Feedback on Extension Idea


I have an idea for an extension (the first one that I’m working on) and would be interested in getting feedback on whether anyone would find it useful.

It would be a curated set of textures and visual art chosen specifically for aesthetics (i.e., for people who want to make a space beautiful), making it distinct from, say, Architextures. A simple window would allow searching for materials, resizing materials, and exporting materials data. The fundamental value proposition of this extension would be that (once in a more mature state) it could make a modeled space radically more beautiful in just 5 minutes (in a style of the user’s choosing).

I already have a prototype (with a painfully limited library of textures/art), but I would be willing to post it in the extension warehouse if someone would be interested.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback. Thanks a lot.

Since I have not received a response yet, I have attached a few pieces that I was able to produce with my plugin. I apologize for the low-resolution renderings; I’m using the freemium version of Twinmotion. Any feedback on whether anyone would find this (or something similar/related) useful would be greatly appreciated.

The main thing is that you are on Mac. Most users are on Windows which already has a much better native Materials inspector / browser panel. So we would likely only need the “curated” material folders added to our local user material collection repository. (This is the “Materials” folder located in the user’s AppData path.) SketchUp automatically enumerates these subfolders and allows access from the native Materials browser panel.

So this is likely why you’ve not received much feedback or interest.

What else would the extension do besides supply materials for rendering ?

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Thank you so much for responding!

My extension would also allow for the following:

  • a keyword search for materials/art (e.g., search by artist name)
  • resizing of art pieces so that they fit faces
  • screening materials (other than art) by approximate cost (High, Medium, or Low)
  • creating art in picture frames on a wall in one click (example illustration attached)

If these features (or even the entire idea) are low value-add relative to what is already available in Windows, please let me know. I always appreciate constructive criticism, even if it is negative.

Hi @jz4bk ,

I would find it very useful if your SketchUp extension imported the art pieces at the right scale.

For example, if “The Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh was imported using real-world dimensions it will help designers place them on the walls and not make a scaling mistake. I did a google search and it says the size is 74 cm x 92 cm.

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Bringing in images and stating their real world size is easy with the built in tools, even on Mac. Here’s how the edit view looks:

In there I have set the imported texture (I imported as an image, then exploded it to make it be a material) to be the real world size of 2’5"x3’ for Starry Night. I then used the paint bucket to apply the texture to a rectangle that was exactly 2’5"x3’. Here’s the SketchUp file:

StarryNight.skp (620.5 KB)

Your extension could still be useful, if it was an image placing tool, where the user would be able to state the width and height, choose what texture to use, and maybe even what framing to use. Your extension could make the geometry and the textures needed, all in one component.

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Hi @Renderiza,

Thank you for your feedback.

I had not considered that designers might be inclined to maintain the original dimensions of an art piece (which they could print at any scale), but this is certainly something I could implement!

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Having all resources searchable has been a feature request in the past.

Currently Materials do not have a native description property like Components and Styles have.

This means it might be (at least temporarily) implemented by attaching an Attribute Dictionary to Materials (ie, the searchable fields would get saved into the SKM files.) It would be best if materials got a special “Searchable Attributes” dictionary similar to the “Advanced Attributes” that Components have. (Otherwise materials could get bloated with multiple custom attribute dictionaries.)

Regardless of whether the material files themselves have attributes internally saved, the extension would need to compile a database where the material at each filepath has a hash (data dictionary) of searchable attributes. (ie, the search leads to “hit list”, a choice leads to the file’s path.)

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Exhibitions use XML or excel lists (in our region) and it could be useful to place an existing collection of artwork.

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Hello @DanRathbun,

I appreciate your writing back again.

I have to admit that I’ve currently saved my keywords in the names of my image files (which then become the names of my materials). I agree that I might have to use an attribute dictionary once I attach more keywords.

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