Textures in sketchup
As I have said before, I like to use textures in sketchup. They are great for getting an idea of how your actual wood choices will look. It's not exact but does help a lot. Helps a lot when showing the idea to others to get their input.
You can import any 2D image to use as a texture. You can find lots of wood textures in the internet. The bigger the better. If it's too small, it will get repeated. So some tricks I use to get the most out of textures:
- Use google image search. I search for the wood type plus the word texture. In size, select large. There are a lot of nice images that will work out there.
- I download my textures into a separate directory (textures, duh...)
- To import to a model, I select file/import and click on "use as texture". You can only drop the texture onto a simple surface (no components or groups) so I usually draw a rectangle. Once it's imported, the texture will be available in the "in model" section of the materials window.
- When importing, I try to size the texture so the grain is about the right size. I usually draw a 12" X 12" square and make sure the grain is appropriately sized. Personal taste.
- With most texture images you find on the internet, there is some color or intensity variation across it. So, when the texture repeats on larger surfaces, you can distinctly see the edges. They're called tiling artifacts. To prevent that I create a "book matched" texture. Basically, I repeat the image 3 more times. The top left one is the original, the top right is mirrored horizontally so that the right edge pixels are exactly the same as the left edge ones. Then I copy those two images and flip them vertically so that the bottom row of pixels is the same at the top row. That "quad image" becomes the new texture image.
The end result is that you don't see the tiling artifacts. See the examples below. The first picture is the original image and the second shows the difference between the orignal (left) and "quad image" (right) used as a texture. I think you'll agree it looks a lot more natural. You can play around with selecting different parts of the image to base the new quad image on so the grain looks even better. I probably should have clipped out some of the right hand side of the image to make it even more natural.
I use MS Paint for this, it's a bit tedious. I've got in mind to write a simple program to do this automatically. Would be nice to just have a check box in the import function in SU.
Last edited by PhilBa; 08-09-2015 at 10:36 AM.