Importing 2-D people

I am importing 2-D “card people” from my own png images. Everything works except the shadow that is cast is of the rectangular bounding box of the image, not the contours of the figure. All the 2-D people from the Sketchup warehouse throw shadows from the contours of the figure. What might I be doing wrong? I have tried exporting the png from Photoshop and Illustrator, which have fine png transparency.

It sounds like your people are just images which will always be rectangular. You need to use the image as a material and trace around the people so you can remove the face(s) with the transparent pixels. TIG wrote an excellent tool for automating that. It’s called Image Trimmer and is included in his SKM Tools from Sketchucation. You import the image as an image, save the file, select the image and run the tool.