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Sketchup Shorts #4: Virtual Materials II - Tiling it Seamlessly

So a point was raised in my previous installment of this blog regarding tiling appearance of materials (once you assign your custom material to your model and scale it up you’d see the same material pattern repeat over and over again with distinct horizontal and vertical lines (the seams) that separate those repetitions.

This tutorial will show you how to eliminate those seams from your materials, and make it possible to seamlessly tile your material over larger areas. I will show you how to do this using Photoshop, but any other photo editing application will do as the concepts are the same.
Note: Although we will eliminate the seams in this turorial, the material will still show repetitive tiles – this is due to the nature of this material which has very distinctive grain patterns that are hard to blunt out. This is actually on purpose for this totorial since it will make it easier to see the seams, and their elimination.
On we go…
This is the original material (made new material with a photo I got online for birdseye maple (see my previous installment on this blog which explains how to do this). you can clearly see the seams between the tiles and the repetitive look of the material:
seamed Tiles
We’ll fix that source image in Photoshop and recreate the material later.
1. First , I opened the source image (birdseyemaple) in Photoshop. I clicked on Image->Image Size, and noted what the image size was, in this case – it is 360×270 (we’ll need that in the next step).
2. I then clicked on Filters->Others->Offset :
Offset Filter
Which opens a window with several options. Here, I entered HALF the HEIGHT, and HALF the WIDTH of the image in the offset values , I marked Warp Around (if you have preview selected you can already see the effect on the image – see how all the seams are centered on the image) :
Offset Effect
This basically shifts the edges of the image to the center , and the center of the image to the edges – now we know that the original center of the image has no seams – so the new edges will tile nicely, all we have to do is clean the seams in the new center of the image and we’re good to go.
Note: I entered HALF the HEIGHT and HALF the WIDTH of the image- but the exact number is not crucial – the important thing here is the shift the seamed edges away from the edges toward the center of the image where we can see them, and clean them.
3. Next, Select the History Brush Tool (Hotkey Y), this brush is unique – instead of a specific ‘color’ it paints with the original part of the image. :
History Brush
4. Use the History Brush to paint over the seams. do not paint straight lines, try to fade off those seams in an artistic way (waves, blotches..) – after all we’re woodworkers, we should be able to be a bit creative right? :
paint over seams
5. Save the modified image. Back in sketchup create a new texture with the new image as the source. you can see that the seams are no longer visible, and you get a material that tiles nicely and cleanly. you can still see the repetitions since this particular material has a very distinctive grain pattern and shades of colors, but the seams are gone:
no more seams
Go Experiment!

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