Creating a Window Sign from a Bitmap Image

Please help! I’m trying to turn a png into a logo that will be placed on a window, so the letters need to be solid and everything else transparent. Thanks in advance for any pointers.


I usually go about this different ways.

If you can use the text tool, do unextruded text and place it that way.

For images, you can do a few things depending on the result you want:

  1. On the plane of the window, draw the shape of the sign you need. Make sure it closes the surface and separates it from the window plane. Apply the image as a texture. If the PNG has transparency this might not work the way you want it to.

Or, 2) Create a separate surface for the sign, apply the image as a texture, and group it. Then place it on the plane of the window and offset it by a very small amount.

Hope that helps!

Let’s see the png file.


Thanks … I ended up creating something in 3dtext.

Attached is the image I was originally working with which I edited in PS and saved out.


Here is the workflow I have.

Use Illustrator to get a nice vector lines off a logo (live trace)
Export to DWG or PDF
Import from SketchUp
Clean off some lines and generate face to push pull.

and here is a DWG file that I can extract off of the small image you included.

72c9aea49c87aac674083215aca595e3ce564c52.dwg (189.5 KB)

For this purpose, you need to have high resolution image and the thin lines need to be more defined, perhaps fill the white border with other color.

the dance factory.skp (235.4 KB) For u i have made a new file now u can give any effect u want 3d effect, etc

why not just use the image with a transparent background?

do you need physical dimensions or is it just for the model?


Thanks to all for your help. I ended up using 3dtext. Atek, thanks so much for the skm that you created.

I know one reason I personally avoid this with images as signage is how images are displayed in styles. If I have a style with materials not visible, images will still be showing. But it depends on how you use styles within the model (e.g. I’m usually switching between white models and textured models).

that was also first thing that came across my mind. Just using PNG file and lifting off from the glass to avoid any face-fighting.

Just thought he might need things zoomed in which will show the sides of the logo.

I read a few threads from a a couple years back on how to a make bitmap backgrounds transparent in PS and saving it out as a png but I was having no luck, the png file still maintained a white background when imported it into Sketchup. I was trying to avoid having to trace the lettering of the bitmap in Sketchup to separate it from the background, which would be the glass behind.

Although I am a 30+ year user of DataCAD & Coreldraw products, I am fairly new to Sketchup & Photoshop so maybe I am missing a simple step? My end goal is rendering a scene in Thea.

Its hard to figure out without looking at your PNG, but let me give it a shot.

White in PNG is not transparent. What you are looking for in Photoshop is checkered boxes (unless you changed the settings) around the image.

Then, you save out as png, which will result the image to have transparent background on your skp file.

I hope this makes sense.

I just used a ‘magic wand’ in Preview [ the mac app] but I’m sure PS has similar…


1 Like

friends … the type of bitmap to be transparent gif only.
whereas bitmap png, jpg, or anything else to my knowledge can not.
good luck and hopefully useful

A PNG file can contain an alpha layer which is a greyscale of transparency. GIF just changes one of the colour assignments to transparent.

(BMP encodes every pixel’s colour value - no transparency, JPG looks at groups of pixels and records that group’s ‘pattern’ rather than each pixel, so it takes less space, but still no transparency.
Photos and images like that are “raster”. Things with crisp outlines and linework are vector - they record information on points and the lines that join them rather than pixels. Raster gets blocky and blurred as you scale it up/zoom in, vector remains crisp.)

1 Like