How can I add textures to a matched photo?

I imported a matched photo and I want to experiment with different paint colors, and add brick or stone veneer to the chimney. However I can’t seem to get the materials tool to overwrite the photo. Is there a way to do this?

My plan was to create a water table above the windows and then alter the colors of the siding. I think the only tool to do the recoloring the siding and trim is photoshop, but there must be a way to add a water table, change the chimney to brick or stone to see the different effects.

For instance, the water table - I try to color it brown, but it remains the dirty white. My darkening the triangle above was a little more successful but unacceptable - the chimney was a failure.

Thanks for your help. G

house.skp (2.2 MB)

You can and it does. You can apply brick to the chimney and replace the photo, but it looks like your display Style is set to have 100% opacity for Match Photo in the foreground, so all you see when you’re in the Match Photo scene is the photo, not what you’re doing to the model. Rotate out to a different point of view and you can see your changes. There are separate sliders for visibility of the photo as both foreground and background, so you should play around with that and see what happens.

The gable is in a horizontal plane, BTW. I suspect you want a vertical surface.

When I reduce the opacity of the background picture it fades out and becomes useless. When I increase the foreground photo it does not overwrite the background photo in the selected areas.

Man. I don’t understand why the gable is not on the correct plane. Thanks - back to the drawing board. G

In the Styles tray, Edit, Model Settings (the fifth of the five icons) is an option that determines whether the photo is in the foreground or background. Try unchecking that box, and then your modeling with the custom textures will be sat on top of the photo.

The thing about the gable being flat is because you directly drew that, and from the camera’s viewpoint there are two valid triangles that would obscure that part of the photo, you happened to get the wrong one. Try drawing a line from the origin, up the blue axis to where the gable ends. Now draw a line along the red axis to the left end of the gable. Then draw a line from the middle of that new line, up the blue axis to the top of the gable.

You then have three line endings that you can connect, and the triangle will be vertical, ready to paint bucket fill in.

1 Like

I like to draw with the rectangle tool instead of the line tool whenever possible. I would:

  • Start with the rectangle tool, tap the left arrow to force it perpendicular to the green axis
  • Start at the origin and draw to the upper left corner of the house under the gable
  • Use push pull to push it back to the end.
  • Rotate to look down and draw a line for the ridge
  • Select the line and move tool and start lifting it. Tap the up arrow to make sure it goes straight up.
  • While sill rubber banding the location, you can click on the Match Photo scene button and it will orbit to that view and you can match the height by the photo.

Ok. I tried that.
A) I am having trouble locating the origin point when not in the matched photo view.
B) I don’t know how to toggle the match photo scene while holding the ridge with the move tool.
C) I don’t know how to draw the porch roof as it extends beyond the plane of the building.
D) but my core problem - how to draw over the photo I can do, but I can’t apply textures that are over the photo. I don’t know zip about layers - is the answer there?
[house.skp|attachment](upload://gzB9PyaJxxfHsm0s4d3cFR4GISZ.skp) (2.4 MB)

This is a case where you have to use click-click with the move tool, not click-and-drag. An alternate is to select the ridge, then hit the scene button, then use the move tool knowing that the ridge line is selected even thought you can’t see it.

Ok. That make sense though I have never done click click - I always dragged it.
I am making some headway with the rotated rectangle to get the porch roof working.

I use click and drag more often, and, with the Wacom tablet, there are some things that don’t work well with it and click-click like parallel offset, but there are some things like this that need click-click.

I don’t know what a Wacom tablet is, I am a mouse guy.

Any ideas how I can change the chimney to brick?


I did it with the bucket tool. To be sure, rotate out of the photo to another POV and try applying a brick texture with the bucket.

Past bedtime for Bonzo here on the East coast.

I can get it on other views but not on the matched photo - thanks for your help. Nity Nite. G

About D, I showed how in the styles edit area there is a Foreground option. Uncheck that, and then your own textures will be on top of the photo.

I am not sure if it is related, but i want to mention my way of creating a scene that at the exact view of the matched scene… Select the zoom tool while you are in the photomatch scene, look the fov value, let’s say it is 72.25, type 72 and enter, after that type 72.25 enter and save as a new scene… Seperator is dot, not comma by the way… It is useful for render and ps works…

In this I am trying to darken the water table as an example. Here are 3 versions, switching the fore ground and back ground off. Perhaps I am not communicating - I want it to look like a photo, not a model.

If all you want to do is modify the photo, you shouldn’t be using SketchUp at all. You should be editing the photo in an image editor like PhotoShop.

Morning Dave. I agree to some extent. I want to add a water table /chimney texture in sketchup rather than try and draw it in photoshop, I want to try the look of different materials on the chimney, and different trim and paint colors in photoshop.

There has to be a way in sketchup to over write the photos in match photo with a new brick or stone texture on the chimney, so it retains the photo realism. I can’t paste a properly orientated texture on the chimney in PS as far as I know.
I was thinking perhaps I could put the chimney on one layer, the water table on another, the trim on a third etc. But I am unsure of how to do that.


You have to create a model to be able to apply different textures to it but you’ve already said you don’t want a model. SketchUp is not an image editor.

But then it looks like a model, and defeats the purpose of a photorealistic image. It’s not that I don’t want a model, it’s that I want to be able to meld the two together.

Do you have a moment to call me? How do I send you my #?


If you want it to look photo-realistic you would create the model and then use a renderer such as Vray to make it look like a photo.

Unfortunately I’m not available to talk at the moment. Dividing my attention between the forum and a meeting I really should be paying attention to.

1 Like