v2019 Shaderlight Pro for SketchUp


Shaderlight Pro for SketchUp


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Shaderlight Pro for SketchUp

Take your SketchUp models to the next level with Shaderlight

Shaderlight is an interactive rendering software plug-in to SketchUp that lets you create high quality images, quickly and simply. Now with even more simple to use features, Shaderlight now gives you even more control over how you render your SketchUp models, with the ability to animate your SketchUp scenes and render to the cloud.


Whether you’re using Trimble SketchUp Free or Pro, Shaderlight fits seamlessly with your workflow so you don’t have to be a SketchUp rendering software expert to get great results.


Whether you’re an architect, interior designer, 3D rendering expert or using SketchUp for fun, the simple to use yet powerful technology behind Shaderlight will bring your designs to life.

Shaderlight is the only rendering partner you’ll need for SketchUp.

Simple to learn and easy to use, Shaderlight brings your images to life in a few simple clicks. We’ve taken the complexity out of SketchUp rendering so whatever your profession, you can focus on creating better images and animations straight out of SketchUp.



Flexible rendering

Our new Timed Access Licenses let you pay for the rendering time you need – whether its to boost rendering capacity for a large project, render a one off image or simply spread the cost of rendering your SketchUp models.  Choose from 30 day, 3 or 6 month licenses.

Cloud rendering

This innovative SketchUp plugin enables users to render high resolution, photorealistic Shaderlight visualizations in record time – without tying up your desktop or requiring investment in costly new hardware. Find our more about Shaderlight Cloud Rendering.

What’s new in Shaderlight 2019?

Shaderlight 2019 fully supports SketchUp 2019, the latest update to SketchUp.

In addition to SketchUp 2019 compatibility, Shaderlight 2019 includes a number of workflow enhancements including the ability to render transparent materials in chalk renders.

  • Full support for SketchUp 2019Transparent objects can now remain transparent in chalk renders.
  • Shaderlight’s render settings can now be saved independently for each SketchUp scene.
  • macOS Mojave’s dark mode is supported in the Shaderlight render window.
  • Shaderlight prevents a computer from entering sleep mode while rendering.
  • Shaderlight will now suspend App Nap for the plug-in while a render is in progress on macOS.
  • The addition of a 4K UHD output resolution preset.
  • Shaderlight warns when using the ‘Quit Shaderlight’ menu option on macOS while rendering.

There is really only one choice of renderer for SketchUp

Shaderlight is now available for both Mac and Windows and will run with both Free and Pro versions of SketchUp version 2015. For the best results run Shaderlight with the latest version of SketchUp.

Interactive rendering

  • Shaderlight gives you a choice of rendering modes to optimize your workflow. Choose from progressive rendering with auto-updates for interactive feedback, on-demand updates or single (tiled) mode to render at full quality.

Simple interface

  • Our close integration with SketchUp will make you feel right at home – render directly from your SketchUp toolbar, there’s no need to import your model first.

Replace Me

  • Shaderlight’s fantastic new Replace Me feature lets you render detailed models without filling your SketchUp scene with geometry.  Choose from our library of Replace Me models or create your own with the Replace Me creator plugin.

Light fixture library

  • It’s now even easier to create real-world lighting using Shaderlight ready light fixtures with embedded IES files to give you the exact light and shadow detail the manufacturer intended.

Refine your image

  • Even when rendering you remain in control. Use zoom and pan to explore the detail of your image or capture your work in progress renders with the 'snapshot' feature

Real world effects

  • Add accurate materials and textures to your 3d model with simple presets directly from SketchUp, then use the adjustable settings to get the perfect finish.

Accurate lighting

  • Illuminate your scene using SketchUp's sun, image-based lighting or our physical sky. For realistic interiors simply add a point, spot, area, portal or IES light from Shaderlight's simple light editor.

Photoreal finish

  • It's never been simpler to show your 3d model in its real-life setting using image-based lighting or physical sky and your own background image.  Professional lighting images and backgrounds are included in Shaderlight Pro.

Scene animation

  • Create photorealistic animations direct from SketchUp with this brand new feature available in Shaderlight Pro.

Presentation tools

  • Render plans, elevations, and isometric viewpoints or choose Chalk Render mode to produce form studies for a quick, clear presentation of your design intent.


  • Whether you’re on a Mac or a PC, running SketchUp Free or Pro, if you’re modeling in SketchUp then you can render with Shaderlight.

  • Full support for SketchUp 2019
  • Skatter support

Shaderlight has been designed to work with both free and pro versions of SketchUp.


  • Windows 8.1 or Mac OS X 10.9 or later
  • 2 GB RAM
  • SketchUp 2013
  • Internet Explorer 8 or above is required on Windows platforms


  • 8 GB RAM (If you are rendering larger resolution images you will benefit from more RAM, especially if you are working in Auto Update mode. Single (Tiled) mode uses a lot less memory and can be used to render high quality high resolution images)
  • 2GHz+ quad-core processor
  • SketchUp 2014 or later

Some things to consider

  • Shaderlight will make full use of a multi-core processor and will use all cores of all CPUs.
  • Shaderlight won’t use the GPU for rendering. SketchUp can use the GPU for its own display, so interactions in SketchUp might benefit.
  • Any given render will require a certain amount of RAM, and having more will not improve render times. Having less than that amount will dramatically increase render times as memory is swapped on and off the hard drive. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to predict the amount of RAM needed in advance. In our experience, 8GB is enough for most small-medium complexity scenes at resolutions below 1920×1080. 16GB is enough for more complex scenes at 1920×1080.  As it’s difficult to know beforehand how much RAM you’ll need, it’s worth planning an upgrade path for your future needs.

What's new in Shaderlight 2019?

  • Full support for SketchUp 2019Transparent objects can now remain transparent in chalk renders.
  • Shaderlight's render settings can now be saved independently for each SketchUp scene.
  • macOS Mojave's dark mode is supported in the Shaderlight render window.
  • Shaderlight prevents a computer from entering sleep mode while rendering.
  • Shaderlight will now suspend App Nap for the plug-in while a render is in progress on macOS.
  • The addition of a 4K UHD output resolution preset.
  • Shaderlight warns when using the 'Quit Shaderlight' menu option on macOS while rendering.

What's new in Shaderlight 2018 (6.2)

  • Precise adjustment of environment rotation – the addition of a numeric entry field now makes it easier to get an accurate match of the lighting environment and background image between different SketchUp models.
  • Warning when closing during render – to prevent accidentally losing the progress of a long-running render, Shaderlight will now warn if you attempt to close the render window while a render is in progress.
  • Keep Shaderlight 'Always on Top' – if you select the 'Always on Top' setting Shaderlight will now keep the Shaderlight window above other windows between sessions.

What's new in Shaderlight 2018 (6.1)

  • Render soft shadows with IES light profiles – In this latest update to Shaderlight 2018, we have added support for the size specified in IES light profiles, which will enable you to greatly enhance the realism for scenes using photometric light data.

What's new in Shaderlight 2018 (6.0)

  • SketchUp 2018 Support – Shaderlight 2018 has full support for the latest version of SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Make.
  • New transparent material feature – Shaderlight 2018 features a new transparent material feature designed to deliver greatly enhanced realism when rendering transparent materials such as large bodies of water and thick, solid glass objects.

What's new in Shaderlight 2017 (5.1)

  • Skatter support – Shaderlight now renders Skatter’s render-only instance lists, so you can produce renders containing thousands of Skatter instances without bogging down SketchUp’s viewport. Skatter is a third-party plugin for SketchUp available here: http://getskatter.com.
  • Render-only instances won’t render on the Shaderlight Cloud in this release.
  • New self-illuminating materials – Three intermediate self-illuminating material intensities have been added to make it easier to make materials representative of modern TV screens. These are the TV (Low, Medium and High) settings for 500cd/m², 800cd/m² and 1000cd/m².
  • Bug fix – Fixed a problem that could cause unwanted shadows to appear on the ground when SketchUp’s ‘On Ground’ shadow setting is used in combination with portal lights.

What's new in Shaderlight 2017 (5.0)

  • Shaderlight 2017 (v5) has full support for SketchUp 2017.
  • Soft shadows for point lights and spot lights: You can now specify a diameter for point lights and spot lights, which will produce soft-edged shadows when set above zero. The larger the diameter, the softer the shadows will be.
  • Fix a problem where slider controls in the Shaderlight dialogs didn't work on some Windows configurations.
  • Fix a problem which caused Shaderlight's automatic material enhancements not to work with SketchUp models created in SketchUp 2016.
  • Fix a problem which caused incorrect shadows from area lights in certain situations.

What’s new in Shaderlight 2016 (4.0)

SketchUp 2016 Support

  • Shaderlight 2016 has full support for the latest version of SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Make.

Section Plane Rendering

  • Active section planes in the model are now rendered by Shaderlight, if the render is started from SketchUp 2014 or later.  This much requested feature will enable users to render photorealistic floor plans or sectional views directly from SketchUp.

New Skylight Portal Placement Tool

  • The old skylight portal placement tool has been replaced by a new version that allows you to pick any pre-existing face as a template for the portal. This makes it possible to create portals of any shape that you can create using any of SketchUp’s built-in drawing tools, or indeed with many third-party extensions.

MOV Files Saved With Background Visible (OS X only)

  • When rendering an animation to a MOV file, Shaderlight now saves the movie with the background visible instead of black.

What's new in Shaderlight 2015 (4.1)

  • Shaderlight’s skylight portal placement tool is now easier to use with a number of improvements made to this popular new feature.

  • Shaderlight's Cloud rendering plugin user interface has been optimized for users wishing to send their renders to the Shaderlight Cloud.
  • Shaderlight’s rendering resolutions have been updated and now include two additional pre-sets optimized for iPad and iPad Pro screens making it easier to present Shaderlight renders to clients.

What’s new in Shaderlight 2014 (3.2)

The latest version of Shaderlight fully supports SketchUp 2015.

If you have a Shaderlight 2014 (v3) license, simply download the new software and your existing license will activate the new features.

What’s new in Shaderlight 2014 (3.1)

Shaderlight 2014, which we released in March this year, gave you full support for all the new things in SketchUp 2014.  We are now pleased to make available the first update to Shaderlight 2014, which includes sought-after improvements to key features.  The release focuses on delivering you even more impressive rendering straight out of the box.

So what can you expect to see in this update?

Improved auto-exposure in scenes made up entirely of dark or light objects

Shaderlight’s auto-exposure system enables you to to achieve photo-realistic exposure with the click of a button.  It has now been enhanced so that it doesn’t try to excessively lighten dark objects, or darken light objects when rendering.

Improved behaviour of background brightness control when auto-exposure is enabled

In another update to our auto-exposure feature, Shaderlight provides greater control of background brightness by no longer compensating for the changes you’re making when auto-exposure is on.

Export animations as movie files (.mov on OS X, .wmv on Windows)

Shaderlight’s popular animation feature has been improved by the ability to export animations directly as movie files.  It is now possible to render your frames and create a .mov or .wmx file all within Shaderlight.

Improved rendering performance

Shaderlight now delivers faster rendering.  The extent of the improved performance will obviously depend on the size and complexity of your render but you should see a marked improvement on the average render.

Global illumination now affects areas not enclosed by Skylight portals

Shaderlight’s GI setting can now be used to render scenes where Skylight portals are not being used.  While we continue to recommend the use of Portal Lights to enclose interior areas for maximum quality and performance, this new feature is particularly useful when rendering the undersides of roofs and overhangs. 

Elimination of GI flares/light leaks

You may have experienced the appearance of annoying light spots or flares when rendering internal scenes using global illumination.  Well, no more.  Thanks to the further improvements we've made to Shaderlight's global illumination feature, the majority of light spots have been eliminated.  The images below show a before and after illustration of this fantastic update.