Wrapping an image around a cylinder

July 11, 2007 Aidan Chopra

Earlier this week, I found myself answering an email question about how to apply an image to a cylinder. After I was done, it occurred to me that there were probably a lot of people who could use the tip.

To wrap an image (like a JPEG) around a cylindrical form, follow these steps:

  1. Create a cylinder by extruding a circle with the Push/Pull tool. This technique only works for cylinders created in this way.
  2. Select the side face of your cylinder.
  3. Choose File > Import to open the Import dialog box.
  4. Select the image you'd like to map to the cylinder.
  5. Make sure "Use as Texture" is selected in the Import dialog box.
  6. Click Import.
  7. Click once on the bottom edge of your cylinder to position the lower-left corner edge of your image.
  8. Click again on the top edge of your cylinder to position the top edge of your image.
  9. The image will appear as a sliver of photo on the side of your cylinder – that's OK.
  10. Open the Materials dialog box (from the Window menu), and click the In Model button to see the materials in your model. The In Model button looks like a little house.
  11. A thumbnail of the image you imported in Step 5 should be visible; click on it to load it into your Paint Bucket as a texture.
  12. Click on your cylinder. Your image should wrap around it completely.

Watch this video to see the steps in action:


About the Author

Aidan Chopra

Aidan was a beloved member of the SketchUp team for 10 years. He birthed this blog, taught countless SketchUp classes, authored the SketchUp For Dummies book, and is a jolly fellow indeed. If you'd like to learn a little more about Aidan and his new endeavor, check out Bitsbox.

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