Importing and Creating Custom Library Materials

Reference Number: KB-01202
Last Modified: September 13, 2023

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


I have a custom image that I would like to use in my plan as a material, such as for siding, roofing, terrain, wallpaper, or to apply to another type of object. How can I bring this image into Home Designer and use it as a material?

Custom material applied to chairs


Materials are digital images that can be applied to the surfaces of objects. You can create your own custom materials and save them in your User Catalog.

Bear in mind that materials typically cover a surface by tiling an image repeatedly and should be edited so that they tile seamlessly. With this mind, not all outside images that you may want to import will necessarily serve as effective materials.

When searching for images online, make use of the word: tileable. For example, when searching for stone images to be used as materials, search the term: tileable stone.

To add a custom material to the library

  1. If you will be using a custom image saved on your system as a material, it's important to place this image file in a location where it will not be moved or deleted

    Note: We highly recommend placing the image file in the programs Textures folder. The default file location of the Textures folder is listed below for each platform.

    Windows: C:\Users\[YOUR USERNAME]\Documents\Home Designer [YOUR PRODUCT VERSION] Data\Textures

    /Users/[YOUR USERNAME]/Documents/Home Designer [YOUR PRODUCT VERSION] Data/Textures

    If the programs data folder was moved, or installed to a different file location, then navigate into the programs Preferences, select the Folders dialog panel, and use the file path under the My Data Folder heading to locate the programs data folder, along with the Textures sub-folder.

  2. Once the image is in a location where it will not be moved or deleted, select View> Library Browser to open the Library Browser.

  3. Right-click on the User Catalog folder and select New> Material from the contextual menu.

    Right-click on User Catalog and navigate to New> Material

  4. In the Define Material dialog:

    Define Material dialog where a new material can be created

    • Give the new material a short, descriptive Name.

    • Select the Texture radio button or the Texture dialog panel, depending on which product you're using, and then click either Select or Browse to browse for the image you'd like to use for your custom material. If the image was placed in the programs Textures folder as recommended in Step 1, browse to this folder and select the image.

      Note: The Select Texture File dialog will display the file types which can be used to create custom materials, which includes: *.jpg, *.bmp, *.png, *.tif, *.tiff, and *.gif.

    • Adjust the scale, along with any additional settings that you may want to change in this dialog.

      Home Designer Architectural and Home Designer Pro both have the ability to modify a materials pattern, the offset for the texture image, along with how the material is reported to the materials list if one is created.

  5. Click OK to add the new material to your User Catalog folder.

    Custom material added to the User Catalog

    Note: In Home Designer Pro, you can select the Add to Library button located in the Define Material dialog to add the material to the library without closing the dialog. This allows for multiple variations of a material to be created quickly and effortlessly.

You are now ready to apply this material to objects in your plan by using either the objects specification dialog or the Material Painter tool.

If you later move or delete the original file that your material is referencing, you may receive a warning message when you open the file or take a 3D camera view, and the image may no longer be displayed in your plan.