Importing Images for Textures
Bring in the smallest image file resolution for the project to lessen the impact on file size and moving through the model.
  • An application like Google Earth can get upset with excessive large image sizes used on models viewed on Google Earth.
    • While smaller is 'better', the maximum image size is 1024 pixels wide x 1024 pixels high.  If a modeling situation requires a higher resolution, cut up the large image in an image editor,  Import in the smaller sections and reassemble.
  • If you import images into your model, use JPG images rather than TIFF images. TIFF images tend to have large file sizes and take more computing resources to display.
  • PNG or JPEG files best for textures?  Old thread...

Resizing the image

  • An image editor like Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Gimp, and CorelDraw can readily resize images.  TIP:  Try using File > Save for Web to optimize the saved file size.   Unless you are working on a model for a high-resolution image export, this is a place to help reduce your SKP file size.
  • If there's a quality option on saving a particular image extension, like JPG, choose high quality.
  • One of the easiest ways to view/resize an image file on a PC is to use IrfanView.  It's a free, quick-loading, multi-lingual, powerful media viewer/editor that's also easy to use.  In IrfanView go to Image > Resize/Resample.  BUT, if you are using PNGs with any transparency, the transparency may not be saved unless the PNG transparency options are selected.  If using a different, free image viewer, check for something similar.

Some notes on tiling texture

 Viva La Difference!

Wolfgang (aka VAM) created this original small, wire mesh tile from a linked JPG image given by Mark (aka Woodburyboy) in his forum inquiry. Courtesy of them, you too can compare the effect material size has on your SketchUp model - and add a gorgeous new material to your collection.

CLICK on the images to get a full-sized version.  Then right-click on the image to download.  Then import the image into SketchUp to make it into a texture.

The test:  Open a new session of SketchUp.  Import the first image.  Paint it on a rectangle.  Save the model.  Do the same thing with the second texture.  The SKP file size of a single face painted with the larger fence grid will be nearly doubled the file size of the same sized face painted with the single tile.

(Right-clicking on these thumbnail images will save even smaller copies.  Although there is not a clean transition between the transparent and colored region.  Using a thumbnail image as a SketchUp material could produce an unpleasant white outline artifact around each tile.)
  • Import the smallest image for tiling textures, which again is to minimize the imported file size.  
  • Granted, more complex textures, like cobblestone, may need larger tile images to look better.  But try to minimize texture size wherever possible.
  • Some online texture resources and tutorials on making your own tiling textures in a photo editing program are located over on the Resources page, Materials and Textures section.

Relevant Plugins

  • Eneroth Texture Positioning Tools  Eneroth - Repositioning texture toolbar.
  • Goldilocks  AdamB - Analyses your materials and model with respect to the current viewpoint and produces a bar chart showing which textures are about the right resolution.
  • massmaterialimporter  Create SKM material collections for SketchUp from folders of JPG texture images.
  • Material Maintenance  Myhand - Material manager.
  • Material Replacer  thomthom
  • Material Tools  thomthom - Material managers.
  • RpImageFilter  Render Plus - Image filter inside SketchUp.  Free - Windows
  • Texture Resizer  Aerilius - SketchUp plugin which can mass downsample textures used in a model.
  • TextureHelper  Smustard - Simple single-click rotation, scaling, and arrow-key positioning of textures on faces.

Now, a little more about Goldilocks...

Goldilocks is a tool for testing whether the assets you have in your model are of the appropriate resolution for the current viewpoint. Are your assets consistent in their resolution.

It has 2 modes for testing: Texture and Geometry

In Texture mode, Goldilocks calculates for the current viewpoint how many texture pixels are mapping to each viewport pixel for your materials. eg If a face takes up 100 pixels wide in the SketchUp viewport, you don't need a texture of 4000 wide for its material. As in, it will make zero difference to render quality (for any renderer) and just bloat your file. What it reveals is when you've imported a texture that is much higher resolution than required - I've found textures of 14000 x 14000 used on a tiny face in the corner of a room!

In Geometry mode, Goldilocks calculates for the current viewpoint the Edge Density for your Groups and Components. eg If a Component takes up 100 pixels wide in the SketchUp viewport, you don't need 10,000 faces in its geometry - its just a waste of space which will have zero difference in render quality.

Edge Density is the number of edges in a Component divided by volume of Component to give a normalized "edges per unit volume". The actual value is meaningless, what you want in your model is roughly similar edge density throughout - if you spot something with way higher edge density, may be worth checking it out. FYI I once found a coat peg in a model with 30,000 faces in it using Goldilocks.


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