Re: Interior Decor: Adding materials to SketchUp core-materials like wood-veneer and fabrics

Hello, all. I’m designing interior decor, like furniture and built-ins, such as wardrobe closets. My sales process includes demonstrating the effects of light on specific tiles, stones, etc. But the core materials tray does not have the products I work with. Additionally, I structured components to allow me to chang matrials, textures, shades of components with a click, so that the customer may compare the various looks.

How can I import my materials selection part of the core software capabilities?

To be clear, if I import an image of the veneer, I can change one shelf at a time only. If I utilize the wood currently available in the Tray, all related objects within the component will change.

Not sure about the “i can change one shelf at a time only”.

did you make a ‘component’ or did you ‘group’ the shelf?
a component you only need to change once to see all copies of that component change as well.
a group needs to be ‘revised’ per group, so if you change one of many copies, only that one will change.

in case you created a group, i would advise to transform that group into a component and replace every copy of that group into a copy of the component!

change the texture inside the component and you will see each copy of that component change its texture.

hope this was helpfull o.0

It would help if you share your SketchUp file so we can see how you have it structured.

Regarding the shelves, if you have made them properly as components AND apply the material to the faces instead of the component container, changing the material in one shelf will change the others.

Don’t add your own materials to the OEM-supplied collections. They could be lost if you need to reinstall SketchUp. Create your own collections of materials if you want. By default they will be saved in a location not affected by uninstalling, reinstalling, or repairing the installation of SketchUp.

One option you could use is to replace an In Model texture image with a new one while editing the material. In order for that to work well, the material images must all be the same size, though. If you can ensure that, it works quite nicely.


Thank you for addressing my querry. I almost didn’t expect anyone to respond.

Your response does clear up my understanding of editing all components. It’s tricky because I’m also grouping components so that they don’t “stick” to each other. Here is an uploaded file that shows the “grouped” segments of the model.

Closet Components Aligned ready for room and lights.skp (431.7 KB)

My objective is to create Wardrobe Design that allows me to change materials and colors for different parts of the Wardrobe. The Model includes “parts” that I can change color/materials sperate from the other “parts.” The seperately alterable components become one component, so to speak, for the sake of altering materials and colors.
The “parts” should be the 1) Enclosure (a shell if you would), including: Two (2) enclsoure panels, the floor panel connecting to the enclosure panels, and a top enclsoure (that will ultimately include lighting fixtures); 2) the interior shelves that include two support panels; and 3) the backing of the wardrobe. But, I believe I must also Group them, so when I add the backing or interior shelves with support panels, they do not “stick” to the Enclosure, destroying sizing data that I’ll rely upon in the skematics. I know to explode them to get to the components, but it seems I am not succesful in getting the end result. Can you give me some guidance on approaching these tasks, successfully?

As far as the other, that is, applying materials I’'ve sourced from manufacturers to my model, is there any approach for it? Otherwise, I’ll just hand clients a “mood” board, showing the suggested materials.

I can’t thank you enough for taking my querry!!! Thanks a mil.

Chris F.


I want to thank you for your patient reply. You are correct in assuming my problem has something to do with grouping. If I might take a little more of your time, I’d be so appreciative!!! So, let me adventure forth, and pose the problem differently.

The objective of my model is to change color/texture/materials to different sections of my Wardrobe model. The model has 3 sections that will change in color/texture/materials. The sections are comprise of at least two components. For instance, the wardrobe shelves “components” are attached to two support panels, “components” (this is because I used the copy/move feature so that the measurements will be absolute). At this point I’ve created an array (of shelves) nested inside of the component (support panels) right? I may want to change one component of the section (i.e. the axis of the shelves along the panels, creating shoe shelving).
Step 2. Now, I move the so-called “shelves on support panels” component to palce it inside the enclsoure shell, a seperate component. Don’t I want to group the “shelves on support panels” to avert sticky geometry, thus compromising the skematics I’ll rely upon for the builder?

Well, that’s a mouth full. What do you think? Should I approach the entire concept differently?

Thanks again for your time and for reaching out.

Chris Fischer

From a cursory look at your model I thing one thing that would help is applying the materials to the faces inside the base level components and not the containers. I’m also seeing what looks to me like too many levels of nesting. Those levels of nesting make more work and aren’t really a benefit for you.

What do you really need to get out of the model? Who is the model for? It is only to show the client or do you need to be able to create a plan for building the thing in the shop?

Yes, Dave. It’s all adding up to alot of work!

The Objective: A live presentation to the client who will select materials.

Let me refer to sections of the model, being the Enclosure shell, the interior shelves on support panels, and the backing. The client will want to see what it looks like, and what a change in material looks like. I need to click on a “section” as defined above, and change the materials for all the components in that section simultaneously, then click on the second section and change that material, without dismanteling the model to accomplish the changes. How would you go about it?


So for something like the marble material in your uploaded model, you can sort of get by with the material applied to the groups. But if you are using wood grain materials which have a grain direction applying the material to the group is not going to give you control over the grain direction so at least some parts will show the grain incorrectly.

If I were dong this I would create multiple copies of the model and texture the faces in each one with the various texture options and then use tags and scenes to show the various options to the client.

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Not sure how familiar you are with creating ‘dynamic components’, but that might be one way to create an easy way to change materials of specific parts of your model?

TheSketchupEssentials offers a nice video on how to set various materials for various parts:

Just did a quick test and managed to set materials for ‘vertical shelves’, ‘horizontal shelves’ and the ‘outside’ of the closet. Is this what you were trying to achieve?

The options for these dynamic components are almost unlimited, only limited by our brain :wink:
So you could for exsample ad options to display shelves for clothes or shelves for shoes or even an empty closet without shelves.

Dave R

Yes, thank you. I’m in the learning stage with the use of tags. However, this is the direction I’m headed.

To review, my question is : what is the simplist way to build component so that I can apply a change in materials, seperate from the other components in the Group. I gleam that you said, apply tags to the component nesting within the Group. Yes?


That’s not exactly what I was getting at. Apply tags to the objects (components and groups) in the model so you can control which ones are visible and which aren’t. You could use nesting of objects to help keep them together. So you might have a case piece with a marble top. The marble top might be a group and the case might be another. Select the two of them and make a nested group so you can easily select and move the assembly around the model.

As for the materials, best practice is normally to apply them to the faces which means burrowing all the way in through the group/component wrappers until you are at the raw geometry level. To change the materials you either have to burrow in again or use another option such as Fredo6’s ThruPaint. As I wrote before if you don’t need to worry about the directionality of the texture, you could apply it to the group container instead of the faces inside. There are some downsides to that but maybe it would still work for you.

Thanks Dave. I’m back to work on this today. I must be mishandling the procedure you describe in tags for componets and groups. Today, I right to left selected the model, and material changes did not take affect. I taged both the top and the case together, but changes applied as individual components.

My process was:

draw a panel, copy it to other end of case, put it on a base, and label it a component. Secondly, I developed the top, as a component. Then put them together, made the final component. Now, I’ve tagged it. Even selecting “edit component” it will not be edited.

Please correct my steps. Is there a tutor for this?

Thanks a mil,

Wardrobe Shell.skp (239.8 KB)

We have guests showing up for dinner in about 2 minutes. I’ll look at your model after they’ve gone.

So kind . Thank you. At your convenience, of course. Enjoy!

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Sorry to be so long. Guests stayed later than expected.

So you model has components in it but except for the top level Wardrobe Shell there are none in the model space. It looks as if you were selecting some of the loose geometry to make the components but because there was other attached geometry, the selection didn’t get replaced with the component. There’s a tick box near the bottom of the Create Component window that needs to be ticked for that.
Screenshot - 10_21_2022 , 7_46_02 AM

Best practice, though, would be to model one part such as the base panel and make it a component before moving on to the sides. Model one side and make it a component. Then copy the side component to the other end of the base panel. Then model the top piece in place on the top of the sides and make it a component before moving on to the next part. I’ve redone your model using this method. Note that I put the bottom front left corner at the origin and the front edge along the red axis. If you need to create elevation views, the standard Front view will show the front of the wardrobe shell. Your version is in the back. It wasn’t totally clear to me what you have in mind with the materials so mine might be wrong in that respect.

Wardrobe Shell.skp (358.4 KB)

I can do that. I’ll send you a private message.

Thanks very much for the best practice tip for building the model! This piece is one of the components in the model. I intended to build the Core unit, that are shelves and interior panels. I guess that component will ultimately become a group, and here is why. I need to tag each piece as a seperate entity, so that I can edit each component seperately, you see? Or if I tag each seperately, can I change the materials and colors in each piece easily?



Yes, this is what i worked on. I ultimately am using tags at this point, but I see there is so much more to consider.

Also, I watched the “essentials” video, and I LOVED it!. I see this method as extremely useful in creating my design boards introduting suggestions of color and materials, to my clients. I’m inspired now. Thank you!

Now,. I need to find a way to insert my own materials into my designs. Vineer is something lacking in the sketchup materials file, for instance. So, If I have pictures of the materials, do I import them into a model surface then save as a component in my locale file?


You can always import new textures into the model and save the material library for future use in other models.

Sketchup does add it’s own files to the library, so be carefull when using the same folder that contains the image files.

content before ‘save collection as’:

content after ‘save collection as’:

Thank you! Yes, this is working for me.