I came across the concept of “quilling” a few weeks back and instantly began thinking how could I translate this digitally to generate a unique architectural illustration for marketing or portfolio purposes. The style had a great look to it and I knew that Sketchup had some plugins that could make the workflow really simple. All you need is Sketchup Pro so that you can export and import AutoCAD files, and the “TIG” plugin called “Extrude edges by Vector”.



1. The first step is to export a view of the sketchup model as 2D AutoCAD line work. As I mentioned above, you need Sketchup Pro to be able to export ¬†AutoCAD files. In Sketchup, choose “File>Export>2d Graphic”. In the export dialogue box, set the export type to “AutoCAD DWG” and then export.


1_quilling_export_2d_graphic copy





2. Next, start a new Sketchup model and import the AutoCAD file that was just exported in the previous step. Choose “File>Import”. In the Import dialogue box, browse to the location of the AutoCAD file making sure that the file type is set to “AutoCAD Files”. Then import the file.






3. Once the geometry is imported, the next step is to extrude it vertically. Sketchup does not extrude lines, therefore a plugin is needed. There are many out there, but the TIG Extrude Edges by Vector seems to work really well. This plugin allows you to select many edges that are not connected and extrude them in any direction.


4_quilling_extrude 2d




Once the plugin is applied, the result is a series of planes resembling strips of paper.






4. The last step is to set the view to “Top” and render the model. I then tweaked the colors in Photoshop and added some light textures to achieve the final look.