View Full Version : Questions for the Google SketchUp Gurus

01-09-2010, 11:12 PM
I just started playing with the latest version of Google SketchUp (the free version) this week and I'm really impressed with how easy and intuitive it is to use. I've been going through the video tutorials at Google and exploring on my own.

I had a couple of questions and was hoping someone here might be able to help me.

1. I know what a SKP file is, but what is an SKB file? Some of the drawings I've done seem to generate them.

2. Can you create your own materials (for use with the Paint Bucket tool) in SketchUp, or do you need SketchUp Pro to do that? If so, how do you do go about doing that? Are there any videos or tutorials available?

Thanks in advance for the help. :)

01-10-2010, 12:19 AM
I can partially answer the second one. I used to put patterns in the materials folder because it accepted jpgs, bmps, etc. The newer versions use skm files as patterns and I'm just going to assume that those are some fancy compression thing sort of like what video games use nowadays to encrypt/compress their skins and patterns. I'm not sure if it still takes jpgs and whatnot as I haven't used it in quite a while.

As for the first one, the skb is a backup file and exact copy...or so I understand.

01-10-2010, 10:05 AM
Thanks, Ascension! :)

I think I've discovered how to create my own materials in SketchUp 7 now - If you select Paint Bucket, on the Materials dialog box that opens up there's a button with a box and a circled "+" sign near the top right corner. That's the Create Material button. Time to start playing...

(Another thing I've noticed about SketchUp - it's a huge time suck. I can't seem to stop playing with it!)

01-10-2010, 03:54 PM
More things I've learned today:

The SKB file is a backup, which is created every five minutes with autosave on. You can turn both the autosave and backup copy generation off (even independently of each other) if you want from Windows menu -> Preferences, and then choose General on the System Preferences dialog box. They can be "safely" deleted, if you don't want to go back to them.

You can create your own Materials from image files and save them so you can use in other models or share them just like you would SketchUp models (SKP files). This creates a SKM file, and the image you use to create the material is embedded within it, so you don't need to share the original image file as well or keep the original image in a fixed location in your directory. You can stick them in the appropriate subdirectory in your Google SketchUp Materials folder and they will show up as part of an existing materials collection (or a new materials collection if you want to create your own).

This opens up a world of possibilities...

01-10-2010, 06:43 PM
Yep, I keep mostly woodgrains, blocks and bricks, and shingles in there plus a few grasses. If I did starships I'd get me some good gradients to use for surface metals.