Color pickers (OS X)

The materials browser contains five color pickers, only one of which, called the Materials picker, allows you to pick materials. The remaining four color pickers are just for selecting color.

Note: Ensure that the Shaded or Shaded with Textures display style is selected to see the colors that you have applied to entities.

Color Wheel Picker

The Color Wheel picker allows you to select a color by hue, saturation, and brightness.

Select the color you want by clicking your mouse over that color in the color wheel. You can also click and drag the cursor around the color wheel to quickly browse through many different colors. You will see a dynamic preview of the selected color in the active color well at the top of the color picker.

The color wheel arranges color hue radially around the wheel, with the highest saturation at the outer edge of the wheel. Slide the value slider, to the right of the wheel, up or down, to change the brightness of the color.

The Color Wheel picker is the simplest and most versatile of the standard Apple color pickers, though it is also the least precise. You might want to use the Color Wheel picker to make a rough color choice, and then use the Color Slider pickers to fine tune your choice.

Color Slider Picker

The Color Slider picker contains four sliders: Gray Scale slider, RGB sliders, CMYK sliders, and HSB sliders. These color pickers differ only in the components they use to mix colors. Select the Color Slider picker from the pop-up menu at the top of the picker control area.

Gray scale slider
The Gray Scale slider allows you to select colors from the grayscale color range (shades of gray).

Adjust the slider until you see the color you want in the Active Color Well. Alternatively, you can select a color by typing a percent gray value directly in the text box to the right of the slider. Or, choose from one of the five preset gray values below the slider.

RGB sliders
The RGB sliders allow you to select colors from the RGB (Red, Green and Blue) color range. RGB colors are traditionally used when modeling color on a computer screen and represent the closest approximation of the actual range of colors recognizable by the human eye. RGB has a wide color gamut and is one of the most effective color spaces to use in SketchUp.

Drag the sliders left and right for each of the component colors (red, green and blue) to create the color that you want to use. The background color of each slider changes as you modify values to help you predict how adjustments will change your color mix.

Alternatively, you can type in exact numerical values for red, green or blue in the value boxes to the right of the sliders to precisely match a color that you have specified elsewhere.

CMYK sliders
The CMYK sliders allow you to select colors from the CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) color range. CMYK is traditionally used to select colors intended for professional printing, where colors are usually specified in percentages of these four basic ink colors. RGB or HSB color pickers are generally sufficient for most work in SketchUp.

Drag the sliders left and right for each of the component colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) until you have the color you want to use. To help you find an exact color, the background color of each slider will change as you modify values to help you predict how adjustments will change your color mix.

HSB sliders
The HSB Color sliders allow you to pick colors from the HSB (Hue Saturation and Brightness) color range. HSB often gives you a more intuitive color model for selecting desaturated colors.

Adjust the sliders for hue, saturation and brightness until you see the color you want in the Active Color Well.

Sometimes it is easier to mix de-saturated colors using the HSB picker in conjunction with one of the other pickers. Switch to another color picker to make your rough color selection, then switch back to the HSB picker to fine tune or mix desaturated colors.

Image Palettes

The Image Palettes picker allows you to load an image file and select colors from anywhere in that image. The Image Palettes picker has a spectrum image loaded as a default.

Materials Picker

The Materials picker is unique to SketchUp and is the picker that you use to create, modify and manage SketchUp-specific materials.

Material Thumbnail Images
The middle of the Materials Picker contains thumbnail images for all available materials in the currently selected materials collection. Following are some tasks you can perform on these thumbnail images:

  • Drag your mouse over a thumbnail image to see a tool tip with the material's name.
  • Click on a thumbnail image to load it in the Active Color Well for use in your model.
  • Double-click on a thumbnail image to open the material for editing. Refer to Material Picker Options for further information.
  • Drag and drop material thumbnails to re-sort the materials.
  • Drag and drop image files directly from the finder into the material thumbnail area. You will be prompted to supply a name and dimensions for the material when you drag and drop an image file into this area.

Color and List Menus
The Color and List drop-down menus are below the material thumbnail images. Use the Color menu to manage and create new materials and the List menu to manage and create new material lists. See Material Picker options for further information.

Crayons Picker

The Crayons picker displays a graphic representation of a box of crayons with a small range of standard Apple colors. The Crayon picker is the simplest picker to use and is fairly limited in the range of colors available.

Click on the crayon whose color you want to use to select a color with the Crayon picker. The crayon's color will be transferred to the Active Color Well.