Environment

ENVIRONMENT ICONS

Toggle sky: Enables / disables the Thea physical sky
Toggle sun: Enables / disables the Thea sun
Toggle ground plane: Enables / disables the ground plane that catches shadows and reflects objects
Toggle preview widget: Hides / unhides the preview widget. The widget gives a preview of the environment and updates automatically. When 'Manual Sun' is disabled and IBL lighting is being used, you can rotate the environment maps by dragging the preview image.

Environment icons

SUN - GROUND - SKY

Manual sun
By default the intensity, position, and spectral color of the sun are handled automatically, based on the shadow settings in SketchUp. The 'Manual Sun' option lets you override these settings.
When 'Manual Sun' in enabled, you can modify the softness of sun shadows with the multiplier, power, and emittance settings.

If you want complete control over the sun's position regardless of SketchUp shadow settings, disable the 'Use SketchUp Sun position' option. You can adjust the sun polar angle and azimuth either by entering the desired values or by opening the environment preview widget and clicking the preferred location in the preview.

Ground settings

  • Roughness: Controls the roughness of the ground plane
  • Reflections: Controls the reflectiveness of the ground plane
  • Reflection color: Sets the color of the ground plane

Sky settings
The sky settings affect the appearance of the Thea physical sky. The most important parameter is turbidity which requires a value of approximately 2.5 for a clear sky and close to 10.0 for an overcast one.

Environment: Sky

Environment: Preview widget

IBL TAB

Image based lighting is an additional way to illuminate a scene. A photo of a real scene can be used to create highly convincing lighting and enhance the realism of your renderings. In most cases, you need to use high dynamic range images (e.g. exr, hdr) to provide sufficient lighting.

You can use one image for illuminating the scene or set up different images for the background, reflections, and refractions. This makes it possible to use different sources for lighting and for the background - reflections, which in most cases need more detailed images. This is actually standard practice: the illumination source is a relatively low‐detailed texture so that the image can quickly “converge,” while the background and reflections use a detailed map for visually enhanced results.

To add an image, select the type and click the checker button to select the desired image. With the image loaded you can control the intensity, rotation, and wrapping.

There is also the option of using a pure color for the IBL channels. You can access this option by clicking on the image icon and selecting 'Color.' From this menu, you can also remove the image currently loaded in the slot by selecting 'Remove Bitmap'.

Environment: Image based lighting

GLOBAL MEDIUM

Medium type (Fog)
With the fog preset, you can achieve model-wide volumetric effects.

  • Fog density: Control the thickness of the fog
  • Top / bottom level (m): Define where the fog starts and ends

Medium type (custom medium)
When you switch to custom medium, the entire modeling space is filled with a global medium, which can be tweaked using the absorption color, scatter color, and index of refraction parameters. Please note that sky, ibl, and sun don't work in this mode due to the global nature of the medium.

su-environment-fog

Medium fog - Disabled Medium fog - Enabled

Using the cloud preset, volumetric effects can be created within a specified volume