Conversion of texture files


A l o h a ! to all the creative folks out there ~

As a subscriber to the service SKETCHUNATION I am privileged to get free texture and other thumbnailed files. The trouble is that they are in a .SKM or .SUM extension code. So when I try to use them in the 2014 SketchUp I have to first convert them to the format acceptable to the program.

This is tiresome yet necessary, I know. But I like to have a full palette of options to dress up a project. What I need to know is if it is possible to convert a bunch of them in a single action (like 100+ tiles at a whack).

Anybody have the trick to convert tiles from one unusable extension to something Sketchup will accept without a fight?

~ M a h a l o ~



.skm files are SU’s native material files, and SU 2014 has no trouble reading them. I’m not sure what .sum files are.

What makes you think SU 2014 doesn’t accept .skm files? How have you been trying to bring them into SU?



Note that SKM files, like some other file formats SketchUp knows, are ZIP archives in disguise. If you make a copy of a SKM and rename the extension to .ZIP, you can open it with Windows Explorer or any ZIP archive editor. Inside will be the associated texture image file, and some XML that describes how the material behaves in Sketchup.



No problem.

A. Bringing a few materials files into SketchUp:

(1) Open SketchUp’s Materials inspector. ( Window > Materials )

(2) Click the “In Model” (house) button, or choose “In Model” from the dropdown list.

(3) Just drag any SKM file (from a File Browser window,) into SketchUp and drop on the thumbnail display area. (You need to do this one SKM file at a time. Currently SketchUp will not act upon multiple dropped files. Not even the first one, & ignoring the rest.)

B. Accessing any material files from within SketchUp:

If you put those files into some local collection folder like;
then you can add that as a local material collection.

IN the SketchUp Materials Inspector, click the little menu button (with the “Details” tooltip.)
Choose “Add collection to Favorites” and browse to your collection folder, then click OK button.
From then on you can access the collection from the dropdown list.

C. Starting every new model with all of your Material colllection inside :

(1) Choose a good template for you.

(2) Bring in SKM files as in A above.

(3) Save as a template with a generic name that indicates it is your setup.

(4) Set that template as the default. (Preferences dialog)

(5) Open a new model, model away,… save it as a unique model name.

(6) When done with the model, purge used materials and components. (ModelInfo > Statistics)


Note that using workflow C will cause slow load times for models, and waste memory until you do the purge.


i just put them in a folder with whatever name (SUC Metal etc) and put the folder in my sketchup library/appsupport…
fastest and easiest i think.


@Jeff, the Mac edition is ahead of the PC edition in supporting User path materials, component and templates directories.

The PC edition ignores (or does not even look for,) a “Materials” directory in the User’s %AppData% path.


ah… didn’t realize that.
thanks for clarifying.


On a PC you can place a folder containing skm files under C:\Program Files (x86)\SketchUp\SketchUp 201X\Materials. After restarting SU, the folder name will appear as a category in the Material browser dropdown, and the materials defined by the skm files will be accessible when the category is selected.

Alternatively, you can place a folder of skm files pretty much anywhere on your system and either open it into the Material browser once or add it permanently to the category list with the “Open or Create a Collection” or the “Add Collection to Favorites…” Detail menu picks, both of which allow you to navigate to the folder.



We try not to tell people to copy things into the binary path. Some people are not Admins and cannot do that in educational or corporate settings.

I’d rather have a symbolic link pointing at the user’s Materials directory. But the link needs to honor the %AppData% variable. (This is something the installer should do.)