Use of eyedropper to replicate background colour

I often want something not to stand out from the background of a scene. But I find you cannot simply use the eyedropper to colour a component (say) the same as the background. You have to find out what the background colour is (in Colors in Model, say) and then apply that.

Is there no easier way to do this?

While you are in the Paint Bucket tool, hold down the Command button. This will let you sample and color or material in the model. This eyedropper is different from the one that you can click in the Colors window.

and you can only paint a Component or Group if the geometry inside isn’t already painted…


What you describe is what I was doing. The eyedropper doesn’t seem to pick up the background colour, it just uses the colour that was last used.

This is what I have tried. Normally I like a white background. If I create a simple rectangle it has a face the default SU colour. If I then select the paint tool and hold down Command to get the eyedropper, click on a patch of background, and then release the command button to paint the face of the rectangle, that face does not turn the colour of the background.

Similarly, if I change the background colour to a light grey and do the same thing, still no dice. In both cases, SU paints the new face the colour I last used to paint something that wasn’t the background (by “background” I mean the one set for the chosen style).

I must be missing something here.

for that you can use the ‘color sampler’ which also looks like an eyedropper…

they both have uses…


So here’s one I made earlier…

Material.pdf (34.2 KB)

I did what you did but ended up with a different colour for the square at bottom right. You should just see the outline of the box (or that is what I was hoping for), but it actually stands out as a different colour to the background. Still must be doing something wrong.

it changes as you move around because your ground ‘plane’ isn’t affected by lighting but ‘surfaces’ are…

if you group a separate ground ‘surface’ then a second ‘surface’ created on the same ‘plane’ would receive the same lighting variations…


What you may be missing is that the “eyedropper” color sampler literally picks up the as-displayed color of a selected pixel. SketchUp shades all surfaces except the background, so the color you get will depend on both the texture where you sample and the lighting (shading).