Part 1 Setting up your Sketchup Model

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Setting Up Your Sketchup Model

Click to See Full SoftPlan Materials Dialog

In order to have the materials from your Sketchup model match the materials you are using in your SoftPlan project it is important that you first choose the materials you will be using in SoftPlan. The reason for this is that we will be taking the materials names and size information from SoftPlan and entering that same information into Sketchup.

Both SoftPlan and Sketchup allow for creating materials using either images or colors. Any materials that you want to have on your Sketchup model need to be of the same type (texture image or color), name, and size as those in your SoftPlan project. This is the most important thing to understand if you want the materials on your Sketchup model to match the materials in SoftPlan. Your Sketchup model doesn't have to have a material that is based on the same images as the materials in SoftPlan. They just have to be named the same. This allows you to use ANY Sketchup materials as long as they are of the same Type.

Begin by setting up the materials in your SoftPlan project to be the way you want them. The next step is to edit each SoftPlan material that will be used in your Sketchup model and get the type, name, and size of that material. You will then replicate that information in your Sketchup model.


Sketchup Materials Dialog

For this Tutorial I want to build a Craftsman style column in Sketchup to put on a front porch. In my SoftPlan project I have selected walls that contain the materials Brick A and Stone-Natural.

Note that the "Materials" names I'm referring to are the names defined in places such as Wall Definitions, Beam Definitions and Finishing Options. This is different than the textures and colors that are assigned to these Materials in the Surface Editor in SoftView. For instance my wall definition may include the Material Brick A but in SoftView I can assign Brick A a texture such as "brown-red brick.jpg". It is the Brick A name we want to use, not the texture or color applied to it in SoftView.

I want the same materials textures and colors that are assigned to my SoftPlan project to be applied to my columns I am creating in Sketchup. The top portion of the column will be a painted wood and I want it to be the same color as my fascias. The center section I want to match the material texture that is applied to Brick A. And the lower section I want to match the material texture that is applied to Stone-Natural.

In SoftView use the Edit Surface tool and click on each item that contains the texture or color that you want to use in your Sketchup model. Note the name, type and size of each material you will be using.

For this Tutorial they are:

Name Type Size
Brick A Texture 1'-4" x 1'-4"
Stone-Natural Texture 8'-5.875" x 8'-4"
Fascias Color  

Note that I didn't include the size of the Fascias. The fascias were defined as a color and even though SoftPlan displays a default size, colors do not have a size. They are just a color. Sizing only applies to textures because textures are based on images. The size information is the size that one instance of the image will be and if the surface is larger than that size the image will be repeated to cover the surface.

In Part 2 we'll discuss how to assign these materials settings to your Sketchup model.

Bill is the owner and maintainer of SoftPlanTuts.com

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