Temporary Outage We are currently experiencing system outages and expect to have everything up and running soon. - We'll do our best but we may be not be able get back to you as quickly as you're used to. Please expect some delay in responses.

Tracing an Image

Tracing an image is an easy (and thus common) way to create a floorplan in SketchUp and then turn that plan into a 3D model. You can also trace an image to model a 2D design that you want to place somewhere in a 3D model. Whatever you’re trying to model, here’s how to start tracing an image:

  1. Import your image into SketchUp by selecting File > Import. Then navigate to and select the image you want to import. If you don't see the image you're looking for, make sure the correct file type is selected (such as JPG or PNG).
    Tip: Alternately, you can also drag and drop importable files into the drawing area. After you drop the file, click and drag the scaling handles to size the image on the ground plane.
  2. In the Use Image As area, make sure the Image radio button is selected and click Import.
  3. Click where you want to place the top-left corner of the image, and click again to place the lower-right corner, which scales the image.
  4. (Optional) Select Camera > Standard Views > Top to get a top view of your image. If you choose this step, also be sure to switch to Parallel Projection as well.
  5. Select a drawing tool to start tracing the image. The Line tool is a popular choice.

If precision is important to you, use a line in your model to scale the drawing.

In the following video, you see two examples of tracking an image to create a floorplan. The first example is a napkin sketch; the second is a drawing plan with precise measurements.