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  1. #1
    Marscaleb Guest

    This one may be a challenge...

    This one might be a tough one, but mostly for the fact that I'm not completely certain what I want...

    Basically it comes down to this: I'm making a simple (and far from naturalistic) scene. and there are basically three points of interest in the scene. (Three groups of usually two characters.) Now I have three seperate images that would be best used as image planes to be the background for each point of interest.
    At this point there is no problem at all. When the camera is focused upon one group, the image plane would ideally be that group's background. This is not intended to look realistic, this is simply intended to provide a background that is not simply a solid color, while at the same time choosing a background that well represents that group. The characters will appear in an objectless world with a humble static background image to represent where they are.

    The scene gets complicated as the groups interact with eachother. When two groups are interacting with eachother, I want each of their backgrounds to be visible behind that group. This melding of two backgrounds will likely not look natural. I would like it if the backgrounds melded well between eachother, but it is not essential, and so I just need something that doesn't look distracting.
    It of course becomes only more complicated when all three groups are visible in the scene at once, because then all three backgrounds need to be visible, one behind each group.

    I'm not prepared to devote the time and resources to modelling out a 3D background that can be manipulated easier, so I'm going to stick with having 2D images. That being said they need fill the entire screen, which is why I compared them to image planes. But I really need to create something more dynamic so it can be manipulated to accompany a second and third plane.
    What I would really like to find is something that would position itself automatically for me in accordance with the focus of the camera. I'm reaching rather amorphously for a tool here, but Maya is pretty vast and maybe there is something I can use to track objects and move image planes together. Hey I'm dumb enough to think it's possible.

    At this point I'm not completely certain exactly how this should look, which is of course one of the reasons I am unsure of how I can animate it. I'm asking about options that I can explore in the hopes to find something easy that works. If nothing else I already know that I can create three planes and animate them along with the camera, but dang if that ain't gonna be a bugger to really work right, especially when it comes to making sure that they always fill the entire scene while still showing as much of the background is desired.

    So that's pretty much it. Thoughts? Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Saumur, France
    It's hard to give advice by looking at plain text. If you could provide some screenshots it would be much easier to help you out.
    Anyway, couldn't you just use one single image as the background? You could use a sphere dome that holds on encompassing texture to sell the illusion of a background. Are you planning to move your cameras or will they be static?
    Also, there are a couple of Gnomon DVDs that deal with Camera projection and billboard techniques namely the Digital Sets series, Camera Projection Techniques, and Outer Space Environments.
    Hope that helps.
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  3. #3
    Marscaleb Guest
    I think that it's going to be easier for me to move the camera instead of the characters, apart from whatever headaches this background thing will bring.
    But the characters themselves will be moving very little, if it all.

    Actually I've been thinking about it, and I beleive that I have found a good idea of what I should do. It will employ a more restricted camera movement and I won't get to play with some of the tools I was working with earlier, but I feel confidentent that the ultimate look of the final product will be better.

    Thank you anyway!

    PS I love your customer user title!

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