Pattern Design for the Rest of Us

Artlandia Labs: Interactive Texture Editor for SketchUp

Instantly apply your SymmetryMill patterns to realistic 3D models of apparel, furniture, cars, or whole buildings. This free plug-in connects SymmetryMill to SketchUp so that your SketchUp models automatically update as you edit your patterns—which is ideal for creating mockups and presentations.

Come back and edit your patterns later. Simply select a painted surface and SymmetryMill will recall its settings and let you start editing right where you were before.

SymmetryMill for SketchUp works in both the free and the Pro versions of SketchUp. Similarly, you can use either the free version of SymmetryMill or the full version.


Installation... +

  1. Download the plug-in (SymmetryMill.rbz) »
  2. In SketchUp 8, choose Window > Preferences (Windows) or SketchUp > Preferences (Mac OS).
  3. Click Extensions in the left pane.
  4. Click the Install Extension button.
  5. In the Open dialog, navigate to the SymmetryMill.rbz file that you have downloaded and double-click it to load.
  6. Restart SketchUp. SymmetryMill should be available in the Plugins menu.

Note: You can also install the plug-in in SketchUp 7 (for instance, by unzipping the .rbz file in SketchUp 8 and copying the plug-in files to SketchUp 7). Contact us for detailed instructions »

Getting started... +

  1. Create a simple model.
  2. Select one or more faces.
  3. Click the SymmetryMill window to bring it to the front. If the window is not open, choose Plugins > SymmetryMill to open it.
  4. Edit a SymmetryMill pattern and see it applied as a texture to the selected faces.

Tutorials... +

Textures SketchUp tutorial Applying Textures to Curved Surfaces in SketchUp (Tutorial) Using textures with the Color by Layer style in SketchUp

Tricks of the Trade

Distorting a texture... +

SymmetryMill textures are your ordinary SketchUp textures. For instance, you can distort them and then continue to edit in SymmetryMill:

  1. Create a box and apply a SymmetryMill pattern to one of the faces.
  2. Right-click the face and choose Texture > Position in the popup menu.
  3. Drag around the yellow pin to distort the texture. Drag other pins too if you wish. When you are done, press the Enter key to commit the changes.
  4. Continue to edit the texture in SymmetryMill. The texture remains properly distorted as you edit.

Download example

Decorating your living room... +

Resume editing your—or somebody else's!—pattern texture:

  1. Download the interior design model and load it in SketchUp. Notice a SymmetryMill pattern on the back wall.
  2. Choose the Select tool and click the back wall once. SymmetryMill will load the source image and restore the pattern settings in the background.
    Note: SymmetryMill can automatically load only images from the web; otherwise you must pre-load the source image yourself.
  3. Bring the SymmetryMill window to the front and click one of the snapshots at the bottom of the SymmetryMill window. If you are using the full version of SymmetryMill, you can also make some edits in the Source Image window. Your new SymmetryMill pattern will appear on the wall.

Credits: This example uses a bedroom model from 3D Warehouse and a free Wildebeest Crossing pattern from Pattern Central.

Download example

Camouflaging your SUV... +

Use SymmetryMill textures with SketchUp's Paint Bucket tool:

  1. Load a model of Isuzu Rodeo from 3D Warehouse.
  2. Choose the Select tool, double-click your way into the model on the driver's side until the Entity Info panel shows the blue body color.
  3. In the SymmetryMill window, load the free digital camouflage pattern from Pattern Central (or some other pattern):
    1. Click the Load Shared Pattern button in the SymmetryMill toolbar.
    2. Paste the web address of a shared pattern, and click Load.
    Hint: Browse Pattern Central in your web browser to find suitable patterns for your SketchUp models.
  4. Back in the vehicle model window, click the Paint Bucket tool in the SketchUp toolbar, hold down the Ctrl key (Windows) or the Option key (Mac OS) to choose the Adjacent Fill option, and click a nearby blue region. This applies the texture to the driver's side of the vehicle.
  5. Repeat the procedure to similarly paint the other side.
  6. In the Materials panel, double-click the new SymmetryMill texture and experiment with the texture width (a suitable range is 5...10'). See the Applying Textures tutorial for details.

Download example

Sprucing up your lounge chair... +

Paint all surfaces with the same material at once:

  1. Load a D'javu chair from 3D Warehouse.
  2. Right-click a painted surface in the model and choose Select > All With Same Material from the context menu.
  3. In SymmetryMill, load one of the Infinite van Gogh patterns from Pattern Central (or create a new pattern). Your SymmetryMill pattern is applied as a texture.
  4. In Window > Materials, double-click the new SymmetryMill texture.
  5. In the Edit Material pane, enter some values in the Width or Height field. (1m x 1m works for this example.)
  6. Keep editing your pattern in SymmetryMill. The texture retains its new scale.

Download example

Upholstering your sofa... +

Apply a SymmetryMill texture to one of the identical components and it will appear in others. You can add a tint to your texture, too:

  1. Load this furniture model from 3D Warehouse.
  2. Choose the Select tool and double-click one of the pillows to edit it. Then double-click the pillow again to drill down inside the component. And then click the pillow one more time to select the textured surface. The Entity Info panel will display a textured material. (If the panel is not open, chose Window > Entity Info to open it.)
  3. Make an edit in SymmetryMill and see your pattern applied to the pillow. Click outside the sofa model to see all the pillows painted with the same material.
  4. Similarly, paint a SymmetryMill pattern on a seat.
  5. Open the Window > Materials panel and click the Texture Palettes icon in the top row to display the textures.
  6. Double-click the texture icon for your seat to edit the texture.
  7. Click the Crayons icon in the top row of the Materials panel and then click one of the crayons to add the red (or some other) tint to the texture (Mac OS).
  8. Keep editing the seat texture in SymmetryMill. Your tint is retained as you edit.

Download example


The SymmetryMill plug-in for SketchUp is a free, supported product from Artlandia Labs. If you need help, please use this form or email Or take part in community discussions by subscribing to our Facebook page or Twitter feed. Happy modeling!