Chapter 13. Matching a Background Photo

A common trick for presenting architectural designs is to match the SketchUp models to a background photo. This helps others to visualize how the finished structure will look in its new environment.

The scale used to build models in SketchUp is based on a real-world 1:1 ratio. This ratio works great when models are combined, but when a background photo is added to the drawing, the scale needs to be altered to match the photo's scale. This is accomplished by choosing Camera


The Match New Photo feature lets you orient the view to be aligned to the location where the digital camera was when the building location was shot. After you define this location, you can build a model that fits with the background image.

Another way to use this features is to start with a background image or a series of background images that are used to align the axes in the current document, allowing you to build the model based on the background image.

Aligning the Current Model to a Background Image

If you have a scene that you've built in SketchUp and you want to see how it looks at a given location, you can use the Match Photo feature to position the background image and use the alignment tools to match the model's axes to the perspective in the background image.

The first step ...

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