The following content is syndicated from Woodworker’s Journal.
Once in awhile I need to illustrate elements such as the woven cane seat on this causeuse designed by Josef Hoffmann. Although the individual canes could be drawn, it would be tedious at best, create an awful lot of geometry and might impact the model performance. Instead, we can use a material with transparency. This will give us the appearance we need with minimal time investment.
So to start with, I poked around on the internet until I found a likely image candidate. In an image editor I cropped the image tightly so I have a repeating square pattern. This is different from the wood grain materials I make. For those I use as much of entire planks as I can.
After cropping, I erase the pixels where the holes are. The result looks like this:
The transparent areas show as black in the image, above. Then I save the image as a PNG file because PNGs support transparency.
Now it’s time for SketchUp. Open a new file in SketchUp and draw a square of the appropriate size. I know the square element in this image is 5/8 in. and with two squares in each direction so I drew a square that is 1-1/4 in. by 1-1/4 in. Then go to the File menu and click
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