Custom Lighting Images

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The Pro version of Shaderlight for SketchUp also provides a Custom option which allows you to use your own image for lighting, provided it is a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image.


Use the Browse button SUiconBrowseand locate a suitable HDR file on your computer. To be suitable, the image must be in .hdr or .exr format and be a "lat-long" format image (as shown below). A lat-long (short for latitude-longitude) image shows 360° of the environment horizontally and 180° vertically.



High Dynamic Range Image in "lat-long" format


The lat-long HDR image is usually photographed using a specialist camera (such as a Spheron camera) which revolves through 360° at the same time as capturing the full intensity of light in each area of the scene. It is possible to create an HDR lat-long image by using a conventional camera with multiple exposures and constructing the resulting set of images into a single HDR image using Adobe Photoshop. Note that jpg, png, tif and bmp images are Low Dynamic Range (LDR) and are NOT suitable for use as lighting images. Using LDR Lighting Images will make the light in your renders look "washed out".


Suitable HDR images for Image Based Lighting are available on the internet, including from and  


Background Images

Image Based Lighting (IBL) is often used in conjunction with photographed backgrounds so that virtual objects can be placed into real world environments with realistic lighting and reflections. Backgrounds are added in the Background section of the Shaderlight Render Settings. Background photographs to match the Shaderlight Preset and Moofe® IBL images can be found on


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