Alternate Background Images



This tutorial will show how to use a Single-Sided Square prop to act as a backdrop to the Poser scene.

Of course we can simply import a background image- but using that image in a movie requires that we don't move the camera, since the background image moves with the camera (which would look very odd in a movie!) Additionally, if you want to make the background render slightly out-of-focus, this technique gives you a background that exists at a specific distance from the camera, so you can control how in or out of focus it is.

1. Get The Prop

The first thing to do is to bring the Single-Sided Square prop in from Poser's Props library. It can be found in the PRIMITIVES folder in the PROPS category as shown here. The Single-Sided Square will act as the backdrop for the scene; the next steps show how to place an image on that square to make it realistic.

The next thing to do is to position and scale the prop- that square is too small to be a good backdrop as is! This image shows the square, sized up to 5000% (50x its original size) and moved back and up somewhat. I've colorized it to make it stand out, but we'll put an image on it in the next step.

2. Apply the Image to the Backdrop

Next we'll set up our backdrop in the Material Room. Click the MATERIAL tab, and then the ADVANCED tab as shown. Then create a new Image_Map node by right-clicking in the workspace and choosing NEW NODE>2D TEXTURES>IMAGE_MAP. Attach it to the Diffuse_Color and Ambient_Color channels by dragging the little 'plug' icons from those channels to the top-left corner of the Image_Map node. Set the Diffuse and Ambient colors to white, and set the Ambient_Value to 0.5 (or more- up to 1.) This will keep the backdrop from looking 'flat' and dull in the rendered image.

Now we can actually load an image into that Image_Map node and our backdrop will be ready! Click the white text that says 'None', up in the Image_Source channel of the Image_Map node. Then use the Texture Manager that will appear, to browse to the image you want to use. Here I've loaded a digital photo I took on vacation a couple of years ago.

3. Using the Backdrop

Now we can go back to the Pose Room (click the POSE tab) and move the camera around- notice that the backdrop doesn't move. Next I'll pose the skeleton and then move the camera around a bit, just to show how this backdrop differs from a background image.

As you can see, moving the camera around gives a slightly different perspective on the backdrop- but the backdrop itself doesn't change (although of course you can animate it if you like!) We can even apply a movie as a texture to the backdrop, rather than an image.