Some cool examples of my own

What was the workflow to have the tree in front of the model in the second image? Stellar work indeed!

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Short answer: only in Photoshop as a sandwich:

  1. Bottom layer the original photograph
  2. Middle layer, the SketchUp model with no photo and a transparent background
  3. Top layer a duplicate of the bottom layer with a whole lot of masking out

To be honest, I’m not the world’s greatest at masking in Photoshop

In this case, the top layer looks like this:

All those @$#&*#%$^ branches were making me crazy.

I did a longer explanation of the previous example here.

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The ‘select>subject’ option might be your new favourite friend

I’m still on CS6. I think that’s a new feature since CS6?

You can also select sky by color “select/color range”

Copy the sky and use it as black&white layer mask, where you increase contrast (and maybe invert) until the sky becomes black (transparent part of the mask) and the branches become white (opaque). Evt. it requires some tweaking to level-out the sky’s gradient, e.g. with a darken/brighten tool or high-pass filter.

If your image editor does not have an intelligent automated feature, this is a way to go and it preserves smooth, antialiased borders between branches and sky.

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I can’t remember for sure, but I was probably doing something similar with the magic wand and a color range. There is still some threshold that leaves a little blueish fringe on what’s left, and if you try to get more aggressive with the threshold, the selection gets worse. Global color range would be better for all the little islands of blue, but, not all the branches are in front of sky. Some were in front of an existing building to be torn down. That’s when I gave up and said, “Forget it, this tree is going behind my building. I’d rather see my building anyway.”

Looking back, it seems I was actually erasing stuff from the foreground mask, but I wouldn’t work that way today. I’d use a layer mask, and this is probably a good way to get it started.

That is really cool looking. I do some Urbex stuff. I might have to try a similar style with broken buildings. That is really pretty!

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Relatively new material for a change. I used a really small project, a 20’x24’ carport, to test out Medeek’s Wall Tool and Roof/Floor Plugins. I wasn’t planning to make such great looking drawings for such a project, but they turned out nice. The concept is just a deck over car parking, but we decided build it so a future owner could easily convert it to a full blown garage if they want.

Profile Builder 2 was used to make a pretty good representation of a Fiberon railing system. Like most things I do, the drawing first starts in PowerCADD, where the stair tool in Alfred Scott’s Wild Tool plugin pack worked out all the stairs.


Wow, this is really nice. I like how you’ve even got the joist hangers in the model. How did you model your foundation?

I really like the different sectional views, its fun to see how it all goes together, sometimes my engineering side gets the better of me.

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The foundation was just modeled from 2d sections first drawn in PowerCADD, imported to SU and modeled with basic SU tools. The pitch in the slab for example was drawn in 2D first.

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You can also see how I ended up using LVL’s for the rim joists to double as headers and eliminate headers from the openings. That’s why I asked for the option of “none.”


Here’s an illustration I keep tinkering with. I helped a friend and colleague on this project with SketchUp modeling. He wanted an illustration to show how it was driven by the need to squeeze a new HVAC system into an existing Manhattan apartment. I modeled the HVAC system crudely from 2D drawings without fixing clashes and what not, and I keep tinkering with how to present it. These require multiple images assembled in Photoshop with masking and transparency.

Solid Mechanical System:

X-Ray Mode Mechanical System:


All your work examples show a wonderful ability to immediately convey the information you want to in an instantly understandable way. Well done I think this is a great gift.


This is BOSS. I need to learn how to do this I do a lot of additions and renovations and showing the new and existing blending together is just really cool.


I have to say some really nice visuals. Also the modeling is clean and uncluttered, conveying the information effectively. Very nice work.

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@RTCool Thanks a lot. Now I’m totally obsessed with Match Photo :slight_smile:


Back in March, the SketchUp team launched their Basecamp EDU Ascent Competition, so, as a teacher who just dove into SketchUp for Schools for my most recent class, I thought I’d create a poster and enter. I didn’t win, of course, but, while I did show the rest of the art department and give my department head a hard copy, it didn’t get shown at 3D Basecamp or elsewhere to the SU community, so why not share it here?

The entire poster is a two dimensional space with Digital vs. Traditional Media being one dimension and 2D vs. 3D in the other dimension. The path our 10 week course took was from:

  • 2D Traditional Drafting to
  • 3D Traditional Model Making to
  • 3D Digital Model Making to
  • 2D Digital Output from the 3D Model

On the digital side, the poster also shows the playlist of .mp4 video instructions I created for the lesson plan. I’ve always had a hard time getting this generation to listen to me in a traditional lecture-teaching kind of way, but by creating digital videos, I think I finally found a way to get the iGeneration to listen to me.


Drafting was my favorite class in school. Great architectural drawings! Your students are lucky to have such a good teacher.

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Very nice! I did something similar with Cinema4d few years ago. But now I’m dreaming of scanning the whole Surroundings with Photogrammetry and bring it into SketchUp. So it would be possible to make animations. Maybe I should buy a Drone first.

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