How to apply this photographic texture to a round solid

Using SU 2017(not my normal SU version) on Mac Mojave 10.14.6 how can I apply the texture image to the solid object it portrays?

The photo is a close but not exact match for the object.

I’ve read previous forum threads on applying a texture to cylindrical objects, but they don’t seem to apply to the sloping parts of the model, and when I try just to pick a ‘colour’ in Preview out of a plain part of the image, and import that as a texture, when applied it gives alternate light and dark shades of the tone as vertical stripes round the model.
Double wire insulator.skp (1.7 MB)
Maybe it can’t be done in SU? Perhaps I need to find an off white colour instead?

But that’s hard to find in SU 2017. Colors-Named are all jumbled.

Is that fixable? It’s so long since I regularly used v2017 I’ve forgotten if this is normal!

I have never used SketchUp’s ability to apply a raster image as a texture, but I do apply a color as a material very frequently (on a Mac). I would define a new material, which is just an RGB color that uses the best estimate of the average from the lower part of that photograph. Attached is a copy where I have done this procedure (I saved a copy of the photograph out as a PNG file, then used Photoshop to pick a color, R=117, G=102, B=65). When I saved the file, SketchUp needed to “fix” the geometry, and made many dozens of changes according to the Details list. But it’s still a solid. Double wire insulator TFD.skp (1.7 MB)

For what it’s worth, I always apply a material to the edges and faces of geometry, rather than to the containing group or component.

Thank you for trying. And for providing an “average” colour. I dont know how to do that, in the tools I have (I don’t have Photoshop).

I wonder why? It seemed ok here, and I remember not only purging the file, but also clicking Fix Problems, and there weren’t any.

I usually do that too - tried both (on whole component, and on the faces and edges), both with very stripey effect!

I’ll stick with applying a colour only, as you suggest.

Is the file so big because of the texture image?

I found in another file, also without much geometry and only one texture (SU’s own Metal - Rough) that the file size seemed far too big, and at least for now I can’t see why. Maybe the template has something in it I don’t need, but it’s only the default Woodworking one, so it shouldn’t have.

PS. Just looked at your model in Android SU Viewer on my phone. It renders very dark. I’ll try to find a lighter “ivory-like” color or texture later.

I saw the stripey effect when I inadvertently applied the original image as a material on the model. I didn’t look at the model in detail, didn’t notice the file size. The PNG image is not very large, according to what I saw in Photoshop, so I’m not sure what contributes most to the file size. I don’t usually work with image materials/textures in SketchUp, so I’m not familiar with their sizes apart from the size of the actual raster image.

Regarding the darkness of the color, you probably do want to lighten it (the Materials window can display a slider to allow easy lightening and darkening of a material’s color). In SketchUp’s rendering engine, diffuse reflectivity falls off fairly rapidly away from straight-on illumination.

Fastest way on Mac is to open the image in Preview, crop around the area that is consistent colour, resize the image to 1 pixel. Pick up that pixel from SketchUp.

@TDahl, @colin, Many thanks to you both. I’ll take your advice, and work on the shade of colour to get a good result.

I have a different image showing some detail (a faint embossed text GPO and the old ‘government property’ broad arrow) it would be nice to apply. Maybe I can combine the two with lettering on one or two faces, and a matching background colour on the rest.

Try Affinity Photo found here. They have great support. It is $50. USD, way cheaper than Photoshop. It also has a free trial.

Thank you for the suggestion. It sounds good. I may even have it on a Windows machine I now use rarely.

Before going for that, though, I’ll whether the tools I do have might do the trick. Colin has suggested one way to do it in Preview, which I have, being on a Mac.


Maybe you’ve come to this conclusion already but that image won’t make a great texture to apply to your model. You would be better off to use simple colors–with an image editor you could sample pixels in that image to get the RGB values and then edit a color to match. You could sort of emulate the reflections if you want by using a different color. You’d want to increase the number of segments in the curves and the Follow Me path so you have higher resolution in the surfaces. This is a quickie example. A little more time spent would provide a better result.

BTW, I’m a little curious about your modeling. Why are things off axis?

Yes, I think I have. I’ve experimented with built in native Colors-Named in SU2020, and the appropriately named Ivory will do, I think.

I might try that, but most of the time the component will be used in a much larger model viewed at a distance, and (with @Quadhurst) we’re going to experiment with a renderer. I just wanted to see how much might be done in SU itself.

Don’t want to overload the model with more edges and faces than needed, when the insulator will only be a few hundreds of pixels in the resultant assembly drawing - like this earlier example I posted.

This is about as close as any of the images will come, and even enlarged, the insulator is less than 100x75 pixels.

I drew it too quickly.

The FollowMe circle of 16 segments was supposed to be rotated 7.5 degrees to get the profile normal to the starting circle segment. Forgot to reorient the axes afterwards, and I see I didn’t get either the profile or the circle exactly on the origin (not sure which) - thanks for spotting that, which I missed in haste. Will redraw.

Your advice, as usual, Dave, very helpful. Hope I’ve explained why we are where we are.

PS. Have redrawn, properly centred, along with an even lower poly version for whole street scenes where an insulator is just a tiny blob for the most part.

Faintly tinted with the Ivory colour from the default materials.
Double wire insulator.skp (239.2 KB)


Curious if you ever found out why the colours are all jumbled in SU 2017. It is quite annoying I must say.

No, I didn’t pursue it because I don’t need to use 2017, and just went and did it 2020.