How to rotate materials in google sketchup

Written by darrin koltow
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How to rotate materials in google sketchup
You can rotate SketchUp materials by presets 90, 180 and 270 degrees. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

SketchUp has several tools allowing you to apply and manipulate the appearance of your 3-D designs including its colours and materials. One such tool is that for rotating materials. This tool, which is located in SketchUp's "Materials" window, lets you revolve a material applied to any surface, such as the face of a cube or a standalone 2-D shape. Rotating materials involves running a command in the context menu of a surface with a material. Understanding how to rotate SketchUp's materials lets you orient applied textures to either emphasise an object's geometry or to make an object's appearance more realistic.

Skill level:


    Rotate Material Directly

  1. 1

    Click the "Draw" menu then the "Polygon" tool. You'll rotate a material you apply to this polygon.

  2. 2

    Click the drawing canvas to plot the polygon's first point then drag and click to complete the polygon.

  3. 3

    Click the "Windows" menu then click the "Materials" item.

  4. 4

    Click one of the materials in the window's gallery that has a visible pattern as opposed to a solid colour. Solid colours don't indicate when a material is rotated whereas patterns do. Once you click a material SketchUp will turn the mouse cursor into a paintbrush. This indicates the program is ready to apply the material you chose.

  5. 5

    Click the polygon you drew in step two. SketchUp will fill the polygon with your material.

  6. 6

    Click the "Rotate" item of the "Tools" menu. SketchUp will turn the cursor into a protractor.

  7. 7

    Move the mouse to the upper portion of the drawing canvas until the protractor turns red. This behaviour indicates that SketchUp will rotate around the red axis.

  8. 8

    Press the "Shift" key to lock the axis of rotation then click the polygon to select it for rotation.

  9. 9

    Drag the mouse to rotate the polygon, including its texture.

    Rotate Directly

  1. 1

    Click the "Draw" menu's "Polygon" tool then click on the drawing canvas to plot the polygon's first point.

  2. 2

    Drag a short distance to grow the polygon and click to finish this shape.

  3. 3

    Click the "Materials" item of the "Window" menu then click a patterned material from the gallery that appears.

  4. 4

    Click the polygon to apply the pattern to it.

  5. 5

    Right-click the polygon and click "Texture" then click "Position." SketchUp will display an "O"-shaped button for rotating the material you applied in step four.

  6. 6

    Drag the "O"-shaped button to rotate the material.

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