Importing Bitmap or AVI to TS Background

Musikman
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Importing Bitmap or AVI to TS Background

Post by Musikman »

Hi

I've been told that for example if I wanted to import a night sky as a background for a scene/animation, I can load it directly to TS background so it will fill the entire screen, either model or ws side. However, this may skew the look or perspective when moving the scene around, possibley making it more difficult to work on the rest of the objects in the scene. What are the steps to take to import a bitmap (or even avi) to the background (couldn't find it in the manual) & is it same procedure for modelside also?

Is there an alternative way to import it smaller, maybe onto plane(s), and manually size it (stretch it to fill most of the screen) so TS won't automatically size it for me. Anyone know what the best approach to this would be?

Thank you!

Paul
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spacekdet
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Re: Importing Bitmap or AVI to TS Background

Post by spacekdet »

I usually put my skies on UV mapped half spheres that I use to 'dome' over the entire scene.
Easier to deal with than planes.

I have an old tutorial that shows the general principles here:http://www.spacekdet.com/tutorials/skydome/

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Re: Importing Bitmap or AVI to TS Background

Post by Musikman »

Thanks Spacekdet, that looks promising, never thought of using a sphere or half sphere. I was wondering if I could apply that same theory to the workspace side,looks like it's possible. Also, can I use my own bitmap (a photo imported from GIMP) of a starry night sky instead of the TS default textures that are mentioned in the tutorial?

I also followed the link at the bottom, lots of helpful tutorials, do you know if the Motion Studio has been updated to run on TS7.6 or 7.61? Looks like a cool plugin to have for character animation!

Regards,

Paul
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Re: Importing Bitmap or AVI to TS Background

Post by spacekdet »

You can use any image you want, you aren't limited to the ones in the default tS libraries.

Since I have Vray installed, a screenshot from my Workspace/stack would not match what you have so I have omitted it.

Note that if you do assign an avi, you'll need to tic the 'Animate' box, and naturally, render out to either an animation or a series of still images to be composited into a final animation.

Since my computer is ahem, 'elderly', I only render stills and so know little to nothing about Motion Studio. (ok, nothing)
Frank is the go-to guy for that.

Here's how to do it in Model: (see attachement)
Attachments
bg_image2_minitut.jpg

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Re: Importing Bitmap or AVI to TS Background

Post by Musikman »

So then right clicking the grey box will open kind of an "explorer" box where I can choose any picture or texture by browsing....I see, thanks! I'll try to find out if I can do it on the ws side also. Not used to model side, just learning as I go along.

On your dome sky tutorial.....The half sphere has the flat part to the ground (as in the last pic), then just stretch it big enough to fit the whole screen? I would imagine you wouldn't be able to set opacity as solid, to get the sky effect it must have to be set with some amount of transparency. Then according to the tutorial there should be a plane drawn parallel to the ground to keep the perspective of the ground. Think I got it. Been very busy & haven't given it a go yet, but will in the morning. Thanks again, much appreciated!


Paul
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Re: Importing Bitmap or AVI to TS Background

Post by Musikman »

Hey Spacekdet, if you're still out there. I tried the dome as background for sky and working very well & near the end of the tut, sorry, just a quick (dumb) question here.......

[Once you have it surfaced the way you like, Scale up the dome to encompass the entire scene. ]

What's the easiest way to do that? I'm new to modelside and there's no object widget like ws side. I pulled on the UV bars but can't seem to find which L/R/click/drag combination keeps it's shape/proportion when stretching it out. Or is there another quicker/easier way of doing it?

Thanks!


Paul
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Re: Importing Bitmap or AVI to TS Background

Post by spacekdet »

Easiest way is to first open a top view.
Zoom way out (right click drag on the 'web' part of the view widget in the lower right corner)
To keep the scaling uniform, you can do one of two things:turn on Grid mode/ grid snap, or click/hold/drag using both mouse buttons on the widget.
Activate Object Scale by left clicking on it.
In the top view, with the dome selected, hold both mouse buttons down and drag in any clear area of the screen.

You could also use the widget if it's visible, click on the corner of the cube widget to scale- again holding both buttons. (Only using one button will have a different behavior- depending on which side you grab and which way you drag it). If you hover over the very tip of the widget, the cursor will change into a 3 pointed icon- in that case dragging with only the left button held will scale proportionally. It's a pretty small target.
In Workspace you do the same thing to the cube on the end of the 'arm' of the object widget.
Keep dragging until all your scene elements are inside it- cameras, objects, etc.

The dome can be either opaque or transparent, depending on what you are rendering with.
The trick is to turn off shadowcasting for the dome object if you are using an infinite, a directional, or a skylight.
Workspace: (settings/scene/show object attribs/object render attributes/default->switch to advanced/ untic 'cast shadows).
Model: Open the Object Info box by right clicking the Object Tool. Expand by clicking the red downward pointing arrow. Click Render Options, then uncheck Cast Shadows and Receive Shadows. This will prevent it from blocking any lights or catching any unwanted shadows.

This will work with a regular polygon sphere as well, you just use different tools for cutting it in half.

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Re: Importing Bitmap or AVI to TS Background

Post by Musikman »

Ok Spacekdet, I'll give it a try soon. I figured there had to be a way in modelside similar to ws side, but without the object widget I just wasn't sure. Everything I tried just kept stretching it out of proportion. I was grabbing every spot I could find on the UV but couldn't size it evenly with that. Thanks again for the detailed instructions, much appreciated! ;)

I'm going to have to get the hang of using the material editor & applying textures in ws side, not nearly as straightforward as modelside. Jack also mentioned to me once that in ws side one texture replaces another and multiple textures are not supported. I've had a couple of crashes trying to do just that & probably partly because I'm not doing it the right way & trying to do something the program will not allow. Seems on model side you can apply texture/bump, color, displacement and everything is right there in a row to see, procedures on ws side are still a bit tricky to figure out, at least for me. This is one of those cases I mentioned in gen discussion where a 7.x tut for it would clear up some of the fog....practice, practice..... :D

Best regards,

Paul
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Re: Importing Bitmap or AVI to TS Background

Post by spacekdet »

I hear you there re: the WS material editor. Was a major turn-off for me; I much prefer the Model side one. Luckily I got Vray when it was still available which modified the WS material editor so that it's closer in looks and function to what I was used to.

Before I had Vray I would just model in workspace and save all the texturing and rendering duties for Model side. Really hard to have to revert back to single-layer WS materials after using multiple layer stuff for years. Sad that multi-layers didn't make it into WS before the end.

Really all depends on what output you are shooting for. If you want all realtime stuff, you're pretty much stuck with learning the WS material editor. Painting with bricks...it's the future.

If you don't mind waiting for a render, using the built-in Lightworks engine in Model will allow you a lot of flexibility in texturing- there are a ton of free shaders available and the fun and benefits of multi-layered materials.

It's a lot to learn, but also a lot of fun.
Just finish all the modeling in WS before you start texturing...going back and forth over the bridge tends to be hard on existing textures. They sometimes end up floating away in the river!

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Re: Importing Bitmap or AVI to TS Background

Post by Musikman »

I never really had the chance to figure out just how that "bridge" works. I noticed the settings for manual and auto. Is that a "one-way" bridge from ws to model, or two way? You've got me thinking now, if I can model without texturing in ws side which for modeling I'm a bit more familiar with, then send models over to modelside for texturing...hmmm...think that would be a plan that would go smoothly? Only thing is, if I did that, but then wanted to finally animate the ms textured objects in ws side, I'd have to cross back over the bridge again to ws, & may possibly lose some of the texture work in the process. Ever try doing that before? Just curious if it would work or not.
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