View Full Version : Know of a good camera mapping tutorial?

10-03-2008, 03:49 PM

Anyone know of a single, comprehensive source of information about using Camera Mapping in LW for 3D matte paintings or 2D-to-3D image mapping?

I've been searching these forums and elsewhere to find a good tut on camera mapping in LW (I have LW 8, bad me). However, I haven't found any one good tutorial that tells you how to do it from start to finish. Lot's of bits and pieces, i.e. some threads about modeling in Layout to create geometry that matches an image. Anyone know of a simple solution? I've got lots of images to do pretty quickly. I found an interesting thread about using GOOGLE Sketch-up for this purpose, but I don't know how this would work with only one image to build on.

I want to Camera Map some 2D images so that I can do a move thru 3D space with them.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.



10-04-2008, 02:32 AM
Hmm, if i understand you want not a tutorial about camera mapping but one about modelling for camera mapping. The problem is that Layout and Modeller are two pieces of software, that makes it a bit complicated. I too have LW8 and still don't know if there is something like a projection camera for modeller available, anyone any ideas ???

10-04-2008, 08:58 AM
ingo is correct becoz of seperate apps it is not possible to 'model' from camera.
sketchup is maybe usefull for base model but not too accurate.. i tested it.

i was in the same boat 2 months ago..

i wish we had some sort of a virtual camera for projection in modeler.


10-04-2008, 10:17 AM
When I did a general search for modeling for camera projection, I ran across a partial tut for Maya that described a work around. If I recall correctly, they were using motion splines to rough out the shape of the objects in an image (in their equivalent of Layout) and then using those splines as reference to build geometry. It seemed pretty convoluted, so I didn't pay much attention to it.

Given that camera projection is a very standard way of doing "3D matte paintings" these days, someone must have figured out a reasonable way of making simple geometry to match an image using the available tools.

I think that we are talking about a proceedure for accomplishing a task, not a new tool.

I anyone knows better, please dish!


10-04-2008, 11:56 AM
oh there is a procedure but involves lotsa swapping..

cammatch an image or video, setup lotsa nulls in layout bring them over as points to modeler and start from there..


10-04-2008, 12:19 PM

What is step one?

How does one "camera match" in layout. I get that you need to make reference points to bring in to modeler so you know where to build the detailed geometry. But you have got to make some geometry in the first place to even be able to see the image that you want to reference in Layout...

Like, how do you match the ground plane, where does one put the poly that you project onto in Layout to camera match to in the first place?

That's the tutorial I am looking for. I get the concept. I need the steps!

Any reference would be appreciated.


10-04-2008, 12:57 PM
Hi OcatilloPicture:

If the geometry is not to complex, William Vaughan has a video tutorial showing how to use SoftFX to move the points of mesh in order to match the background plate--your 2d image.

It's not the total solution you are looking for, but a helpful step in the process. You can find the video here:


There is also a book by Tim Dobbert entitled, "Matchmoving: The Invisible Art of Camera Tracking." Although the book covers the subject broadly, it does address some of your questions. He uses software other than LW, but it translates very well.


10-04-2008, 02:38 PM
Thanks Orimar,

I had been trying to find that movie but I couldn't find a functional link.

By the way, if you're as dense as I am, you can't just click the movie link and have it play. Since it's on an FTP site you will need to download and then play it.

This method looks like a start... good enough for me to test my ideas.

I'll check out the book too.


10-04-2008, 05:38 PM
Issue 22 of HDRI (the latest I think) has an Article by Jon Gress.
On p. 44-45 he begins his discussion of Camera Mapping/Front Projection. In the next issue of HDRI he says he'll cover matching lighting and atmosphere.

It's not a step by step tutorial - but it covers the concepts.
He also covers 2D card projection in building a hallway and he is using LW from the Figures in the Article.

I suggest you check out your local Borders and see if that issues begins to cover what you need.

10-05-2008, 11:05 AM
Thanks for the heads up about HDRI 3D magazine. I didn't even know that it existed. I will check it out.
I assume that you mean the author is John Gross, since I used to read his articles back when there was a Lightwave magazine, remember LW 3.0? Checking for John Gress doesn't yield any results.

Thanks again.


10-05-2008, 11:18 AM
I just found the issue. It is John Gress. Sorry to disparage your tyP!ng ab*il#ity

10-08-2008, 01:10 PM
Hi OcatilloPicture:

Just found a tutorial quick tutorial entitled, "Intergrating 3d objects into 2d environments," at http://www.3dtotal.com/. Go to "Free Stuff," click on "Tutorials" and then choose "Lightwave." It's the first tutorial on that page.

It does show a quick, manual way of matching your camera and your ground plane.


10-09-2008, 01:50 PM
Hi there,

I'm probably a bit late to the party here, but are you wanting to make complex looking objects using simple objects and photographs? If you are, then should you be looking at front projection mapping? If you are then I would have a look at Worleys Taft collection of plugins which has "sticky Front Projection" It does have "camera match" but that is for putting 3d objects into still photographs and sadly doesn't work with sequences.
I could be completely wrong with what you want to do but if not then this could be of use.

check out the movies and the description....

......also Dan Ablan's inside lightwave 8 has a compositing section (and a matchmoving tut on the books dvd)

hope this is of help



10-09-2008, 03:37 PM
Hi Munky,

Bingo. That is precisely what I am trying to do. I am trying to make a complex environment based upon mapping a landscape image to simple geometry.

I managed to get acceptable results for the scene that I am working on doing an entirely manual match... jumping between Modeler and Layout, but what a time-consuming pain.

Camera match looks like it might simplify my task. Still, their tutorial on Camera match demos them matching an image to a box. I'd like to see them try matching a more complex object... in my case I was matching cliff faces. Yeow!

I will check out camera match if there is a downloadable demo.



10-10-2008, 06:50 AM
Hi there,

Lightwolf has replied to a similar thread and suggested looking at syntheyes
which could be worth having a look at, I don't know anything about it but check it out.......


it has a downloadable demo



10-10-2008, 12:05 PM
Mr. Munky is quite right about SynthEyes camera tracking software. On the Ssontech tutorial page there's a SynthEyes tutorial entitled, "Single-frame alignment tutorial," and can be found here:



10-10-2008, 07:00 PM

While I think that Syntheyes can create geometry based upon running footage, it needs motion to create the parallax that it uses to identify points. I am working with paintings so I don't think that a camera tracker can help me.


10-10-2008, 07:04 PM
you can do some quick dirty camera mapping with photoshop extended CS3 and exporting the results as a 3d object. It aint always pretty, but it works sometimes. do a search for "vanishing point CS3 After Effects" and some stuff will probably come up.

Cinema supposedly has a robust camera mapping tech.

you could also project in layout onto a simple square plane, and duplicate that plane whilst using fprime to make sure the projection matches the planes you are making. I guess it would be like extremely crude modeling by duplicating a plane as you go.

(openGL won't work for matching).

10-10-2008, 07:18 PM
So yes, Syntheyes can find a solution to a picture from a single frame. It doesn't make geometry from that one frame.

I don't know but it doesn't look to me like there is any simple solution to matching camera projection.

Figuring out the camera postion from a single frame might simplify making subsequent geometry that is more complex than a box. I just wish that the demos would show someone doing something complex than sticking a box in a shot. Yeah, it is a demo that makes it easy to detect that the vanishing points are correct but it doesn't inspire much confidence in doing harder stuff.

Thanks for the suggestion tho... I will download a demo of Syntheyes. I've been meaning to figure out 3D camera tracking anyway.