Drawing a Live Edge Slab
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The other day a woodworker sent me a photograph of a live edge slab of walnut. He wanted to know if it could be drawn in SketchUp. Here’s what I came up with.
The image he sent me was a JPG file of the slab with a white background. That image could be imported directly into SketchUp as a texture applied to a face and you could trace the edges with the Freehand tool to cut out the shape. I decided to let a plugin called Image Trimmer do the work instead. That requires a little bit of preparation. The Image Trimmer is available as part of TIG’s SKM Tools.
Image Trimmer is designed to create edges at the boundary between transparent and non-transparent pixels in the image. So the background needs to be transparent. In an image editor, I selected the white background and converted it to transparent pixels. In PaintDOTnet I just selected them and deleted them. The extension processes all the transparent pixels so it’s a good idea to eliminate as many pixels as possible by cropping very tightly to the image. I also zoomed in on the image and erased any little pixels along the edge of the slab that weren’t really needed. This simplified the edges a little. Then the image is saved. Remember to save the file as a PNG because JPGs don’t
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