Create 3D structure on faces from images

New to SketchUp…
Want to create 3D-printable 3D structured walls (bricks, stones…) from various .jpg images…
Is it possible with SketchUp?
Which version (I am using thefree web one actually)
Thank for your help

When Aaron does live modeling he will often start with references images. Here are the live modeling sessions, start by looking at the car and Enterprise recordings:

OK, I was not clear exposing my query… I ment:

Starting with ,say, a cube, I want to apply a 3D-structure upon one of its faces (in its normal direction) with the normal elevation directly defined from a B&W .jpg image ( let’s say a photo of a particular brick wall or of a tiles roof…).
My only purpose is to obtain a 3D printable model of such a wall or roof, I am not concerned about rendering…
And I am a newbe with SketchUp…
So, are they tools inside Sketchup to ’ elevate’ such a face, from a given image ?

With that version you would need to create the geometry yourself.

There are options available with SketchUp Pro using the Solid Tools and some different extensions but since you are using the free web version, those options are off the table.

Here’s an article that may explain the different options:

For 3D printing of a SketchUp model, I think it would be displacement maps that are needed, which then leads to this extension:

After posting I realized to add that it won’t work in the web version. If you are doing personal work with SketchUp you can download the Make 2017 version from here, and it should be able to use that extension:

I did a test of that extension I mentioned. It took a long time to process, and made a file that was over 800 MB big. I used Skimp to reduce it to 18 MB. (the model doesn’t view in 3D in Safari, you need to use Chrome).

For what I said about Safari, I had WebGL 2.0 turned on, and that broke it. This hopefully will work in Safari as well:

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Thanks Colin for your suggestion!
I’ll try to download the make 2017 ,and if successfull, the extention you mentionned…
I’ll tell you then if I can do it…

Hi Colin
I installed the SU Make 2017.
I tried to intall the ‘bitmap to mesh’ Extention within the Extension manager: the extension is declared as enabled
BUT I dont see any change in the top tool ribon !??? or elsewhere.
I must have missed a step somewhere?
1- I didn’t have to register somewhere during SketchUp installaton process, nor during lauching process
(I just clicked start using SkechUp at bottom - NOT entering the Free Pro trial or Try SkechUp free.
2- SkechUp abrutly ended twice, after ~10minutes…? without notice.!..
Yes , I am quite newbe with Sketchup.
But very interested with the solution you mentionned !

To use the extension you would import a file as Image, then right-click and either choose Mesh from Bitmap, or Mesh from Heightmap.

Usually you would bring in a height map image first, then after it is a mesh you would apply the base color image as a texture. The mesh will be a group, so go into the group, select all, and paint bucket click on the mesh after choosing the base color image from Materials.

Hi Colin,
I succeded with a very ‘light’ image !Thanks for your advices!.. But one more important point:
I intend to use these heightmaps to stick 3Dtextures of walls (bricks/stones etc) over simple architecture building of 3Dprintable models…
…whose faces have multiple doors, windows… for exemple, I mean they aren’t a plain brick rectangle !

  • Is there a way to produce these heihtmaps over plane polygonal surfaces?
  • Or at least a way to extrude certains areas (doors/windows…) of such a primal rectangle heightmap? (I didn’t succeed myself…)
  • Or is there a special coding in the imported image (full white/full black areas…) which will prevent heightmap over these areas??? that will be a fantastic plus!
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When you use that extension to do a height map you look at the dots that appear, from a size view. Then you can move the dots away or towards the flat surface. You would move them so that the dots are touching the flat surface in places where there is nothing sticking out. Then the other dots will represent what does stick out.

It might not make sense to create doors and windows this way, because the extension goes on to make real geometry that you could have made the normal way, then use the extension only for adding roughness. It would be interesting to do a test though, but it could take a long time to process a large area.