How is this such an issue? Can't drop PNG in Sketchup (video included)

I’m not sure why this is such an issue - its such a simple thing. All I need to do is drop a simple PNG into SketchUp, but I’m being restricted from actually “dropping” it.

I made a video of me trying to drop the PNG. The entire time I’m trying to drop the PNG, I’m clicking, double-clicking and pressing enter. No luck.

What gives??

Try creating a face first to apply the material to it. The crossing cursor symbol is telling you, you can’t place it where you are trying to.


Because you were in Material mode, that requires the cursor to click on an existing face.
(When the cursor was not over a face, it became the “no drop” or “cannot do” cursor.)

Follow instructions …

You see how it worked okay when you tried Image mode ?
An image object creates it’s own face inside a wrapper context, and paints the face with the inserted image as a texture.

An Image object is special, and it’s texture cannot be used to paint other things. (You should notice that it’s material does not appear in the “In Model” materials collection.)


I’m sorry - I’ve just found SketchUp to be really unintuitive, which is surprising for me knowing the usual standard for Google products.

I’ve created a face with the exact dimensions of my PNG, then added the PNG as a material. It doesn’t look like it’s going to let me extrude my shape though, only the rectangle.

Is it even possible to extrude my shape? I literally just need to extrude this ■■■■ thing .25" and click export.

SketchUp isn’t a Google product and hasn’t been for years. The version you are using was never a Google product.

Clearly you are expecting things that SketchUp isn’t designed to do. If you were using a desktop client version of SketchUp, there’s several extensions that can create edges along the interface between opaque and transparent pixels. Or you could trace the image now that you have it in the model space.

I should also mention that I would prefer not to use extensions as you mentioned. Its not that it’s a bad idea, but it’s fairly obvious that my skill-level with this program is already extremely limited, and I do need to keep as tight of tolerances as possible, as this will eventually be poured out of molten brass.

Vector files, yes, with SketchUp Pro or SketchUp Shop. A PNG is not a vector file, though. It is a raster image.

Since you are resistant to using extensions, the option with your raster image is to trace it with the various drawing tools.

If you have a vector file version of this thing (DXF, DWG, etc), get SketchUp Shop or SketchUp Pro. The free versions of SketchUp are for hobby use and don’t include vector import options.

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OK. I’ll exit this thread now. Good luck.

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It could be worth starting a new topic. Your question of importing PNG was answered, and now you’re asking about importing vector formats into SketchUp Free. That is going to be a challenge, but being its own topic could make it easier for people to see what you want. They won’t be distracted by talk about PNG, or who owns SketchUp.

It literally says:
Developed by: Trimble

Unfortunately a png is just an image file, and while good for textures that have transparency, it holds no geometry other than its bounding box. If you have a dxf or dwg vector file to import that would be the best, if not illustrator can convert the raster to a vector file: like so:

Other wise you could just trace around the image with the line an arc tools, although a bezier line plugin tool can be better for this kind of tracing, work around until you have the complete shape.

with the imported file it is a lot quicker ( and maybe more accurate) and might need a little cleanup? In my case its messier as it was converted, but if you had the original it would be much cleaner. The other issue that will happen with the import is that you may need to trace over a couple of existing lines to “break them” they will go from bold to fine, so they become part of the face and not isolated and will allow you to delete the parts you dont want.

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Hey Whiterabbit,

A huge thanks for taking the time to do all that - it’s sincerely appreciated. I ended up figuring things out, in a similar fashion to what you demonstrated. I ended up converting the vector outlines I had to DWG through Illustrator, then importing them into a trial of SketchUp Pro. From there, I did some of the “tracing over” you mentioned, until I was able to get a complete face to register. After that, it was straightforward, if slow for me, to clean up the linework and extrude the shape. It’s far from perfect, but it should work well enough to be usable.

Thanks again, and take care.

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You’re welcome, nice job you got that figured out,… the last thing you could do is select your pieces and “soften” them to hide all those lines - if it matters purely for looks.
It can be frustrating trying to do something that seems straightforward but isn’t.

Not sure if it matters for brass pouring as I’m not familiar with that process, but that process in itself may soften your hard corner edges (unless you want them that way?) but if you needed to and while you have the opportunity you could round off those hard edges with a curved profile and the “follow me tool”, or use a free plugin like fredo corner…

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