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You can choose what is rendered in background of your Shaderlight image.




There are three choices in the Background drop-down:


SketchUp Background – The image uses the same colors that you see in SketchUp. You can set the background colors in the SketchUp Styles window


Lighting Environment – The background is taken from your selection of Lighting Preset (see below)


Custom – In the Pro version of Shaderlight for SketchUp, the Custom option allows you to choose your own image to use as a background. Click the file browse icon and select an image from your computer


SketchUp Background

The SketchUp background colors are set in the SketchUp Styles window




Shaderlight will render the background as you see it in the SketchUp window with three exceptions:


When the camera is below the ground the SketchUp Show ground from below option is ignored


Ground transparency is not supported


When the background is seen through transparent objects, Shaderlight Exposure settings will affect the background color. In this case it is better to switch the background to Lighting Environment. See Background and Exposure for more information


Lighting Environment Background

When set to Lighting Environment the background uses the Shaderlight Lighting setting to determine the background image:


SketchUp Sunlight – The SketchUp background colors will be used, but they will be affected by the Shaderlight Exposure (see Background and Exposure for more information) and can be adjusted using the Background Brightness +/- control


Physical Sky – With Physical Sky lighting the scene, the physically correct sky colors will be rendered as the background


Artificial Lights OnlyArtificial Lights have no environment, so the background will be plain black


Preset, Moofe® and Custom Lighting Images – The preset, Moofe® and custom lighting images are 360° High Dynamic Range (HDR) photographs of a real world environment. When used for lighting they illuminate the scene and appear in reflections. When used as a background as well the photograph is, in effect, wrapped  onto the inside of a giant sphere that surrounds your scene. The section of the giant sphere that is visible through the camera becomes the background image




An alternative to using the HDR lighting image as a background is to use a custom background image.


Custom Background

Users of the Pro version of Shaderlight for SketchUp can select their own image as a background to the SketchUp scene. Select Custom from the Background drop-down and click the file browse icon SUiconBrowse to select an image from your computer.




Background images are automatically cropped to match the Output Resolution selected in Shaderlight.


At you can find a number of custom background images that match the preset HDR lighting images environments. You can use these images to place your model against a real world background. By selecting the matching lighting preset, your model is illuminated with the exact lighting conditions of the same environment taken at the same time of day.




McLaren F1 rendered using Lighting Image Preset and matching Custom Background


Background Brightness

The Background Brightness control allows you to adjust the brightness of the background to match the brightness of the illumination in your scene.


SketchUp and Shaderlight work together to simulate the wide range of light levels of the real world, from the brightest sun to the dimmest candle. Shaderlight uses Exposure control, just like a real camera, to create an image that can be displayed on a computer screen or printed on a page.  Background images aren't always at the same level of brightness as the objects in your scene, so the Background Brightness +/- control lets you either increase or decrease the intensity of the background to match the scene lighting.



Adjusting the Background Brightness +/- to match the background to the scene lighting


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