In SketchUp, you can set a few preferences for how the software works overall and how files are saved. To access these preferences, select Window > Preferences (Windows) or SketchUp > Preferences (MacOS) from the menu bar. Most of these preferences are on the General pane, which you click in the sidebar on the left. As shown in the following figure, your options include Saving preferences at the top and Software Updates preferences at the bottom.
SketchUp’s Match Photo feature has inspired many happy dances, because it enables you to
Have you ever stuck a decal on a window or a wall? In SketchUp, sticking an image on a face is even easier than those decals, because digital images don't wrinkle or trap air bubbles. Technically speaking, SketchUp enables you to import images that are already on your hard drive. When you import images from your hard drive (select File > Import to see the Open dialog box, shown in the figure), you can import the image as an image, a texture, or a matched photo.
To add detail and realism to your models, SketchUp enables you to paint materials on faces. Materials are essentially paints that have a color and optional texture (defined within an image file). For example, in the following figure, the roofing material has a blue color and a texture that simulates metal roofing. The siding and grass are also materials that have a color and texture.
With colors, textures, and photos, you can add details that make a 3D model look realistic and complete: Colors are like paint. Textures add realistic materials, such as carpet, tile, grass, wood, glass, and anything else you can capture as a digital image. Photos can be pinned to your model (or just a face within it). In SketchUp’s Materials panel (Microsoft Windows) or Colors panel (macOS), you find predefined colors and textures, which you can edit. Or try mixing your own colors or creating a texture from a photo.
In SketchUp, you see a tan and blue background that suggests the earth and sky. The default background might be great for buildings, but looks a little strange for a model of a rocking chair, as shown in the upper-left corner of the figure. No matter what you’re modeling, you may just want a plain background with sketchy edges to communicate that your model is a blueprint or prototype. Or you may want a polished and detailed background that simulates an interior or a street scene. Notice how the different backgrounds change the look of the model in the figure.
When all you want is a material (such as brick, tile, or grass), importing a whole component from 3D Warehouse into your model can bloat the file with content you neither want nor need. Fortunately, you can download only the material. To find and download a component’s material directly in 3D Warehouse, follow these steps: