Cut and create characters

It would be great to import some of my own characters into a scene I am making and nothing in 3d warehouse quite hits the mark.

Could someone help me with how to turn an image into a 2d character (the ones that follow the camera…face only?)…The process I imagine would be importing the image, cutting out the person (how?) and then make it a component and then making it face only…

ive attached a cool guy from the 70’s if anyone could help with the process?

Thank you again, this forum is just so brilliant and is helping me loads during this lockdown! (sorry, not sure if its
a place to be sociable as well!:crazy_face:)

You can import the image in SketchUp, explose it, and draw the outline with freehand, for example. (you can also get good results with lines and arcs) Once the man boundery is created , delete the rest.
It would be cleaner though if you first draw the outline in Adobe illustrator (for example) or equivalent. There are free alternatives too

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Thank you. Is the process to make it follow the camera like those available in 3D warehouse straightforward?

To do that, you’ll have to make a component out of it, and check the “always face camera” box, in the create component window


There is a question about whether you have the rights to use the image, but if you do, using Photoshop to help would speed things up. Try this file.

fancymen.skp (750.8 KB)

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This is a very old file I made to describe the process. Click on the scene tabs to follow:
making_a_man.skp (215.5 KB)

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In my version I just went straight from the image to a component. Ansii’s approach has the advantage that you get shadows, with my one you don’t.

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And I don’t quite remember if I stressed enough that you get the best results using a PNG image file with the background already removed in an image editor. The outline you use to create the “cutout” doesn’t then need to be very accurate, only enough to cast a non-rectangular shadow.

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brilliant thank you.

@paul79 specific sample attached
Cool_Guy_SU Version 8.skp (639.5 KB)


Interesting… By chance, I am designing a new plugin to extract contours from images.

Here is what I get with the character

men in green.skp (513.9 KB)

PS: For the small shadow at the level of the feet, it’s more difficult because there is not enough color difference between the shadow and the color of the men’s suit. So, it’s easier to delete it manually.


You didn’t include the download link for the extension…

(being hopeful)

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Work in progress. Missing a few details… (eraser, contraster, …). So would be an alpha.

It also creates shapes from textures.


this looks fab! and so useful. congrats.

Definitely very much a wannahave!! Fredo6, you are some magician! :wink:


In the meantime, you could try TIG’s Image Trimmer
Image Trimmer on SketchUcation

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Great choice. I think he needs a few friends. At least a lady friend with similar fine stylings.

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I made some 2D characters a while ago, that I uploaded to the 3D Warehouse, for people who have not time to make their own. It did not fetch much interest, but it was a fun little project nonetheless.

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Thanks so much, these look great and Ill definitely get them into my model!

You must be resurrecting something that all persons of my age would wish to stay forgotten.