Photoshop PSD layers to Sketchup

Is there a way to import layers into sketchup so that I don’t have to retrace everything to make it 3D? It just seems kind of redundant. Why not have a highlight feature versus a trace feature? I am trying to make my logo 3d and my PSD file is in 5 layers.

I hope I am asking this right so that someone with some knowledge can help me. :slight_smile:

You need to realize that SketchUp layers are an entirely different concept than Photoshop layers. SU layers exist to selectively control visibility of geometry. They do not overlay or interact with each other. Also, to SketchUp, a PSD file is just a type of image.

This tutorial may be of interest…

Thanks for the reply guys. I am a sponge. :slight_smile: The point I was trying to get across is that somehow I managed to become somewhat of an expert in Photoshop without ever really messing with the line tools. It seems like it would be so easy to allow one to highlight a color to select that object vs having to trace it out.

Yeah, I get your point. Someday it might be nice…maybe an extension. But SketchUp is not a bitmap/photo editor. It does not really understand the sort of image analysis you describe.

You might have a look at TIG’s Image Trimer plugin

ImageTrimmer v2.4 20130828 by TIG

I know very little about photoshop. Is it not possible to export your layers as .dwg or .dxf ?
If it’s anything like coreldraw the shapes are just filled linework.

Box, Geo & slbaumgartner I really appreciate your input. Been searching for ways to do things and your input has netted me far superior results. I have only had my 3D printer for about a week (I’ll be 52 this year) and I feel like a little kid. Learning Photoshop was a 12 year journey and I tend to compare everything to that. I can remember thinking how stupid Photoshop was when I first installed it. I was more of a "Printshop Deluxe kind of guy at the time. Sketchup Pro seems like a very powerful program and it’s really unfair of me to try to compare the two. Right now, it’s a necessary evil. :slight_smile: It has what I need, so I must learn it.
It’s been a great while since I have been excited on a message board and this is just the kick I have been looking for. Thank you very much and when I explore your suggestions I will comment back here.

If you export each PS layer as PNG with transparent background…
Then TIG’s Image Trimmer will create geometry outlining the image … minus the transparent part.

Here’s an example.
Credit original JPG image: Chris Fullmer

Image Trimmer Test.skp (640.4 KB)

Very cool Geo. Than you. I will experiment with that.

Hey Geo, I take it that is a plugin for sketchup right? When I search plugins I don’t see it. This looks like it’s exactly what I need.

Since I am pulling on your ear, I have one more question and I think I kind of know the answer. Lets say I wanted to make a dog tag with 2 different colors. Could I create the dog tag in sketchup and then delete the tag it’self leaving only the text and save both as different tpl files? (E.G., text-for-tag.tpl, tag.tpl) Create the tag.tpl with left extruder (color 1) and create the text-for-tag.tpl with right extruder (color 2). This is how virgin I am to all of this. I just want to make sure that the 2nd file will start at the proper height. Again, my thoughts are it will but I want to make sure.

There are hundreds of Plugins available, only a portion are in the ExtensionsWarehouse…
Look here for my tools: SketchUcation PluginStore
It has very good search and filtering tools…
It’s free to sign-up…

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I posted the link … as did TIG :wink:

If you have created vector path shapes in Photoshop, the only way I know to get them into SketchUp as vector shapes would be to export them first to Illustrator and then export them as DWG or DXF from Illustrator.


I have hired a bunch of engineers to design a cog (amongst other components) for me to fit on my servo motor spline shaft over fifteen weeks for hundreds of dollars but they all quit after a string of misinterpretations. I ended up having to make it on Photoshop after taking a photo of the top of it coloured with a black marker and surrounded by toothpaste! This was so I could easily magic wand the exact dimensions of the internal teeth.

I tried to extrude it on Photoshop using 3D but the ‘Export as 3D file’ option only resulted in a faulty dialogue box blinking onto the screen for less than a second. Then I read forums that said I needed to render it first. Its a basic little cog but Photoshop said that it would take 4 hours to render, and my Solid State Drive Macbook brand new top of the range laptop reached 100 degrees Celsius (even with a mod to maximise fan speeds to 6200 RPMs) each attempt within around five seconds before I stopped rendering.

Has noone in the world made software that can simply allow me to extrude a basic shape or create cogs to spec?

I have spent weeks trying to find the answer and I have heard people mention the most primitive thing I have ever heard of - trace the shape by hand in Sketchup. With no other options, I tried, but the line tool kept doing whatever it wanted and it had no magnet at all. It was absolutely impossible. The internal teeth are 17T 8.8mm diametre. The external ones need to be printed in various configurations through trial and error to create an artificial shaft for my robot. I don’t understand why there are no tools anywhere on the internet that are easy to accomplish this.

What do you guys recommend? A proper realistic solution please.

Great. Now even this forum only allows me to paste a single image after it let me upload 2. I chose the toothpaste covered servo rather than the photoshop cog design.

Photoshop at least allows me to make it look 3d with a single click and an extrusion length slider. No good for printing from what I can see. Of course in Photoshop there is the magic wand and I can change the external cog to any cog shape I find on the internet within a few seconds. I just need a way to export as a gcode file and play with stl in photoshop. Then hopefully I can bypass Sketchup altogether. The software feels like an experiment from the 1980s.

I’m a little confused, you know the radius, you know the number of teeth and their shape. It’s about 2 minutes work to model.

I must be missing something.

This is a very basic version, all standard tools.

If you design a more complex version using components as the teeth you’ll be able to make minute adjustments to one tooth and they will all change allowing you to make an infinite number of different versions from the one original model.

Are you for hire? You made a cog that easily? Its perfect. I need a bunch of other components too. My email is

The guy I hired must be fresh out of University. He can draw in 3D, but he couldn’t do what you just did in over 2 months!

This forum won’t let me reply any more on this topic. It instructed me to edit an old reply?!

Here’s my reply to your next reply:

That’s probably true, but I have another job that takes up all my time. I would rather just pay someone good like you.

You’ll save yourself a lot of time, money and frustration if you take the time to learn how to do it yourself.