AECbytes Tips and Tricks Issue
#19 (June 14, 2007)
Using Images for Interior Presentation in Google
Independent Writer and Consultant
In this tutorial, we will use images to "paint"
the faces of cabinets, and to paint a floor.
We'll start with the cabinets. The first step
is to find images of the cabinets you want to
use. The images below were taken from www.kraftmaid.comone
for the base cabinet and one for the wall cabinet.
(Right-click on a web image to access its download
In Google SketchUp, you can easily create two
boxes for these cabinets, or use cabinets provided
as components. You can get free components here:
Cabinets are found in the Architecture
group. Create or import a set of cabinets. This
example uses the Cabinet 2' 6"
component, which is found in the Cabinetry
subfolder of Architecture.
If you are using a component, explode it (right-click
and select Explode), and draw
lines to create the side faces. If there are lines
on the front faces, Erase them.
Let's start with the base cabinet. To import
the corresponding cabinet image, select File
> Import. Make sure Files
of Type is searching for images, and
select Use as Texture.
Click any two corners on the front face to place
The image becomes tiled, but we're going to fix
it to look right.
Right-click on the painted face and select Texture
> Position. There should be
four pins at the corners of one of the tiled images.
If the pins aren't all yellow, right-click and
de-select the Fixed Pins option.
This is a toggle functionwe want to turn
off Fixed Pins and use Free
Pins, in which pins can be moved around
(if necessary) and dragged into place.
Click and drag each corner pin to its corresponding
location on the cabinet face. This example is
a wide cabinet, which has two doors, so place
two corners at midpoints.
When finished, right-click on the face and select
Done. Repeat the same procedure
for the wall cabinet.
Save this file, so that it can be used as a component
in a kitchen model.
Here are some other things you can do with this
- Add a material, or a downloaded tiled image,
for the counter.
- To make glass cabinet doors, create another
rectangle within the front face. Then assign
this rectangle a transparent material.
- Erase the base cabinet and extend the wall
cabinet down to the floor, creating a pantry
or broom closet.
- Create components for handles (if you're very
The next example starts with a partial kitchen
model, using a few cabinets similar to the ones
above. You can add appliance components from the
Architecture folder, or create
simple boxes and paint them with manufacturer's
images, like you did with the cabinets.
The floor is to be painted with this checkerboard
pattern. The image was created using a graphics
editor, piecing together the tile images found
If you import the image as a texture, you can
only place it with this orientation, and you'd
have to estimate the scale by eye.
But suppose you want the tiles to measure 16"
x 16" each, and be laid out in a diamond
pattern. The easiest way is to create reference
lines. Draw a 16 x 16" square on the floor
using the Rectangle tool. (You
would type 16,16 to size it, assuming Architectural
Select the square and Rotate
it by 45 degrees. Then erase one of its edges,
so that a separate face is not cut into the floor.
Import the image and Position
it. This time, we want the multi-colored pins,
so right-click on the floor and turn on the Fixed
Drag the red pin to move a tile corner to a corner
of the reference square. Then use the green pin
to both rotate and scale the image so that one
tile fits the square.
Right-click and select Donehere's
About the Author
Bonnie Roskes is the author of Google SketchUp 6: Basic and Advanced Exercises, which is her fifth release on SketchUp. Books on Version 7 will be released soon, including one for O’Reilly Media. She has also released a series of SketchUp design project books and geometry project books for kids in K-12, along with some free resources for teachers and parents. Info on these can be found at www.3dvinci.net.
Bonnie has also authored books on Piranesi and OneCNC, as well as reference manuals, user guides, and tutorials for other CAD applications. She has a BS and MS in structural engineering, and worked for several years in bridge design and analysis before moving to tech writing.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for info on any of her books.
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Tricks > Using Images for Interior Presentation
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