Best Practices for placing photos in Sketchup models

I’m creating exhibits and need to be able to map flat graphics onto walls and panels. Following the tutorial on how to map to curved walls. The tutorial " Wrapping textures around boxes and cylinders" suggests that “If your curved surface is a group, open the group’s context before you follow these steps.” Can anyone explain where you go to check context? searching menus and help for “Context” finding nothing. It’s probably simple, but opaque to a solo practitioner trying to navigate. Thanks!

Select the wall. If you get a blue bounding box around it, the wall geometry is contained in a group or component. Double click on it to open the group/component. Try to select the surface of the wall. If you get only the wall surface selected, you’re in the context of the geometry. If you get another blue bounding box, you’ve got another component/group to open.


Hi DaveR Thanks for the coaching—I’m steeped in Adobe’s way of selecting things so Skp takes some adjustment. so, next Q: is there a way to lock the aspect ratio when you rescale a photo that is mapped as a texture ? I go to Texture>Position and it seems to want to treat all four corners as independent-- is there a key combo that allows me to pull on one corner to size both dimensions equally? or stretch along one axis but not the other, similar to the Photoshop interface? Thanks, D

When you do that do you see colored pins at the corners of gray/white ones? If gray, right click and choose Fixed pins. Then you can drag the green pin to resize the texture with a fixed aspect ratio. Alternatively you could edit the dimensions of the texture in the Materials panel. If the the dimensions are linked, changing one changes the other.

Screenshot - 1_10_2021 , 10_13_23 AM

It looks a little different on Mac but the same idea with editing the dimension.

DaveR: You Rock! great tip.

1 Like

So, I’m an exhibition designer, and almost every surface in my model has a visual mapped to it. I’m searching for some time saving strategies:

  1. Can I set up hot key combos for “Insert texture” and “Position Texture”?
  2. When I go to insert a texture on a panel Skp grays out the surrounding textures, which sometimes makes it very hard to get good alignment between visuals. Is there a way to select a surface without losing the visual reference to the surrounding textures. Attaching screen capture to illustrate the problem.

Functions that are only there some of the time can have a shortcut made while you are in the right state. For example, select just a face that has a texture, then go into Preferences, Shortcuts, and search for Position. You will then see the ‘flyout’ menu option for texture position, and can assign the key you want.

I’m not sure what Insert Texture is, but if you mean import, you could set a shortcut for File/Import, but would still have to manually select the file, and make sure it’s set to import as a texture.

After you insert (set a shortcut) a photo/texture, you can use Fredo ThruPaint

or you can UV unwrapping and UV mapping the panels, prepare the texture in an image editor (Affinity, Photoshop, GIMP), and just change the file

Mihai - wow thanks for the detailed response with visuals! Gold star for the response!