Need to edit materials of existing condo complex file



I have been given a file consisting of about a city block worth of condos. I am given the task of changing the color of the exterior only. That being said, it would be a huge undertaking/time suck to go piece by piece. I am familiar with components and it looks like they were used in creating the file but when I think I am clicking on one, only that item changes an nothing else, and usually not even the entire thing. For example, I click on a banister. I see the box around it letting me know it’s a component. I see a line item is highlighted in the Outliner window. I double click the item on the layout and only portions of the item highlight in yellow. There are a million windows, frames, doors, etc. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong or if the file was created poorly. Can someone walk me through what I may be missing?


It would be useful to examine the model to fully understand what you are encountering. From what you say, I suspect it is too large to upload directly here (limit 3MB) but perhaps you could share it via the 3D Warehouse and provide the link here (unless, of course, it is proprietary or confidential)?

Otherwise, could you upload some screenshots showing what you are struggling with. I’m not sure what “only portions of the item highlight in yellow” refers to, as nothing highlights in yellow when I double-click on things. Does your style have yellow set as the color for selected?


Here’s when I first click:


And when I click again:


I’m not sure if I can share the whole file but here is a screen shot of the file to give you an idea of how bulky it is. I have hidden a number of the building because my computer is so slow.


The first image looks like a typical Component/Group opened for editing (which is what double-click should do). What did you click on (or double-click on) to get to the second image? Also, did you check whether your active style has the selection color set to yellow?

A different approach occurred to me: are the relevant outside surfaces painted with a common material (or set of materials) not used by other entities in the model? If so, you could edit the material to give it a different color and that would affect all the painted quantities at once.


I was just about to suggest that. If identical components all have the same “unique” material that would be the fastest way to change the material colors


I don’t know how to choose/view the selection color?

I just repeated what I did and actually when I first click it turns yellow and double click shows the component/group.

Editing the material would be a good approach too! I’ll try that.


You can use the eye dropper tool found in the materials tab to select the color then you can go into the edit window and adjust the RGB values and saturation, hue and contrast values.


On a Mac,
open WIndow->Styles. In the styles window, click on the little house icon to make sure you are looking at styles “In Model”. Then select a style by clicking on it, click the tab that says “Edit”, and in the editor window that opens, select the farthest little icon to the right. The box labelled “Selected” will show the selection color for the style. You can click on this box to edit the selection color.


Oops, sorry about the wrong info.


That would suggest that yellow is indeed your selection color. When you first open a group or component for edit, nothing will be selected inside it until you single-click on something. Also, single-click outside the bounding box will close the group/component for edit.

You could try setting View->Component Edit->Hide Rest of Model. When this is active, everything except other instances of the same Component will vanish when you open an instance for edit. That’s a sure way to know that you have opened for edit and what you have opened!


Okay, thanks! Yes, that is the selection color.


Oh great! That’s a huge help.


SketchUp User Guide

Basically, … painting a group or component instance will percolate to it’s owned faces IF those face’s material is set to nil (aka “default”.) But a “parent” material will NOT override a “owned” object’s specific material setting.

So for example, if you had a wall component instance, with a maple wood material assigned to a chair rail face inside it, then the rail would remain painted with the wood textured material and you could paint the rest of the wall component’s surfaces with one “swipe of the brush” by painting the parent component. All the faces whose material property is still set to the “default” (nil) will be rendered with the parent container’s material. (But their own material property will not change. This is important to known for material takeoffs, etc.)
If later you realize that another face needs a specific different material, you can double-click (enter the component for edit,) and override the “default” for that face, and give it it’s own material that will not be overridden by the parent’s material.


If the walls have already been painted with a material and you want to change its appearance you can edit the material without having to do anything in the 3d view. In SketchUp faces themselves don’t have a color, but refers to a material which “owns” the color. If you open the material browser and click the eyedropper button you should be able to pick up the material of the wall (if there is one). Then you switch to the edit tab in the material browser and change the color there.


Thank you! I’ll give it a go!


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