How2™ Create a New Materials Library in SketchUp

by Fred Abler

The secret of making great SketchUp models and components, in general, is twofold. It relies upon the essential and complementary skills of architecture-and-artistry.

Component ‘architecture’ is the skilled use of minimal geometry to achieve a maximal representation. This skill (called generalization) can be learned with great practice. But in many ways, it’s an innate gift. You either have it or you don’t.

The second essential skill is the ‘artistry’ used when applying materials to component surfaces. If the applied surface images are appropriate, and the image is well scaled, the representational quality of the component is greatly enhanced.

However, the key to brilliant SketchUp components – is a seamless transition between the 3D architecture and the 2D artistry (applied materials).  When done well.. it’s difficult to tell where the dimensional detail lies – in the actual geometry, or, is it in the applied images!?!

When this representational ‘breakdown’ is pitch perfect, architecture-and-artistry blend seamlessly in a convincing, compelling, and even pleasing manner. ‘Pleasing’ because you can appreciate the skill level and economy of means necessary to suspend your disbelief.


One of the best kept secrets of our FormFonts 3D master modelers.. is that they make their own SketchUp materials. They create, scale and apply them perfectly, and thus… have mastered the transition between SketchUp component architecture-and-artistry.

Unfortunately, creating your own materials library in SketchUp is not easy. The Materials UI is has always been a weak spot in an otherwise heavenly user experience. The UI changed often as SketchUp matured, and it still varies widely between Windoze and Apple versions.

Another challenge is that the user logic for SketchUp materials is…well, Not Logical! At least to me, and probably to most average users. So our master modeler Alan Fraser has agreed to be a our SketchUp Sherpa for materials.

FormFonts How2(TM) Video – How2 Create a New Materials Library in SketchUp,  by Master Modeler, Alan Fraser.

In Short _ Now your too can create your own materials library and create 3D components like a pro, or just subscribe to FormFonts 3D, and let us do the work for you!

Thanks for watching and subscribing – FormFonts 3D Models

About Formfonts 3D Models

Established in 2002, FormFonts 3D Models has served over 11,000 subscribers. FormFonts 3D Models offers over 50,000 of well-made and with the right-amount-of-polygons models and textures on a subscription basis. Throughout each month we upload new models for download. If you don’t see what you need, request it to be made. We offer models in the following formats: Google SketchUp ® | Autodesk®3ds Max®, Autocad®, Revit® & FBX
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1 Response to How2™ Create a New Materials Library in SketchUp

  1. Pingback: Trend Texture™ – The Ingenious Integrity of Carbonized Cedar | FormFonts 3D Models

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