Perfect Pillows: Part 2 – Paint the Pillow

In Part 1 of this pillow series, we left off after creating the basic shape of the pillow.

Pillows model 11

We also downloaded a pillow picture. So in this post, we’ll paint the pillow “box” with the pillow image.

This is the image I’m using:

Persimmon Pillow

My image includes some blank space around the edges, which is fine. But you don’t want to use an image that includes much more than what you need. Any image you import into SketchUp is included its entirety, even if only a small part of the image is actually used. So if you have a huge image in which your pillow only takes up a small part, trim the image to get rid what you don’t need. Also, don’t bring in an image file of enormous size – use the lowest resolution you can without sacrificing picture clarity. (Nobody’s going to look that closely at your pillows anyway, in the final model.)

Import the Image

In the unpainted pillow model, choose File / Import. For files to look for, choose “All Supported Image Types,” or the specific file type for your image (JPG, PNG, etc.). Browse to where you saved your image, check the button for Texture (as opposed to Image or Matched Photo), and click Import.

The pillow image is now attached to your cursor. Click two points within the front face of the pillow, so that the image takes up most of the face. Pillow model 13

Once you click the second corner, the pillow image tiles (repeats in both directions) to completely fill the face. Pillow model 14

Adjust the Image

Right-click on the painted face and choose Texture / Position from the popup menu. You’ll either see four identical pins (“free pins”) or four pins of different colors (“fixed pins”). We want the free pins, so if you see the multi-colored pins, right-click on the face and choose Fixed Pins to toggle it off.

Pillow model 15

There are two things you can do with these pins. Here’s the first: Click on any pin, which “lifts” it off the face and attaches it to your cursor. Move the pin to the closest pillow corner on the image, and click again to “drop” the pin back down. Repeat for the other three pins. In the end, you should have one pin at each pillow corner on the image. Pillow model 16

The second thing you can do with these pins is dragging. For each pin, click and drag it to the closest corner of the pillow object itself. The borders of the pillow might not line up perfectly with your curved edges, but the rounding we’ll do later should take care of that.Pillow model 17

To finish, right-click on the face and choose Done. Pillow model 18

Some interior designers will use a pillow model like this one, as is, which can look decent in a room model when used as a small, far-off detail that won’t be seen too closely. An easy fix would be to simply paint the sides with a solid color, perhaps orange in this case.

But it’s not too hard to take this pillow up a notch, giving it rounded corners and continuing the image all the way around.  Which is what you’ll read about in Part 3 of this series.



About Bonnie Roskes

Bonnie Roskes has been writing tutorial-style projects on 3D modeling software, primarily SketchUp, since 2001. Her website, offers a wide variety of learning materials for all ages, from kids in grade school through design professionals. Her materials cover general 3D design, 3D printing, geometry, interior design, geo-modeling, and more, and future books are in the works. Read more about Bonnie.


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