Pictures to Replicate a Piece of Furniture
Often woodworkers have a piece of furniture that they would like to replicate. A few photographs imported to SketchUp can enable this process, but it helps to know what pictures to take and at what positions and angles.
In the following video, I’ll import a picture of a Shaker Rocker. I’ll pick the side view and import as an image. When you import, the picture will tend to position on an axis of SketchUp based on the camera position. If you are looking down on the axes, the picture will flip to the red-green plane. I like my scanned pictures to come in on the red-blue, so I orbit down to force that position. Click the mouse and raise up to any size.
I find that it is most helpful if there are straight-on side, front and top photographs. But it can be even more helpful if the pictures are taken perpendicular to the major planes in the piece of furniture.
Consider this Shaker rocker. It has three major planes – the side that is oblique, the ladder back at an angle or inclination, and the top of the seat or top of the arms also at an angle. The best pictures are ones taken perpendicular to these three planes.
In the first view, you can see that the picture is taken perpendicular to the splay of the side of the chair. So this means I can get a good trace-over of the parts in this side view on this plane or face.
In the second Front View Picture, I’ve taken the photograph perpendicular to the face of the ladder back that slants backward. This view gives me a good palette to traceover the ladder back shape.
Now we need the top view to get the shape of the arms. I know the dimension from center to center and can scale this image to full size.
These three images give me an excellent palette for sizing up and shaping all the chair’s components.