How to Insert image in AutoCAD and Trace

By | July 28, 2016

Have you ever come across a situation where you wished you could create sketch from an image? Logo designers do this all the time by tracing over an image. Photoshop offers some fantastic tools for this. By using the layers and the pen tool logo designers can do this easily. But, how about we engineers who use AutoCAD? Here is how you insert image in AutoCAD and draw over it.

1. Save the image you want to trace on to your hard drive. You can save the image as jpg, jpeg or gif

2. Crop the image to eliminate clutter. We want only the required portion in the image. The empty background and borderes can be cropped.
If you have access to software like photoshop you can even remove the background with a quick magic wand selection followed by delete to keep the image clean. This is not necessary though.

3. Open AutoCAD and open a new file.

4. Type “IMAGEATTACH” command

AutoCAD Imageattach

Type IMAGEATTACH command in AutoCAD

5. A window to browse and locate your image will open.

6. Select your image and click ok. A window similar to the image below will open.

AutoCAD add jpg image

Insert Image in AutoCAD

7. Click ok and place the image where you want by clicking on your autoCAD working area.

8. You can enlarge the image at this stage. You don’t need to worry too much about it since the drawing you traced over the image can be scaled to any dimension you want at a later stage.

Place Image Autocad

Place jpg photo in AutoCAD and Scale

9. Now the image on the current layer. Create a new layer and name it Trace or something you can identify easily.

10. Set the new layer as current. Change the color of the layer to a color which you can easily distinguish when traced over the image.

11. Start tracing over the image using “Line” and “Arc”. You can use the edit tools like trim and extend like any other autoCAD drawing.

Tracing image in AutoCAD

How to Trace over a photo in AutoCAD

12. Once you finished tracing, switch off the first layer that contains the image.

Image Layer

After tracing turn the image layer Off

Your new traced AutoCAD drawing is ready. You could save it as pdf file and covert to any of the image format to complete the AutoCAD to jpg process.

AUtoCAD to jpg

Final Sketch from jpg to AutoCAD

Tip: If the lines in sketch are too thick or thin, adjust the lineweight of the layer you are doing the tracing. A good starting point is 0.5mm
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Do it yourself and let me know your feedback.