How to Modify Sketchup Textures

Written by grahame turner
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How to Modify Sketchup Textures
(John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Google SketchUp is a free drafting program that has many of the features of a 3D Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) program, but is considerably cheaper than a program like AutoCAD. One of the features in SketchUp is the ability to paint your object with textures to make it look more like a real object. Modifying these textures can make your object look even more realistic, and there are a few different ways to change them.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Image editing software (optional)

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  1. 1

    Open or create a SketchUp model, and position the image so the face you're applying textures to is visible.

  2. 2

    Import a texture, if SketchUp doesn't have the textures you need already applied. Open the "File" menu, and choose "Import..." Choose the file type from the drop-down, select an image type--"jpeg" for example. On the second drop-down menu, select "Use as Texture."

  3. 3

    Use the "Paint Bucket" tool to drop the texture onto your model surface. Click once to position one corner of the texture, then click again to finish the texture. SketchUp automatically tiles the texture based on this position.

  4. 4

    Right- or Control-click your texture to bring up the context menu. Highlight "Texture" and select "Position" to bring up the four coloured "Texture Position" pins.

  5. 5

    Grab and move the "Red" pin to change the position of the texture on the face. For example, you could set a brick texture so the bricks meet the lower-right corner of the object.

  6. 6

    Use the "Green" pin to rotate the texture. If it's a wood grain texture, for example, you could rotate it 90 degrees to match the actual grain of the wood.

  7. 7

    Use the "Yellow" pin to distort the image. This is useful if a photo doesn't match the geometry of the angled shape.

  8. 8

    Use the "Blue" pin to shear or scale the image. The lower two points of the texture remain fixed, and the upper two points will move to the left or right with your mouse.

  9. 9

    Click outside of the texture when you are finished modifying it.

Tips and warnings

  • SketchUp lets you make custom textures from photos and images, however the original image may need some editing before it appears correctly in SketchUp. Use an image editing program like Microsoft Paint before importing the image as a texture to remove things like a white or black border, or crop the image to keep just the texture you want to use.
  • Using a repeating texture can reduce the file size.

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