Is there any way to actually import high resolution image?

I realize that Sketchup puts a irrationaly arbitrary cap on the resolution of imported imagery, so I’m trying to figure out an way around this besides:

a) Importing the image as a taxture - does work great for 2D, but it can’t be draped over a DEM, as far as I can tell.

b) Importing smaller pieces of the image and then assembling them - this leaves seams and is an absolute nightmare to assemble (no snapping!!!).

Can anyone suggest a trick, workaround or anything to get high resolution images to import?

have you tried setting Preferences to ‘Use Maximum Texture Size’ that bypasses the import limit?


Yes, it imports a higher resolution image, but is useless to me, as it cannot be draped over a DEM (see above).


You can project a texture from an imported image directly down onto terrain in SketchUp.

  1. With your dem terrain already in SketchUp, import your image and scale it to the correct size. You will want to have the terrain smoothed with the Soften/Smooth Edges feature so that the terrain is considered one surface.
  2. Elevate the imported image over the terrain and position it in the correct xy
  3. Explode the image… This will transform the image object into a surface with the image texture.
  4. right click on texture and select Texture> Projected. Make sure that the Projection option is checked
  5. Sample the texture with the paint bucket tool using the sample modifier option (CTRL key / Command-mac)
    6 ) Now apply the texture to the terrain surface. DONE

Another way of doing it is to import the image as a texture from the get go. Here is a video pertaining to that method -


It depends om what you mean by resolution. Here is a Wikipedia link
If you mean just more pixels in the image answer is yes as noted herein but, that does not have much to do with the actual detail seen on the ground. It also depends some what on the type of sensor used by the over head collection system because they process the data differently. On top of that user of the data will pay different amounts to the owner of the sat. because as resolution goes up the data amount gets higher, the down link time scheduled with the ground stations gets longer etc., etc., etc. The sat. . have orbits and may not return over the same location each day, some users want data with certain sun angles etc., etc., so again it depends on what you need and willing to pay for.
If you want actual improved geometry discrimination on the ground it can be done but $$$$ will be needed.
Based on your comments mosaics of images are not unusual and that is what you want.? If you cannot get form GE what they have you should contact the folks who actually take and may process the data and see if they can meet your needs in terms of technical, cost and schedule.
Just some thoughts

I have tried this technique and it does not work. When I apply the texture to the terrain surface it applies the texture to every face, not over the whole image, so it ends up looking like a complete mess.

Here is the terrain surface after applying the texture.

I feel like I’m so close to getting it to work! Any insight as to what might be happening?

Thanks for the reply!

3 important things to check

  1. did you soften/smooth the terrain surface?

  2. are you applying the texture to the raw surface geometry? If the terrain is contained in a group or component, you don’t want to apply it to the group as a whole. You want to enter into group edit mode and paint the raw surface.

  3. are you using a projected texture?

YES!! The terrain was grouped! Once I got the raw surfaces, it worked perfectly. Really happy to figure out how to do this.

Thanks a ton for your help, Chris! Cheers :beer:

Nice artwork tho!

it should also be ok to have a grouped terrain - just double click into the group, then tripple-click to mark all surfaces and ‘hidden’ triangles of the surface - then use the fill-brush on one of the surfaces and the texture should allight just fine :slight_smile: