Match photo help


Hello, I am new to Sketchup and trying to align the grid for “Match photo” to help me draw this antic roman city.

Would someone be able to help me with adjusting the grid? I have spent a fair bit of time trying to do so, but I am obviously doing something wrong.

Thanks in advance for your help with this :smile:
This is the file: Match photo.skp (2.4 MB)
And the photo can be found is here : (sorry as a new user I am restricted to one attachement (so I have created this link manually))


See this screencast…

Match photo_b.skp (2.3 MB)


Hello Cotty. Oh my god, I don’t know how to begin to thank you!

I wasn’t expecting a video tutorial on how to do this. This is FANTASTIC ! A picture is worth a thousand words, but a video like the one you made is even much more powerful. :wink: Priceless, and I am speechless.

Thank you, Gracias, Merci, Danke, Moltes gràcies, Gracie… :smile:


Hello Cotty. Oh my god, I don’t know how to begin to thank you!

I wasn’t expecting a video tutorial on how to do this. This is FANTASTIC ! A picture is worth a thousand words, but a video like the one you made is even much more powerful. :wink: Priceless, and I am speechless.

Thank you, Gracias, Merci, Danke, Moltes gràcies, Gracie… :smile:


OK. I’m a complete Newby. But just spent an afternoon trying to use Match Photo in my first serious project. I cannot make it work! Followed the instructions on the demo with the barn to the letter (I think), but when I finish with setting the axis and scale and click “done” - it will not go in to the mode sketch-over-photo that is apparently supposed to happen. It still says match photo in the top left of drawing pane. I can use the drawing tools, but using line drawing, I can rarely get a “face” to form. Tracing faces of the building and ending the last line on the start of the first line but I’m left with a bunch of discrete lines and no “face”. What am I doing wrong?


Hello to you. I am new and wanted to punch my screen a few times working with this tool. After you set your control bars (red//green) and the blue axes. Click any where outside the image and this will set it to start tracing. If you need to fine tune you can always right-click on the image and it will let you select EDIT Match Photo to move them around //adjust. Work with the line tool, and START FROM THE ORIGIN. Draw a random rectangle, you should be able to see dotted inference lines in the axes colors as you move it to form a random rectangle from the origin. Now hit X-ray mode from View > Face styles. You should see the rectangle. I watched the video tutorial three time and wasted a half day also. It takes time to figure it out. Work in X-ray while you trace it and ONLY work out from origin. If you jump around you will have items on different planes. Also to check you work, click the space bar to de-select line tool and orbit around. Your Matched image will hide itself and you should see only what you have traced so far. To get the image back click the Matched Photo scene tab and it will re-aline image and you can go back to were you left off. I hated it and got really pissed myself, glad to know I am not the only one out there. Hope it helps and ring back if you need more help will try and find the video link that I think Geo sent me…Peace…


Just a bit more as far as tutorials to review and this screen shot is from a regular poster here, Anssi gets the credit for this. It will allow you to lighten or darken the photo from Window>Styles> select edit and then click the monochrome box, the furthest one to your right. Have the box`es for the foreground and back ground color CHECKED. Then adjust the slider for the visibility you like //need!!! I am a newbie and this is the best explanation I can give but I know it is just a bit more time and improvements and easy will follow. Hang with it and good luck!! …Peace…


@mrwmrutski, Thank you for that info that made me learn something.


Your welcome and it is my pleasure. I am only as far as I am with this because of others time and efforts. It makes you feel you are accomplishing something,“totally”. By putting something back into the pile instead of just taking from it.You are learning it to be able to share your thoughts. Not sharing your thoughts of what or how you learned it. Serves it no justice…

Glad it helped and …Peace…


Thanks so much for the help! I am getting closer, though still struggling to get my tracings to form faces. Simple rectangles seem to work fine, but more complex shapes continue to confuse the system (and me!). Great tip on using the orbit tool. When I do that, I can see that my tracing has, for some reason, resulted in a shape that is partially on one plane and partially on another. Don’t know how to make it stop doing that. Re-did three times and same outcome each time. It seems happiest if all of the lines are parallel to one of the axis - but unfortunately my building wasn’t built that way!! Thanks again.


Of three buildings I have tried it with only one seamed sort of OK. In one of those tutorials it mentions that if the image was CROPPED you WILL HAVE issues. They say it is best used from a picture you take yourself or to be sure the image was not re-sized. If it is from a screen shot. I had both red and green axes balls on and the blue vertical axes would not get to 90 degrees up and down. It also said specifically to start at//from the origin and only build off that. So I did the complete red axes before moving to the green axes direction. I have stay away from it as their are more important aspects // tools I need to concentrate on. I will in time love to have the time to figure it out completely. I best learn from my mistakes and found by leaving it set and coming back in a week or two. I see I was doing something wrong or crossed up a step or two. But so intent on getting it down missed the forest from the trees. Patiences and practice is were it is at and only you can teach yourself ( me-myself) that over time. Hang with it as it will come… I am home schooling this and Processing JavaScript // HTML5 so I have two worlds of frustration happening. It is all good and in time the struggle will end. If you get a clean model please sent a photo or file copy to check out!! Take`er easy and …Peace…


Yes, it clearly has a learning curve. I’ll keep at it, though my wife is getting upset at me for spending so much time on the machine and then being cranky because I’m so frustrated… Hah! I will try to chill out. Thanks again.


You don’t chill out with SketchUp? Play a little more and you will :wink:


Hello Budlat31, and for real my given first name is William and Bud // Buddy is my nickname. Any how I came across something that may also help you, it is something I always forgot to alter. You need to change the camera from Perspective, it is the SU`s default position. To Parallel Perspective from the Camera tab drop down. This will allow (help) get the three axes alined so you dont get traced shapes on different planes. Dont know if you have done this already, but you sound like me and is something I would and do forget!! Check it out and see if this also helps you get going!!! …Peace…


And a thanks to you for the video as well, to see someone manipulate the tools in a complete model is a big help. Design.Click.Build has been a GREAT HELP as the guy David Richards who is very familiar with and to Sketch Up. His way of walking you through the building of a model from start to finish is very cool. You are building while learning the proper tools use and complete abilities that you dont see in most of the tutorials. He uses the tape measure like he has a holster for it!! He keeps your interest while fully explaining the exact hows and whys it is done this way. Thanks for your time and effort.