• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

What Plugin do you use to get this.

Hi Randy:

That type of 2D image is the result of a special method of "light-mapping", usually with a built-in "Rendering" feature or by means of a plugin that reads / exports the 3D model to an external rendering application.

They are often referred to as a "Alpha" or a "Clay" render.

The 'sky light' shadowing derived from "Global Illumination" by ambient light in the surrounding environment is often sufficient to show object details, although another "artificial" graphical method is also often added to create greater definition of shadowed areas via a method called "Ambient (light) Occlusion" (aka "AO").

Sketchup can produce an image 'somewhat' comparable by use of a plugin that works directly inside the Sketchup rendering engine, and better results are derived from use of an external rendering application.

However, be aware that the current work-space display rendering engine of Sketchup is (purposely ?) limited to accommodate the most frequently used 3D modeling activities that Sketchup was originally designed and intended to enable.

Some external rendering plugins "overlay" the Sketchup work-space with a separate window to create the 'illusion' of rendering directly with the Sketchup work-space, but are actually working external to Sketchup, and AFAIK, in all cases, the resulting exported 2D texture image must be manully imported and mapped onto the Sketchup 3D model afterwards.

You may wish to explore your options with the (very) few free plugins and external rendering applications.

An inexpensive task-specific rendering application with features limited to creating such images for Sketchup is here:


If you would like some some links to additional options for such exported 2D image types, feel free to inquire further. :)

Last edited: