Have you ever found an image or even made a quick sketch (the old fashioned kind) and wanted to quickly make a 3D model out of it? If you have Adobe Illustrator and SketchUp Pro, here is a quick way to do that.
Place your image into an Adobe Illustrator document.
From the toolbar select “Image Trace” OR select the Image Trace dialog from the Illustrator Menu Window > Image Trace
Adjust the Image Trace settings. If you are just looking for flat shapes from line-art (or near line-art) images, the Black and White mode works well. Expand the traced image.
Right-click and select Ungroup. Then use the Illustrator Direct Select tool to shift-select just the parts you want to keep. Copy that selection and then select and delete everything. This is easier than selecting and removing the noise you want to delete.
Paste your selection back into the blank Illustrator workspace. From the Illustrator Menu Object > Path, you can tweak the anchor points. Simplify will allow you to convert segments to straight lines, which SketchUp seems to prefer.
Export your Illustrator document as either a .dxf or a .dwg file. Import into SketchUp Pro. You may need to heal surfaces manually or use a plugin like Make Faces. I draw a rectangle over my import and use Intersect with Selection to create faces.
SketchUp! You can Soften/Smooth edges to clean up any edge lines.