Capturing Design - An Oak Sideboard

Capturing Design – An Oak Sideboard

In the following video, I show my method of capturing the design of an Oak Sideboard from a magazine picture. The Sideboard was showcased in the Winter 1994 issue of Fine Woodworking’s “Home Furniture”. Here is the picture of the front page of the magazine issue as it is shown in SketchUp. I’ve imported that picture (taken with an iPhone) into SketchUp as a “New Photo Match”.

On that picture, I’ve located the red and green perspective bars at strategic axes on the photo. After locating the red and green perspective bars, I check that the Blue Axis is aligned with a vertical edge in the sideboard. Then I’m ready to begin tracing over and creating key furniture pieces, capturing their position, size, and shapes in 3D.

Here is a picture of the resulting traced components in the photo. By using X-ray Style, the traced components are more easily portrayed.

In this picture below, you can see the resulting 3D model without the background picture. By the way, this model is full-size, as I re-sized the imported photo so that it matched one known dimension provided in the magazine article.


Of course, there is much more work in detailing the design including joinery. But having this limited trace-over model jump-starts the detailing, significantly reduces the remaining effort, and increases the accuracy of the re-production.

Here is a photo of the Exploded View in SketchUp.


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