Creating line art with SketchUp

I am currently having bring in the line art and then coping with, the SketchUp tools, every line so that I can create a model. Is it possible to make the line art a 2D in SketchUp without having to trace every line by hand?

It would help to see a picture of your line art (upload to the forum if possible) to be able to make the best recommendation.

This is well worth viewing -

drawing from reference image

Really, like @GSTUDIOS said, the easiest way to help you with your workflow is to see what exactly you are doing. Can you share an example of what you are importing or what you are hoping to make in SketchUp?

This is the elevator drawing I have been working from for the loco.GE70
I am working in 1/4" to the foot.

This is how the loco looks so far. GE70
The sides are all printed as flats and then glued together.

1 Like

Yes, because that’s a jpeg, you’re going to have to redraw all that manually in SketchUp if your aim is to model it accurately in three dimensions.

I have been doing this with the flat art for the loco. But it was good to learn about aligning the views for any future projects I can approach.

if you have access to adobe illustrator you can auto trace the raster image to generate lines, then export as dwg/dxf and bring into sketchup. However, its going to be somewhat messy, but it may be a helpful start.

1 Like

I can save the art in any format. Is there one that will convert directly to a SketchUp recognizable surface that I can render from?

I’m in CS 3 but I’ll try. Thanks

Nope. This is a raster image, so all lines are pixels. You have to trace them manually in SketchUp in order to build your model. There is no automated process for this. Even doing it in Illustrator is the same process of tracing, with the added steps of converting to another file format and then importing into SketchUp and converting a third time.

Which isn’t very different from tracing in SketchUp and avoiding all those extra steps.

illustrator does it automatically with live trace. Converts raster to vector. It will create paths to export.

I know all about Illustrator’s LiveTrace, as I’ve been using that software for over 25 years. From my decades of experience, I can say with confidence that would not work with the jpeg in question.

1 Like

Inkscape is free to use and can also provide the image trace function to vectorise your jpeg. Again, it may be messy though.

So, if you could find a better quality image start with, you could turn that into vector art.

Due to the simplicity of the general form in this case, I think it would be just as efficient to model from the imported reference image.

Have you been using the round corner extension?

1 Like

I use the round corner for the final step on the edges.

Live trace was introduced in 2005 CS2. So CS3 should work?
You want to use the “center line” trace option if that’s available in CS3 ?

In the recent version (CC19) there is a “line art” option that does this.

Clearly you would need to use a hi-res image, not sure if the one you posted is all you have, but it’s not good enough.

So while this method will produce line art automatically per your initial question, it will still require a lot of work to make it Sketchup friendly and may well prove cleaner to start from scratch. Sometimes you just have to do the manual work.