Getting Started with SketchAir

SketchAir is a plugin for rendering with Air directly from within SketchUp.  This tutorial describes how to install Air and SketchAir and how to start rendering.


Start by downloading the Air demo and the SketchAir plugin from the Download page of the SiTex Graphics web site:

To install Air:

  • Run the downloaded installer file, and follow the prompts.
  • After running the installer, restart your computer to complete the installation.

To install SketchAir:

  • Start SketchUp.
  • From the Window menu select Preferences.
  • In the Preferences dialog, select Extensions.
  • Click the button labeled “Install Extension”
  • Navigate to the directory where you downloaded SketchAir, and select the sketchair .rbz file.

When SketchAir is installed, it will add a new menu to the Plugins menu and a new toolbar to the SketchUp user interface.


Once SketchAir and Air have been installed, you can render your scene with Air using one of the following methods:

  • Click the render button in the SketchAir toolbar (the button on the far left) ,or
  • Select Render from the SketchAir menu (under the Plugins menu).

SketchAir will export your scene and start Air as a separate process for rendering.  The rendered image will appear in the standalone Air Show framebuffer.

For complex scenes, the export process may take several seconds.  SketchAir reports the export progress in the SketchUp status bar.

Performance Tip: To save time on subsequent renders, tell SketchAir to reuse the last set of objects exported for rendering by checking “Reuse Objects?” in the SketchAir menu.  You can adjust the camera, lights, and materials and continue to reuse the same set of exported objects.  If objects are added, removed, or edited a new object file will need to be exported, and you should uncheck “Reuse Objects?” prior to re-rendering.

More information on rendering with SketchAir can be found in the SketchAir help file included with the plugin.  To view the help file, select Help from the SketchAir menu (under the Plugins menu).

We welcome feedback from anyone using SketchAir.  Please send comments to

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