In this video tutorial I illustrate a useful technique for cases where you need to combine several texture images into one material in SketchUp. I am using the example of a cross-laminated timber (CLT) here but you can employ this for many other applications. The beauty of using SketchUp for this (instead of Photoshop) is that you can apply textures to correctly-scaled objects (which you first create using SketchUp’s modeling tools).

Sidebar: What is a CLT?
It is a large 8-foot wide structural wooden plate that can span in buildings approximately 25 feet. It is made from lumber strips that are glued in parallel layers, which alternate directions by 90 degrees. Several buildings have been constructed with these, including our Olver Design Building at UMass Amherst.

How can you use this technique? Give rendering in SketchUp a try. I cover it in Chapter 5 of my book.

Tutorial Video

Tutorial Steps

This list shows the key steps for this technique. Watch the video for further detail.

Geometry in SketchUp

Step 1

Model all of the geometry that you need (using accurate dimensions) in SketchUp. This can be a simple collection of 2D faces as shown here.

Applying and positioning materials in SketchUp

Step 2

Apply the imported images as material textures to the faces in your model and arrange them using the Texture Position tool.

It is important to use at least two different materials here (otherwise the Texture Position tool will not show up). If you have only one texture, make one of the texture placements unique (using the tool in the right-click menu).

Using the Combine Textures tool

Step 3

When the textures are correctly placed, select all relevant faces and use the Combine Textures tool in the right-click menu. This then creates a new material where all the selected texture images are stitched together.


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