Introduction to PhotoModeling with Imagemodeler and 3DSMax
Written By James a.k.a. JPAANG
Over time in my CG career, I've never found a tutorial on the entire internet that thoroughtly explains what to do in terms of setting up a scene in order to get started. So today I'm breaking that barrier. So listen closely and pay close attention. I've attached some example files to use as reference if you get lost.
AutoDesk 3DSMax 2009+
Image Manipulation Software (Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, GIMP, etc.)
Some basic knowledge of using calibration in Imagemodeler
1. Search the net for some high resolution images of your car, boat, or airplane. High resolution is key for accuracy. I found some for my Audi A6 Allroad at www.netcarshow.com
2. Start right away by opening Imagemodeler, load your selected photos into the program. NOTE: Your images must be the same size.
3. Lay down enough points until all of your locators are green, which indicates correct calibration (Put more than about 15 locators so you avoid distortion when modeling.) Once your done, determine your XYZ orientation using the worldspace tool.
4. Time to export! Choose the .fbx format from the drop down menu, click export, your file is now ready to be imported to Max.
5. Fire up 3DSMax, find your .fbx file on your computer, and import it. NOTE: Only 2009+ verisons of 3DSMax can import this .fbx version, if you have an older version, go back to Imagemodeler, click the name of your image in the scene browser, choose the "camera" tab, create a new camera in max, and plug your XYZ coordinates and focallength in manually.
6. Once you have the cameras in place, your ready to get technical! So read carefully. This is where the images come in to play, you will need to change the current orthographic projection (fancy for left, top, front, etc) to your camera projection. Do that, and then go to views>viewport background>viewport backgrounds. In the little box, browse for your image by clicking files, next we have some options we need to take care of. For the aspect ratio, set it to "Match Rendering Output" and check "Lock Zoom/Pan." click ok. Because we used match rendering output, we need to change the size from default 640x480 to whatever your image size is, mine are 1600px wide and 1200px tall. Repeat the steps for the other images and there you go! your scene is ready!
7. It is now your turn to carry on the process, wether you use NURBS like me, or hard surface like many others. this process is great when you can't find blueprints. Have Fun!