Perfect Pillows: Part 4 – Import the Pillow

Here we are: the last post in this four-part pillow series. To recap:

  • In Part 1 we made the basic pillow shape.
  • In Part 2 we painted the pillow using an image.
  • In Part 3 we rounded the corners, and adjusted the image to match.

Here’s the completed pillow, saved in its own file. It looks a bit boxy up close, but as a small detail in a larger room room, it’ll look realistic enough.Pillow model 28

Open the Model for Import

Here’s the room model into which I want to import the pillow. These are the couches we saw back in Part 1, which are part of a group which is currently open for editing, ready to receive some pillows. (You can create your own room model, or just download a couch from the 3D Warehouse.)Pillow model 29

Choose File / Import. Before we were using this window to import an image, but this time we’re looking for a SketchUp model.  Find where you saved your pillow and bring it in.Pillow model 30

The pillow is attached to your cursor, because the pillow was located at the origin in its original file. (Otherwise the pillow would be located away from your cursor.) Pillows 31

Place one pillow on the couch, and if your model has space, make a copy of the pillow for the other end of the couch. Pillows 32


Rotate the Pillows

Now the Move tool comes in handy. When you import a model into another model, it comes in as a component, and the Move tool becomes active. As long as Move is active, when you move your cursor over a component, you can either move or rotate it (this is true for groups as well). For example, with my cursor over the top of a pillow, I can pick up the protractor and spin the pillow around a bit. Pillows 33

I can spin it this way as well: Pillows 34

So here are my two pillows, each tilted slightly, with the couch group closed and the rest of the model back in view. The pillow on the left looks awesome. The one on the right – I’m not crazy about the right side of it. It looks too boxy.Pillows 35

I’m editing the couch group again, spinning the offending pillow so that a different side will show (and anyway, now the pillows look more randomly-placed, less like exact copies). I’m also moving the pillow back a bit, and turning it to be more parallel to the back of the couch. Pillows 37

Much better. Pillows 38


More Pillows!

Two lonely pillows won’t do in this big room. Here’s another pillow I bought for my own living room, this one from TheHomeCentric. Pillows 39

This blue pillow is the same size as the orange flower one: 16″ x 16″. And the image above has more or less the same borders and shape as the image I used for the orange one. So I used a trick to basically swap images. In the orange pillow model, I right-clicked on the image in the “In Model” collection, and chose Edit Texture Image. (On the Mac, this is an option on the Edit Material window.) Pillows 40

This opened the pillow image in an external graphic editor. I used copy and paste to simply cover the orange image with the blue one, then saved and closed the image. Back in SketchUp, the pillow was painted with the new image. I then used File / Save As to save the blue pillow in its own file.

I also bought this rectangular pillow, 24″ x 12″, another offering of MiCasa Bella.
Pillows 41

I modeled this pillow the same way I modeled the square ones, except that I had two arcs (long and short) to copy instead of just one. Also, the image above is skewed, not head-on, but free pins got the corners where they needed to be.

Here’s the final room model, with all of my pillows. I feel right at home here, and my kids were amused that our pillows have appeared in this unfamilar room. If I didn’t point out that these pillows are more or less boxes, would you notice?Pillows 42


And look at this gorgeous rendering, courtesy of Visualizer (which is sadly no longer supported). Rendering presents another reason to round corners – sharp edges tend to stand out in a rendering; everything looks more natural with a bit of rounding. Pillow Model Render

(If I were going to continue working on this model, I’d definitely change out that rug.)

So that’s the end of our pillow talk. But in the next post, I’ll show another extension that can be used to create a slightly different-looking pillow.


Happy accessorizing!




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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