Still have not understanding how to manage Materials

Sketchup’s organization of materials is very confusing to me.

First, I download some materials from online as jpeg’s and stored them in a folder called custom_materials. I then went to “preferences” and changed the “materials” path to the custom_materials path. Then I went to the materials window and did not find any folder or sub-folder for the custom_materials folder. Actually, just checking my “materials” in “preferences” after I closed and reopened sketchup the “materials” path went back to the default, so apparently that cannot be changed?

Then I tried going to the materials window and clicking the “details” button and choosing “add collection to favorites” and navigated to the custom_materials folder and selected it, it created the folder at the bottom but when I opened it none of my materials (jpeg files) where showing.

The other question is when I go to the 3d warehouse and import a texture, I can use it but how do I save it to my custom_materials.

I’ve searched for a tutorial on materials management and could not find on. Surely my need are not unique, I find materials on the web or in 3d warehouse and would simply like to save them in an organized way so that if I want to use them again I can go to the materials window and easily find them.

BTW- I’m on Sketchup 2018

The texture images are contained in files with the SKM extension. It’s not enough to have a folder full of JPGs and think that’s a materials collection.

You can import the images from a folder by using the Browse button in the Materials window. Once you’ve imported the image, you can edit its size.

Another method which I prefer to use is to draw rectangles to the known size of the textures. Then I use File>Import and import the image as a texture. I apply it to the rectangle and it’s automatically the right size.

In either case repeat for your additional textures. If you do this in a file that doesn’t have other textures, after you’ve finished importing the images, you can save them as a collection using Save collection as… in the Details menu.

For more see:


So, for materials that I download from different websites that come in an image format I should access them via “import” and manage them on my file system, not the materials window?

What about 3dwarehouse materials that I bring in through sketchup and paint on a model, how/where can those be saved?

I started another forum question (wish I could delete it now because I don’t need 2 threads), because I’m not able to import a jpg file as a texture. It give me a circle-backslash image (ghostbusters) no matter what I do. Have you run across this before.

You can either use File>Import in SketchUp or use the Browse button in the Materials window in SketchUp. It makes little difference which you use because the end result is the same. Just remember if you use the Browse option in the Materials window, you need to set the dimensions of the texture. I use the File>Import method because I’m usually creating wood grain materials and have 3 to 8 images from the same log that are the same length. It’s easy to draw a single rectangle that is 12 feet long, for example and make 8 copies of it before importing the images.

Once you’ve imported those into the SketchUp file, you can use the same method I described above with Save as collection…

If you use File>Import you must have a face available to apply it to. You cannot import a material and apply it to a component or group container. Also, if the surface is made of multiple faces, it won’t take the image. It must be a single face that you apply the imported image to.

Oh, interesting. So, if I want to use an jpg siding texture on a house, I can explode the group of one wall and then apply texture and then re-group, seems like an aukward way. Is there a way I can apply this jpg to a wall?

You could do that. I’d just open the group for editing before applying the image as a material…

My first response was, of course I already tried that, but I realize I didn’t. I’ll try and remember the importance of going into edit mode.


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