Preset Lighting Images

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Shaderlight can illuminate a scene using lighting images captured from the real world. This technique is often called Image Based Lighting or IBL.The images used for IBL are not just standard images. Images for IBL contain real world lighting information, captured in a 360° High Dynamic Range (HDR) photograph. The HDR photograph contains much more information than a standard jpeg; it captures all levels of light intensity in the environment, from the brightest sun to the dimmest shadow.





HDR images capture the brightest light...

...the ambient light...

...and the smallest detail in the shadows


These HDR images are used by Shaderlight to illuminate SketchUp scenes. Because the images capture actual lighting from the real world, the Image Based Lighting of the SketchUp scene is very realistic.




To make things easy, Shaderlight provides 4 preset HDR images in Shaderlight


Business Park Daytime
Golf Course Evening
London Morning
Meeting Room




Business Park Daytime





Golf Course Evening





London Morning





Meeting Room




The Pro version of Shaderlight for SketchUp also provides a Custom option which allows you to use your own HDR image.


Positioning the Preset Lighting (IBL) images

The position slider controls the orientation of the Lighting Image. By default the Shaderlight preset images are orientated correctly for the time of day that the image was captured. If you wish to change the direction of the lighting, you can rotate the image using the position slider. The slider rotates the image around the vertical (blue) axis. If an image has a light which shines from right to left, rotating it 180° will make the light shine left to right.




Tip: The position slider is useful if you are rendering with a background image. Because the image is fixed, it may be useful to rotate the Lighting Image so that you can match the reflections and light positions to the background


Preset Lighting Intensity

While the intensity of HDR images have been captured from the real world, you may wish them to be brighter or darker in your scene. For example you may want to reduce the brightness because you are combining the Image Based Lighting (IBL) with artificial lights. You can control the intensity of the light from the Lighting Image by using the Dark slider in the SketchUp Shadow Settings.




Note: Remember that all lighting is affected by Auto Exposure, so the Dark slider adjustment will only be noticeable if you have other artificial light sources in the scene or you have Auto Exposure off


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. Background photographs to match the Shaderlight Preset IBL images can be found on


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