Chessboard in Materials Browser

I have often wondered what the checkerboard of blank squares are for that appear in the Materials Browser. They seem to take up screen real estate for no very good or obvious reason. I expect there is a very good reason for them but it’s just that I don’t know it. Can anyone help me understand?

You should be able to reduce the size of not show it. That’s a palette area. You can drag colors and materials down into that area from the thumbnails area to save them for later. Either leave them there or change the collection with the drop down, select the tiny palette thumbnail and drag from the larger thumbnail on the left up into the collection.

I must be doing it wrong. When you see my cursor moving across the chessboard I am trying to click and drag. No effect though. Equally, picking and moving doesn’t work and nor does dragging anything down into that area.

Is it 'cos I is a Mac?

You don’t have any materials in there to select.

Try dragging a color down from the In Model collection into the “chessboard”. Use a color so you can see it.

It is a Mac thing.

Ok that is starting to work. However, I don’t see its point when you already have the In Model selected. Is it just to make it easier if you have a lot of materials in use and don’t want to keep scrolling with the larger icons? And I can’t reduce the area to free up any squares unused (or haven’t found out how).

If you make custom colors you can save them there for future use. LayOut has a similar thing on Windows. The colors in the palette are ones I created at various times over different projects. The red and gray on the right end were colors I used for a thing for 3D Basecamp in 2018, for example.
Screenshot - 5_29_2020 , 9_48_42 AM

OK. But you only have two rows. I dream of only having two rows.

I guess you could switch to Windows. :smiley: Of course you wouldn’t get the palette thing at all in SU, then.

That palette thing is a Mac thing. It used to be that it could be reduced in size by dragging the bottom of the panel up but I don’t know if the OS allows that anymore. I gave up Macs for my wallet’s health several years ago.

Must be something to do with OSX then. Mind you, I’m not using Catalina yet so maybe that will change everything.

I’d have to be dragged kicking and screaming back to PCs. Like getting out of my BMW and into an Opel.

If you put your cursor over the divider line between the palette and the rest of the materials window, you can drag it up or down to change the size of the palette.

colors palette

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Wowzer! So simple. Why did it never occur to me to do that (don’t answer that!).

It used to be a little handle in the middle at the bottom of the panel.

No handle now. That’s why it fooled me.

Two rows seems to be the minimum. Dreams do come true…

It won’t go below two rows because its height is constrained by the sample icon and eyedropper to the left.

Yes. I’m ecstatic about being able to reduce it to two. It was having about twenty that I didn’t know how to get rid of that was causing the nightmares. I can sleep easy now.

The colours you put in the palette aren’t limited to SketchUp, they’re available across all applications that use the colour picker. Some programs like Photshop don’t use it, but for those that do your favourite colours are avaiable in all programs.

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Note the RGB, or other number, and your special colour can go anywhere.

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Yeah, native Digital Color Meter works great!

There are many color tools in the extension warehouse. I have been using “Color Maker” by Didier B. to help me get colors I have needed, I am not good with the color wheel and this extension lets you choose colors from a list and from the web. He describes it as:
Color temperatures
“HTML-SketchUp
Munsell
ISCC NBS (U.S.A.)
NCS (Natural color system, New-Zealand)
Pantone 100,200,300,400,500,600,700,800
PMS (Pantone Matching system)
RAL (Germany)
RESENE
UK BS 381 (United Kingdom)
USA FS 595 Color (U.S.A.)
WEB safe colors
X11 (computer graphics)
This makes a total of more than 10000 colors to choose from.
One can create a SketchUp material one by one, or create an entire color system at once,
search colors in the database, and visualize an entire color system.”

Very handy and he has provided it for free.
It can help you fill some of those color slots if you need them

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I use colors to differentiate parts in sub assemblies of truss structures you see at conventions. The people assembling them are often not familiar with the pieces and this helps them to see which piece is which when they are assembling them their selves, rather than having the crew that knows the materials put them together, though I have to say it helps our crew to understand how it has to go together faster that way also.
This is an example of what I use it for.
20x20 truss structure.skp (1.9 MB)
The dynamic components aren’t working together in this example, but, it should give you an idea of how it works.