A solution for low resolution

Have you ever brought an image texture into SketchUp and notice that the resolution isn’t as crisp as it is in your image viewer?

Notice that the image in SketchUp (Right) is not as crisp as the original image (Left)

No, you’re not seeing things. By default, SketchUp downgrades higher resolution image textures to a maximum of 1024 x 1024 pixels because in the past graphics cards didn’t have the horsepower to render models with large textures on screen reliably.

If you want to turn off this feature, you can do so by going to Properties > OpenGL, and checking the “Use maximum texture size”. With this checked, SketchUp will no longer downgrade your image textures to 1024px. SketchUp will communicate with your video card and if everything is up to snuff, your image will display at a new maximum resolution of up to 4096 x 4096 pixels.

With the “Use maximum texture size” selected, the image in SketchUp (Right) displays at a much higher resolution

Important note! Your first inclination might be to activate the “Use maximum texture size” option and bring in the highest resolution textures possible.

But as anyone well-versed in the “science” of modeling with textures will tell you, the size of images DO matter. Large textures can bloat the size of your SketchUp model and tax your video card and system memory exponentially. If you are going to use the “maximum texture” option, you will need to be extra conscious about the size of your image textures and choose which ones need to be at a higher resolution.

About the Author

Chris Dizon

Chris joined the SketchUp team in its infancy with @Last Software and has found ways to use SketchUp for just about anything. It's also important to note that he thoroughly enjoys scones, coffee, and the Colorado outdoors.

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