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Old 23rd February 2011, 11:52 PM   #1
Edymnion
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Default Move Background Images

Something I've run into repeatedly when making orthos for use in AC3D. If I don't put a lot of effort into making sure my orthos are scaled exactly right, and that they are both centered exactly the same, I can't use them.

For example, lets say I've cropped two images of a face down to just what I need, the front and the side views. Lets say I've scaled them so they're exactly the same proportional size (as in, an eye is say 10 pixels high in the front shot, and its 10 pixels high in the side shot as well) and I load them both in and try to start work.

Oops, it turns out my profile view had just a little more neck in it than the frontal view, and everything is one eye's width too high to line up properly.

Right now, there's nothing I can do but load my photo editor back up and go back to adjusting the pictures until everything is lined up perfectly.

Just struck me, wouldn't it be easier on the end user to let AC3D let you adjust things like the position and scale of the background pictures? Move them up and down, or left and right of the default center it loads them into, maybe increase/decrease the size, etc.

That way if you model an eye from the front and realize the side view is too low, you could just nudge the background image up until its level with the mesh you already know is in the right place from the front view (or vice versa).

That make sense to anybody but me?
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Old 24th February 2011, 12:17 PM   #2
Stiglr
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Default Re: Move Background Images

This makes total sense.... and good news! What you want is possible!!!

Of course, it does beg the discussion that, your background views can only be as good as your source graphics... if the graphics aren't accurate from one view to the next, you can't expect them to serve as a perfect guide. If you are lucky enough to have blueprints or highly accurate drawings, it's a simple matter of cropping the graphics exactly and maintaining the same pixel length for X, Y and Z axes.

However, if like most graphics, there's a little "slop" here and there... you'll have to ascertain which view is most helpful to edit in at any one time, and adjust the graphic (both size and position) to give you the most accurate viewpoint.

Here's a video tutorial on this, for aircraft, but the concepts should suit any object.

One thing I find very helpful at the outset is to determine the size of the object itself, and make a 99% transparent bounding box, which I can display or hide at any time. I use this bounding box to serve as a "boundary" for initial sizing and placement of my background images. Unless your graphics are WAY OFF, they should fit snugly inside your bounding box (use wireframe view to see just a key line for the box). Holding Shift + Alt and the arrow keys will size the background image proportionally.

Then, after placement of your images, you'll find it necessary to sometimes shift them a smidge to give you a more correct guide to model from. For this, you use the [b]Alt + up/down or left/right arrow keys to nudge the graphics in whatever direction you need.
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Last edited by Stiglr; 24th February 2011 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 3rd March 2011, 12:07 AM   #3
Edymnion
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Default Re: Move Background Images

Ah, I did not know about the alt+arrow keys, thank you. Looks like everything I wanted was already there, it was just hiding!

Definitely don't remember seeing those options in the instructions, maybe I should go read through all those again...
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Old 3rd March 2011, 12:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Move Background Images

Not a problem. I use those scaling and nudging features with every single model I build, but occasionally I forget them and have to "rediscover" those keypress combos. I'm not even sure if that is fully documented in the AC3D manual....
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