Different material schemes on the same model

Hi - I am modeling a rather large home for my boss. He would like for the model to have 4 or 5 different material/color schemes…for example - Say scheme 1 would be white paint, brown trim, and brick…Scheme 2 would be tan paint, white trim, and stone…etc. He wants this all in the same model and to be able to click back and forth so he can present it to a client. What would be the easiest way to set that up? Thanks for any input…

First step would be to tell your boss that he needs to buy Pro for you to use as Make is not for commercial use.

Then read up on the usage of layers to produce the effect you want.

Edit: For those that flagged this as off topic, I answered the question and pointed out the reality of using software for business. Neither are off topic.

My bad, posted in the wrong forum…I am using pro. Thank you for your response.

It’s not where you posted it is what you have in your profile.
Please correct it as it helps us to answer your questions fully.

Yep just realized that, only 2nd time posting…last time was over a year ago. Updating info now, thanks!

1 Like

The basic concept is to create copies of the various groups/components that you want to show different materials and assign them layer tags so you can turn them on and off.
Then you either turn them on and off to suit, or create scenes with them turned on and off. This way you can create scenes for various combinations, and still edit those combinations on the fly.
Remember to keep all raw geometry on Layer 0 and only give groups/components layer tags.

1 Like

Are you saying that if I have 3 color options I want my trim to be, that I create 3 layers…say Trim White, Trim Brown, Trim Tan. Then have 3 copies of trim, one on each layer, in my model and have one layer turned on at a time?

That would be the way I’d do it.

Ok, thats how I originally thought about doing it but I was worried about the size of the file. I guess really I could just have 3 or 4 models of the entire house each on their own layer…ie layers named “Option 1”, Option 2", “Option 3”, etc. I should also say I’m trying to keep this as simple as possible because my boss will be presenting it to the owner and he doesn’t know much about sketchup. Thanks

Additional groups and components will add to the file size. so will the additional materials. sort of a cost of doing business thing, I guess. Keep the model simple and limit the amount of detail as much as you can. don’t use file-bloating textures and you should be alright.

Here’s what I do. Get the material the color you want and record the RGB values. Then get the second color you want and record the RGB values. Do the same for the third.
Do this for each material used in the elevations. Keep a record of the RGB values.

When you want to change the scheme go into each material and set the RGB values of each material to match the scheme you want. I actually record the different three number sets in the material name so I can just read them off the screen when I am recoloring the model.

This is a very rudimentary approach to a complicated problem and requires a few minutes to switch but as far as I’m concerned having three models or sets of objects to maintain is a non-starter.

I use this to go from a colored model to monochrome for printing by switching everything to 255-255-255 or White.

Also you can do the three color options and export a 2d graphic of each in advance to show your boss and clients.

Another method would be to reference a palette of groups, say z_door, z_window, z_roof, z_trim, z_cladding…expose their material attribute (the z will put them at the bottom of out liner)
Then each group or component of the build references its appropriate material
Then paint any of the palette and redraw, done
this gives an endless number of variations
So if a few I would recommend Box’s solution, otherwise consider the very basic “dynamic approach”

material selections.skp (199.3 KB)

You can make a short cut for redraw or add a script to redraw all


Another way of doing this could be, using the plugin material_replacer.
If you make sure every material you would like to change has a distinctive name.
You then place a square with the new color you want with the same_name_1 and switch the colors.
I you want to switch more rename the square color same_name_2 and so on. This way you can easily chance things ‘on the fly’.

1 Like

I second material replace, to speed things up I make a layer with blocks organized by materials & options. Example all siding blocks next to each other. I assign shift+R to material replacer shortcut.

Another possibilty: