Merging 3D model and 2D Picture/Photo – adding a background picture

3ds Max is capable of merging a 2D picture (background) with the 3D model that you have created either in 3ds Max or your own modelling package eg Autodesk Inventor.  Adding a realistic environment goes a long way in convincing the client about the product that you are offering to them.  If they see a familiar environment (their building site or Factory floor) they can be more open to what you are offering.

This blog will highlight the essential steps to follow to create that custom environment.

First step would be to take a photo of the environment that you will be superimposing your 3D model on.

Open the scene of the 3D model and activate the perspective view.  This is where we are going to see the magic happen.

With the viewport active hold down Alt and press B. This will open the Viewport configuration dialog box.  Select the Use Files option and under aspect ratio select Match Viewport.

At this point, you will see the background but the 3D model will not be aligned.  At the base of the model you can see the default grid.

Align the grid to a straight edge on the drawing so as to get a more realistic rendering between the 2D and 3D.

Once this is done, create a camera.  Select Views drop down and navigate to Create Physical Camera from View.

To lock down the view so that it does not accidentally move or rotate you can lock the view.

Select the camera in one of the viewports.   On the Command Panel select the hierarchy tab.  Click on Link info.  Make sure that all the tick boxes are selected.

You have now added a background to your scene and locked it in place.


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