Billboard Background: Part 2 – Paint the Image

In Part 1 of this series, I showed how to set up a camera view of this room interior, so that everything worth seeing in the room can seen. I left off with saving the camera view as a scene, so that I can easily return to the view. Sketchup Panorama Setup 08

Now I want to place a big picture outside the room, so that there will be something nice to see, and not just white space, when looking out the windows.

Create the Billboard Wall

In blank space, on the other side of the wall with the windows, I’m creating a big, block wall. Just a simple rectangle pulled up to a height higher than the room’s ceiling. This wall should also be wider than the room, so that you won’t see any of its edges when looking out of the windows.Sketchup Panorama Setup 11

For easier access to the blank wall, hide the room model (select the whole thing, right-click on it, and choose Hide).  Sketchup Panorama Setup 12

Paint the Billboard with a Panoramic Image

The image I found for this wall is this pretty autumn panorama, found in Google Images. To save an image you find online (as long as it’s not copyright-protected), right-click on it and choose one of the saving options. Sketchup Panorama Setup Autumn


(If you’re working on a real project with real things to see out the windows, you can use a digital image taken onsite. But it’s nice to dream – you can place any view you like out the window – a city skyline, rolling green hills, a football field, a Star Wars shootout scene…)

To bring the image into SketchUp, go to File / Import. Be sure to look for image files, and check the Use as texture option. Browse to your image and click Open. Sketchup Panorama Setup 13


(You could use the Use as image option instead – the image would come in as a stand-alone object, like a big poster. You’d have to then explode the image in order to work with it.)

The image is now attached to the cursor, ready to be painted onto something. I’m placing the first corner at the lower left corner of the wall.  Sketchup Panorama Setup 14

Move the cursor to get the image at about the size you want (size can be changed later), and as soon as you click the second point, the image is painted onto the face. If your image doesn’t fill the entire face, it will tile (repeat).  Sketchup Panorama Setup 15


Now bring back the room (Edit / Unhide / All. Click the scene tab to see how the image looks from inside the room. Sketchup Panorama Setup 16


I’m not wild about how the image looks right now – too much of the lake appears, not enough foliage. So in Part 3, I’ll adjust the image.

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.



  1. need info on local support–and sales for pricing and detailed one on one infromation


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