PhotoModeling

Jpaang

Active Member
#1
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.
You need:
AutoDesk 3DSMax 2009+
Imagemodeler 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!
 

Attachments

exidge

Administrator
#2
That's it so far? Why don't you make a PDF or video tutorial ? Would be cool!

Don't get me wrong this is also GREAT and really appreciated! When do you want to continue?

Cheers,
exidge
 

OldDog

Active Member
#3
Good Good, you can do something similar inside of 3ds max ;)

like Exidge said, it would be better if you make an PDF file... or just work on the tutorial and put it online when it's done :)
 

Minde

Active Member
#4
I used Image Modeler while working on my Mercedes, its really easy to setup and use calibrated cameras in Max, haven't even thought that someone need a tutorial for that, since Image Modeler itself has some nice ones in its help files, just to make things easier is better to use pictures from one camera, cause they have same camera parameters, so calibration process will be better and more accurate.
 
#5
Good Good, you can do something similar inside of 3ds max ;)
you can't ))
imageModeler works not as cameraMatch in max

In IM the process is:

1. Gather photos (4-11 photos)
2. Flip them as needed to face the same direction
3. Name them so they add to IM in proper order
4. In IM prefs turn of progressive calibration, set residuals to 3-5 (it is enough)
5. Place makers on photos that matches the same locator on a car (the same spot in real car). Better to setup first 3-5 photos and then the other. You'll need at least 8 markers on each photo (at the end you'll have about 15).
6. Calibrate cameras first time
7. Check calibration, add more locators if needed, calibrate other photos
8. Place pairs of symmetrical locators as much as possible
9. Place some locators on symmetry plane in centers of car's shapes
10. Define world space by placing axis (i place X-left/right, Y-along car, Z - up)
12 Use Y AND Z planar constraints to lock Symmetrical pairs of locators (select pair - choose constr.) And X constraint to lock locators in symmetry plane
13. Calibrate
14. Place modeling locators as many as possible. (Place two locators on centers of wheels and then define length of wheelbase).
15. Export cameras and locators with FbX to 3ds max, or ma to Maya, or any other software
16. In max place imageplanes with corresponding photos with Camera Mapping
17. Create shapes and start modeling...

Tips:
Dont place locators on mirrors and wheels (except for wheelbase measurement)
Tray to place far locators on photos too. (For example: On photo whith 3/4 front view place locators on rear wheel arc and bumper)
Dont crop/edit photos before use them (except brightnes for example)
Its better to use photos taken from the same camera of the same car in the same place. In this case you can use locators on wheels and mirrors.


Jpaang, i apologize, that i meddled to your thread :)
Just wanted to fill "pause" in your tutorial. Hope it will be helpfull.
And thanks for illustrated tutorial. I want to make some video tut for over a year and a half, but got no time, and latest cars that i made were volkswagens with good blueprints. ((
 
#6
Hey guys :) thanks for creating this thread, its very helpful!

I got a little question, since after exporting to 3ds max from imagemodeler I have 8 cameras (previosly I used 3 cameras and manually create camera matching, looots of hours :p) I was wondering how can I atach image to camera. I always used Viewport Background but with 8 cameras it is pretty flustrating :p.

Thanks again guys !! :)
 

Minde

Active Member
#7
Hey guys :) thanks for creating this thread, its very helpful!

I got a little question, since after exporting to 3ds max from imagemodeler I have 8 cameras (previosly I used 3 cameras and manually create camera matching, looots of hours :p) I was wondering how can I atach image to camera. I always used Viewport Background but with 8 cameras it is pretty flustrating :p.

Thanks again guys !! :)
You can use planes aligned to cameras, well at least that was the way I was doing it.
 
#8
Don't use 3ds max's viewport background (except for camera match utility or in "use environment map" mode for temporary use)

Create Plane
Align it to camera (position and rotation)
Move it away from camera (local Z)
Add Camera Map modifier (WSM)
Select your camera in modifier
add bitmap to this plane corresponding to current camera (drag-n-drop from explorer works)
Then scale plane to fit photo and place it "behind" a car
Then click RMB on CameraMap modifier in modifier stack to collapse mapping to "unlink" it from camera
And repeat this for each camera :)
use zoom/pan tools to navigate from camera
lock position and "roll" rotation axis (i don't remember exactly, but i guess it's Z) in camera object properties to prevent camera movement and rolling while working
 

EquiNOX

Active Member
#9
VitaminD,

Do you think you can spend time writing tuts in PDF addingwith picture or maybe use Video demonstrate us how you did it?

I think this would help us huge.
 

Falango

Active Member
#11
One key thing to keep in mind is before you bring your images into IM, make sure the lens distortion is fixed!!! If you've taken the images yourself, I hope you shoot them in RAW format, so yu can easily fix the lens distortion, because that can easily mess up your results. If you get them off the Internet, you won't know if lens distortion has been applied, so it can be a bit tougher to get the right results.
 
#12
VitaminD,

Do you think you can spend time writing tuts in PDF addingwith picture or maybe use Video demonstrate us how you did it?

I think this would help us huge.
I will try to make it sooner, anyway i need it, because from time to time a have to teach to use it different people and with ready tut it would be easier)))
Not sure about video (i don't have much english talking practice )))

One key thing to keep in mind is before you bring your images into IM, make sure the lens distortion is fixed!!! If you've taken the images yourself, I hope you shoot them in RAW format, so yu can easily fix the lens distortion, because that can easily mess up your results. If you get them off the Internet, you won't know if lens distortion has been applied, so it can be a bit tougher to get the right results.
Usualy photos from internet (official for sure) doesn't make any problems with distortions.
If you make photos by yourself, just walk further from a car and zoom :)
Lesser focal angle - lesser distortions.

ImageModeler lets you input the radial distortion of your cameras if you know it, or will calculate it if you don’t.
I haven't use it so far, and everithing was fine ^_^
 

Falango

Active Member
#13
You can't always just walk further away though, sometimes you are confined to space. If you are taking the photos yourself, you are more likely to get accurate results anyways since you have all the camera info in the image, as long as you've taken good photos.
 

OldDog

Active Member
#15
ok i just got to test image modeler... and for the test I just grabbed some 3d max viewport images, that way they are all same FOV, and have small distortion...(just to figure out how the software works...)

I got 5 pictures... if i placed 20 locators i would be able to make a cage just by placing my spline vertexes on that locators , hehe .... any how, the process is really easy, and if someone is interested in it he should just get the program. it's not rocket science ;)
in less then 10 minutes i figured it out and placed my 5 images back to 3ds max .... ready for modeling !

Really awesome program!

Ofc the only problem is getting the right images, and calibrating them, so it would be best if you take the images yourself...

sorry if i already wrote something that someone else said earlier in the thread, and Happy modeling :)
 

Jpaang

Active Member
#17
I have been so busy with school and work that I've called this off for so long. I've learned that being 17 and juggling school, work, modeling cars, and spending time with my friends and girlfriend is impossible. This doesn't mean i'm quitting, the show will go on, I just need time to put all of my thoughts in proper sequence. As suggested above, I will put this tutorial into a .pdf file. Making this more convenient for everybody.

JPAANG

P.S. Thank you VitaminD for filling in for me.
 
E

ettore

Guest
#19
Where do you guys get ImageModeler and what does it cost? I see that it is available as a subscription from Autodesk but also as a free download from other software suppliers. What do you suggest?