Creating a New Material

Reference Number: KB-00767
Last Modified: February 1, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


How can I add a new material to the library? 

House with driveway made from custom paver material


In render views, all surfaces display textures, which are created using image files such as .jpg's. Textures help to create realistic-looking materials and are notably designed so that they will tile across large surfaces without any visible seams.

If you want to import a new material that will be tiled across a surface, as opposed to a stretched across it, make sure that the image file will line up accurately to look realistic for 3D camera views.

To add an image to the Materials library

  1. From the menu, select View> Library Browser  to display the Library Browser window if it is not already open.  

  2. Right-click once on the User Catalog folder and select New> Material from the menu that displays. 

    If you would like to add a new material to a sub-folder within your User Catalog, right click on the sub-folder of your choice and select New> Material. 

    Note: If you're on a Mac, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking to initiate a right-click command. Additional information on performing a right-click command with Apple input devices can be found in this Apple support resource: How to right-click on Mac.

    Library Browser with User Catalog > New > Material selected

  3. On the Texture panel of the Define Material dialog that appears, specify a Material Name, then click the Browse button next to Texture Source File.

    The Texture panel determines how textures are displayed. Textures are based off of image files and are used to represent materials in 3D views using the Standard, Physically Based, Duotone, Painting, and Watercolor rendering techniques, as well as for Ray Trace renderings.

    Define Material Dialog - Texture panel with Arrow on Browse button

  4. In the Select Texture File dialog, browse your computer for the image file that you would like to add to the library and click on it to select it, then click the Open button to close the dialog and return to the Define Material dialog.

  5. Select the Pattern panel, make changes to how the material will appear in vector based views. Vector based views include the Technical Illustration, Line Drawing, and Vector View rendering techniques

    Define Material Dialog - Pattern panel with Octagon set as Pattern Type

    • Select the type of pattern you would like to use under Pattern Type.

    • Make any other desired changes, then click OK to close the dialog.

Your new material is now saved in your User Catalog and is available for use in any plan.