How to Texture a complex model


I have to texture surfaces (with photos) made of serveral triangles. My problem is that SketchUp only texture triangle by triangle.

Does anyone know what is the best way to apply ONE texture to multiple triangles ?


I believe you can make the object with several triangles a group, then texture the entire group at once.

Actually Pault728 that isn’t good advice. Texturing a group as a whole can cause problem. It is generally best to texture faces rather than groups or components.

You need to soften the edges between the triangles to create one surface, then the texture will flow. This has limitations, but basic texturing is done this way.

For example here you see the triangles of the hidden geometry, then turned off it becomes one surface.

Sorry, I shoud have been more precise. What I’m trying to do is texturing with a photo. And it doesn’t work after I soften the edges. It still can texture only one triangle at a time.

In it’s simplest form, turning off hidden geometry will make one face to project an image on.
But without seeing what you are trying to do there are too many possible answers to your question.

Hi Box,

What I’m trying to do is applying photos as texture on this model

The problem is I can apply the photo to triangles one by one only.

You need to soften/smoooth the edges, making it a continuous contoured surface rather than individual triangular faces.

That was the first sentence of the second paragraph of Box’s original answer. If you’re not sure what that is, this would be a good time to mention it.


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Hi Gully,

After I soften the edges, I have a nice smooth surface, but even with that, the photo still applies to triangles only. Do I miss something ? (hidden geometry are turned off)

If you softened the edges, why do they show in the picture you posted?

No matter. Please upload the model and the photo-texture and we’ll see what’s going on.


Because this was before softening.
Here are the files.

Thanks a lot for helping !

Chapiteau.skp (119.4 KB)

You can’t make a single, contoured surface from a bunch of groups. All the groups must be exploded and the pieces integrated into one surface composed of edges and faces only.

You don’t need any internal drawn details, such as the spiral shape. All detail will be shown with the photo, not with drawn geometry.

Simplify the shape. You just want a canvas on which you can paint the image.

Omit the color. You’re going to paint it.

You should try to find an image with less perspective distortion–one made looking straight-on at the subject instead of up at it.

Here is an attempt at a simplified shape suitable for painting with a texture:


Hi Gully,

I did what you said, and I still have the same problem. I think the problem is I’m not using the right function to do it. What I’m doing is File > Import > MyPicture [use as texture] (assuming this is the best translation from french).

Make a vertical rectangle in front of the 3d surface [not touching it].
Scale its size to match the extents of the 3d surface.
Edit the image to get rid of unwanted parts.
Import the trimmed image as a Texture.
Size it onto the vertical rectangle’s face.
Select that face and context-menu > Texture > Position to ensure its properly placed.
Next context-menu > Texture > Make Projected.
Open the Materials Browser > Model-tab.
Use the eye-dropper to sample the projected texture off the face.
Paint the 3d surface with it.
It should now be mapped appropriately…

If it’s not perfect adjust the texture size [Material > Edit] and/or repeat from **

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Thanks TIG, I’ll try that !