Custom previews for Thea models


Thea for SketchUp allows you to generate custom previews for the Thea models inside the Thea content browser.

Preparing the scene

To get uniform previews for all of your Thea models, you should setup a template file that will be used to create the previews.

Setting the image resolution

  • Open the Thea Tool panel and switch to the Camera tab.
  • Change the aspect ratio to 1:1

That should render square images which will be similar to the ones used in the Thea content browser.

Setting up the environment

  • Switch to the Environment tab
  • Assign an HDR image in the illumination channel that will be used for reflections, refractions and to light the scene
  • Assign a color to the background channel (e.g. white)
  • Enable ground plane

The ground plane will create contact shadows so that the object does not seem like it is floating.

Generating the preview image

  • Import the Thea model
  • Move it to the origin point so that the model is located above the ground plane
  • Open the Thea rendering window
  • Make sure that you are in interactive mode
  • ‘In Thea window’ should also be selected
  • Start interactive rendering
  • Select the model and switch to the model tab
  • Click on the proxy editing button
  • Frame the object to the center of the rendered image
  • Wait a few seconds for the image to clear and click on the ‘Save model’ button.
  • Overwrite the .mod.thea file or create a new one

Open the Thea content browser and click on the refresh button. Navigate to the folder where your model is located and see that the new image is being used as a preview.