Billboard Background: Part 3 – Position the Image

In Part 1 of this series, I showed how to set up just the right camera view for this room interior. And in Part 2, I painted an autumn panoramic image onto a large billboard outside the room, to convey the view of the great outdoors offered by this wonderful room.

Here’s the interior view I left off with – not exactly terrible, but it could certainly be better with that lovely picture I imported.

Sketchup Panorama Setup 16

So I’ll edit the image to make the view more attractive.

Resize the Image

I suspected that the size of the image, relative to the size of the room, was too small. I used the Tape Measure to get a sense of tree height, and one measured about 7′ high. I’d expect these trees to be closer to 25′ or 30′. So this image needs to be quite a bit larger.

To adjust the image, right-click on the painted face of the wall and choose Texture / Position.SketchUp Panorama Setup 17


What I see now are several tiling images, with a set of four push-pins surrounding the center image. I have pins of four different colors – these are “Fixed” pins. If you see four all-yellow pins (“Free” pins), right-click and choose Fixed Pins.

SketchUp Panorama Setup 18


Each colored pin has a specific purpose; I’m using only the green one for resizing.

First, I’m dragging the entire image downward, so that the lake doesn’t take up so much of the lower part of the wall.SketchUp Panorama Setup 19


Next, I’m dragging the green pin directly to the right, which increases the overall image size. (This pin can also rotate an image, which I don’t want in this case.) SketchUp Panorama Setup 20


(If you’re interested, the blue pin stretches or squashes the image vertically, and the yellow one – which I’ve never found use for – skews it. The red pin is used for moving the image, though it’s not needed in this example because I’m just dragging to move.)

When the image seems right, right-click and choose Done.SketchUp Panorama Setup 21


Better? Meh, not exactly. Now it looks like I’m seeing a bunch of overgrown orange weeds. SketchUp Panorama Setup 22


Move the Image

So I’m adjusting once more – this time dragging the image to the right. There’s a little red building in the image – a playhouse maybe – that will look great from the window. True, I can see the seam between images in this view, but it should look OK from inside the room (I hope). SketchUp Panorama Setup 23


Yes, much better. SketchUp Panorama Setup 24


If you render your models, background images usually render quite nicely. (This is a model from SketchUp 2015 for which I used a great little rendering program called Visualizer, but that program is no longer supported and doesn’t work for SketchUp 2016, boo.)Sketchup Panorama Setup VIZ_0001

A similar technique, for when more than one view is needed, is to place your entire model inside a huge dome or cylinder, the inside face of which is painted with the same sort of panoramic image. I’ll show this in a future post.

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. That’s neat, Bonnie, I wish I thought of that. But now I know, thanks.


  2. Really nice little feature….. fast, easy, productive….


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