Clipping mask with transparent background

Hello everyone,

I cannot find a tip or tutorial about this issue therefore I post it here.

Is it possible to use a clipping mask image on a surface so that the mask allow to see only the clipped image and hide the rest?

In 3d Studio Max you can use “diffuse” map with the main image/pic and the “opacity” map as a mask for the diffuse map… you know, the white color defining the form of the image to be shown and the back color hiding the rest of the image/pic. Can this be done with Sketchup too?

Regards : ))

If it can be done it is likely with a transparent PNG. SketchUp doesn’t do different images maps and that stuff.


Thanks for your comment enero,

What I am trying to do is to have animal footprints on a museum floor. It looks ok when using the png pic in Sketchup, but it does not look anything like it when visualizing it with Enscape or Vray for SketchUp. It is possible to do with 3D max.


Is there any way to do this with SketchUp using Extensions or alike?


You could try with a Blend material in V-ray

Ups, thanks miahi, yes I indeed can do it with Vray for SketchUp although we use Enscape as the main render engine due to it’s real time render features, the chance to send exe files to our abroad costumers, etc.

Unfortunately Enscape works only with SketchUp and Revit, cannot read the png pics and will not accept Vray materials : (( , so it is impossible to visualize those footprints properly.

The last option is to create a shape with a freehand line along the footprint shape and then simply place the texture on it, but it looks horribly fake.

Wish someone has a better idea of how to that that in SketchUp although it might not be possible at all.


EDIT, the very last option is also to create a HUGE texture with those footprints pasted and then apply the material to the museum floor, but there are many objects that change places all the time as the project progresses.

Another option would be to create a second face, located above the floor with a very small gap, similar to a Decals from Twinmotion

Floating a png 1-2 mm above the floor works perfectly well with Enscape

use png just above floor level
intersect footprints outline with floor plane and apply separate texture to the footprint and the floor texture to the rest of the floor. Problem with having texture panel on the same plane is that computer doesn’t know which to show (z fighting).


Thank you everyone for your tips with help : ))

Finally it works…although a fight with creating the face, adjusting the high of face with the png, avoiding shadows, the color bleeding in Enscape, etc

Found out that I need to create the face outside the general draw boundaries or it would simply not show up in Enscape, some of the faces had to be lift up several cm and then gradually go as close to the floor face in order to avoid shadows (not even when shadows hidden in SketchUp).

Wish SketchUp was less sketchy and less complicated when trying things easily done & with much less time consuming in other programs.