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The squares of the UVgrid from the earlier post make it ideal for tracking your location as you paint a surface.

So this is one idea about how to combine seamless textures, SketchUp, and a photo editor using

the UVgrid.  The example used here is a topo depicting a volcano with various textures blending into the next.

The images at the bottom can help you follow the process.

The first thing is to either bring in your topo from CAD or create topo From Scratch using the Smoove tool.

Second, create a new flat surface, then Import… the UVGrid and place it on that surface.

Third, right click on the surface, then on Textures, and check Projected. Be sure it is lined up over the topo (I use a vertical line to easily make this happen).

Fourth, Alt-left click on the surface with the Paint Bucket tool.  This will bring up the Eyedropper tool which selects the UVgrid texture. Triple click on the topo so all of the squares are highlighted.  Then using the Paint Bucket tool, click on the topo.  The whole surface should be painted evenly with the UV Grid.  (If it looks all broken up, it means all of the faces need to be selected again, and re-painted.)

Fifth, then go into the Materials dialog box and click on “Edit texture image in external editor”.  This will allow you to edit the texture in Photoshop or whatever editor you use.  In Photoshop, open the seamless images and then go to Edit, then Define Pattern…  Then paint over the UVgrid squares using the Pattern Stamp Tool.  Save it and it will update inside of SketchUp.

Sixth, change the Style so the Background is black and without Sky and Ground checked.  By checking Background in the Styles, Edit, Background Settings, it allows for the Fog to also pick up this same color.  Using Fog is an easy way to mask out what is beyond the extents of your model, thereby controlling the viewer’s attention.

Seventh, Position your Camera, make your final adjustments to the Scene, and turn on Shadows.   Shadow settings used in this example are pretty straightforward.

By creating one topo surface with seamless textures painted on it, it can make for a much more compelling and interesting image.

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