Applying material on Face vs Group

Continuing the discussion from Why can't I use the paint bucket on a component or group?:

@DaveR Thanks for OP

With all due respect, you CAN orient the materials with the control of axes of those groups or components. Although, you cannot vary them to each face. (which is expected since you are assigning texture to the group)

and you can scale them by changing the scale of those groups or components. It may not be as intuitive as material edit tool (Texture>Position), but it is possible.
In fact, I do it all the time as I find assigning materials to each surface or sides hassle as I tend to group or component each member of the project. I try to apply material to the group whenever possible.

However, I think it would be worth to talk about which is better in what circumstances

So, to the SketchUp savvy users

Is applying material on Face vs Group better?
if so, because of what reason?

  1. Accessibility?
    It is easier and more accurate to manipulate the material
    directions and scales with Texture>Position

  2. Transparency?
    I have noticed some issues with transparent
    materials in their visibility and opacity conflicting with other
    transparent materials in some cases.

  3. Safety?
    as @DaveR said, you can change the material without opening the container. This can be a problem, but it can be beneficial for people like myself working with thousands of groups.

  4. Workflow?
    I can see that it is critical to get wood grain directions right for wood working. Also, it is equally crucial to get brick stacked correctly in architecture.

I think this would be workflow and work-type dependent methods, but as I am always interested in best practices, I would like to discuss this matter further.


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I apply a texture to a face when:

  1. It’s a photo-matched texture
  2. I need to have different textures within the same group/component
  3. I need the orientation of the texture to be different on different faces within a group/component

Otherwise I always colour groups/components with a single click.

Since I normally apply textures in a render package, most of the time i just use flat colours in SU.

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Yes, and I rarely have to assign different texture to different faces. Assigning at single click is benefitial for me.

When you say render package, do you still assign to groups? or are you talking about a different program?

Yes - still assigned to groups. What I sometimes do for the same texture at a different orientation is create 2 separate textures: one called “wood H” and the other “wood V”. Then I can simply select the appropriate one to fill the group with.

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yeah. I think your workflows are quite similar to mine.

nice rendering btw. :smiley: - wood textures are appearing to be a bit bigger than they should be?