Applying "decals" to model surfaces


I have tried every way I can find to change my material texture to apply a small image in one spot, but using an image as a texture results in it being tiled. In addition the image becomes very tiny, and sometimes also flipped backwards! What is going on???
I want to add things like a flag, writing and logos to the exterior of a spaceship model. The Sketchup world unfortunately still seems very building-centric in its setup, with little appreciation for how many other kinds of objects are made with this software.
Other users have clearly figured out how to apply “decal” images correctly - for instance, see the rescue pod models in Warehouse by “J. Peter S.” But I’m unable to contact him to ask for help because the Warehouse system doesn’t seem to allow direct contact between members - another aggravating problem.
By the way, I am still on Sketchup 8, because for various reasons I didn’t want to download upgrades I didn’t need - and J. Peter S.'s models were made when v.8 was the latest, so later versions are clearly not necessary to solve my problem. Thank you in advance to anyone who can help me out.


This article tell you what you should do:


To stop a material from propagating to cover the entire surface, you must confine it to an area by bounding it with edges. These edges can subsequently be hidden or softened so they don’t show, and they will continue to keep the material confined.

To create an edge going all the way around an image/material on an uneven surface is actually pretty easy. Think in terms of a cookie cutter. First you draw the outline of the decal flat on a face, then extrude the shape, creating the cookie cutter. To apply the cookie cutter, use it to penetrate straight into the subject surface, just deep enough to break the surface all around. Then use the Intersect command to cut lines of intersection around the cookie cutter, then remove/get rid of the cookie cutter object, or set it aside for later reuse.

Now you have an outline of the decal cut into the model. You can either fill the outline with solid color, creating your decal that way, or fill it with a texture, like a logo or special characters.

You can easily scale a texture with the Position Texture tool (hint–you should look that up). If your images are coming out backwards, you should reverse the face (make it white, not blue). Here’s another hint: read up about Reverse Faces and Orient Faces.

We can’t take care of all your issues in one post, but you can ask as many questions as you wish.



A drawing going on from Gully

regards Phil


Here’s an old model that may amuse and edify:

Mystic Hotdog



Another “decal” method is demonstrated in TaffGoch’s incredibly detailed model of the X-15-1
There, Taff uses 3D Text intersected with the surface of the model.
View the model in monochrome and turn on hidden geometry to see the text edges hidden within the surface.
X-15-1 by TaffGoch - SU 3D Warehouse


You need to paint the texture on the front face so it will not be flipped. That would be the white side. The blue face is the back face.