How Do I Add a Sky Background in Sketchup?

Adding a sky background to your Sketchup model can greatly enhance its visual appeal. Whether you want to create a realistic outdoor scene or simply add some ambiance to your design, incorporating a sky background is a simple yet effective technique. In this tutorial, we will explore the step-by-step process of adding a sky background in Sketchup.

Step 1: Access the Styles Window

To begin, open your Sketchup project and navigate to the “Windows” tab in the top menu. From there, select “Styles” to open the Styles window.

Step 2: Edit the Default Style

In the Styles window, you will see various pre-defined styles. To add a sky background, we need to edit the default style. To do this, click on the “Edit” button next to the default style.

Step 3: Customize Background Settings

Once you are in the Edit Style window, click on the “Background Settings” tab located on the left-hand side of the window. Here, you will find options to customize your background.

3.1 Sky Mode

In the Background Settings tab, locate the “Sky” section. Here you can choose between different sky modes such as Simple Color, Gradient Horizontal/Vertical, and Image-Based Lighting (IBL). For our purpose of adding a sky background, select Image-Based Lighting (IBL).2 Adding an IBL Image

To add an IBL image as your sky background, click on the folder icon next to “Image”. This will open up a file browser window where you can select an image from your computer.3 Adjusting Exposure and Rotation

After selecting the IBL image, you can adjust the exposure and rotation settings to fine-tune the appearance of your sky background. Play around with these settings until you achieve the desired effect.

Step 4: Apply the Style

Once you are satisfied with your sky background, click on the “Update” button to save your changes. Your custom style will now be applied to your Sketchup model.

Step 5: Viewing Your Sky Background

To view your sky background, navigate to the “View” tab in the top menu and make sure “Hidden Geometry” is unchecked. This will provide a clear view of your model along with the added sky background.


Adding a sky background in Sketchup is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance the visual impact of your designs. By following these steps and customizing your background settings, you can create stunning outdoor scenes or add ambiance to your projects. So go ahead and experiment with different sky modes and images to bring life to your Sketchup models!