Models and Proxies

To keep SketchUp model sizes small and still produce very high-quality renderings, export the heaviest components (trees, cars, etc.) into external .mod.thea files and replace them with simplified ‘proxy’ versions in SketchUp.

There are several ways to create Thea Proxy Models from existing geometry.

1. Creating Thea Proxies from SketchUp Components

SketchUp components can be easily converter to Thea Proxies using the Model tab.

  1. Select the SketchUp Component
  2. Open the Thea Tool panel and switch to the Model tab
  3. Expand the Component Options and click on the Create Proxy button

This will bring up the CREATE EXTERNAL MODEL window with display options for the Thea Proxy.


From SketchUp: Create a preview image based on the SketchUp View.
From Thea: Create a preview image using Thea Render. Clicking on the button will start Interactive Rendering.
Detailed Proxy: Enable this to create a reduced mesh for the proxy and control the quality by adjusting the value.
Triangles / Points: Defines the type of the reduced mesh. The amount of triangles or points depends on the Detailed Proxy value defined above.
Save proxy as .mod.skp: Creates a .mod.skp file with the same file as the Thea Model. This file represents the reduced mesh of the proxy and will be displayed in the viewport instead.
Add bounding box: Adds a bounding box to the Thea Proxy model.
Replace the instance: This option will replace only the selected model in the scene.
Replace all instances: This option will replace all the instances of the selected model in the scene.

Finally, click on the Save button and select the location of the Thea Proxy model (.mod.thea).

2. Creating Thea Proxy from external files

There are two ways to create Thea Proxies from external files (3ds, obj, fbx, …) using the Thea Content Browser.

Using the IMPORT MODEL button

  1. Open the Thea Content Browser
  2. Select a model category from the left sidebar where the import model will be created in
  3. Click on the IMPORT MODEL button and select a supported file
  4. The Thea Proxy will be added in the current model category

The following file formats are supported by Thea for SketchUp: 3ds, obj, dae, fbx, thea.xml

Using Custom Folders

  1. Open the Thea Content Browser
  2. Find Custom Folders in the left sidebar
  3. Right click and select Add Folder
  4. Add a location with supported 3d files
  5. Select the custom folder

Double click on supported files to generate Thea Proxies with the same name.

3. Creating or updating Proxy Components

You can create or update Proxy Components by right clicking on them in the Thea Content Browser.

  • Select "Create Proxy Component…" to create a new one.
  • Select "Update Proxy Component…" when one already exists.

More Resources

Editing Thea Proxy Materials Learn how to easily edit Thea Proxy materials
Generate Custom Previews for Thea Models Generating custom previews for Thea Models for the Thea Content Browser