 3D materials can be found in this category. You may add your own by adding .sbsar files in the /Thea Data/sbsar folder
  • Custom folders: Right click and select 'Add folder' to add any folder that exists outside of the 'Thea Data' folder
  • Model Info: Displays a list of missing assets (textures, models, environments) and has options to find and replace them (read more...)

Thea for SketchUp comes packed with an extensive list of Substance 3D materials created by Ambient CG.


Thea Render provides a wide range of material libraries, as well as models and skies. Visit the Resources page to download all the available Thea libraries.
There are two ways to find the 'Install library' option.

Inside the content browser window
Click on the cube icon and browse for the .lib.thea files.

Using the Thea Render menu

  • Go to Extensions > Thea Render > Tools > Install Library
  • Select a .lib.thea file
  • Tick to accept the license
  • Click on the button to install it

Once the installation has finished, a new window will verify the files that have been installed to the Thea Data folder.
To see the newly installed library, open the Thea content browser and click on the refresh icon.


  • Double click on any material (cursor turns to the bucket tool)
  • Apply the material to the objects in the scene

Right click on any material preview and select "Apply to edited Thea material" to load it to the material editor. Material editor needs to be the active tab. You may also drag and drop the material to the preview area for the material editor.


To load a Thea model into the scene:

  • Double click on its preview
  • Click with the mouse to place the Thea proxy

Updating the viewport proxy of the Thea model:

  • Right click on the preview
  • Select 'Update proxy component: ...........'

Update Viewport Proxy Options

Detailed proxy: Creates a low poly version of the mesh based on the selected option (triangles, points)
Detailed proxy > Value: Higher values will increase the proxy detailed mesh
Add bounding box: Select whether you want the bounding box to be added to the proxy object

When 'models' is the selected category, a new button is available called 'Import model' that allows you to import 3D models in other formats such as: fbx, obj, 3ds, dae. The generated Thea model will be added to the current location as a Thea proxy (.mod.thea).


Thea skies have the ".sky.thea" extension that when applied, they overwrite the current environment settings with the ones from the selected file.
To save the current environment settings as a sky preset:

  • Select a folder in the sky category
  • Click on the "Save current environment setup" button
  • Select the path where the new sky preset will be saved

Double click on any sky preset to load it to the Thea Render environment settings.

To create a new folder, go to the Thea Data folder. You can find the path to the bottom of the Thea content browser window. Go inside the models folder (Thea Data / Models / <new_folder>) and create a new one.


Thea content browser also has a 'Model info' section which shows external dependencies associated with a model. This window allows you to view and find, modify, update external textures, IBLs, and models used in the scene.