SU 2017 material application problems

Material cannot be applied to a solid which has been modifed by one of the solid tools.

See the linked video for a demo of the problem.

Can you post a small model file showing the problem ?

I think this is expected behaviour…

if you ‘color’ any group and then explode it, the faces inherit the group color…

if you then re-group the geometry you cannot color the new group as it’s faces all have ,material assigned…

the Solid Tool operations must abide by this as well…


I think it is actually quit helpfull in understanding how the different solid tools work! We have seen many examples in X-ray view and default colors but I will now color them, to visualize what happens !

John, you are right. In all my years of using SketchUp, I always applied material to a group, and so never noticed this behavior when it came to individual faces. If a group has some faces with material assigned and some with no material assigned, material applied to the group will affect only the faces to which material has not been assigned. I just happened to notice this first when using the solid tools.

I’m not sure I like this behavior. In the best of all possible worlds, I would have a choice as to whether the new material would override previously-assigned material. (It already overrides, without choice, when applied to an ungrouped surface. Or when applied to a group to which a material has been applied as a whole. You can argue that those are different scenarios; but they represent two different behaviors of the fill tool.)

The problem comes when using a solid tool – say, the subtract tool. If I subtract a brown object from a green object, the green object’s new faces end up brown. And to get them green again, I need to edit the group, color the brown faces, and close the group. Which leads to the problem that I can’t turn the green object entirely purple now with a single click. It won’t change either the green or the brown to purple. If I make the subtracting object green to begin with, then all the resulting faces will be green; but I cannot change them all to purple with a single click, because the material-assignment level has been changed to the individual faces, and is no longer at the group level. )

Further experimentation with groups of groups of groups shows that I cannot, at any given group level, override a material that was applied at a lower level. This makes sense. And any attempted modification of this consistent behavior might lead the SketchUp team down an unnecessary rabbit hole. But it might be a rabbit hole worth exploring, because it could simplify and speed up the application of materials.

The solid tool did change the material assignment level of all the faces in the group from the group level to the individual face level. That was disappointing, and makes further application of materials to that group cumbersome. I believe that, if any faces in the group had material assigned at the group level, then (1) the material assignment level should have remained at the group level for those faces, plus new faces, in the modified group, and (2) the new faces created by the solid tool should inherit the material of that group. That would allow further modification of the material at the group level.

Okay – after that long diatribe – I have figured out how to do it.

Suppose I subtract a red object (colored at the group level) from a green object (ditto). The new faces of the green object are red, and I cannot immediately apply a new material to any part at the group level, because all faces have now been assigned a material at the individual level. But I can do this:

  1. Edit the group.
  2. Select all of it.
  3. In the Entity Info dialog box, click the color swatch (which is currently a question mark). The Choose Paint dialog box comes up.
  4. Choose the Default Color (typically the white/gray combo) and click OK.
  5. Close the group.

The colors on all faces, at the single-face level, will be reset; and I can now apply a material to the group as a whole.


This topic was automatically closed after 91 days. New replies are no longer allowed.