Scale Your SketchUp Model until the Photo Looks Right

By Aidan Chopra

When you’re happy with the way your texture is stretched to fit a face in your SketchUp model, one of two things will be true:

  • The proportions are correct. The photo doesn’t look stretched or squashed. This is the case only if the face to which you applied the photo texture was already exactly the right size.

  • The proportions aren’t correct. If the photo texture you just “tweaked” looks stretched or squashed, the face it’s on is the wrong size. No worries — you just need to stretch the whole face until the texture looks right. Better yet, if you know how big the face is supposed to be (in real life), you can stretch it until it’s correct.

Follow these steps to stretch a face until the texture looks right:

  1. Use the Tape Measure tool to create guides that you can use to accurately stretch your face.

    In this case, you know the building you’re modeling is supposed to be 50 feet wide.

  2. Select the face you want to stretch.

    If your model is at a fairly early stage, just select the whole kit and caboodle. Triple-click the face with the Select tool to select it and everything attached to it.

    image0.jpg

  3. Choose Tools→Scale to activate the Scale tool.

    When the Scale tool is active, everything that’s selected in your model should be surrounded by the SketchUp scaling box — its 27 little green cubes (or grips) and thick, yellow lines are hard to miss.

  4. Scale your selection to the right size.

    Use the Scale tool by clicking the grips and moving your cursor to stretch whatever’s selected (including your texture). Click again to stop scaling.

    image1.jpg

To scale something precisely using a guide, click a scale grip to grab it and then hover your pointer over the relevant guide to tell SketchUp that’s where you want to scale to. Click again to finish the scale operation.

It’s perfectly normal to want to keep modeling with your photo-textured faces; tracing a window and pushing it in a bit with the Push/Pull tool is one of the most satisfying things you can do in SketchUp.