Textures applied to edges

I think that it’s the little bits of polish and small details that can really make a model more than just a box and lines with texture fills: I often add details like skirting boards to walls, roof hips and valleys, … and it probably works out that the majority of the surfaces and geometry in my models is generated from the detailing stuff.

If you look around, about half of every-day, real-life objects have some sort of “enhancement” to the edge; sofa has piping, jeans have stitching, the TV has a surround, the keys on my keyboard have an edge, the walls in my room have skirtings and coving, a window has a frame, the radiator pipe bend has a weld, etc, etc…

It would save a huge amount of work and model size if I could just select an edge and add a texture rather than modelling it:

  • The texture would repeat all the way along the selected line, overlaying on top of the surface that the edge bounds. (properly overlaying; not the confused mess that currently happens when you get two textures on the same plane)
  • The texture would only encroach into the surface by the defined height of the texture image
  • Stretching or scaling the object would not affect the scale of the texture.
  • The texture could be scaled, skewed and the start point moved along the edge as per any [texture > position] r-click menu
  • Two connected edges with the same texture on the same plane would join either by "fanning" the texture in a curve or extending the "offset" boundary and having a straight cut in the texture.
  • The texture would be applied through either a r-click on the line or via the "entity info" window (mock-up below)
  • There would be a new sub-folder of "edge textures" with some 'common' ones
  • Once assigned a texture, a line would have to be assigned the "default" texture to remove it.

    Using PNG files (with transparencies) I can think on hundreds of applications, from lines on a road to riveted metal sheets. The attached mockup has screws, drips, groove, edge enhance, corner stones, grass, cobble edge and muddy ditch:

    The main problem I can think on is how to export the fill; maybe each one has to be made into a “unique texture”?

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    just by the way… an edge or line in sketchup doesn’t actually have a thickness or mass to it… it’s just a representation of an invisible vector… it’s one dimensional.

    that aside, you’re talking about something like shut lines i imagine:


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    Yup. But an edge currently records a texture against it (in the entity info panel). I was initially just thinking on using that, but then the problem was that a line can actually be an edge to multiple shapes.

    My concept was(is) a 2D image. The shut line above is a 3D thing - like router-ing in woodwork.

    I really like the idea as applied in Rhino, but it assumes that a line can only join two surfaces. What would be really cool would be the ability to assign a router shape and have it follow the line (like the “follow me” tool).
    Have a catalogue of 2d shapes with a defined the centre point to drag down the line. Define the size of the router bit and apply to an edge.
    Have an option to apply the bit to the geometry which would actually cut the surfaces to create new ones.

    You could round edges, chamfer, create panels, even use it to make things like screw holes - moving, stretching, scaling wouldn’t have any effect on the edge router bit.

    Combine this with my original 2D texture idea, (set to the same size as the router’s shape) and you could even have the routered edge showing an end-grain in wood or being a completely different colour to the surface.

    Developing the idea: why only have it a negative shape? Have the option to toggle the router bit to a positive that would add to the geometry rather than cutting it out: ceiling coving, skirting boards, cabinetry beading, ridges, guttering…

    [quote=“gadget2020, post:3, topic:9900”]
    Developing the idea: why only have it a negative shape?[/quote]
    there is the ability to do the opposite… plus displacement.
    that said, these are heavy mesh generators and sketchup isn’t really equipped to handle that much geometry… i think some of what you’re envisioning could very quickly rack up a million polygons for tiny details…

    the rendering extensions might be the more feasible way to go for some of this stuff… or simply using textures which illustrate the details as opposed to generating the geometry.

    follow-me tool? or plugins such as profile builder?

    The main point was that it’s not part of the geometry: smaller files, the bounding edges can be moved and the object re-sized without having any effect on the edge profile. Snap points would still be on the edge & end points and not somewhere in the space that’s been cut-out.

    I know that there are tools & plugins but they all have the same disadvantages: it’s destructive to the original geometry and it increases the polygon count - sometimes dramatically.

    I would also envisage a ‘view’ mode (or tic box somewhere in the style options) to turn the edge profile effects on/off

    gadget2020- I think this is a fantastic idea. I realize this thread is a little old. Do you know of any extensions created since that allow for this operation?

    I think it would be a huge boon to the rendering community, taking some steps out of Photoshop post-processing. That being said, I wonder if applications like VRAY would successfully process data like this.