Texture or material as scene property

Has anyone a way to do this:

I’ve modeled a kitchen and applied a material / texture to the cabinets for illustration. I’d like to be able to show the clients a few iterations of their kitchen with different materials applied to the cabinets, countertops etc. for comparison. This would be very easy if applied material were a scene property - established a viewpoint, then apply different materials to the surfaces to view and save those all in a series of scenes. I could then flip through the scenes, showing the clients various material combinations for illustration / selection. The only way this seems possible in my present state of knowledge is to create copies of the base cabinets, counters etc, place them on a series of layers, applying different materials to them on each layer iteration, then create scenes from this. But then I’ve got how many different layers / scenes of the exact same point of view and only the material is changed. Seems like this could quickly become a rather huge and unwieldy sized file.

Does this make sense? Any ideas?


Materials aren’t a scene property. You could create dynamic components with different materials and change them by interacting with the components.

You could also look at a tool like SimLab Composer.

Dynamic components… I will look into that, Dave. Thanks again, you’re are almost single-handedly responsible for most of what I know about working in Sketchup. I feel like I should be paying you!

I never did get to meet you in Steamboat last time, you heading to Palm Springs next year?



I will look into that as well, thank you!

Hi Bob,

That’s nice to hear.

I will be at Palm springs so make sure you introduce yourself.

You don’t need to use Dynamic Components for this. You could just change the material with the paint tool as easily as it can be changed using DCs.

Well, the idea is to be able to show clients various color / material palette for finishes. Changing the materials, what with opening groups, applying new material, adjusting them (even when made easier by use of your great texture positioning plug in), just seems a bit too much “under the hood” work to be doing in front of clients. There may be no easier, “presentation level” way of doing this, other than just making copies of the cabinets, walls etc, applying different textures, assigning the lot to different layers and then just flipping through those. But, I do need to learn more (as in, everything) about dynamic components anyway.

Thanks for your input, JCE!


FWIW, if you were going to just repaint (or even if you aren’t) components instead of groups would make it easier.

My bad, Dave, on the terminology. I use components any time I have more than one of something. I just used the more generic “group”. But you’re absolutely right about components making like much easier and quicker! You’re like everyone’s big brother out there making sure the rest of us don’t foul up too much. Haha! And Christina is like everyone’s genius little sister, patiently teaching the older siblings what she knows almost instinctively.

Really, I’ve never met a more helpful group of people than the Sketchup community. Try getting that out of Revit!



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TT’s Material Replacer can speed up a client presentation…

i.e. have a scene showing a swatch panel, and click any two to swop them on all scenes…

then File >> Revert before trying the next…

there is a plugin that does it automatically, but I can’t find it…


You could make the whole kitchen a component and have differently painted copies of it. Then you could edit inside the kitchen, e.g. move a cabinet, and all differently painted versions would be updated at once. You could either use layers and scenes to control visibility or just place the next to each other and pan between them.

Advanced texture positioning is a bit complicated though when painting components from the outside.

it was easier than I thought if you use ‘Undo’ from a shortcut key…


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That looks intriguing… thank you, John

Very interesting approach. Especially if you are using SketchUp as your presentation tool. :blush:

My suggestion of SimLab Composer was if you wanted to present your product as an interactive 3D PDF or as an interactive WebGL page. :blush:

Have the instructor panel open: The native modifier keys might be doing what you are looking for…


Paint Bucket Tool
Assign materials and colors to entities.
Tool Operation

1 Select a materials library using drop down list in Materials Browser.
2 Select a material from materials library.
3 Click on faces to paint.
4 Modifier Keys

  • Shift = Paint all faces with matching materials
  • Ctrl = Paint all connected faces with matching materials
  • Shift+Ctrl = Paint all faces on the same object with matching materials
  • Alt = Sample material for painting

Click to learn about more advanced operations…

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