Advice on Coloring Models

well, a plan B is always to… duplicate the material. no risk of warping the post wood if the planks uses a (technically) different material.

Dave mentioned this to me as well (the merits of not creating extra materials). I’m thinking that in this case, though it is the same wood species, the decking and posts (and railings and balusters and treads) are different enough that it’s useful. The goon-loop of trying to get the material on 16’ decking and 1.5" balusters seems to have an off-ramp.

I did also watch the Square One… and I did accidentally scale as I was trying to rotate…

  • Le problème du fromage sur l’échelle:

Fromage Problems

I really want to keep it simple and not use another material… I used Architexture to modify the material… and tried another one… but at 16’ I’m blowing out the material every time. I’m guessing Hi Res is available for a reason.

I think the main problem is that the materials you are working with are long enough enough images for a fill 16’ long face without repeating. The textures I showed you that I made were long — more that 8’ long — so scaling isn’t normally needed although they won’t handle.a 16’ long board either. If you were going to scale a texture to make the required length without repeating, you should probably use that same scaled material for everything of the same species so the grain pattern matches.

Yep. I was trying to find the least number of repeats that still look good. And then… goon-loop! Some of the smallest faces look the best to me so I’m tempted to allow repeats on some of the medium-sized faces like the posts. I’m at the compromise and wrap-up phase of that.

One question that I have: since I have mostly components, the grains look the same on each. I’m missing something or I forgot something here.

I did shift the material between hidden lines on a beam to get a subtle effect. Handy.

Yes. That will happen. You can either flip some of the components end for end or side to side so that repetition isn’t as noticeable or you can use Make unique on some of them so you can edit the material position on some but not all. The more times use use Make Unique the more variation you will be able to get.

That may be a good option but it has other potential downfalls depending upon what you need out of the model and what edits you may still need to do to it.

Okay. Those seem like the they’d work. Thinking about the pitfalls:

The reason for the Components (and I should have written “DCs”) is that I was trying to make CUT / LEAVE DCs (and failed) so just used a ‘3D Visual Calculator’ that gave me the LenX of the scaled cut and leave so I could enter the length of the remainder piece and lay it next. Since I’m not going to pre-cut everything it easier to just get a total LenX LF for a materials list.

Make Unique it is.

For comparison:

Just the Deck Board

Not Unique:


TC Vis (had to do it! No rendering adjustments):

TC Vis Unique:

Even with the repeats in my opinion the texture shifts make things look better. Started thinking more in terms of material takeoffs. Color / Materials and rendering change things up a bit (went through manually and made unique… not efficient).

I’ll need to shift gears here soon to LayOut…

And just because:


that looks good !

(especially for a tool in development)
yeah, the unique variant looks more… natural / random. but only because you have nothing on it, the focus is the deck.

if the focus had been the space you create on top (adding a few things, a plant or two…) then the trick wouldn’t be needed I think. sure, the non unique version looks a bit uniform, but add a barbecue, table and few chairs, nobody will pay attention to the pattern :wink:

Thanks! This has been fun… I just wasn’t using materials before… but after just getting the basics I was able to press the magic TC Visualizer and presto. It’s too easy not to do.

I mentioned that I’m not really adjusting colors in Materials or TC Vis but’s it’s clear that the two would go together well. There’s also that Material Creator sitting there waiting to be played with.

Funny thing: I was uploading/refreshing and launching from TC Desktop and either did not notice (or it does not work from TC Desktop) that I could basically real-time it with the extension and watch the changes… like in the vid you posted. Upped the game again. Too much fun.

And you’re correct on the arrangement. I’m going too deep on the Level of Detail because, …fun.

There are some design elements that I actually do have to deal with… the railings & balusters are going to be switched out and I’m considering options on wrapping the posts (want balance and wrapped posts beneath will make it look heavy… especially if smaller, lighter posts are used up top). Then there’s that monolithic looking double beam-thing… I may want to break that up with some black hardware that plays off of the (new) balusters and ‘spiral’ staircase. Too much fun to fit into one day :slight_smile:

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Nicely done!

For your next cheese texture I suggest curds. They are less expensive than those fancy cheeses and I think will give you a smoother texture. Particularly if you melt them first.

I like the idea of breading up the double beam thingy. Hammer wrought iron would look very classic but classy.



I’m still trying to understand which cheeses are right for which projects. But scaling and repeating if necessary (because original isn’t large enough) seem like the go-tos for now. Later I’d like to take my own pictures and use those. @mihai.s Gave an example of how the create materials… but some people suspect he is actually a modeling cyborg and I’m not ready to have an AI chip installed (but I’d probably try it in Unity).

This project happens to have metal palm trees. At first hearing that sounds like it couldn’t look good. But they actually do (the entire project turned out). Anyway, the hardware will be black. I don’t want it to be busy, but it may have caps on the posts and it will have lighting beneath. Maybe a couple of T brackets, bands, or sconces.

After using materials for decking, I only applied color to other parts of the model. This looks fine to my eye. But is mixing materials and colors best practice?

yes. if the thing you’re trying to represent is a colour.

I’m next to a wall, plater, two coats of paint, i would paint this… light yellow. and not go look for a photo of a plaster wall with two coats of yellow paint.

many things around us are actually colours and not materials, unless they are the sole focus of the 3d. My red moleskine sketchbook is just red. and paper is off white. my mac mini is light grey, my router is black.

It can also be used as a trick to differentiate your addition. you could make your deck with materials, but give the surroundings only colours (pastel version of the existing things), kinda like SU does when you enter a group and it makes the surrounding disappear.

Thank you - that’s just what I was wanting to know.

You might have noticed there is some ‘context’ for this deck. That’s basically to allow drawing it. Not sure I want to draw out windows, doors, siding, etc… but maybe with a little color the box ref-house can be used for context.

FYI - I did subscribe to Architextures (monthly)… right thing to do…

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Maybe for when you’re ready :slightly_smiling_face:
Among the best, simple and clear tutorial on making procedural materials in Blender, by Ryan. After you bake them, you will be able to use the PBR materials in SketchUp either directly or in rendering with V-Ray, Enscape, etc…

  • list - 120 materials and counting

  • Procedural Gardening Soil Material
  • Procedural Wood
  • Procedural Rough Metal Material
  • Procedural Pool Tiles
  • Procedural Asphalt


Have a good day, James!

Yeah, not ready…

Blender when I get a chance.

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