The Replace Material (keep name) option on the Render Plus Place Material Wizard lets you load a material from a library into an existing material rather than replacing the material with the new material.
This changes the material, but keeps the original name, which is especially useful with Material Styles .
Why use Replace Material?
The normal SketchUp user sets materials on object by selecting a material from the library and then placing in on a object.
If you select materials from a library and drop them onto objects in your SketchUp model, then often the name refers to the material - such as Red Brick; - rather than the use of the material - such as Outside Wall.
For Replace Material or Material Styles to work well, you should create objects whose materials have functional names, such as Ceiling, Table Top, Floor, etc. Then you can assign materials from a library to these materials - without changing the material name.
After assigning the colors and textures desired to your materials you can save a Material Style which provides the color and texture for each material. When you load another style, or reload this style later, the saved materials will be loaded into the existing materials with the same names. This make it easy to save and reuse color and texture schemes and styles.
You can change the material names easily by renaming the materials from the SketchUp Materials Window.
Want to replace several materials at the same time? - see: Map - Replace Materials
Here is a SketchUp model, in which the material names are 'functional'. ('Base Cabinets', 'Lower Cabinet Doors'), instead of 'descriptive' ('Red', 'Wood_Floor').
Note that when we use the eye dropper on the SketchUp Materials Window, we see that the Cabinet doors and the cabinet itself are two different materials - even though the are actuall the same white color.
Base Cabinet Material
Lower Cabinet Doors
Placing new material in SketchUp.
When you place a material in SketchUp on the cabinet door, it assigns to material to just one door, (or all doors selected), but not to all doors which have the same material.
And after placing the material from the library, the doors are now in that material, and not called Lower Cabinet Doors any longer.
Place material on cabinet door from SketchUp
Using the Render Plus Replace Material feature, you replace the appearance of all occurrences of a material in your model, without changing its name.
When you use the new check box 'Replace Material (keep name)' on our Material Wizard, then the exiting material, 'Lower Cabinet Doors' is retained, but the properties are changed to match the library material. This keeps the same name, and automatically changes the appearance of the material on all faces which have 'Cabinet Front' assigned to them.
Replace 'Lower Cabinet Doors' Material
The material appearance is changed for all objects which used the original material, but the original name is retained.
Here is a typical Kitchen model with the cabinets in the material 'Cabinet Front'
Normally when you place a material from alibrary onto the cabinets, it adds the new material to the model, and changes the name of the material on the cabinets to match the new material. In this example '0009_linen'
But when you use the new check box 'Replace Material (keep name)' on our Material Wizard, then the exiting material, 'Cabinet Front' is retained, but the properties are changed to match the library material. This keeps the same name, and automatically changes the appearance of the material on all faces which have 'Cabinet Front' assigned to them.
If you use this method to apply new materials - keeping the original name - then our new Layer Styles work well - because you can save and reload several material schemes into the same model - all retaining the original material names, but different colors, texture, etc.