Match Photo: Introduction

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Match Photo introduction

Use the Match New Photo and Edit Matched Photo menu items to create a 3D model to match a photo or to match an existing 3D model to a photo's context. Activate the Match New Photo and Edit Matched Photo menu items from the Camera menu.

SketchUp is commonly used to create designs of buildings or structures. SketchUp allows you to create these designs using the actual, real-world scale (a scale of 1:1 where a unit of measurement in SketchUp represents that actual unit of measurement in the real world). However, digital pictures are not at a 1:1 scale. Therefore, to create a 3D model that matches a photo (or to match an existing SketchUp model to a scale in a photo), you must calibrate SketchUp's camera to match the position and focal length of the digital camera used to take the picture.

High-level steps for creating a model from photos

Creating a model from photos consists of 4 high-level steps:

  1. Take digital pictures of a building or structure. Refer to Taking Digital Photos for Use When Matching for further information.
  2. Start matching. Matching involves loading a digital picture and calibrating SketchUp's camera to the position and focal length of the camera used to take the actual photo (you are setting up the exact criteria used to take your picture so you can draw on the picture). You can also set the scale of the actual building or structure while matching, or just resize the entire model after it has been drawn. Refer to Creating a 3D Model to Match a Photo for further information.
  3. Start sketching. Once you have duplicated the position and focal length of the camera used to take the picture, you can draw over the image in SketchUp. SketchUp moves into a 2D sketching mode from matching (it is 2D because you are drawing on a 2D photo that needs to be oriented at a specific camera angle to you). Refer to Creating a 3D Model to Match a Photo for further information.
  4. Repeat Step 2 and 3 with any photos representing other views of the building or structure.

Note: You can also use the Match Photo feature to set a model within the context of one or more photos. For example, set a model of a new building in the context of an empty lot. Refer to Matching an Existing 3D Model to a Photo's Context for further information.