View Full Version : Fully 3d landscape from painting?

05-07-2009, 01:06 PM
Hello there- Lot's of good info here but I haven't been able to find anything about this subject. Sorry if it's already been addressed. Also, I don't know enough about camera mapping techniques or other matte painting techniques to know which ones to try...

Basically I want to take a classic landscape painting- Lake Tahoe by Albert Bierstad for example- and translate it as close as possible into 3d. What would the workflow be like? What 2.5D matte painting techniques apply? How do you figure out the distances between the elements? When given a concept with hardly any straight lines, how do figure out perspective? How much is just "eyeballing"?

Thanks for any advice!


05-07-2009, 04:20 PM
Hi Patrick

Basically, if you want to take something like that you have to take the finished artwork into your 3D package and camera match it as closely as possible. This is more difficult with purely organic scenes that have no real straight lines, but you can also be slightly more free with perspective when this is the case too, just get as close as you can and make sure you have the horizon line spot on. Then you need to model all the elements in the right places, which can be quite time consuming (it can look great from the cameras point of view but be a mess from another angle). Then you need to project the painting back onto the geometry.
Its usually a good idea to do that in layers as you can paint in behind the objects to allow for more parallax. What you may still find tho is that you have to patch up the projection, i.e. reproject bits of painting from a different angle to cover an area that is revealed in the camera move that the original projection doesnt cover.

Take a look at the Gnomon dvds on matte painting and camera mapping, it might help you out if you havent already seen them.



05-07-2009, 05:10 PM
Thanks very much for the info! What i want to do though is not camera mapping really, it's more that i want to use some matte painting techniques if applicable to help model the elements of the scene. The scene wouldn't be textured by the painting, i would be creating my own textures and mapping them to objects individually and I would be filling in details in 3d of occluded parts of the scene. so then you could take a camera and do a flyaround and not have any projection problems. My main problem is the modeling part- I know i can make it look good from one angle, but i want it to look as close to the painting from all angles. So scale and relative distances are what i guess I'm really struggling with.


05-07-2009, 06:11 PM
Ah ok, im with you. Well if you are modelling from an image / painting and have properly matched the camera then when you get all the 3d geometry in place matching the image then it should be creatng a perfect 3d representation with scale and distance all accurate. If not, then its because your camera isnt matched to the scene properly. So really you'll just have to make sure you get a really good match on your camera, and then its straight forward from there :)


05-07-2009, 07:09 PM
Thanks alot- I'll have to make sure I'm camera matching correctly.

05-07-2009, 10:31 PM
Vue is a great package to start with for doing landscape based 3D modelling. It's not as difficult as starting with Maya or 3D Max since it has a lot of premade objects that you can place into your scenes right away. I'd recommend going that route if you're experimenting with 3d landscapes.

05-08-2009, 07:42 PM
I've messed with Vue some. I've got lots of experience with 3ds Max so it's actually easier for me, and i think more suited to this project since I'm trying to copy a painting pretty closely. I think modeling the mountains would actually be harder in Vue using their painting interface.