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BGD image in C4D

Placing an image in perspective view By Ko Maruyama
When creating 3D animations or even still images, it is sometimes important to have an image or movie in the viewport for simple reference or for the final render.  In MAXON's CINEMA 4D it is simple to apply a background image to the perspective view with a couple easy clicks.

In this QuickTip, I'll use a couple of Adobe Photoshop files to demonstrate how the background and foreground images can work within your scene.  You can use any bitmap image in lieu of my PSD references, and even use movies or sequences if you like.

In my first image here, there's a cube.  Sometimes, it's important to see what the 3D scene might be composited over.  For this, I'll want to place a picture behind all of my geometry. 

1. In the perspective view, I'll need to add an object to do this.  The Background Object can be found in the scene objects or from the light icon group of objects.

click images for larger view

2. Add  a new material.

3. In the parameters of the material attributes, add a bitmap image to the color channel by clicking on the long bar (located to the right of the "Texture" parameter).

4. Apply the material to the Background object.

ALTERNATIVELY, you can add a foreground object - in addition to, or instead of the background object.

Following similar steps, you can use a Foreground object to hold 2D materials that will render on top of the 3D scene.

Follow steps 1-4 above, substituting the foreground object for the background object.

Additionally, you'll probably want to add an alpha channel to the parameters of your foreground material, or else render the entire bitmap over your 3D scene.

5. Alpha Channel: In the Basic parameters of the material for the foreground, TURN ON the attribute for Alpha channel.  Next, select the parameter in the boxes at the top of the material attribute box. 

6. Once the alpha parameter is selected, click on the arrow to the right of the "Texture" attribute.  Select the material whose alpha channel you want to use.

That's it.

Stay tuned for C4D4PSD, a series of CINEMA 4D tips for Photoshop artists.  You can check out C4D4AE, a series for After Effects users on CREATIVEMAC.

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:tutorial, placing background, modeling 3D composite


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