Irregular line

What is the best way to do this?

I would like to be able to use a certain kind of broken line to represent vegetation on a plane. I could simply trace over an imported image, but that’s hard to do with a mouse. I don’t actually need the line to be vectorised (though I don’t rule that out). I could simply use the image and scale it, join several sections together, crop, etc.

I drew a line with a pen and scanned it high res to a PNG file ( But that creates an image box much larger than needed. Is there a way to get rid of the background and just leave the line? Or maybe there is just a much better way of producing a line that looks hand drawn like this?

Simplest way I know of is to crop the image and remove the background using an image editor. I used for these ones, but it’s not available for MAC. Any half decent editor would probably do it though.

For this on I cropped the image and removed the background: (you can download it)

This one I did some additional cleanup of the line: (you can download it)

I can’t see a transparent (ok, I know, how could I see transparency) background around the curved line in your image. Isn’t that an issue in using such a curve over / on top of created geometry?

This is what the imported PNG looks like in SU:

Sorry @simoncbevans, my reply was ment for @IanT, my bad.
His results show no transparency around the curved line, which I would think is what you are looking for.

Here’s the difference: my hopeless attempt on the right and @IanT’s on the left (much better and very usable).

@simoncbevans, if you don’t mind the white background, can’t you just explode your image to obtain texture and then cut off the empty white area. Even exportin that again in SketchUp would give you something similar to @IanT’s result.

With use of the ‘Freehand’ tool in SketchUp and exporting without background I get:

(png-image with transparent background)

The middle one is drawn as a curve with the ‘Freehand’ tool.
The first one is a filled in offset of the middle one.
The first one is done like the middle one but then later with offset to obtain a narrow face.
The last one is a 3D-Poliline (‘Freehand’ tool while holding down [Shift]).

PNG (transparency) green:

PNG (transparency) black:

PNG (transparency) black-8pt:

veg-01.dwg (381.0 KB)

PDF (vectorial) green:
veg-01.pdf (1.3 MB)

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Wow, there are some fantastic responses here. Many thanks to you all.

@mihai.s, could you describe the process, the steps to obtain the transparent results?

You can use any 2D graphics program - Inkscape, Corel Draw, Illustrator, etc…, even 3D one, and after drawing the vector line you can export it as a PNG file, DXF/DWG file, PDF file (vectorial).

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Here’s an interesting thing. After importing @mihai.s’s dwg, when scaled, you get this:

Also, when I tried exploding it (only tried once), it sent SU into a tailspin and I had to abort and reload.

You can’t see the transparency in the image I uploaded here but it is there…

@simoncbevans I imported the dwg file and enlarged it 100 times, and again 100x. No problemo!

I did exactly as you did then saved it and imported it. Then I got the multiple lines somehow.

@IanT, strange, I iearlier mported your second image and it showed a white background.

Here’s what the PNG looks like imported and scaled. And if you explode it, it’s easy to crop what you need. Just what I wanted thanks.

SKP file vectorial: veg-02.skp (520.5 KB)

Looks ideal. Again, even though it is only a half Mb file, if I try to explode it, I get the beachball of death and have to abort. Any idea why?

For whatever reason when I upload the PNG, the forum hosts it as a JPEG. Losing the transparency. I can’t make it upload the PNG without it changing.

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